07
Aug
09

12 Albums You Should Look Forward To More Than Thank Me Later

Ouch!

Unless you’re sleeping under a Dwayne Johnson [II], you’ve caught wind that Toronto, Canada’s golden boy Weak Knees Drake is buzzin’ more than his Martian-like mentor before going, well, anywhere.

With the extravagant amount of jock-riding coverage dedicated to Wheelchair Jimmy, one might be under the impression that his album was the only upcoming release that mattered. Fret not, hip-hoppers, there’s plenty of illness to look forward in the remainder of ’09 to if Auto-crooning makes your ears bleed.

Here’s a list of 12 upcoming albums beyond what Young Money fan-boys and Stan-girls would want you to think. You’ll Thank Me Later.

(In alphabetical order)

Big Boi

Big Boi – Sir Luscious Left Foot

Scheduled Release Date: Sometime in the 4th Quarter

The world flipped upside-down when OutKast released Speakerboxxx/A Love Below in ’03 as two completely unique individual projects by Big Boi and Andre 3000 packaged together, eventually going platinum (though that’s open to debate). Late in ’08, the ATLiens promised a solo LP each plus a ‘Kast disc – high aspirations for two cats we haven’t heard much from in years. Sir Luscious Left Foot will be the first of the three projects, yet it doesn’t have a definitive release scheduled. Critics have mixed feelings about the leaked tracks – “Ringtone” is a Autotune-infected flop while “Royal Flush” featuring 3 Stacks & Raekwon and the snippet of smokers anthem “For Your Sorrows” are wet dreams for purists. I’d still rather listen to Big Boi on an off day than be subjected to the torture of “Best I Ever Had” repeatedly on a certain New York radio station.

Sneak Peak: For Your Sorrows (Snippet)

Bobby Ray

Bobby Ray (B.o.B.) – The Adventures of Bobby Ray

Scheduled Release Date: Sometime in the 4th Quarter

Name change aside, Decatur’s Bobby Ray is at the top of the freshman class essentially due to his versatility. Not only is dude capable of spitting relentlessly unconventional rhymes, he plays multiple instruments and isn’t afraid to go way outside the box, drawing comparisons to fellow ATLien Andre 3000. Boasting a solid mixtape effort in B.o.B. vs Bobby Ray that was as much neo-soul and rock as it was hip-hop plus entertaining on-stage theatrics, Bobby will draw the attention of OG heads and hipsters alike to his debut The Adventures of Bobby Ray. The only question that remains is when we’ll actually hear it.

Sneak Peak: Put Me On

Us

Brother Ali – Us

Scheduled Release Date: September 22nd

If you don’t know about Minneapolis’ Brother Ali, you’re truly missing out one of the industry’s most naturally-gifted MCs. Rhymesayers Entertainment signee Ali has been hard at work for almost a decade telling personal stories of discrimination, coming-of-age difficulties, societal setbacks and spirituality, making it clear that staying true to yourself is the only real definition of real. His The Truth Is Here EP was better than most rappers’ full-length efforts this year plus he pleasantly surprised fans last week by announcing the details his fourth disc US. Teaming up with soul-hop producer Ant (of Atmosphere fame) and enlisting Chuck D, Freeway and Joell Ortiz for guest spots, Ali is setting us up for a disc that could be ranked among the year’s elite projects. Close-minded listeners need not apply.

Sneak Peak: Us produced by Ant

Clipse

Clipse – Till The Casket Drops

Scheduled Release Date: October 20th

Malice & Pusha T are no strangers to struggle. From hustling white girl growing up in Virginia, grinding their way up the food chain and fighting various record labels before releasing a tepid sophomore album back in ’06, the Thornton Brothers are long overdue to begin anew. Some would complain that the duo has always been a critics’ favorite but has failed to register widespread recognition due to lack of support from their previous labels. Till The Casket Drops will be backed by Columbia and the brothers’ own Re-Up Gang Records, showcasing a top-notch production cast including The Neptunes, Rick Rubin, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, and DJ Khalil. Let’s hope the lackluster “Eyes On Me” featuring Keri Hilson doesn’t make the cut and lead single “I’m Good” with Pharrell generates the type of hype that Clipse deserves. Yughck!

Sneak Peak: I’m Good ft. Pharrell

BP3

Jay-ZBlueprint 3

Scheduled Release Date: September 11th

There’s not much I need to say about why the best rapper alive Shawn Carter’s third and final Blueprint installment should be highly-anticipated, it speaks for itself. Regardless of your opinion, “Death of Autotune (D.O.A.)” was the most hyped song out of New York in the past few years. Hov’s live performance of the album’s intro taking shots at various personas piqued interest and a semi-decent radio single “Run This Town” with Rihanna and Kanye West will hold us over until we get more leakage. With ‘Yeezy & No-ID primarily handling production duties and limited guest appearances (only Nas, Kid Cudi & Mr. Hudson plus the aforementioned), it will be interesting to hear the direction Hov takes sans Auto-tune and independent, as BP3 will be newly-established imprint Roc Nation’s first release. I pray “History” makes the cut, but seeing the track list, I doubt it. Either way, Hov is a living legend that your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper looks up to. How could you not be excited?

Sneak Peak: Run This Town ft. Rihanna & Kanye West

Melanie Fiona

Melanie Fiona – The Bridge

Scheduled Release Date: August 18th but Amazon says September 22nd. Also, I think it came out overseas already.. Confusing? Yea, I know.

Regardless of what genre you place songstress Melanie Fiona in, there’s no doubt girl can sang better than her light-skinded, caterpillar-eye browed T-Dot brethren. The 26-year old possesses star qualities –  she’s already toured alongside Kanye West in Europe and her single “Give It To Me Right” has been in heavy rotation, at least in the Tri-State, which is an extremely difficult market to please. Expect Fiona to showcase her multiple-octave vocal ability plus a spellbinding knowledge of R&B, soul, reggae and hip-hop on The Bridge well beyond her years. Don’t believe me? Check out her mixtape with Roots drummer ?uestlove for a small taste of what’s to come.

Sneak Peak: Ay Yo

Kamaal

Q-Tip – Kamaal The Abstract

Scheduled Release Date: September 15th

Tribe frontman Q-Tip led a team of talented musicians back in 2001 for Kamaal The Abstract, a cornucopia of jazz-hop grooves and organic pop tunes that has yet to see the light of day.. Until now. A lucky few have already heard a rough copy before the Abstract’s suffered from industry rule #4080, so all heads should be excited that Battery Records is publishing the final version later this summer. For the impatient, any bootlegger seasoned internet technician should be able to get their hands on it. I still say cop this when it drops next month.

Sneak Peak: Abstractions featuring Kenny Garrett a.k.a. Truth (Link coming soon, Word Press buggin’ right now)

7th Seal

Rakim – The 7th Seal

Scheduled Release Date: September 22nd

Arguably the best MC of all time, Rakim Allah’s third solo effort competes with Detox with respect to giving hip-hop fans blue balls, year in and year out. A decade after The Master, Rakim will craft The 7th Seal utilizing his spirituality (“G” is the 7th letter, stands for God, 7 continents, etc.) and veteran microphone mastery. Lead single “Holy Are You” dropped last month, giving hope to those of us who’ve been waiting since Kanye dropped out of college and Fitty was calling out wankstas rather than being a video prankster that the R would reclaim his throne from a bunch of fradulent characters (I’m looking at YOU Weezy. Best rapper alive? You must be joking.).

Sneak Peak: Holy Are You

OB4CL2

Raekwon – Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2

Scheduled Release Date: September 8th

Once again, this is a prime example of a long-delayed album. Sharp-tongued Wu-Tang Clan representative will finally drop the sequel to mid-90’s classic Only Built 4 Cuban Linx to a generation of anxious admirers. If the leaked material is any indication, we may be witnessing history. “New Wu,” “Criminology ’09” and the J Dilla-produced “House of Flying Daggers” are all rawer than George Jung’s product not to mention Rae’s mixtape Blood On The Chef’s Apron is better than most rappers’ albums. Combine legendary producers RZA, Dr. Dre, Pete Rock, and Marley Marl with the Chef’s mafioso rhymes alongside Wu-Tang clansmen plus Slick Rick, Busta Rhymes, Beanie Sigel, Jadakiss and Styles P, and we may be witnessing history, people. That’s today’s mathematics, knowledge God!

Sneak Peak: House of Flying Daggers ft. Inspectah Deck, Ghostface & Method Man

The Roots

The Roots – How I Got Over

Scheduled Release Date: October 15th

Sneak Peak: How I Got Over

The hardest working band in hip-hop, if not all genres, is finding time between Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and their residency at Highline Ballroom to record their ninth studio album. Black Thought describes the LP as “more positive” than Rising Down and Game Theory, paralleling America’s shifting political atmosphere. Though it’s difficult to replicate The Roots’ energetic live shows in the studio, lead single “How I Got Over” is still a soulful ode to overcoming life’s toughest obstacles. Implementing original instrumentation courtesy of ?uestlove, Captain Kirk Franklin, Kamal Gray and the rest plus featuring talented lyricists like Pharaohe Monch, Phonte and Blu, How I Got Over should be an intriguing listen. I’m particularly excited to hear the crew cover eclectic composer Frank Zappa’s instrumental jam “Peaches en Regalia.” Just don’t count on Def Jam to promote this disc, as they have more important things to worry about.

Slaughterhouse

Slaughterhouse – Slaughterhouse

Scheduled Release Date: August 11th

At this point, including this is merely a formality as most of you have probably heard it already, multiple times if you’re anything like me. Billed as a supergroup, Slaughterhouse may be the closest thing we have to a modern-day A Tribe Called Quest or De La Soul – as my homie Rizoh points out, there is absolutely no weakest link in the group. Royce Da 5’9, Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz & Crooked I all bring something to the table while simultaneously avoiding stepping on each others toes. There is debate about who is the least impressive, but those types of arguments are futile when you’re dealing with such high quality hip-hop. This will easily be in most critics Top 5 of 2009, if not numero uno. For those that want to support, you can pre-order a copy of Slaughterhouse on iTunes now. Prepare yourself for audio massacre.

Sneak Peak: Microphone produced by Alchemist

Wale

Wale – Attention Deficit

Scheduled Release Date: September 22nd

Although the most promising freshman of XXL’s class of ’08 has yet to drop an official album, Wale has consistently put out fresh material with The Mixtape About Nothing and Back to the Feature while holding down various guest appearances and headlining his Attention Deficit tour. The Capital City verbalist and proud sneaker fiend’s debut will comment on the music industry’s haphazard approach while infusing cunning witticisms over funky rhythms & go-go style beats from Mark Ronson, David Sitek and Glitch Mob – picture Camp Lo meets Chuck Brown. I’ll forgive for recruiting Gucci Mane for his latest single, since it’s not half bad. I’m also not ashamed to admit I still bump “Chillin’,” which most of you know is uncharacteristic as I’m an outspoken Lady Gaga hater. Hopefully Attention Deficit is the dose of Ritalin that cures rap’s unfocused, ADD-plagued modus operandi.

Sneak Peak: Pretty Girls ft. Gucci Mane

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14 Responses to “12 Albums You Should Look Forward To More Than Thank Me Later”


  1. August 7, 2009 at 10:52 am

    Good list homie. I’m all about most of these artists!

  2. August 7, 2009 at 11:24 am

    I’m looking forward to just about all of these albums, but I think Drake’s is gonna be dope. And I’m an unapologetic stan…so Ghostface’s album tops my list

  3. August 7, 2009 at 11:36 am

    Good to see B.O.B. makin the list. And is it just me, or does nayone else feel a lil guilty for big-uppin Drake a year ago–before all this commercial hype mess started?

  4. August 7, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    That’s a solid list. I’m looking forward to all of those, except of course the ones that I have already.

  5. 5 domcorleone
    August 7, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    Roby – Thanks man!

    David D – I’m just as much a Ghostface stan as the rest, but I’ve been so disappointed lately that I’m up in the air how I feel about another year with another lackluster Ghost LP. Although, I am diggin’ the concept this time around.. And I’m STILL looking forward to that more than Drizzy, so let’s say the lucky #13 spot goes to Tony Starks.

    3stax – I don’t know if I feel guilty, but I do feel as if his buzz right now does not equal his talent. We’ll see how it goes when his album drops..

  6. August 7, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    dude..you got some goods on here but you have some horribles. a bitch over driz? yea im jockin him but for real? u put a wack ass hoe against him? and leftfoot will not come out this year.sincerely mills

  7. August 7, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    Good list my man, gotta agree with these picks. I’m interested in seeing what Kid Cudi is gonna bring to the table as well, isn’t he dropping an album in september?

    I’ll have to check out that Melanie Fiona/Questo mixtape, haven’t heard that yet. Peace!

  8. 8 domcorleone
    August 7, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    Mills – Melanie looks better and sings better, she probably could even rap better. I stand by my decision.

    J – Definitely check that tape out. I think Cudi’s comes out mid-September, yea. Cudi’s material has been weak lately IMO so I’m actually looking forward to Drake’s a lil’ more.. I hope Cudi surprises me.

  9. August 8, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    Good list. Hopefully OB4CL2 FINALLY drops this time. Also I didn’t know they were releasing a final mix of Kamaal the Abstract. I still got the bootleg. I would’ve omitted KiD CuDi too. I haven’t liked much of his stuff lately outside of his verse on Poker Face.

    You went to Rutgers right? Remember when the Roots came to Rutgersfest 2 years back? No one moved in the stands until they covered other people’s songs. It was an awkward day to be a Roots fan to say the least haha.

    • 10 domcorleone
      August 8, 2009 at 11:42 pm

      At this point, after Rae dropped a couple songs, I’m convinced that this release date is for real.. FINALLY!

      The Kamaal CD is pretty damn good, I spotted it at the torrent site I use.

      Kid Cudi has been so inconsistent lately that I’m not too excited. He’s done some out-of-the-box shit that I’m not feeling, and I have a real open mind when it comes to music.

      It’s funny you mention RU fest. It was raining that day and I had my tix. My girl and I get to the door and I forgot my RU ID so they wouldn’t let me in! I heard the Roots didn’t get much love, I wasn’t that heated bc I have seen them perform about 5 times. I would’ve been screaming and rhyming right along with Black Thought, I don’t care WHAT the crowd thought!

      Thanks for stoppin’ thru, fam.

  10. 11 don king
    August 15, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    Some potential classics on that list but I gotta say you overlooked the LP I’m most looking forward to – Random Axe…Black Milk, Sean P and Guilty Simpson together? It will easily outshine everything else released this year…


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