2017 was an absolutely unbelievable year for rap and music in general. We saw stellar releases from Kendrick Lamar, Vince Stapes, Tyler the Creator and Joey Bada$$. My one critique is that despite rap being on amazing form, R&B matched it and maybe even beat it. SZA, Miguel and Daniel Caesar all brought out great albums. It’s still relatively early in the year, but could we be looking at 2018 being raps biggest year yet?
If we’re looking at this year being big for rap, we’re going to need monster releases from some of the biggest names in the game. In all likelihood we won’t get a new Kendrick, Vince or Tyler album, so we’re going to have to look elsewhere, starting with J. Cole.
Cole’s last album was, well, underwhelming. I felt like he was trying to be too deep, and I felt like he cared less for rap. I saw the passion again when Jeezy brought Kendrick and Cole together for his track American Dream. Cole went head to head with Kendrick, and there was a spark there, it was absolutely incredible, as if the beast had been awoken. A Kendrick and Cole collab album has been rumoured forever and if it happens, it’ll be monstrous. I doubt it will happen, but I can see a Cole album, and I can see it being incredible.
Next on my list is Drake, an absolute work horse who is definitely an album a year kind of person. He’s already dropped some big songs on us, so I wouldn’t be shocked at all if he dropped a full album on us at some point.
There’s one more major star that needs to be mentioned before we get to raps core, and that major star is Kanye West. He’s been absent for a very long time now, and I’m glad. He needed a break from the madness and he needed to get himself together. I feel like when he comes back, he’ll be back with a vengeance. If he drops Turbo Grafx 16 this year I don’t see any rap album coming near it, it will be a masterpiece in production and lyricism.
We’re going to get a lot of massive rap albums this year, two that spring to mind on the production side of things is King Push by Pusha T and Vacation In Hell by Flatbush Zombies. Pusha’s album is produced largely by Yeezy while the Zombies will be produced by Erick Architect. That’s two of the best producers around which basically guarantees these albums will be solid or better than that.
There will be massive returns from A$AP Rocky and Earl Sweatshirt, both of which easily have the potential to have the best album of the year, not just in rap but in music. While they have the potential, it’s really make or break for them, it’s either cement themselves as the best or they don’t, simple as.
Nas will be making another comeback. While he’s been hit and miss in his more recent years, if he’s motivated and he has some quality producers he can always deliver.
Birdman has said that we will 100% get Tha Carter V this year. After so much time spent waiting for this album, it HAS to deliver. I’m confident it will, Lil Wayne has become underrated in recent years, but he has the ability to release anything spectacular.
To top things off, the worlds greatest boy band BROCKHAMPTON are going to drop a new album after the success of The Saturation Trilogy. I cannot see their new project Team Effort being anything other than a fantastic drop, possibly better than anything they dropped in 2017.
On top of all of this, I’m 99% sure we’ll get quality work from Chance, ScHoolBoy Q, Travis Scott and a whole bunch of Soundcloud Rappers.
So to answer my question, yes, I think 2018 could be raps biggest year yet.