15. Meek Mill, Dreams Worth More Than Money (don't ask Wale, but it drops September 9th)
14. Nicki Minaj, The Pink Print (4th Quarter)
13. Jeremih, Late Nights: The Album (September 30th)
12. Wiz Khalifa, Blacc Hollywood (August 19th)
11. Game, Year of the Wolf (September 16th)
10. Run the Jewels, Run the Jewels 2 (Fall-ish)
Anyone chirping about how this album can't possibly be more highly anticipated than anything on that honorable mentions list clearly didn't listen to RTJ's debut LP last year. Killer Mike and El-P, who make up the duo, dropped a classic on our heads, and have been leaving little crumbs all over social media teasing us about the upcoming sequel. If the photo below is any indication of what's to come, we're hungry.
For the uninformed, thats Zach De La Rocha aka Tha God, and he was in the studio with RTJ working on their new album. That right there is enough to drive a sane man bizzerk, as well as bump this project into the Top 10. Deal with it.
PS- you should also be following Killer Mike on Twitter.
hate Lance Armstrong becuz he roided but he still beat cancer fuck boy. The hell u beat besides ya meat!? #LieCheatStealKillWin lol— Killer Mike (@KillerMikeGTO) August 10, 2014
9. Action Bronson, Mr. Wonderful (Late Fall)
The only reason this upcoming project from Bronsolino isn't higher up the list is the sheer number of incredible artists dropping work this year. After Blue Chips 1 & 2, Rare Chandeliers and Saab Stories, plus an amazing lead single in "Easy Rider", we're sure to get something legendary from the Queens MC. He recently went on Hot 97's morning show to discuss the album, but said there wasn't a concrete release date as of yet. On a side note, can anyone remember a song with as many insane quotables as "Easy Rider"? Nah, us either.
MY ALBUM BEEN NAMED. THE ONLY THING TO DESCRIBE ME.. MR. WONDERFUL. THATS BEEN ME SINCE I STEPPED IN THIS BULLSHIT.— #MR.WONDERFUL (@ActionBronson) May 15, 2014
8. Big K.R.I.T., Cadillactica ("It’s gonna be still hot enough outside to ride with your windows down and your top dropped, trust me.")
If you hear it from the critics, Krizzle's major label debut left something to be desired, but the fans know what a tremendous talent he is. The lack of acclaim the first time around has only fueled the Mississippi rapper more to bring the heat. "Mt. Olympus", his first single off of Cadillactica addressed the critics, with KRIT saying he's done trying to give them what they want to hear. You could hear the frustration in his voice, and the song is one of the highlights of the year so far. The new album will also be the first project where he enlists a lot of help from outside producers (Jim Jonsin, DJ Dahi, Terrace Martin & more) whereas he has self-produced much of his previous work. This means we can expect a totally new sound from the MC, while maintaining his next-level lyricism.
7. Jeezy, Seen It All (September 2nd)
You can't really kick of a new album campaign bigger than Jeezy did with his epic lead single of the same name, with a feature for for the books from Hov. Tha Snowman says it's his most introspective album, focusing on telling the people the story of his trials and tribulations rather than putting out a collection of bottle popping club bangers. Though we don't necessarily always think of Jeezy as a living hip hop legend, his albums have always been top notch, and we're sure he won't disappoint this time around either. We can tell it's all about the music now too, as Seen It All is his first album that doesn't feature his face on the cover.
6. Fabolous, Loso's Way 2 (Hopefully in 2014)
We're starting to approach Detox status with this one. Fab's last commercial release was Loso's Way, all the way back in 2009, and he announced the sequel shortly thereafter. It has had multiple singles drop, only to get pushed back time and time again. The Punchline King even went on tour with Pusha T to promote the album last year, only to push it back again. I would say we're getting impatient, but Fab has been generous with the free music in the meantime, giving us hella mixtapes like the There Is No Competition and Soul Tape series over the last few years to hold us over. Even still, we need this album. C'mon Fab, this is the year.
5. Lupe Fiasco, Tetsuo & Youth (August or September-ish)
Lupe has had rocky release campaigns with his label before (see: Lasers) so hopefully all goes smoothly with this set and we get it on time, which he told Sway on Shade 45 wouldn't be June, or during Ramadan, leaving us with a late Summer, early Fall date. Typically, Lupe's albums are really well done, and we should expect nothing less here, considering the singles we've heard so far. There are confirmed features from Future and Ty Dolla $ign, and rumored ones from the likes of Ab-Soul and Rick Ross, leading us to believe this could be his best album yet (yes, we've heard Food & Liquor and The Cool).
Final cut week...gotta get 25 songs down to 12...then #TY will be done...wooh! Tough decisions ahead...— Tetsuo & Youth (@LupeFiasco) June 9, 2014
4. Pusha T, King Push (Late 2014)
Judging by the number of pushbacks Pusha's last album My Name Is My Name had, we may not end up hearing this one until next year, but here's to wishful thinking. Earlier this year, Push completed a 20 day studio session with Pharrell that was originally thought to be for a Clipse reunion project, before we were corrected and told it was for King Push. Our own Duke London interviewed Scott Storch in the Spring, and was told about some of Storch and Pusha's work for the new album as well. So even though we haven't heard too much as far as a release date, we can rest assured that Mr. Thornton is working hard on his MNIMN follow-up, and it'll most likely be a classic.
“This next album is like a heavy proclamation to me. I told people last year I had the Album Of Year. And I felt that I did. I really feel that King Push has to live up to that same hip-hop expectation… My goal is always to have hip-hop Album Of The Year.”
-Pusha T, to XXL
3. Lil Wayne, Tha Carter V (August 25th...he thinks)
If you asked us 6 months ago to make this list, Carter V wouldn't have been as high on this list as it is right now. Reason being, Weezy just hasn't been that good the last couple of years. The only real standout project since Tha Carter III was arguably Sorry 4 Tha Wait, the mixtape he dropped when Tha Carter IV got pushed back. Whether it's been an overdose of features on his projects, or a hangover from all the great Wayne music we heard from 2006-2009, we just weren't feeling it, and most of you weren't either, judging by social media. But something happened in the last few months where we started getting that old feeling back. Tunechi started absolutely bodying his features on other artist's songs, and we got to hear the first single from this album, "Believe Me" with Drake. The song changed most people's minds concerning how they felt about the upcoming album, and is generally considered as one of the best songs of the year so far. Throw in the banger "Krazy" and the recently debuted "Grindin" and we're ready to go. Pray to the Rap Gods for no pushbacks.
2. Kendrick Lamar, Title TBD (4th Quarter)
Yeah, yeah, we get it, we love TDE. But guess who we'll see in line buying this album while we're at the store...all of you. good kid, m.A.A.d city was monumental in that a 24-year old artist elevated himself to the upper echelons of hip hop on his major label debut. He's established himself as arguably the best lyricist and songwriter of a generation, while really only scratching the surface. The reason this next album is so highly anticipated is because we truly have no idea what it will sound like. Every verse we hear from the kid sounds like it's from outer space, and he keeps surprising us with what he can do on all different kinds of production. We don't have a title or release date yet, but we know it's this year because Top Dawg told us so. Right before Christmas last year, he tweeted that TDE would release 6 albums in 2014. We've already gotten retail releases from Schoolboy Q, Isaiah Rashad, SZA, and Ab-Soul. That just leaves the expected release of Jay Rock's next album and this K. Dot one. Where does the line start?
1. Kanye West, Title TBD (It's a surprise!)
The follow-up to Yeezus is coming sooner than you think, and you better be ready. Besides his pal Rick Rubin, James Fauntleroy, Gee Roberson, Mike WiLL Made It, Malik Yusef, Q-Tip, French Montana, Young Thug, Da Internz, Young Chop, James Blake, Symbolic One (S1), Evian Christ, 808 Mafia, DJ Mustard, and Tyga have all been known to be working on the project with Ye. DJ Mustard even gave him 100 beats to pick from for the album. He has already said that he plans to drop it like Beyonce did with her last self-titled effort, meaning it'll be a surprise with zero promotion leading into it. So while there's been hints about a September release, he's also stated it could be October or November, we just have no way of knowing until it actually comes out. The suspense is killing us.
This week, we run through the 10 most anticipated albums the rest of the year, not including "Detox". We'll save that for the 2025 version of this list.
Just as a disclaimer, you won't find Detox on this list. We gave up on that a long time ago. We can only assume at this point that Dre is swimming in a literal pool of Apple money somewhere, Scrooge McDuck style. What you will find on this list however is a whole bunch of projects that we cannot wait any longer for, we need them. The anticipation is killing us, and we're tired of the pushbacks and rumors (looking at you, Fif). Hip hop as a genre has been so amazing the past few years, that we can only expect things to keep getting better. Knowing this makes us salivate over the next crop of great albums like a fat kid in line at Chipotle deciding what kind of meat he wants (for the record, he orders half chicken, half steak).
On this list, we'll count down the most hotly-anticipated projects, trying to avoid the ones that are merely rumors, focusing on albums that either have solidified release dates, or have at least been confirmed by the artist and/or label to be dropping before year's end. As usual (except for last week), we'll run down the Top 10, plus a few that just missed the cut.