10 Of The Most Anticipated Hip-Hop Albums of 2019
Musically, 2019 has been off to a pretty slow start — unless you are super hyped about Ariana Grande’s Thank U, Next album, but for the rest of us still playing old J. Cole tracks (cues “January 28th” from 2014 Forest Hills Drive) — needing something fresh in the hip-hop world is an understatement.
We ended last year on a strong note with Meek Mill’s Championships album, following Travis Scott’s Astroworld and Pusha T’s Daytona album. Each offering was enough to quench some of our thirsts, but not enough to carry us through an extremely rocky New Year with all of the political mess destroying our hope in humanity.
Maybe you aren’t a furloughed government employee and job security isn’t a thing, or you haven’t been triggered by R. Kelly’s Lifetime docuseries, but the rest of us need an escape.
In no particular order, the highly anticipated albums of 2019 are an ode to some of our favorite hip-hop creatives and a desperate plea for new music. Hopefully, as more publications make lists like this one, artists will release albums soon. *Holds hands together in prayer to the music Gods.*
Since this is reportedly Donal Glover’s last album under his stage name Childish Gambino, it’s fair to say that the follow-up album to “Awaken, My Love!” is beyond “highly anticipated.” What we know so far is that the multiple Grammy award nominee will play Simba in the live-action Lion King movie this summer, and he’s headlining at this year’s Coachella festival.
Last summer, he dropped a two-track Summer Pack and gave us sunny Los Angeles beach vibes with the single, “Summertime Magic.” Supposedly he and Chance The Rapper are actively working on a fourteen plus track collaboration album… So, I guess only time will tell at this point.
K Dot was rumored to have an album dropping as a follow-up to DAMN., which released in 2017 thanks to a leaked Tweet. Pop Crave shared the Tweet that included a list of artists released by Polydor Records, the distributor of Interscope albums in Europe. Kendrick appeared on the list, along with Schoolboy Q, Lady Gaga, and Lana Del Rey.
Although the boss of Kendrick’s label, Top Dawg Entertainment, denied that a new album is in the works last September, there still may be hope. Rapper Isaiah Rashad, who is signed to TDE, said that he heard the completed album and Schoolboy Q’s album.
Polydor Records, who distributes Interscope albums in Europe, revealed in a now-deleted Instagram story that the following artists are releasing albums in 2019:@LadyGaga, @CarlyRaeJepsen, @Madonna, @LanaDelRey, @ToveLo, @SelenaGomez, @KendrickLamar, @BillieEilish and many more! pic.twitter.com/xPSfYSPtTM
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) December 25, 2018
Chance The Rapper
We have already noted that Chance is in the works to create a new album with Childish Gambino. He also confirmed with the Chicago Tribune that he and Kanye West were cooking up some fire, while Ye was in Wyoming not creating Yandhi (eye-rolling).
Therefore, it’s clear that he plans to drop something, but is he creating a solo project as well? During an interview on Complex’s Open Late, he revealed that his next album will be a seven-track format that is similar to the work that Kanye used for his recent work.
Although its not January 28th anymore, we are still hoping Jermaine Lamarr Cole drops something to follow the track, “Middle Child,” that he released on January 23rd. The Dreamville Records’ head honcho and rapper revealed through a series of online invitations that he is working on a compilation album, Revenge of the Dreamers III, with his other Dreamville artists and friends.
Aside from making waves on a verse in 21 Savage’s song, “A Lot”, Cole has been pretty lowkey — as usual. According to XXL magazine, the sixth album post KOD is in the works, but there isn’t a set release date yet. If he does anything, as he did with his latest track, we can expect an exciting, yet unannounced present.
Bet. On the way. pic.twitter.com/gbqDdVbTp0
— J. Cole (@JColeNC) January 7, 2019
Bartier Cardi is starting off 2019 with a bang, boasting over five Grammy nominations and a No.1 hit record with “Money” dominating the Billboard 100 charts. Although 2018 was drama filled for Belcalis – from fights with Nicki Minaj, to breaking up and then getting back with her husband Offset – she’s still shining.
“Of course it’s gonna be an album in 2019,” she said. “Hopefully, I could get my album done around the same time that Invasion of Privacy came out, but I don’t know how possible that’s gonna be because I feel like I’m going to be extremely, extremely busy.” – Cardi B, Instagram
— WORLDSTARHIPHOP (@WORLDSTAR) January 1, 2019
The last time we saw music exclusively from Kid Cudi was in 2016 with Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’. I personally didn’t listen to this album and didn’t reconnect with Cudi until Kids See Ghost dropped last year with Kanye West. The acclaim their collaboration received led many former and new fans to desperately demand his next solo album.
In October, the Ohio native – who is set to also perform at Coachella this spring – Tweeted to a fan that he is definitely working on new music, but he needs time to put it out… Potentially in 2019?
Patience is a virtue.
I just started the new album! Taking my time w it tho but im thinkin next year sometime? Would that be cool? Huh? Tell me? Would that be ok? https://t.co/ey99RoP5qv
— The Chosen One (@KidCudi) October 23, 2018
If you’ve gotten this far into the piece, then you’d know that Schoolboy Q is for sure working on new music. If you take a look at his Twitter profile, the words “NEW ALBUM COMING SOON” appears right under his username.
According to Complex, the TDE artist decided to delay the release of his album after the death of his friend and fellow rapper, Mac Miller. At a concert in September, Q took to the stage to explain that he needed time to deal with the loss. Now that it’s February, we are hoping that his healing will lead to powerful new music.
— ScHoolboy Q (@ScHoolboyQ) July 8, 2016
Rapper Offset, one-third of the rap group Migos, shared with his Instagram followers recently that his album is “smoking hot” and begged the question on all of our minds — who wants the smoke?
In an interview with i-D on January 30th, Cardi B’s estranged husband said that he wants to control the narrative of his first album, which could explain why it’s taking him so long to share it with the world.
“Yes, I am releasing a solo record. And no, you can’t get a title…I want my album to come out when the time is right, and the way I see it a title is already one piece of information too many.” – Offset, i-D
I could be crazy for still floating off the high of 2011s House of Balloons (or just old), but Abel Tesfaye’s fourth studio album has most of us excited. While I loved Starboy, I’m secretly hoping the album, which is rumored to be titled Chapter 6, takes us back to the sensual, yet eerie vibe that is The Weeknd.
Our last taste of Abel’s music was in January of this year when fans were buzzing about lyrics potentially dissing Drake’s secret baby. The track with DJ Gesaffelstein, “Lost in the Fire,” includes the line: “Cause I could never be the one to hide one (I could never be the one to hide).” Whether the accusations are true or not, this new song may be a preview of what’s to come.
a little taste while you wait pic.twitter.com/JUnzpipPE7
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) January 19, 2019
Is it just me, or have we been waiting for Yandi’s arrival since forever? Yes, to be fair this ninth studio album following Yeezus has been marinating, while Ye and Kids See Ghost was on the menu. However, with multiple release announcements and subsequent delays, it’s hard to decide if we are even excited anymore.
With all of Kanye’s antics and issues over the past few years, it might be beneficial to all of us that he takes as much time as possible to produce good music. We are really hoping he hasn’t been lying to us only to create this project three weeks before it drops. Not again, please.
From now on I’m performing with my mutherfucking hat on 🐉🐉🐉
— ye (@kanyewest) January 1, 2019
— Charmaine Griffin