These days, hip-hop music is definitely in need of some sort of “spark.” Usually, summertime is when all the most anticipated albums and mix-tapes are released and as I glance over the lineup of what’s dropping this summer, I must admit that my excitement level is not where it should be. There are a few albums that I’m curious about, but none of them are so intriguing that I make sure to mark my calendar.
Now, with that being said, what I’m calling for is artists to stop playing with us and drop their albums and mix-tapes like they’ve been promising us. I’m sick and tired of rappers throwing shout-outs to albums that haven’t even been made yet. I’m also tired of everyone making guest appearances on each other’s albums when they should really be working on their own. Aren’t you?
I’ve compiled a top-ten list about what hip-hop needs in 2012 and it goes a little something like this:
10. A new DMX album.
I know his album “Champion” is slated for a release later this year but if it’s not going to be like the DMX of old, then spare us the disappointment of seeing this made. Get it together X. Step up to the plate and deliver!
9. A new Outkast album.
Outkast are easily the most consistent rap duo ever and I don’t need to explain why a new album would be amazing. If they ever decided to release another album it would help improve the state of hip-hop dramatically and I hope it happens.
8. A Drake mix-tape.
While Drake doesn’t need to do us any favors at this point in his career, it would be a nice gesture to his fans that have stuck with him from the very beginning. I like “Album Drake” but I love “Mix-Tape Drake.”
7. Kanye West – Good Ass Job
I don’t know if you remember Kanye’s original plan, but he was supposed to release four albums about college and life after it. He gave us College Dropout, Late Registration, and Graduation but never followed through with the closing chapter. He was supposed to release Good Ass Job but instead we got the emo-inspired 808’s and Heartbreak. Get back to your original plan Mr. West and complete the story you were telling us.
6. A Tribe Called Quest’s last album.
The group owes Jive one more album and the window of opportunity is open whenever they want to jump through it. I doubt this album will ever come into fruition but if it did, fans across the world would rejoice and easily boost the morale of hip-hop.
7. A new Blackstar album.
Once upon a time, Mos Def and Talib Kweli put out some classic hip-hop. Isn’t it time for them to rejoin forces and grace us with a sophomore effort? Apparently the problem boils down to money with the label being reluctant to invest in conscious hip-hop. However, if Blackstar really wanted to, they could make this album with or without a label backing them.
4. A new Mos Def album.
There was a time when Common was considered to be “done” as a rapper when he released Electric Circus. Cue Kanye and his G.O.O.D. Music label and now you have the rebirth of Common Sense with Be. Mos Def is still relevant today, but he has been very quiet musically. If he wants to make a splash in hip-hop again, he needs to follow Common’s path and hook up with Yeezy. If these two can work together I expect great things to happen.
3. A new Jay-Z album.
Name one whack Jay-Z album. Don’t worry, I’ll wait…EXACTLY. Jay-Z is the most consistent rapper alive and every time he drops an album the bar is raised just a little bit more. Combine that with the fact that he works with the best producers in the game and is lyrically sharp, there is no reason to believe Jay-Z won’t wow us again.
2. An Andre 3000 album.
Mr. Feature has hinted to us that a solo album is in the works and on the way soon–but when? Andre has a notoriously slow work ethic and is truly a perfectionist so his album will be on point. I feel that a lot of rappers will learn from his way of doing things after they see what he brings to the table after years of writing. This is the type of hip-hop that will win Grammy’s.
1. Dr. Dre – Detox
Is there any question as to what the most anticipated hip-hop album ever is? We’ve been waiting for this album for almost 10 years and I really hope it comes out soon. There are so many rumors surrounding this record as to who wrote for it, who’s appearing on it, why it’s delayed, etc. The list is endless. The latest rumor I heard was that the success of Dre’s headphones has sidetracked the release and if that’s true then Dre needs to get his head on straight. This record could literally make or break hip-hop forever. If it’s good, Detox will go down in history as the masterpiece that saved rap music. If it stinks, then hip-hop will take several steps backward and there is no telling what will happen…only time will tell. Hip-hop needs you Dre, give us that album