By Aaron Epstein ‘21 and Jared Levy ‘23, Contributing Writer and Staff Writer, respectively
Despite high anticipation, an underwhelming amount of rap music has been released in 2020, partially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Coronavirus-related restrictions prevented the large tours that artists often embark on shortly after an album release and rely upon financially. As a result, many rappers chose to postpone their albums until touring is permitted. Fortunately, this setback hasn’t discouraged all artists. Here are some of the most prominent upcoming hip-hop albums that we’re looking forward to.
Certified Lover Boy – Drake
Nearly everything Drake releases is destined to become a hit. He’s been controlling the radio waves and music charts for months. Fans were excited when Drake teased the release of his forthcoming album Certified Lover Boy in a minute-long announcement video posted on his birthday this October. In the video, Drake recreated the album covers of his previous releases Take Care, Nothing Was the Same, and Dark Lane Demo Tapes. The clip confirmed that the album will be released in January 2021. The lead single for the project, “Laugh Now Cry Later” featuring Lil Durk, was released in August. Drake’s most recent album, Scorpion, received lukewarm reviews, so fans are hoping for a bounceback effort from him with Certified Lover Boy.
Man on the Moon III – Kid Cudi
Teased on October 26th, Kid Cudi is set to release Man on the Moon III at some point in the next few months. Cudi’s most recent album was Kids See Ghosts, the 2018 collaboration with Kanye West. Kid Cudi has released three singles in 2020: “Leader of the Delinquents,” “The Scotts,” and “The Adventures of Moon Man & Slim Shady.” Man on the Moon III will be the completion of the trilogy started with his debut album in 2009: Man on the Moon: The End of Day and continued with 2010’s Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager. Some see the first two albums in the trilogy as Cudi’s best work, so the expectations for Man on the Moon III are high.
Utopia – Travis Scott
After the wildly successful 2018 album Astroworld, Travis Scott shot to superstar levels of fame. This year the “Travis Scott Meal” at McDonald’s was another addition to Scott’s stardom as the meal blew up on social media. Travis Scott has been teasing the release of his fourth album Utopia since summer 2020, and fans eagerly anticipate this follow-up album, which is expected to drop in 2021. He has released the singles Highest in the Room and Franchise, both of which topped the Billboards Hot 100 charts.
Pluto x Baby Pluto – Future and Lil Uzi Vert
Lil Uzi Vert and Future teased recent release Pluto x Baby Pluto in July when the rappers cleared their Instagram accounts and posted a video of the two artists having a conversation. Two singles from the project, “Over Your Head” and “Patek” were released on July 31st. The project dropped on November 13, 2020. The name of the project is the combination of the rappers’ nicknames; Future is also known as Pluto, and Uzi adopted the moniker “Baby Pluto” earlier this year as a tribute to Future. While fans were excited by news of the collaboration, many were disappointed by the project’s lack of noteworthy songs and thought of it mediocre and repetitive. Fortunately for people dissatisfied with the mixtape, Uzi has already announced the upcoming release of the deluxe version of the project. Hopefully the new music will be better and meet the expectations for this superstar collaboration.