As we approach the conclusion of an already great year for hip-hop and music overall, there remains plenty of releases to be excited for. Listed below are just a few upcoming albums and projects (in no particular order) slated to close out the year that you should definitely keep a close eye on.
As a disclaimer, I only included those with scheduled release dates (Kanye, Drake and Frank, we’re waiting).
1. GoldLink – And After That, We Didn’t Talk (November 13th)
Following his headlining set at Oakland Music Festival late last month, the DMV’s GoldLink is ready to drop his debut album. In a recent interview with NPR, GoldLink stated he aims to “create music for people to dance to again,” which he believes the industry has lost sight of. The second single off the project, “Spectrum,” premiered earlier this week on Beats 1 courtesy of Zane Lowe. If you haven’t already, be sure to peep his debut mixtape, The God Complex, and pre-order And After That, We Didn’t Talk on iTunes. Also catch him with Mac Miller during his GO:OD AM tour (tickets here).
2. Wax – Livin’ Foul (October 23rd)
If you look up “lyricist” in the dictionary, you’ll probably find a picture of Michael Jones, better known by his stage name, Wax, with a mic in one hand and a beer in the other. Over the years, Wax has worked with the likes of Watsky, Dumbfoundead, Anderson .Paak as a rapper, producer, guitarist, singer and overall extremely talented individual. Nearly two years since his last release, Continue…, which garnered him a large amount of acclaim in Europe via the lead single “Rosana,” Wax has finally announced his return to the music industry with Livin’ Foul. “Hypnotic” is just a taste of the wordplay that Wax continues to deliver with every track. To get even more hyped and learn more about the man behind the sound, check out the trailer for the album here.
3. Pell – Limbo (November 6th)
Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to discover Pell when he opened for Kehlani on the last date prior to their national You Should Be Here tour and I’ve been hooked ever since. The NOLA native, LA-based, multi-talented artist puts on an incredible live show and recently announced the follow up to his 2014 project Floating While Dreaming will be released on November 6th. “Queso” is the second track from his upcoming LP titled Limbo and features wavy instrumentation from David Sitek (TV on the Radio) coupled with Pell’s smooth vocal work and bursts of energy. Enjoy this cut and be sure to pre-order the album via iTunes.
4. Kirk Knight – Late Knight Special (October 30th)
Brooklyn’s Pro Era continues to make power moves in the industry with core member Kirk Knight expected to be the next one to secure his spot. Although we have heard a few verses from Kirk on several Pro Era projects, up to this point in his career he has been more focused on the production spectrum. In an interview from earlier this year with HotNewHipHop, Kirk shed light on how he has always been rapping from the age of 15, but he “had to experience life before he could talk about it.” Few years later Kirk has continued to hone his production skills and now we can finally bear witness to his progress as a rapper. “Brokeland,” one of the few singles we’ve heard so far, is a punchy, mosh-pit inducing, in-your-face cut with sly wordplay (ex. Brokeland = Brooklyn) that gets me nothing short of hype for the full project. Place your pre-order here for LKS and catch him opening for the Underachievers on their tour.
5. Michael Christmas – What a Weird Day (October 23rd)
Boston’s Michael Christmas is the self-proclaimed Ron Funches doppelgänger that touches on everyday subjects that your typical rapper would likely be afraid to even hint at. With pop culture references galore delivered via slick lyricism, Michael offers a refreshing sound that everyone can connect with. Thanks to his skill-set, Michael has toured with Logic and will soon be accompanying Mac Miller on his tour as well. Both of the aforementioned powerhouses will appear on the album, among others like Polyester the Saint and D.R.A.M.. Pre-order the album via iTunes.
Here are a few more projects that I have my eye on from October/November 2015:
- D.R.A.M. – Gahdamn! EP (10/23)
- Alex Wiley – Village Party II (10/25)
- Lais – 114 EP (10/29)
- M.E.D., Blu, Madlib – Bad Neighbor LP (10/30)
- Busdriver – THUMBS (11/6)
- Logic – The Incredible True Story (11/13)
As well as some projects we still don’t know too much about:
- Skizzy Mars – Alone Together
- Drake – Views From the 6
- Frank Ocean – Boys Don’t Cry
- Kanye West – SWISH
- Vic Mensa – Traffic
- Isaiah Rashad – Title Unknown
- Chelsea Reject – Title Unknown (2016)
- Mick Jenkins – The Healing Component (2016)
- Noah Sims – Testament (Fall 2015)
- Hurt Everybody – I Know Where the Light Goes 2
- Hurt Everybody – 10-4 2
- Hurt Everybody – Magic City 2
- Chance the Rapper – Title Unknown (Mixtape)
What are you most excited to hear?