Will Dre ever drop Detox? Probably not. But that's no reason to sleep on the season's forthcoming blockbuster rap releases. Needless to say, Atlanta is well-represented by reformed trappers and long lost atliens, alike. It's gonna be a long, hot summer.
#10: Ice Cube, I Am the West
The west coast legend is back and ready to go to war. Since proclaiming his dislike for new rappers with their hands out, the L.A. vet is set to drop his most complete album in years and quiet any rumors that the former N.W.A. frontman has gone soft.
#9: Game, R.E.D. Album
Theres been speculation back and forth as to whether the Compton MC will ever be able to deliver the classic album thats been expected out of him since he first stepped into the game. The talent has always been there, but the maturity and focus have been a different story. Now back with Dr. Dre, the pressure is on him more than ever to finally give the people what they want.
#8: Jeezy, Thug Motivation 103
The trapper of the year looks like he is primed and ready to make a run at another title: rapper of the year. He followed up his classic Trap or Die mixtape with its sequel, Trap or Die 2: By Any Means Necessary, this spring to both fan and critical acclaim. If the mixtape is any indication of what we can expect to hear from his studio release its going to be a good class to drop in on.
#7: Gucci Mane, TBD
Immediately after being released from his six month stint for a probation violation, Gucci was ready to go, declaring, I challenge all artists to put out the best music they ever made this summer. I wont accept nothing less than victory, but I still want worthy opponents. Hes already shown that he has the drive to put out material at a feverish rate and if he can just get his personal life in order he may be able to take that victory lap.
#6: Lupe Fiasco, Lasers
Lupe Fiasco fans are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They are anxiously awaiting the new album, Lasers, but in the back of their minds they have to be nervous that this might actually be their favorite MCs final album as he has previously stated. The heavily guarded album is expected to be released this summer although no singles have leaked yet.
#5: Big Boi, Sir Luscious Leftfoot: Son of Chico Dusty
Label drama and leaks galore have delayed Big Bois long awaited album Sir Luscious Leftfoot from seeing the light of day. Now in a seemingly steady situation over at Def Jam, it looks like things are a go and we can finally see and hear the finished product. The album is expected to feature the leaked songs Shutterbug and Royal Flush featuring Andre 3000 and Raekwon, along with collaborations from Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse among others.
#4: Eminem, Recovery
To be honest, Slim Shadys latest offering, Relapse, was nothing to write home about. For a moment it looked like Eminem had finally taken on a little bit more than he could chew after coming back from an extended break. Then he scratched his Relapse 2 release plans (thankfully), regained focus and released the single Not Afraid, restoring order in the rap world and giving Eminem Stans all over the world something to look forward to.
#3: T.I., King Uncaged
Fresh off his release from a year-long stint in prison, the self-proclaimed king of the south is back to his boisterous ways in the quest to reclaim his crown: This is the most significant return from incarceration that the game has had since [All Eyez On Me] Just given the enormous success of that project, everyones expecting the same results. I just want to meet the expectations, if not surpass them, he says. One thing nobody can ever say is that this guy lacks confidence. We all know he talks a good game, but now its time to see if he walks the walk and gets back to pre-jail form.
#2: Kanye West, Good Ass Job
Having been M.I.A. since the disaster that was the MTV Video Music Awards, Kanye West went into hiding and has now become something of an urban myth. While there has been no set date, all eyes look to this summer as the return of Yeezy. The final installment of his classic college-themed albums is expected to feature collaborations with Drake, Q-Tip and DJ Premier among others.
#1: Drake, Thank Me Later
After bombarding the hip-hop scene with a classic mixtape, joining ranks with the hottest crew under the sun, and practically taking over the game without ever actually dropping an album, all eyes are on the Canadian export to see if he can deliver the goods and match up to the hype. Wheelchair Jimmy aka hip-hops new savior arguably has the most eagerly awaited debut album in recent memory and all he has to do now is drop a masterpiece. Recently released tracks Over and Find Your Love will be included on the album.
(photo courtesy Cassandra Johnson)
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