2018 is going to be a massive year for hip-hop.
You might not have loved some of the emerging musical trends, but it can’t be denied that 2017 was an excellent year for hip-hop music. Many high profile artists released new projects, including Migos, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z, 2 Chainz, Future (x2), Gucci Mane (x3) and many more. For a more in depth look at some of the year’s strongest releases, check our recap list below.
RELATED: Hottest Hip-Hop & R&B Albums Of 2017
And while some of the game’s biggest names will no doubt be taking the year off, there are plenty of drops to look forward to. While many remain in the infamous land of “TBD,” it stands to reason that each of the following projects will be contending for our 2018 year-end list, when the time comes. Remember, while many of these projects are projected for a 2018 release, there are few with any concrete dates. For now, take solace in the fact that “coming soon” always changes. With such an extensive list, omissions are inevitable. If so, feel free to sound off the in comments section so we can properly maintain this leviathan.
Maxo Kream - Punken
When: January 12th
Kream has already shared the album's producers, which include The Wlderness, Beatboy, Sonny Digital, Ethereal, Honorable C Note, $uicideboy$, Tommy Kruise, Wolfe De Mchls, Teddy Walton, and MexikoDro. You can also check out the tracklist right here.
Dave East - Paranoia 2
When: January 16th
Dave East’s Paranoia tape was undeniably slept on, and one can only hope that it expands on the first chapter. Side note, why is every album a sequel these days? Either way, Dave East’s Paranoia 2 has already landed an album cover, which you can check out over on East’s Instagram.
Berner - The Big Pescado
When: January 16th
Taylor Gang’s Berner will be dropping The Big Pescado shortly, and fans can look forward to appearances from The Game, Snoop Dogg, Pusha T, Devin The Dude, Conway, Fresh, Ty Dolla $, E-40, Too Short, Teefli, Wiz Khalifa, Trey Songz, Shy Glizzy, & Jeremih. Plus, the project will be produced in full by the comeback kid slash piano murderer Scott Storch.
Migos - Culture 2
When: January 26th (confirmed)
In late November, Migos’ highly anticipated Culture 2 was aiming for a January release, according to Quality Control’s Coach K and Pee. According to a New York Times feature on the record label, “Migos’s 'Culture 2,' featuring the single “MotorSport,” is due out in January.” However, the article also alludes to Yachty’s Lil Boat 2 dropping in December, and we know that’s been pushed back. Therefore, it stands to reason that Migos’ release date will also shift, though it wouldn’t be surprising to seem them land a Q1 date.
Rae Sremmurd - Sremmlife 3
Rae Sremmurd’s final chapter in the Sremmlife trilogy has been confirmed to have a January release date, although Swae Lee neglected to elaborate on the specifics. Still, the project has been described as “a continuation of the chronicle,” and in the Sremm Holiday Tidal Documentary, producer Mike WiLL Made-It teased “we haven't even heard the best of Sremm.” Suffice it to say, chapter 3 should be the most ambitious Rae Sremmurd project yet.
Lil Yachty - Lil Boat 2
When: TBD, Potentially January
We don’t have a concrete date for Lil Yachty’s anticipated sequel, the king of the youth recently took to Twitter to promise it would be coming “super soon.” He previously teased January, but warned fans he would be taking his time, as he didn’t want us to rush anything. "I just want it to be good," he said. "I don't wanna put out no bullshit. I don't want to put it out and y'all hate it."
Justin Timberlake - Man Of The Woods
When: February 2nd
Justin Timberlake recently announced his upcoming album Man Of The Woods, which he described as being his most personal work to date. "This album is really inspired by my son, my wife, my family, but more so than any other album I've ever written, where I'm from," says Justin, in the initial announcement. We already know that JT will be reuniting with Timbaland and Danja, as well as Pharell Williams - suffice it to say, the former N’Sync singer is in capable hands.
Brian (Rich Chigga) - Amen
When: February 2nd
The “Dat Stick” rapper has actually blossomed into a talented artist, and has been steadily releasing singles like “Glow Like Dat” and “See Me.” While Brian announced the release date and album cover, he has yet to reveal a tracklist. Either way, he’s been a pleasant surprise thus far, so it should be interesting to see where Brian goes with his debut. It’s unclear, but the project may include the aforementioned singles, as well as the 21 Savage assisted “Crisis.”
Various Artists - Black Panther: The Album
When: February 9th
While we have yet to recieve a tracklist for this inevitably lit soundtrack, we do have one bit of promising news. The soundtrack for Marvel’s anticipated Black Panther will be curated by TDE and Kendrick Lamar, who makes an appearances on the SZA assisted lead single “All The Stars.” Expect plenty of big names on this one.
Nipsey Hussle - Victory Lap
When: February 16th
Nipsey Hussle’s Victory Lap will finally be upon us, with sixteen tracks and the lead off single “Rap N***as,” which you can check out here. The project will drop with Atlantic Records, and many are eagerly awaiting the first West Coast banger of 2018.
Ty Dolla $ign & Jeremih - MihTy
When: February’s All Star Weekend (16th-18th)
As one of the first collaboative projects of the year, Ty Dolla $ign & Jeremih’s MihTy will be executive produced by A1 & Hitmaka, who confirmed an All Star Weekend release. During a call to Joe Budden’s podcast, Hitmaka also confirmed features from Chris Brown and PartyNextDoor, as well as some solo cuts from each artist as well.
Tech N9ne - Planet
When: March 2nd
Tech N9ne has announced his twentieth studio album Planet, which is set to feature appearances from longtime collaborator Krizz Kaliko, Darrien Safron, Mackenzie Nicole and Joey Cool. The album will include the previously released singles "Tech N9ne (Don't Nobody Want None)," "Levitation" and "We Won't Go Quietly."
YoungBoy Never Broke Again - Until Death Call My Name
When: March 2nd
While YoungBoy's moniker promotes an optimistic message of fiscal success, his album title is decidedly less cheerful. When asked about the title's foreboding implication, YoungBoy responded with an introspective and hopeful take. "I just want to strive to be the best man I can be,” he said. “I want to spend as much time with my children and family as I can. I want to keep working on all of this music every day. I just want to go as hard as I can until death calls my name.”
Curren$y - Back At Burnie's
When: March 16th
Curren$y recently announced the album artwork and release date for his upcoming album, Back At Burnie's. A sequel to his popular 2011 album Weekend At Burnie's, this new project will once again reunite Spitta with MonstaBeatz, who will be handling production across the board.
THE TBD ZONE
A$AP Rocky - Untitled
A$AP Rocky has been teasing his triumphant return to the solo album game for a minute now. Recently, Flacko previewed a new song called “Gang,” which seems likely to appear on the yet-untitled project. In an interview with GQ, Rocky opened up about the sonic direction, stating “"My new album is really about testing new sounds. People are scared to test new sounds.... I prefer to experiment and have my crowd grow with me and to reach new crowds. I don't just rap—I actually make music." It wouldn't be surprising to see A$AP Rocky following in the footsteps of his homeboy Tyler, The Creator, opting for a more experimental, melodic project.
Brockhampton - Team Effort
After rumors of Saturation 3 being their "final studio album," self-styled boy band Brockhampton cleared the air with the announcement of their upcoming Team Effort, slated for a 2018 release. Note - it's being touted as their "fourth studio album."
Cardi B - Untitled
Cardi B’s massive 2017 propelled her into one of 2018’s most curious cases. Now, the world is watching, eager to see what she’s cooking up. After dropping “Bodak Yellow” and “Bartier Cardi,” the former stripper has already proven to be deadly on the mic. Now, all she has to do is keep the fire coming. Last she spoke on it, Cardi told The Breakfast Club she was seven or eight songs deep, but seemed intent on doing it right. There’s no word on any release date, but expect Atlantic to take their time with the rollout.
Cypress Hill - Elephants On Acid
B-Real, Sen Dog, and DJ Muggs are back with another hit from the bong. The legendary group recently confirmed their upcoming album Elephants On Acid was finished, and ready for a 2018 release. Check out the album cover right here.
Danny Brown - Untitled
We don’t know much about this album, other than this tantalizing teaser, in which he claimed the project is“being produced by one producer, who’s legendary in hip-hop. And it's gonna be a big deal." Fans immediately began speculating, and some of the most popular guesses were El-P, Madlib, or Flying Lotus. Consider this one of the year’s biggest question marks.
Denzel Curry - Taboo
The aquarius killa has been hard at work on the follow up to his last full length project, Imperial. While Denzel has been pretty secretive about Taboo, there are rumors of a Flying Lotus collaboration. Last we heard, Denzel needed to finish three songs, and was taking his time putting on the finishing touches. Expect this one sooner than later.
Desiigner - Life Of Desiigner / New English 2
While Desiigner’s Life Of Desiigner has been plagued with frequent push-backs, it appears the young rapper is gearing up for a massive run in 2018. Remember, Desiigner’s entourage is basically made up of perfectionists, including Kanye West and Pusha T, who know a thing or two about delayed albums. The young rapper revealed a little bit about the process, stating "I set it up like a movie, it's like your favorite movie. Wait for it! LOD going to be crazy...Ye put his input, Pusha T sat down, put his input call you all night if he feels there's a switch, it gets crazy, heck yeah." After LOD, Desiigner has also promised the release of New English 2.
Drake - Untitled
Drake has been busy working on his More Life follow-up for a minute, spending all nighters in the studio with 40, linking up with Trippie Redd, Pi’erre Bourne and more. There’s all kinds of directions the Six God might go, but no matter where he goes, his muisc will be eagerly devoured by his legion of loyal Stans. Direction-wise, there’s not much to go on yet, but look for this one to be one of 2018’s biggest releases.
Earl Sweatshirt - Untitled
“Don’t think I wasn’t at work,” tweeted Earl Sweatshirt, prompting many to believe he would be coming up with a follow-up to 2015’s I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside. His world-weary bars and jaded cynicism would certainly be welcome at this point, and while we know next to nothing about this project, Earl has performed a few loosies throughout 2017, including “Hat Trick.” There’s not much to say about this one, other than we’re here for it.
EarthGang - Mirror Land
Doctur Dot and Johnny Venus are two of Atlanta’s strongest lyricist, and their talent with the pen caught the attention of J Cole. Now, the duo are signed to Dreamville, and have already put out two parts of an EP trilogy; with “Rags” and “Robots” already released, all that’s left is “Royalty.” After that comes Mirrorland, the Gang’s first full length project on J Cole’s label. If you’re a fan of solid lyricism and southern charm, this is one to watch for - EarthGang have already drawn comparisons to OutKast, and they’re only getting better with time.
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib - Bandana
Last year, Freddie Gibbs dropped off the underrated You Only Live 2wice, and while fans appreciated the project, some were nostalgic for the Madlib-laced vibes of Pinata. Those fans will be pleased to know that Gibbs and Madlib are once again joining forces on Bandana. Back in November, Gibbs teased that the album was “almost done. I think we’re back in the mixing process right now, but it’s definitely coming soon. I can’t tell y’all when we’re ‘gon drop it, but we’re just gon’ hit y’all out the blue.”
Gucci Mane - The Evil Genius
It’s hard to imagine Gucci Mane topping his 2017 campaign, with three studio albums (including the highlight DropTopWop), but he seems intent on trying. The Atlanta legend wasted little time in announcing The Evil Genius, and while he has yet to share a release date, Gucci has never been one to draw things out. Expect this one sooner rather than later.
Jaden Smith - ERYS
Jaden Smith has already confirmed plans to drop a SYRE follow-up in 2018, titled ERYS. While little is known at this point, he has teased a more rap-centered focus this time around. Stay tuned for more news as it develops.
Jay Rock - Untitled
Another TDE emcee seems poised to drop in2018, and fans are still clamoring for details on Jay Rock’s “90059.” Engineer extraordinaire MixedByAli has been hard at work on Jay Rock’s project, saying it’s “coming soon,” and while details are lacking, there have been snippets of a Tee Grizzley collaboration. Suffice it to say, releases from ScHoolboy Q & Jay Rock should help solidify TDE another excellent year.
Kanye West - Untitled
In what will no doubt be one of the year’s epic releases, Kanye’s upcoming Life Of Pablo follow-up will no doubt be upon us this year. While details are scarce, we know he was hard at work in the mountains of Wyoming, and has been rumored to be collaborating with Migos, Kid Cudi, and Plain Pat. Mike Dean has also been a confirmed contributor, though it’s unclear whether he’s producing, engineering, or both. Either way, Kanye releases are always special, and the man has yet to fail us yet. Mark this down as one of our most anticipated.
Lil Durk - Signed To The Streets 3
The Chicago rapper recently announced his new mixtape will be dropping in 2018, though it's unclear as to when. The project seems likely to feature a remix of Logic's popular 1-800-273-8255.
Lil Yachty / Lil Pump - Untitled Mixtape
Old heads beware. Lil Boat and Lil Pump are picking up where “Back” left off, and releasing an entire mixtape together. Yachty previewed a track called “Baby Daddy” on his Twitch stream, which featured bars like “Tell your baby daddy, I'm richer, bitch I don’t want to sip liquor.” From the sound of it, Yachty seems really excited about this one, and if you want to catch that snippet you can check it out here. Suffice it to say, this will one certainly turn some heads when it drops.
Nas - Untitled
Nas album done? Honestly, we have no idea at this point. Still, Nas’ Life Is Good follow-up is well overdue, and it’s all but certain that we’ll see a release in 2018. As of now, there hasn’t been much news in the way of featured guests or producers, but Nas has proven that he can still age gracefully. Perhaps Lonzo Ball might not be checking for this, but plenty of fans are still rocking with Mr. Jones.
Nicki Minaj - Untitled
While Nicki Minaj has yet to offer any real information about her upcoming Pinkprint follow-up, she previously described the project as being about her life “coming full circle.” One thing we do know is that it’s indeed coming, and Nicki has been killing it on the guest verse tip for a minute now. All signs indicate that this is going to be a big album for her, and we’re eager to see where she goes. Hopefully we can have more verses like “Plain Jane Remix.”
Post Malone - Beerbongs & Bentleys
Post Malone’s upcoming album has been “coming soon” for what feels like eternity, but with lead single “Rockstar” still continuing to dominate the charts, it’s no wonder they aren’t rushing it. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Posty drop this summer, but you never know. We’ll keep you posted on this one. Confirmed features are set to include Ty Dolla $ign, Nicki Minaj, and John Mayer.
Pusha T - King Push
It’s been more than a minute, but it looks like 2018 will be the year where fans finally get King Push. Pusha T’s elusive album has already been confirmed to be entirely produced by Kanye West, and if that isn’t enough reason to get hyped, Pusha has already proclaimed it to be the “album of 2018.” Pusha also promises "Heavy raps, production by Kanye West from top to bottom..He will pick all of my beats. I'll rap to all of the beats, song's done. Then, he will listen to it and say, "Hey, I can do all of these beats better.”
Rich The Kid, Famous Dex & Jay Critch - Rich Forever 4
Rich The Kid, Famous Dex, and Jay Critch are looking to pick up where they left off in 2017. The trio recently shared the album cover for their upcoming mixtape Rich Forever 4, which features the trio depicted as Animaniac-style characters.
Royce Da 5’9” - The Book Of Ryan
Royce Da 5’9” originally planned on dropping Layers follow-up The Book Of Ryan much earlier, but he opted to delay the release for reasons undisclosed. Back in March of 2016, he revealed the project was “basically done,” and claimed it would be even more personal than Layers; for an album containing the autobiographical “Tabernacle,” that’s saying something.
Royce Da 5’9” & DJ Premier - PRhyme 2
If all goes accordingly to plan, 2018 might be one of Royce’s most prolific years yet. With The Book Of Ryan on the horizon, Royce is looking to drop off another round of Premier-laced bangers in PRhyme 2. In November of 2017, Royce confirmed the project was officially done, and while he remained coy about the features, the Detroit rapper was previously spotted in the studio with J. Cole. Plus, take this with a grain of salt, but Royce previously reached out to Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, and The Game on Twitter, inviting them to lyrically spar on the record.
Run The Jewels - Untitled
While news about the latest from Killer Mike and El-P is relatively unknown, it stands to reason that one of hip-hop’s most consistently deadly duos will be dropping off another effort. Back in December 17, El-P was already plotting and scheming, teasing a “filthy, dusty, dirty” new Run The Jewels album. And with all the shit that’s transpired since RTJ 3, there will be no shortage of controversy for Jamie and Mike to draw from.
ScHoolboy Q - Untitled
TDE’s secret weapon has been working on his Blank Face follow-up for a minute, and you know it’s about to be another banger. ScHoolboy’s project is presumably near completion, as he’s been saying it’s ninety percent done for months now. The hilarious rapper has been working with Mike WiLL Made-It, and he previously told Zane Lowe a bit about the album’s potential direction, stating “"I gave you me, but I never gave you the other side of me: the father, the dude that’s actually happy, the dude that doesn’t be in the hood just hanging out. The dude that’s trying to put his homies in position now. I’m not a deadbeat father anymore."
Ski Mask The Slump God - Beware The Book Of Eli
Ski Mask’s new project Beware The Book Of Eli has been “coming soon” for what feels like eternity. In early December, Ski shared the tracklist, which featured appearances from Lil Yachty, Busta Rhymes, Offset, and Rich The Kid - unfortunately, XXXTentacion turned down his offer. Production will be handled by Timbaland, Mannie Fresh, Eli, Diplo, and more. No concrete dates for this one, but we’re thinking sooner than later.
Travis Scott - Astroworld
It's been teased for a minute, but Travis Scott's follow-up to Astroworld will finally see the light of day in 2018. While details are scarce, Travis has confirmed Mike Dean's involvement in the project, and that the legendary Thom Yorke will be a influence, at least to some degree. Previously, Scott's A&R teased the album as being "loosely inspired by Houston and its slow-riding, bottom-heavy sound." Suffice it to say, expect this one to among the year's most anticipated releases.
Tory Lanez - Memories Don’t Die
Despite coming through with a late 2017 rollout that seemed to suggest an imminent release, Tory Lanez’ Memories Don’t Die has been pushed back into 2018. It stands to reason that Tory’s project will be out before summer, but you never know. Either way, Tory previously teased that there would be a lot of “bars” on this one, so if that’s good for all you lyrical heads out there. No word on whether previously released singles “Shooters,” “Skrt Skrt,” and “Real Thing” will make an appearance.
Waka Flocka - Flockaveli 2
After a five year absence, Waka Flocka Flame has officially announced Flockaveli 2, which was slated for an “early 2018” release, last we checked. The project also promises to be a return to his “trap roots,” and Flocka teased a staggering nineteen tracks. It’s unclear whether the final tracklist will include singles “Circles” or “Trap My Ass Off,” but it feels like a yes.
XXXTentacion - Skins, Bad Vibes Forever, & Untitled
After a rope-a-dope retirement, XXXTentacion came back with the announcement that he would be dropping three albums across 2018 - Skins, Bad Vibes Forever, and “?” (untitled). While we’re not quite sure when they’ll actually end up being released, X has been hard at work, teasing new songs and musical directions with every passing day. This latest tease even finds him on his Travis Scott tip, while other videos find him rocking a return to acoustic guitar ballads.