The year is almost over, but that doesn’t mean that there are no more big releases coming. We compiled a list of some of the most anticipated rap albums of the 4th quarter, in no specific order. Some of these artists have announced that they’re working on new music, while some have explicitly announced that they were dropping in 2019.
Kanye West — Jesus Is King
We thought Kanye’s Ye followup was named Yandhi and was coming in September of last year. Then we thought it was coming in November 2018. Then we thought it was coming this September and would be titled Jesus Is King. But, after the release date that Kanye’s wife Kim Kardashian-West offered came and went, we have no idea what to think about Kanye’s latest album.
Drake — TBA
This June Drake took to Instagram to let us know that he was in “album mode.” The Toronto artist actualized “I’m On One’s” “me and 40 back to work but we still smell like a vacation” line by sharing some photos of his recent travels. It looks like after celebrating a banner year for his Toronto Raptors, he’s hunkering down and cooking something up. Will it come out this year? It is October. Could he hit us with a surprise album? Time will tell.
Kendrick Lamar — TBA
There’s way more smoke than fire with this one. Last year, people noticed that Polydor Records, which is Interscope Records’ European distributor, deleted an Instagram post promising 2019 albums from a slew of artists, including Kendrick Lamar. And in March of this year, Kendrick Lamar and Schoolboy Q had fans in a frenzy when they changed their social profile pictures. Last time Kendrick changed his profile picture to a solid black was March of 2017, and DAMN came a month later. But his picture has stayed black for most of the year. Maybe he’s in album mode. Or maybe he’s just feeling black this year. We’ll know the answer by December 31st.
J. Cole — The Fall Off
All’s currently quiet in Dreamville after the release of the label’s Revenge Of The Dreamers 3 project but if the quick rollout of J. Cole’s KOD album was any indication, he drops are like a tsunami. Last year he promised a project called The Fall Off after KOD, but we haven’t heard much about it since. That could change any day though with the unpredictable artist.
Cardi B — TBA
Cardi B promised a followup to Invasion Of Privacy at the top of the year. In a recent Instagram post, she announced she had crafted just two or three songs from the album purportedly named Tiger Woods, although she later recanted that statement as a “joke,” and may not release it this year at all. But if anyone gets a pass, it’s Cardi, who added “mother” to her ever-growing list of job titles last year.
Lil Baby — TBA
Earlier this week, Lil Baby told Hiphop-N-More that he still planned to release his sophomore followup to his Harder Than Ever album this year. He said that he wants to keep the release date “a surprise for the fans,” but added that “they gonna be ready ready when they see the tracklist,” adding intrigue for his growing fanbase.
Rae Sremmurd — TBA
Rae Sremmurd showed a lot of promise with their SR3MM album, which came complete with a solo album apiece from Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi. In April, Swae told Essence, “We dropped three classic albums already; it’s time for the fourth.” Then in May, he tweeted “96%” done. He may have been referring to his solo album or the followup to SR3MM. We’ll know soon enough.
Big Sean — Don Life
Big Sean excited his fans by coming out of his hiatus with a pair of singles and announcing his Don Life album, then he dropped “Bezerk” with A$AP Ferg and a Funkmaster Flex freestyle. His fans particularly enjoyed his vulnerability on “Overtime,” which reflected that he truly is in a better mental space.
Kid Cudi — Entergalactic
Kid Cudi preceded Big Sean when it came to working on his mental health, and he sounded as good as ever on last year’s well-regarded Kids See Ghosts collaboration project with Kanye West. Last October he tweeted that he had started working on an album with plans to release it sometime this year. There haven’t been many updates, but it’s likely that Cudi is still hard at work on the project.
Lil Uzi — Eternal Atake
Lil Uzi Vert is competing with Kanye West for the most confounding album release in recent memory. His Eternal Atake album has been in the works for over two years now. He’s had issues with DJ Drama and Atlantic Records that held the album up, but once Roc Nation got involved and he released a slew of singles, it looked like the coast was clear for the new album. He even tweeted in June that it was coming out in “three weeks.” Three weeks later, a fan stopped him on the street and he said he “didn’t know” when it would come out. And neither does anyone else apparently.
Q-Tip — TBA
Q-Tip has been promising the followup to 2009’s Kamaal/The Abstract for several years now. In March told Elton John on his Apple Music Rocket Hour show that he was working on three albums. Who knows if he was referring to Danny Brown’s uknowhatimsayin? which he executive produced. But presumably, The Last Zulu is one of them.
Glacier Boyz — TBA
In June, Gucci Mane said that the long-awaited project featuring him, Lil Yachty and Migos was in a “final touches” stage. But who knows how Lil Yachty and Migos members’ own projects factor into the rollout for Glacier Boyz. Perhaps the icy-titled project will come in with the winter chill.
Run The Jewels — Run The Jewels 4
If you pay attention to El-P’s Twitter you know that he and Killer Mike are working on Run The Jewels 4. They have no timetable for the album but are simply fixated on working. Once they’re ready to drop, they’ll let us know. Until then, you should probably stop hitting him up on Twitter about it. He and his partner-in-rhyme are busy working.
Joyner Lucas — ADHD
This one might not exactly belong on the list, because Joyner has released four songs from his debut album already, seemingly defying the typical album rollout by steadily dropping tracks until the whole album is out there. Who knows what an official release will look like if that even happens. But it will be interesting to see if any artists follow his blueprint.
Some of the artists mentioned above are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.