The Most Anticipated Hip Hop Albums of 2011 Including Lil Wayne, Kanye West & Jay-Z, Method Man & Redman, Drake, Rick Ross and More
Fri, 14 Jan 2011 15:15:18
2011: Another Year in the Sun for the Chosen Ones?
2010 was an exciting year for hip-hop. Fans were blessed with releases from heavy hitters like Kanye West, Eminem, The Roots and Big Boi. We also took notice to the new spotlights as they focused in on hot newcomers like Young Money's Drake and Nicki Minaj. While it was a good year to have you ear to the streets, it's looking like 2011 is going to pull no punches as the heavy hitters line up to make this year one to remember. The buzz is enough to drive you crazy and we're crazy enough to dive right into this beehive so without any further delay, we present to you some of the most anticipated drops of 2011.
Check out ARTISTdirect.com contributor Ted Lepore's round-up of the most anticipated hip hop albums of 2011 below featuring Lil Wayne, Kanye West & Jay-Z and more!
Lil Wayne- Tha Carter IV
After his release from Rikers in November, Lil Wayne returned to the ring with his scorcher "6 Foot 7 Foot" which featured rapper Cory Gunz and silenced any naysayers as to his ability to knock out bangers despite his hiatus from the studio. Now via Tha Carter IV, teamed up with producer Dow Jones of Tha Bizness, Lil Wayne takes on a new chapter set to outdo his previous classic Carter installments and change the game up with something totally off the charts. According to Dow Jones in an interview with Rap-Up TV, "Tha Carter IV gonna change your life." We shall see if Weezy really can impress us this year.
Kanye West & Jay-Z – Watch The Throne
Following up My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy with anything short of brilliant would seem to be a daunting task for any artist. Fortunately for us, Kanye already gave us a little taste of what it would be like to have hip-hop's biggest mogul matching him verse for verse on "So Apalled" and it looks to be a match made in hip-hop heaven. Jan. 11th saw the release of the duo's first single "H.A.M" off of their highly anticipated collabo aptly named "Watch The Throne." The project, originally consisting of only five songs, went so well that they changed it to ten and polished it off in time for it's 2011 awaited release. We're hoping this album is everything it should be and waiting for the single to drop with eager ears.
Dr. Dre – Detox
It's been over ten years since Dre filled our chronic-laced brains with anticipation for his legendary follow up to the Chronic 2001 simply called Detox. Despite the album being postponed, partially leaked and pushed back, it seems that this year holds a special place in hip-hop history as Dr. Dre has finally announced that he's putting the finishing touches on this mythical production. Don't believe it? He has actually released a single off the album "Kush" featuring Snoop Dogg and Akon, and confirmed its release for February of 2011. The album features Eminem, Jay-Z, La Roux and The Game just to mention a few all-stars and could possibly bring the industry to its auto tuning knees once it hits the streets. Time will tell but until then, we're in bad need of a detox.
Lupe Fiasco – Lasers
Despite all the drama and setbacks Lupe has endured with his latest album, it looks like it will finally see the light of day. The power of the Internet proves to be mighty as fans waged an online war against Atlantic Records clamoring for them to release the shelved album, even staging protests outside their headquarters in New York City. Their cries were finally heard and now one of Chicago's finest emcees is ready to deliver his third installment to the world. Unwrapping his first present on Christmas day titled "The Show Goes On", it looks to be a solid year for Mr. Fiasco. The album, featuring production from the Neptunes, kicks and pushes its way onto shelves on March 8th.
Drake – Take Care
Following a serious buzz from his mixtape So Far Gone, Drake stormed onto the scene to prove his worth with his debut studio release Thank Me Later. Not wasting any time, Drake returned to the lab to mold his sophomore effort titled Take Care. Working alongside 9th Wonder as well as producers Boi-1DA and Noah Shebib, Drake has transformed his style into a simpler, rawer form in order to create a more condensed, potent delivery we hope will flip our wigs in the new year. Drake has been amassing his followers on tour and will soon prove to them whether or not he can stay relevant in the coming months ahead.
Rick Ross – God Forgives, I Don't
While the commercial juggernauts were hammering the radio stations with their selected singles, the Miami boss Rick Ross was locking down the streets with his 2010 release "Teflon Don." The buzz the album created put Rick back on the map for his forthcoming release entitled "God Forgives, I Don't." This highly anticipated release will hit the streets following Ross's recent mixtape "Ashes to Ashes" and the single ‘Made Men' featuring fellow artist Drake, is already buzzing it's way through the industry. Ross originally intended for the single to be included on the mixtape, but decided to put some final touches on it and release it on his newest LP. The title of the record "God Forgives, I Don't," is the center of some controversy as rapper Cory Gunz revealed it was the same title slated to be used on his upcoming solo debut back in August of 2010. Gunz claimed he was waiting on the release of the project so that it would be properly marketed and released and that the title was one he was "sticking with for a minute." Ross, who made a cameo appearance on Kanye's Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, is one of those artists we hope keeps the momentum going through 2011. God Forgive him if he can't.
Method Man and Redman – Blackout! 3
In a recent interview with UK television, Method Man and Redman revealed that the third installment of their Blackout! Series will be hitting the markets very soon. While promoting their Def Jam video game "Def Jam Rapstar", they indicated that hip-hop heads should expect to be smoked out in the summer of 2011. The Funk Doc and Johnny Blaze rarely disappoint when they blow smoke in the same direction and we can hardly wait for this powerhouse duo to blaze another saga for the summertime alpines.
Lil' Kim – Hard Core 2: All Hail the Queen
On her 5th studio album, the Queen Bee has decided to throw a nostalgic nod to her 90's debut classic "Hard Core." Kim has joined forces with will.i.am, The Neptunes, Polow da Don and The-Dream and plans on dropping a whole new flavor for the New Year. This past year she has exchanged blows with newcomer Nicki Minaj creating quite the return to the ring buzz to let the world know, she is still the baddest chick on the block. Still making the rounds through the clubs and radio stations, it should be a hot summer for the queen and we can hardly wait to sink our teeth in.
Wiz Khalifa – TBA
Following the tremendously popular single "Black & Yellow", Wiz hasn't wasted any time following his popular anthem up with a new single titled "Roll Up." The song will appear on his upcoming album slated to hit the airwaves in March of 2011. "Black and Yellow" has finally broken young Khalifa out into the mainstream markets with his tailored sound and it looks to be a bright year for the Philly phenom. We look forward to hearing his new brand of music reverberate throughout all the hip-hop shops in the nation.
Nas – TBA
The streets are buzzing with the prospect of hearing one of Queensbridge's finest poet/emcee's newest material in 2011. The rapper spoke about his plans to release a new LP by the summer of 2011 stating in an email response "I'm unloading records I want the streets to hear, cleaning out my hard drives." Nas indicated in an interview in Europe that he expects his next solo effort be one of the most important of his career. He listed all the A-list producers he desires to work with including heavy-hitters like Kanye West, Dr. Dre, The Alchemist, DJ Premier and Swizz Beatz. For our sake, I hope his wish comes true and we are blessed with another illmatic classic.
What hip hop album are you most excited about? Tell us below!