A fresh new year upon us means the arrival of exciting new music. 2013 was a great year for the hip-hop/rap genre with a slew of chart topping hit albums, including Jay Z’s Magna Carta, J. Cole’s Born Sinner and Kanye West’s Yeezus. So far, 2014 looks to be just as promising. Here are four upcoming hip-hop albums I think should be on your radar this year.
Pharrell, untitled solo album
Pharrell is undoubtedly one of the most highly regarded musical artists as a producer, rapper and singer. 2013 was a banner year for him, with production credits on two major hits, Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky.” He also has much to celebrate this new year with 7 Grammy nominations and an Oscar nomination in the Best Original Song category for “Happy” off the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack. The excitement continues as the hit maker has signed to Columbia Records for the release of his currently untitled 2014 solo album. Knowing Pharrell’s musical repertoire, the album is bound to be a success with “Happy” being confirmed as a track on the album.
Kanye West, album title tbd
You either hate him or love him, but I think this man is a creative genius. His consistently powerful lyrics, masterful producing skills and well-rounded artistic style all contribute to making him an unparalleled force in the music industry. His Yeezus album was definitely one of the best albums of 2013, and with his sound constantly evolving, I cannot wait to hear what he comes up with next. There is no official release date for his seventh solo album, but it is set to come out during the summer of 2014. West is currently resuming his Yeezus tour, so fans can check his website for more tour dates.
Lupe Fiasco: Tetsuo & Youth
Lupe Fiasco is one of the most talented lyricists in the rap game, especially when it comes to expressing his political viewpoints. However, he recently told Rolling Stone that fans should not expect any political commentary on his new record Tetsuo & Youth; instead, he will just be “making music.” Fiasco’s first single “Old School Love” ft. Ed Sheeran gives us an exciting taste of what he has in store for us. Watch for this album to drop in the next few months.
Kendrick Lamar, album title tbd
Named as GQ’s “Rapper of The Year” in 2013, Kendrick Lamar has proven to be one of the freshest new rappers to hit the hip-hop scene with the release of his debut album good kid, m.A.A.d city, which showcases his mad flow as he raps about growing up in Compton. Lamar is currently opening for the Yeezus tour, but told GQ magazine he would hit the studio for his second album as soon as the tour ended. When it comes down to it, Lamar is sure to deliver another masterpiece.