Snoop Lion - Reincarnated
One of the most iconic figures in hip-hop underwent a personal and spiritual revolution last year when he embraced his inner Rastafarian self and changed his name to Snoop Lion. Look to his album (which you can now stream) to portray a man who seems to have found his true self in Jamaica and reinvent himself and his music.
Talib Kweli - Prisoner of Conscious
Talib Kweli's fifth album has been delayed over the years but with a confirmed release date of April 23rd, fans of the Brooklyn MC are eager to hear what he has to offer. Expect political and societally conscious rhymes mixed in with Kweli's take on modern rap. With features from Kendrick Lamar, Busta Rhymes and Miguel amongst a whole host of other names, the 15-track album is guaranteed to be interesting, if nothing else.
French Montana - Excuse My French
Diddy and Rick Ross have executively produced the album which can only mean that the anxiousness that listeners have faced over this albums release will be cooled. Critics want to see if Montana is worth all the hype after his quick rise to fame last year and fans are thirsty for another project from Montana.
The-Dream - IV Play
Spending most of 2012 behind the scenes writing and producing for a whole host of artists, 2013 will see one of the best in the R&B game release a solo project that's guaranteed to please both critics and fans alike.
Big Sean - Hall of Fame
If there's an artist who can create a summer smash hit this year, Big Sean is that artist. Co-signed by Kanye and backed by G.O.O.D Music, Sean has all the qualities to create that smash hit especially since those verses on Cruel Summer and his Detroit mixtape were so well received. Critics, but more importantly fans, are starting to take him seriously, so now everyone is awaiting what Sean has in stock for everyone with Hall of Fame. He's already promised the record will be "more inspirational and a more conceptually-driven,", hinting at appearances from Kanye, Nas, Tyga, Common, and Jhene Aiko only wets our appetite for more.
Wale -The Gifted
The poet of the Maybach group, Wale's third solo project is highly anticipated as the rapper seems to only be getting better under the Rick Ross umbrella. Expect features from the rest of MMG, especially the likes of Rozay and Meek Mill but Wale's rhymes and lyrical content should satisfy listeners from start to finish. One of the most anticipated albums of the summer, it's being released at the perfect time for that coveted summer smash hit.
J. Cole - Born Sinner
One of the most talented MC's in the game, J. Cole stayed quiet last year - hopefully to work on his latest album. Already having been pushed back multiple times, the anticipation for this project is at an all-time high. With his voice and reputation firmly formed, Cole will look to his sophomore album for a bit more freedom creatively and lyrically. J. Cole has a classic album in him, it's a question of when he will deliver it; hopefully Born Sinner is that album.
Rumoured Summer Drop:
Earl Sweatshirt - Doris
Ever since then 16-year-old Earl dropped his self-titled debut album, fans and critics have been waiting patiently for a new project from the rapper, who is arguably Odd Future's most talented member. Though he blew everyone away with his lyrical content and beautiful use of the English language in his rhymes, expect a very different Earl three years later on Doris. Early signs of this matured Earl were revealed when he came back from Samoa last year and featured on multiple projects throughout the year, and now with two vastly different singles off of Doris already released, the hype is present for his album.
Earl is bound to get better as time goes on and assisted by his unique flow look for Doris to be one of the best projects of the year and a step in a mature direction for the entire Odd Future crew.
Rumoured Summer Drop:
Pusha T - My Name is My Name
Pusha T has been in the rap game for over two decades but after his astounding work as one half of Clipse, he went on to feature on several G.O.O.D projects but never released his own. The wait for his debut solo album ends this year as he's expected to release My Name is My Name sometime in the coming months. Expect significant contribution from the members of G.O.O.D music and with Yeezy producing most of the tracks, the album should not disappoint. It might even turn out to be one of the best of 2013.
Rumoured Summer Drop:
Danny Brown - Old
Danny Brown is rap's wildcard. Either listeners warmed up to him after years of him rapping or he tweaked himself with Fools Gold to deliver XXX in 2011 - an album that caught everyones attention and propelled him into international attention. With his animated delivery, matched with chaotic beats and an overall messy aesthetic somehow makes for an entertaining artist who can not only deliver solo tracks, but provide poignant guest verses.
There's no official release date for Old but the Detroit rapper has said it's mostly done. Expect features from A$AP Rocky, Purity Ring's Megan James, ScHoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, and Rustie on an album that has everyone anticipating what the theatrical Danny Brown can do.
Rumored Summer Drop:
Mac Miller - Watching Movies With the Sound Off
Mac Miller is currently riding on a wave of success most people his age only dream of. With his reality show on MTV a current hit, his albums still selling and his hungry fan base constantly growing, the Philadelphia native's 2013 album is guaranteed to be a success. Not much is known of the album except that Earl Sweatshirt will make an appearance, and that the title comes from his favourite activity he does to relax. Mac also told Complex that his album is "very introspective and very personal" and it's "the most important project he's ever had." With his enormous and loyal fans behind him, Mac is sure to see this album way up high on the charts.
Rumored Summer Drop:
ScHoolboy Q - Oxymoron
Black Hippy are one of the best crews in the game not only for their talent but their friendly competitiveness with one another. Since Kendrick dropped a classic in good kid, m.A.A.D. city, no other member has released a project with both Ab-Soul and ScHoolboy Q pushing back their anticipated albums to make it better. With Oxymoron releasing sometime this year, it'll truly be something special if Q can match Kendricks classic and it'll be interesting to see how he can expand on his style from Habits & Contradictions to Oxymoron like Kendrick did from Section.80 to GKMC. Expect features from collaborators A$AP Rocky, Danny Brown and all of Black Hippy to at least contribute a verse.