Which of hip-hop’s biggest acts will drop an album before the end of the year?
It seems like a new rap/hip-hop album drops every week. Albums now have a shelf life of a few days and new singles are nearly forgotten by the next weekend. The timeline for a rapper to release new music has been shorted by so much that fans become antsy after a few months of silence. This year has seen the emergence of many new artists as well as an abundance of new hits from familiar faces. But some of hip-hop’s biggest names have been awfully quiet as of late, leading many to believe that these artists have something in the works. The Emerald did some digging to find out what these slumbering giants might have in store for the last quarter of 2017. By no means is this list comprehensive or have any of these releases been confirmed, but after combing through hundreds of artists’ social media posts, the Emerald has come up with some good speculation.
Since the release of his 2015 sophomore record, “Long Live A$AP,” A$AP Rocky has released two records with rap collective A$AP Mob, both charting in the top 15 of Billboard’s Hot 200. But the New York-based artist appears to be shifting his attention back toward his solo career. In an August interview with Complex, Rocky announced that his third solo record would be released by the end of 2017. He later confirmed that announced via several interactions on Twitter. Rocky later teased a song from the record on his Snapchat Story, which featured fellow New York rapper Swoosh God. The album, which Rocky says will take a step in a new, “futuristic” musical direction, is also rumored to feature British grime rapper Skepta.
If nothing else, 2016 will be remembered as the year Anderson .Paak emerged as one of the most prolific hip-hop artists in today’s music scene. The Los Angeles-based rapper/drummer broke into the mainstream sphere in 2016 and was nominated by the Grammy’s for Best New Artist. But since the release of “Yes Lawd!”, a side project with the prolific producer, Knxwledge, .Paak has been awfully quiet. In early October, .Paak posted an Instagram video that detailed his songwriting and recording process while touring.
Over the last several weeks, .Paak has also posted cryptic videos on his Instagram that show him and his band, the Free Nationals, at a film studio recording what appears to be a music video. The band was rumored to be releasing an instrumental album over the summer, but the record never dropped. Also worth noting: .Paak posted a video with Chicago artist Chance the Rapper at the studio together while listening to an unreleased Chance track in January of this year. A collaboration between the two would mark the first time the pair of 2016 breakouts will have worked together.
Chance the Rapper
Last year’s “Coloring Book” made Chance the Rapper one of the most liked and well-respected artists in the game today. Since then he has single-handedly saved music streaming service Soundcloud, appeared on DJ Khaled’s summer’s hit “I’m the One,” performed on Saturday Night Live and won three Grammy awards — pretty impressive for an independent artist. But the Chicago native has been all but silent about his next project. In Febuary, Chance posted a video to his Snapchat story showing him dancing in the studio while listening to a collab with Future. The track, titled “My Peak,” has yet to be released.
Late this summer Chance posted a video to his instagram that previewed another unreleased track, sending the internet into an absolute frenzy. On Sept. 8 he posted a video of his daughter and him jamming in the studio together. While it’s not likely Chance’s four-year-old will be featured on his upcoming release, the post may indicate that Chance has been recording.
While there is evidence that Chance has hit the studio with some other major rappers, there is no way to know whether these songs will be singles, features or material for a solo album. But whatever the case, fans can agree that Chance should drop something new before the end of the year.
The Houston native left many to believe that his third studio album, “Astroworld.” would just be around the corner after he officially announced its release at end of 2016 via Twitter. But Scott hasn’t released any solo work since his 2016 album, “Bird In The Trap Sing McKnight.” In the meantime, Scott completed a world tour with Kendrick Lamar and featured on Metro Boomin’s summer smash hit “Blue Pill.” But Scott has been suspiciously quiet since then. Fans only know what his cryptic Instagram posts tell them: He and standout Atlanta producer Metro Boomin have been working in the studio together and Scott has named his car “astro-coupe” in honor of the album’s title. On Oct. 22, Scott posted a picture in a studio and was later featured on Metro Boomin, Offset and 21 Savage’s hit “Ghostface Killers,” but little has been officially announced “Astroworld.”
Almost immediately after his 2016 album, “Blank Face,” was nominated for a Grammy,
Los Angeles rapper ScHoolboy Q announced a new album. But ScHoolboy has become the tease in all of hip-hop as he hasn’t released any music and has continued to post the smallest of hints that his record would drop. In late September he posted a picture saying “WHen u waiting on @dangerookipawaa @miyatola@iamstillpuncH & BLACK HIPPY approval on da new batcH of records.” On Oct. 3 he posted a Snapchat story of him working at the studio. Anderson .Paak could also play a role in Q’s release. In a Snapchat Story from early September, Q and .Paak were pictured working in the studio together — leaving many to believe Q’s next release will feature a star-studded cast of guest appearances.
Other hip-hop artists who could be dropping albums:
The last time Los Angeles rapper YG released an album, “Red Friday,” the day after last Thanksgiving, meaning his album cycle is up. Look for YG to release something much sooner than later.
Travis Scott and Quavo
Rumors of Scott and Quavo releasing a collab album have been circulating the hip-hop scene for years now. But besides the occasional mysterious Instagram post and ambiguous Snapchat story, there has been little to no news of the would-be-blockbuster record. All fans can do for now is hope.
Though G.O.O.D. Music’s founder Kanye West was recently seen spending time with longtime friend Kid Cudi in a Japanese music studio, his label’s rap collective is rumored to release its second record by the end of the year. Nothing has been confirmed, but Kanye recently put in requests to trademark “Yeezy Sound.” Though it’s not exactly clear what that means, Kanye definitely has something in store.