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2021 was overall a pretty great year for hiphop, whether it be the big names, the underground, or new cats on the scene. That being said, there are some long awaited projects which we are really looking forward to hearing this year. Here we will discuss some previously teased albums and what we are expecting from them. Let us know what projects you want to drop this year!
Conway the Machine – God Don’t Make Mistakes
Having been teased for years, God Don’t Make Mistakes is being set up as Conway’s masterpiece and the release feels inevitable now. Having honed his artistry through a variety of flows, production, and features on top of his already elite lyrical ability on 2020’s From a King to a God, GDMM has the potential to etch Conway’s name in New York hiphop history. With heavily anticipated leaks and snippets, powerful themes, and an early tracklist with features from the likes of Lil Wayne, Beanie Sigel, and Jill Scott, this album is being hyped up as a classic.
Listen to From a King to a God on Spotify
Sadistik & Kno – Phantom Limbs 2 (title TBD)
While the exact title of this project is yet to be confirmed, it is the heavily anticipated follow up to Sadistik and Kno’s 2015 project Phantom Limbs. While Sadistik has been consistent as an artist, he also seems to have slowed down a bit in the past two years and stuck to a formula. Kno meanwhile has been pretty quiet, particularly with no new Cunninlynguists drops. As a duo, they bring out the best in each other with lush beats and dark lyrics that truly touch your heart. Expect either another single or the full project on January 13th!
Listen to the first Phantom Limbs on Bandcamp
Check out our beginner’s guide to Sadistik
Fivio Foreign – B.I.B.L.E.
New York drill has been in a bit of a limbo since Pop Smoke’s tragic death; There have been phenomenal projects from artists like 22Gz, Sleepy Hallow, CoachDaGho$t, 26AR, etc., but the scene undeniably lost a lot of steam without its biggest star. His close friend Fivio Foreign remained as the most popular drill rapper, and we are hoping he can carry the mantle. While his discography is small and unremarkable, Fivio has had a really promising year. Between the acclaimed collaboration “Off the Grid” with Kanye West and Playboi Carti which catapulted him in popularity, and the singles “Story Time” and “Squeeze Freestyle” which showed improved MC’ing skills and maturity, Fivio seems to have leveled up. With a GZA inspired title and promising snippets (including a Nas feature), his next album could be a watershed moment for New York drill.
Check out our essential New York drill albums guide
Danny Brown – XXXX
While not much is confirmed about this album yet, Danny Brown will always be one of the most hotly followed rappers on the internet. His 2011 mixtape XXX is a dark cult classic, and over the past year he has been teasing a follow up – aptly named XXXX. Snippets produced by The Alchemist, Knxwledge, and Flying Lotus have all sounded phenomenal. This also leads us to wonder if the album might have more grounded production, a la UKnowWhatI’mSayin?, but with the mature themes we all look to Danny for.
Earl Sweatshirt – Sick!
Ever since settling further into the lo-fi scene, Earl Sweatshirt’s work has become rather polarizing. While he is still an internet darling, some fans miss the more traditional sound and bars of his old work. Based on the singles for his upcoming album, he might have found a happy medium. With more pronounced rapping and some really off the wall beats, this album is looking to be a really interesting addition to a young legend’s discography. Assists from Armand Hammer, Zelooperz, Black Noi$e, and hopefully plenty of Alchemist make this very promising. Sick! is expected to drop on January 14th.
Listen to the single “2010” on YouTube
Check out our guide to the sLUms scene
Chief Keef & Mike WiLL Made-It – TBD
Chief Keef has dropped a slew of singles over the past year produced by trap legend Mike WiLL Made-It. With some of Sosa’s best work dropping in 4NEM, and Mike WiLL’s return to through several phenomenal placements on Gucci Mane’s Ice Daddy (“Posse on Bouldercrest” is one of the best beats of 2021), their forthcoming collaboration has potential to be a classic. The two are clearly a great match and push each other’s boundaries on these simple bangers.
Listen to all of Chief Keef and Mike WiLL Made-It’s singles on Spotify
Stove God Cook$ – Stove Jesus
Stove God Cook$ is simply one of the most charismatic and promising young acts out of New York today. Breaking through with the Roc Marciano produced Reasonable Drought in 2020 and featuring extensively on Westside Gunn’s Hitler Wears Hermes 8, Stove brings a commanding flow, infectious crooning, and genius punchlines on the drug game. With his next release being hyped up heavily by Jazz of the UN, we know Stove Jesus will once again heavily utilize Roc Marciano production (although not exclusively), as well as feature verses – something which Reasonable Drought was sorely lacking. Stove Jesus has the potential to go down as one of the best albums yet from the NY revival scene.
Listen to Reasonable Drought on Spotify
Check out our 2021 hiphop album of the year reviews