We’re just months into 2019 and already there has been a plethora of big album releases this year. However, the weather isn’t the only reason fans are anticipating a really hot summer. Some of hip-hop’s brightest stars have been cooking up through the cold months and are likely to unload some of that heat in the summertime.
For example, veteran rappers with impressive discographies—Big Sean, Kanye West, Kid Cudi and Q-Tip—are all set to release new albums this year. Meanwhile, fellow rap vets like Wale and Jeezy have sadly announced that they are hanging up the microphone for good after the release of their upcoming albums.
Elsewhere, Lil Uzi Vert has been teasing the release of his second album, Eternal Atake, for months. After obtaining the managerial service of Roc Nation, the Philadelphia rapper is working hard to release his album, despite the leaking of his songs that has been slowing down the process. On another exciting note, Cardi B has promised fans that she will release a follow-up LP to her Grammy-winning debut album, Invasion of Privacy.
Other artists planning to release albums this year include rap newcomer YBN Cordae, Chance The Rapper, The Weeknd, Joyner Lucas, Rick Ross and others. Here’s a rundown of nearly 30 albums that we need (hope?) to hear during tank top and shorts season.
Peep The 29 Hip-Hop Albums You Need To Hear This Summer
Big Sean, TBA
Big Sean is hard at work on his fourth solo album, which will be the follow-up to 2017’s I Decided. Back in March, Sean Don gave fans a preview of one song via his Instagram account. There’s no word on when Sean is going to drop his new project, but he’s cooking up something.
Cardi B, TBA
Following her Best Rap Album win for Invasion of Privacy at the 2019 Grammy Awards, Cardi B might be feeling some pressure to top her debut. Although the 26-year-old rapper has a lot on her plate right now, she promised fans back in January that she will release a full-length LP this year.
Chance the Rapper, TBA
Chance the Rapper is expected to release his new project in July. The Chicago rhymer tweeted back in February that it would technically be his first debut album. Chano’s last project was his Grammy-winning 2016 mixtape, Coloring Book.
Childish Gambino, TBA
Details on Childish Gambino’s next album remains heavily guarded. But here’s what we do know: The Grammy-winning rapper’s next LP will be his first under his new label, RCA, in partnership with his management company/creative agency Wolf + Rothstein, and will be his last album under the Childish Gambino rap moniker.
Danny Brown, U Know What I’m Saying?
There’s tons of mystique and anticipation surrounding Danny Brown’s upcoming album, U Know What I’m Saying?. Not only is it the follow-up to 2016’s well-received Atrocity Exhibition, the album is also executive produced by certified rap legend Q-Tip. Brown told Highsnobiety magazine that the new music will cater to “the older motherfuckers, 30-year-olds, 30 and up.”
DJ Mustard, TBA
After Migos dripped all over the hit single “Pure Water,” fans have been thirsty for a a new full-length project from the song’s architect, DJ Mustard. The Cali producer is poised to deliver—he recently told XXL that he’s secured features with 21 Savage, YG, Meek Mill, Young Thug, Gunna and Ella Mai, among others.
Dreamville, Revenge of the Dreamers III
The recording of Dreamville’s third compilation album—now affectionately referred to as “Rap Camp”—took over the early weeks of 2019, with all eyes on J. Cole’s crew and a talented guest list of producers and artists. Everyone from Swizz Beatz and Tay Keith to T.I. and Wale popped up over 10 days of sessions, which were widely documented on social media. Fans are feverishly anticipating the final product.
Freddie Gibbs and Madlib, Bandana
Freddie Gibbs and Madlib are already batting 1.000 after 2014’s Piñata was hailed as a classic. MadGibbs rekindles the magic on Bandana, which, judging by lead singles “Flat Tummy Tea” and “Bandana,” will be another home run for the duo.
French Montana, TBA
French Montana is 96 percent done with his as-yet-untitled third project, due out this year. After releasing two studio albums, the Bronx rapper hopes his third LP—led by the Blueface- and Lil Tjay-featured “Slide”—gives him the respect that he deserves in the rap game. “I come from the mixtape era—we just dropped shit,” French said. “I’m going to make sure this one gets the respect it deserves.”
Glacier Boyz (Gucci Mane, Lil Yachty & Migos), TBA
Fans have been waiting patiently for the superstar rap group The Glacier Boyz (Gucci Mane, Lil Yachty and the Migos) to drop its joint album. But it looks like they don’t have to wait much longer. Gucci told Billboard last year that 15 songs are done and he’s putting the finishing touches on the project.
J. Cole, The Fall Off
J. Cole has the year’s biggest rap song so far, “Middle Child.” already under his belt and he seems to be just getting started. After becoming the most feared feature verse in 2018, Cole is simultaneously working on a few different solo projects. After claiming he’s “the greatest right now,” you’d best believe Cole is going to back up his words with another great album.
Jeezy, Thug Motivation 104
Say it ain’t so. After years of pioneering the trap movement, Jeezy’s next album, Thug Motivation 104, will be the final album of his illustrious rap career. “Class is coming to an end. It’s time for Graduation! My Last Album & Final Class: TM104,” the Atlanta rhymer reflected on his Instagram page last March after finishing his tour. There’s no word on when his TM104 finale will be released.
Joyner Lucas, ADHD
Since leaving Atlantic Records last year, Joyner Lucas has been enjoying his success as an independent artist. The two-time Grammy-nominated rhymer said that his upcoming album, ADHD, is his middle finger to the naysayers who doubted him. “This project is my big FUCK YOU to any and everybody who never thought I wouldn’t make it this far,” he wrote on his Instagram page last October. “That goes to family, friends, enemies, ex girls, teachers, principals, police, judges, or anybody who told me I wouldn’t get here. The kid with ‘ADHD’ did it.”
Kanye West, Yandhi
Kanye West is expected to release his oft-delayed Yandhi album sometime this year. Details are scarce, but according to Ye’s engineer Kevin Celik, most of the songs on the LP are “monumental” and inspired by his marriage to his wife, Kim Kardashian. No updated due date has been announced for the project as of yet.
Kendrick Lamar, TBA
It’s been two years since a proper Kendrick Lamar album has been released. His last solo project, Damn, earned him the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for music. Although no information has been released about his new music, K.Dot reportedly has been in the studio recording new songs.
Kid Cudi, TBA
Last June, Kid Cudi released Kids See Ghosts, his collaborative project with Kanye West, to mixed reviews. This year, however, Cudder plans to drop his seventh studio album. The Ohio native admits that he’s been taking his time recording the project but he also promised that he will giving the fans some “tasty features” to hold them over.
Lil Uzi Vert, Eternal Atake
Fans have been so desperate to hear Lil Uzi Vert’s long-delayed album Eternal Atake that they have paid a hacking group thousands of dollars for unreleased material. Nevertheless, the Philly rapper promised to drop the album this year despite the leaks of his songs.
Noname, Smino & Saba, TBA
Rappers Noname, Smino and Saba are three talented artists who all delivered critically-acclaimed solo projects in 2018. Now the Midwest trio is looking to shine together with a collaborative album. In January, the rap trifecta teamed up to deliver an electrifying performance of “Ace” on the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Since then, fans have been yearning for a joint album. They’ll have to wait and see.
Post Malone, TBA
Post Malone’s Beerbongs & Bentleys was one of the biggest albums in 2018, but he’s not done yet. Although Posty wanted to drop a new project last year, it didn’t materialize. Instead, we got a new single called “Wow.” Nevertheless, it looks like Post has more music stashed away.
Q-Tip, The Last Zulu
Q-Tip’s The Last Zulu will mark his first solo album since 2009’s Kamaal/The Abstract. The rap veteran has been teasing the project for nearly a decade, but it appears that he may drop it this year. In an interview on Elton John’s Rocket Hour programon Apple Music’s Beats 1, Q-Tip revealed that he’s working on three solo projects. Hopefully, one of them is The Last Zulu.
Rick Ross, Port of Miami 2, Born 2 Kill
Rick Ross has remained relatively quiet on the music front, but the Miami boss is looking to drop Port of Miami 2: Born to Kill, the follow-up to his 2006 effort, Port of Miami, this year. Ross has been taking his time with the project following his health scare last year. Rozay’s Port of Miami 2 doesn’t have a release date yet.
Run The Jewels, Run The Jewels 4
A new Run The Jewels album is coming in 2019. El-P, who has quit smoking, promised fans that he and Killer Mike will deliver another stellar project, especially for their die-hard fans. “Being in [Run the Jewels] has changed my life in more ways than I can explain and I can’t wait to continue this shit,” he wrote on his Instagram page back in December 2018. “We have really big things in store and we are taking our time making them all so we thank you in advance for your patience. I can say without a hint of doubt that it will be worth the wait.”
Smokepurpp, Deadstar 2
Smokepurpp is preparing to release Deadstar 2, the sequel to his 2017 mixtape of the same name. The project will features guest appearances from Lil Pump, Quavo and Gunna. “I started recording [Deadstar 2] the same way I started recording Deadstar: I made softer, melodic, more pop [and] R&B-type songs first,” he told XXL about his recording process earlier this year. “Towards the end, I started making hard-hitting [songs] that my fans are used to. It’s just bangin’.”
Swae Lee, TBA
Last year, Swae Lee dropped Swaecation, a project that constitutes one-third of Rae Sremmurd’s daring SR3MM triple album. However, the 23-year-old rapper promised fans an official solo album in 2019. Not much is known about the LP, but after garnering a No. 1 hit with “Sunflower” alongside Post Malone, fans should expect to hear more melodically-inclined tunes from Swae on his solo effort.
Tyler, The Creator, TBA
A Sony financial report inadvertently teased a new project from Tyler, The Creator that’s set to drop by the end of June 2019. And the rollout of his as-yet-untitled album has since commenced, as Tyler has released short videos teasing new music. The beloved Flower Boy is a tough act to follow, but T is up for the challenge.
Wale is ready to Shine again with his sixth as-yet-untitled album. The DMV rhymer has also hinted that the album will be the last one of his rap career. “Wrapping up what hopefully will be the last Wale album and finding someone who appreciates me then gettin out wit a lil bit of sanity,” he wrote on his Twitter account in November 2018.
The Weeknd, Chapter VI
The Weeknd’s fourth album, tentatively titled Chapter VI, will be the follow-up to his 2016 Grammy-nominated effort, Starboy. Although he released My Dear Melancholy EP last year, fans have been yearning for a full-length project from the Canadian artist. As for the meaning behind the title, The Weeknd mysteriously wrote on his Twitter account last November, “Some chapters are smaller than others. Not this next one though.”
YBN Cordae, The Lost Boy
YBN Cordae has been teasing his debut album, The Lost Boy, for a little while now. The LP has no release date yet but the YBN wordsmith announced that it’s “coming soon.” In an interview with XXL, Cordae stated that his goal is to become the voice of his generation. “I want to impact the world and the culture in a positive way, spread super dope messages and help people through my music,” he said. “It’s a lot of niggas with buzz but I want to be here for a long-ass time.”
YG, 4Real 4Real
YG is gearing up for his fourth studio album to be the braziest of them all. He’s followed up an eye-catching video for “Stop Snitchin” with “Go Loko,” which samples Trillville’s “Some Cut” and features Tyga and Jon Z. The full project is certain to contain more real talk from Bompton’s finest.