With the recent feature by Complex on their top 20 most anticipated albums of the summer, it got me thinking of the albums that most excite me. Even with the release of Self Made this week, we certainly aren’t lacking this summer compared to those in the past. We get everything from debuts, to long awaited sequels, to collaborations, to pretty much anything else imaginable. All of the following are slated for release in summer 2011 (with a couple slight exceptions). Also, keep in mind these are in no particular order, just how they popped into my head.
Young Jeezy: Thug Motivation 103, set to release July 26th. More than four years after Jeezy’s number one hit,Inspiration: Thug Motivation 102, we finally got a release date for the follow up last week. The first single “Ballin” featuring Lil Wayne is down below. It’s a typical Jeezy song, hard hitting beat, talking about white, not that those are bad things, because after all, that is what got him to where he is today. If this is anywhere near the quality of TM 102, he might have another number one album on his hands, and we’d all enjoy that.
Lil Wanye: Tha Carter IV, set to release June 21st. In recent years we’ve seen two different types of Wayne, the new Wayne who uses autotune and tries to sing, which was what he did on his last album, Rebirth, and the old Wayne that raps. By “raps” I mean put himself in the conversation for best in the game, which he did in his early stuff, and on his last mixtape, No Ceilings. The old version is undoubtedly better, and anyone who says otherwise is probably a Justin Bieber fan. A couple months ago, the first single entitled “6 Foot 7 Foot” came out and we definitely got the old Wayne. Let’s just hope he stays away from the autotune on this one.
Game: The R.E.D Album, set to release August 23rd. Game has already gone through a lot with this album, and we still have 3 months until it comes out. After his last album LAX, he announced his retirement from rap, but a short time later he decided to come back and put out another album. “Red Nation”, the first single which also features Lil Wayne came out in April. Because of Game’s past and his affiliation with the Bloods, BET and MTV have banned the video to the single from airing in fear of retaliation from other gangs. However, you can watch it onyoutube. I’ve never been a huge Game fan, but there are a couple songs that I like, so I’ll more than likely check this out come release date.
Beyoncé: 4, set to release June 24th. Like I said, there is a lot of variety this summer. As most of you know, Jay-Z’s wife is not a rapper (I hope you all know that). Nonetheless, she is a great artist and she always has a huge following. From the single, and another leak that I have heard, it sounds like going for something different than the typical female R&B sound. As usual she has a music video that is already turning into a hug dance craze. Depending on how good the other songs are, I might give this a couple spins.
Kanye West & Jay-Z: Watch The Throne, release date TBA. This is the one, the king of kings, and any other saying you can think of. A collaboration between two Grammy winners is nothing to ignore, but when you have two people who could either be named the greatest rapper of all time, you just have to admire. This has been a long time coming. Ever since Kanye’s debut on Jay’s Roc-A-Fella Records, on which Jay was featured a few times, people have been talking about this project. It was first rumored that it would be dropping on March 15h, but that date passed and we got nothing. Just to show how hyped people are for this album, the first single which came out all the way back in January, is still played everywhere. It’s called “H.A.M.”, which stands for Hard As a Motherfucker, and with production from Lex Luger they certainly do just that. You can listen to it below. We aren’t even sure if Watch The Throne is actually coming out this summer, but let’s all pray it does.
Big Sean: Finally Famous The Album, set to release June 21st. Big Sean is signed to Kanye’s label, G.O.O.D. Music, and most of the time that is what we get. His Finally Famous Vol. 3 mixtape was loved by most people who listened to it. Sean even coined the way most rappers are saying punchlines today. Does your favorite rapper say something along the lines of “It’s going down. Basement”? Well, that’s thanks to Big Sean. So far, four songs have leaked from the album, tow on purpose, and to by accident. The only official single though, is called “My Last”, and it has Chris Brown singing the hook. As Sean would say, “I do it, boy.”
Royce Da 5’9″ & Eminem: Hell: The Sequel, set to release June 14th. Yet another collaboration that has been a long time coming. With Shady Records signing or Slaughterhouse, it’s finally here. On Em’s The Slim Shady LP, he had a song that featured Royce called “Bad Meets Evil”. The actual artist for Hell: The Sequel is not Royce Da 5’9″ & Eminem, but instead Bad Meets Evil. Which one is which is a debate for another time. I’ve heard rumblings that this won’t be good since neither is in their prime anymore. The first single “Fast Lane” proves otherwise. This summer is Ye’s and Hov’s to lose, but if they slip up, these two won’t hesitate to take advantage.
J. Cole: TBA, release date TBA. This isn’t confirmed for the summer, hell, it isn’t even confirmed for any year, but it deserves to be on this list. Cole is one of the best rappers we have today, and people have been anticipating this since he signed with Jay-Z a couple years ago. We know nothing about the album, but we can speculate about a summer release because Cole tweeted “Tell em’ all. The Summer’s mine. Cole Worldddd”. We just found out that he will be releasing the first single from the album this week. This is in the same boat as Watch The Throne because everyone wants it this summer, but nothing is guaranteed.
Freddie Gibbs: Cold Day In Hell, set to release June 14th. Gibbs is an interesting artist. He played football at Ball State before being kicked out, then worked a few desk jobs before finally picking up a mic when he was 22. He recently signed to Young Jeezy’s label, and shortly after, they put out his first song with the label entitled “Run DMC”. It’s hard to explain Gibbs’ style, so below is one of his best songs “National Anthem (Fuck the World)” which was n the Str8 Killa No Filla mixtape that came out last year. Freddie is only going to continue to get better, and this has the potential to be scary good.
Curren$y: Weekend at Burnie’s, set to release June 28th. Muscle Car Chronicles & Pilot Talk III, release dates TBA. In an idea world we’d get all three of these album by Spitta this summer, and that isn’t out of the question. If anyone will, he’ll be the one release all three of these in a three week span without any notice. Don’t think quality is sacrificed for quantity. He promised eight projects this year, and the first two, Return To The Winners Circle and Covert Coup were good. The production he gets is always phenomenal, and Weekend At Burnie’sshould be no exception. It will be produced entirely by Monsta Beatz who contributed to the first two Pilot Talks, and also on his first album Ain’t No Mixtape. The first singe is #JetsGo, which is down below. MCC was supposed to come out in March of this year, but was delayed at the last minute to June, but now the release date is unknown. As for PT 3, he’ll probably finish it and put it out this year, but the summer is still a possibility.
DJ Khaled: We The Best Forever, set to release June 28th. If you ever get into a debate about club albums, just turn to DJ Khaled. He churns out club hit after club hit. With the first two songs heard by the public being “Welcome To My Hood” and “I’m On One”, it doesn’t look like anything has changed this time around. You can listen to the latter below, and just so you know, Drake goes crazy. There is no track list yet, but there is sure to be some crazy features from pretty much every one who is relevant in the game today.
Drake: Take Care, set to release September 13th. Yes, I know that September is not the summer, even though technically it is. Still though, this has to be on the list. Drake’s debut Thank Me Later was a bit disappointing. Not that it was bad, but it just didn’t live up to the hype, and it would have been hard for anyone to follow up a masterpiece like So Far Gone. We haven’t heard a lot from Drake recently, so hopefully he’s been hard at work onTake Care. Although in the last week, we’ve heard “I’m On One”, a remix to a song called “Wildfire”, and the first cut from Take Care, “Dreams Money Can Buy”, which is below. Drake said this was not the first single, but more than likely the intro, which isn’t a bad thing. The song is amazing, but it’s not what I want in the middle of an album by a someone with Drake’s rapping ability. It does set a good mood, and just amps me up a bit more.
Dipset: Independence Day, set to release July 5th. Not much is known about this project except the video of Dipset member Jim Jones making the announcement about it’s creation. Despite the lack of information, I’m still looking forward to this because it’s been a long time since heard ANYTHING from Dipset. Plus, Juelz Santana can be one of the best rappers in the game when he wants to be.
Pusha T: Fear of God EP, set to release 21st. This isn’t an entirely new project, but a re-release of Pusha T’s recent mixtape by the same name. It will have all the same songs as the mixtape, plus a few new ones, including a song with Odd Future’s Tyler, The Creator and Hodgy Beats. It might no be much to most people, but any new Pusha record is like waking up on Christmas morning, so I’ll take what I can get.
Frank Ocean: Nostalgia, Ultra, set to release July 26th. After releasing Nostalgia, Ultra through Odd Future’s blog, it was received with great reviews. Some even called it the album of the year. Let me say, it wouldn’t be very farfetched if that is the case by the end of 2011. This is just now getting an official release because Def Jam had signed Frank in the past and seemingly forgot about him. He was sick of being treated like trash, so he put this together all by himself. he even did the cover which is not coincidentally lacking a Def Jam logo. Since pretty much everybody who listened to this loved it, the execs at the label decided it was time to put it out for real. It’s about damn time. Below is one of the best songs of the album, “Novacane”.