10 Most Anticipated Rap Albums of Fall 2013
As far as hip-hop albums go, it's been a pretty eventful summer, huh? With releases from Jay Z, Kanye West and J. Cole, June through August has been full of big releases, heavy anticipation and major chart-toppers. Like Mac Miller's album 'Watching Movies with the Sound Off,' which debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 charts, selling 101,795 copies in the first week of its June release. And Ace Hood's album, 'Trials & Tribulations,' that debuted in July and received notoriety for the single 'Bugatti.' Not to mention other releases from Slum Village and Chamillionaire.
But what about the fall? It's supposed to be the season of change, right? Along with the colorful leaves and cooler weather, will the fall also bring a new rap "It" guy or girl? Or will it simply be an extension of the summer and its many releases -- giving the artists of the moment a few more months of shine? Both time and future Billboard charts will tell, but right now, there are a good number of albums, mixtapes and artists that have garnered the attention of listeners far, near and everywhere in between.
There are a few upcoming releases that clearly stand above the rest, in terms of anticipation and overall buzz. And even though some of these releases fall a little before Sept. 22 -- the first day of autumn -- they still have the potential to make some major waves. Here are the 10 Most Anticipated Rap Albums of Fall 2013.
Iggy Azalea's career path has been an interesting one to say the least. From being an Internet sensation to joining the Grand Hustle team, the Australian rapper has yet to make the impact that many thought she would. But that hasn't made her debut album, 'The New Classic,' any less anticipated, namely because Azalea has done a good job of keeping herself in the press and online. So far, singles 'Work' and 'Bounce' have made a solid impact on fans, which only has them wanting more new material. Plus she's got collaborations with T.I., not too bad for a newbie. Then there's the chance she had to open up on Beyonce's Mrs. Carter Show World tour recently, so this rhymer is showing and proving before her first LP arrives.
Why is DJ Khaled's new album, 'Suffering From Success,' on this list and why is it anticipated? Because you always get hits from the Miami-based business mogul-producer-occasional rapper. Plus, Khaled is a hard worker and through that hard work he's been able to establish relationships with all kinds of artists. Which is why people like Future, Kanye West and, of course, Rick Ross have supposedly contributed versus to the effort. The mere fact the guy did a whole phony proposal thing to Nicki Minaj just for promotional purposes -- she's in his new 'I Wanna Be With You' video too -- shows just how eager he is to introduce 'Suffering From Success' to the people.
Most rap fans probably wouldn't think of Freddie Gibbs and Madlib doing a whole project together, since in theory, they're from different sides of the hip-hop landscape. But in actuality, they're more alike than different. Both are seasoned artists. Both have loyal followings and both are capable of combining their talents to create something stellar.
And with Madlib handling production for the entire album, many are curious to see how Gibbs' usual street content will work with Madlib's sample-driven beats. 'Cocaine Piñata' could be the album that surprises everyone this fall.
It seems that Future, the raspy-voiced rapper and singer, has not only replaced T-Pain as raps' official hook person, he's carved out a nice niche for himself as the street dude with feelings and sensitivity. And listeners have taken notice.
Since his successful mixtapes and his debut album, 'Pluto,' which spawned a handful of heavily-played singles, the ATL artist has gone from an underground darling to a mainstream mainstay.
And Future says he's taking his fans in a slightly different direction with this album, using songs with deeper themes and messages. No word on the list of producers or features on 'Honest,' but it's definitely one of the most anticipated releases of the fall.
With mixtapes like '1999' and 'Summer Knights' to his credit and joint projects such as 'P.E.E.P: The aPROcalypse' with the Pro Era crew, Joey Bada$$ has garnered a following for his New York-centric rhymes and vivid storytelling of life as an 18-year-old on the come-up in the rap game. He's delivered songs like '95 Til Infinity' and 'Unorthodox,' proving his skillful wordplay and versatility when it comes to riding the rhythm of beats crafted by legendary producers like DJ Premier. Plus, he's made his way on tours like Under the Influence and the Smokers Club, all this coming before his debut LP, 'B4.Da.$$,' arrives. With lines like "I'm a Brooklyn n----, basically I grind with the grimiest / Learn how to eat in a jungle full of hyenas," he'll do what it takes to make sure the final product is one that doesn't disappoint.
It's been 18 years since Raekwon's 'Only Built 4 Cuban Linx' was introduced to the masses. Not only did it help strengthen the mafioso rap subgenre started by Kool G. Rap and taken to other places by groups like the Clipse, it established Raekwon as a strong storyteller who never skimps on lyrical imagery.
'Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Part II' is another example of how the Wu veteran is skilled at creating compelling solo albums, so it's no wonder that fans of all ages are salivating for 'F.I.L.A.' Jerry Wonda produced the first single, 'Soundboy Kill It,' off the effort, which also features Melanie Fiona. The Wu-Tang Clan member said the album isn't just street anthems. There will be something here for everyone.
It's hard to record an album when there are nine people in a group, which is apparently why the Wu-Tang Clan only releases albums every new president or so. After their 2007 LP, '8 Diagrams,' the rap collective has seen stops and constant delays in getting the new project, 'A Better Tomorrow,' to the masses, which makes it all the more anticipated.
Both hardcore Wu fans and casual listeners will be waiting to see which direction the Clan goes next. The first song from the effort, 'Family Reunion,' is a good indication of where they're headed. Expect RZA to handle most, if not all, of the production and the group said they'll be using unused versus from Ol' Dirty Bastard, which should be interesting.
After the release of his debut album, 'Based on a T.R.U Story,' 2 Chainz has been traveling in prestigious rap circles and is now associated -- at least brand-wise -- with the Drakes and the Rick Rosses of the world. But can he maintain it? If 'Feds Watching,' the first single off 'B.O.A.T.S II,' is any indication, the answer might be yes, as the song has been making a steady ascension up the Billboard charts for some time now. In previous interviews, the lanky rapper said the features will be kept to a minimum on this LP and Pharrell will be handling some of the production, which is good news for 2 Chainz since the super producer seems to be on a real winning streak right now.
Although Rick Ross probably never drives when he's cruising around South Beach in one of his Maybachs, he's certainly in the driver's seat when it comes to his career and success. And that's pretty much been the case since the days of 'Hustlin.' Since those early songs, Ross has released five albums and a bevy of mixtapes, which have all done very well. Not to mention the two albums he's done with his Maybach Music Group team.
The latest Maybach installment is 'Self Made, Vol. 3.' scheduled for release on Sept.17. With songs like 'Poor Decisions' and 'Levels' already getting spins, a lot of folks are eager to hear what else the MMG signees like Gunplay, Omarion, Meek Mill, Wale, Stalley and Rockie Fresh have to offer.
LL Cool J in his prime and Snoop Dogg in his; every era in hip-hop has a golden boy or person who's considered the genre's prince. Right now that's Drake, since he appeals to fans that prefer a little lyricism and to others who just want a catchy song to listen to. Producer 40 will handle much of the production and artists like Jay Z, Justin Timberlake and even Sade have been rumored to be on the project. 'Started From the Bottom,' 'Hold On, We're Going Home' and 'All Me' are all previously released tracks that make listeners eager to get their hands on this colossal release.