Our Most Anticipated Hip Hop Albums of 2021

2020 was a year that put a lot of things on hold. Plenty of tours, festivals and films had to be put on the back burner. The good news is that the lull led many people to spend more time in the studio. We're seeing plenty of new work, and more is coming all the time. It's hard to narrow down our picks, but these are some of the albums we are most anxious to hear: 

1. Childish Gambino 

Yeah, we know. This Is America was to be the multihyphenate's last rap album. But then he dropped 3.15.20 early last year. In a late November tweet, he confirmed that that was not the last word, either. While he declared his last musical project his best, he says that what we have coming is his biggest.  

2. Kendrick Lamar 

Every since Damn back in 2017, fans have been anticipating Lamar's next album. Leaks indicated that new work would come out in 2019, but it failed to materialize. In an interview with i-D last year, Lamar explained that he is hard at work on a new sound. 2020 was supposed to bring a UK and Europe tour, but the pandemic put that on hold. Instead, he's put his energy into recording. No release is announced yet, but sources say new material this year is likely.  

3. J. Cole - The Fall Off 

We know the title of the upcoming J. Cole album, but we have no idea yet exactly when to expect it. In a late December Instagram post, J. Cole detailed his plans for "the Fall Off Era." These include features, the off-season, "It's a Boy" and finally "The Fall Off." 

4. Cardi B 

Cardi recently released "Up," the first single from her highly anticipated follow-up to 2020's WAP. The upcoming album is rumored to feature more love songs and some big collaborations. In interviews, she has said that her marriage to rapper Offset will be detailed in multiple tracks.  

5. Drake - Certified Lover Boy 

Few things are certain these days, and it looks like the planned January release of Drake's sixth studio album is one of them. Drake took to Instagram on January 20 to let fans know that surgery and rehab have pushed back the drop date for his latest album. No new date was listed, but he says that he is looking forward to sharing his new music sometime in 2021. 

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