It is bonkers to think that we’ve only gotten halfway through the year, yet we’ve already gotten an absolutely massive collection of new albums from some of the biggest names in hip-hop. Those names have included Gunna, Cordae, Earl Sweatshirt, Saba, Kanye West, Lil Durk, Denzel Curry, Latto, Vince Staples, Pusha T, Future, Black Star, Jack Harlow, Kendrick Lamar, and Post Malone… and I’ve skipped more than a few of our favorites.
With all that, you’d think we’d be all out of new music to discuss for at least the next six months, but you know what they say about hip-hop parties and stopping. As the weather heats up, you can expect the pace to pick up as well, with even more established stars and rising newcomers staking their claims on our cookouts, pool parties, picnics, and summer basketball leagues. With that said, here are our picks for the ones you should be keeping an ear out for this summer.
Mount Westmore — Bad MFs
Although technically, this album has already been released via the Gala Music platform, fans who aren’t sold on blockchain quite yet can still look forward to enjoying this album from the California supergroup on DSPs sometime soon. With Bay Area pioneers E-40 and Too Short teaming up with their SoCal counterparts Ice Cube and Snoop Dogg, this one is the latest proof in the growing body of evidence that California still knows how to party.
Erica Banks — Diary Of The Flow Queen — Due June 17
Despite the obvious similarities between 1501 Certified’s more recent signing and her immediate predecessor, Erica Banks has managed to distinguish herself thanks to the viral TikTok trend based on her breakout hit “Buss It” and a string of strong performances that show she can more than hold her own and bring something new to the table. It should be fun to see how she continues to set herself apart on her debut project.
Logic — Vinyl Days — Due June 17
For a guy who’s two years past his “retirement,” Logic sure has been busy. His seventh studio album will be his last under his Def Jam contract, and he apparently wants to go out with a bang. Vinyl Days is expected to boast a 30-song tracklist with features from all corners of the hip-hop world. Action Bronson, Blu & Exile, Curren$y, Royce Da 5’9”, Russ, RZA, and more all contribute.
Kevin Gates — Khaza — Due June 17
Gates’ last album, I’m Him, dropped in 2019 — you know, a whole lifetime ago. The intervening years should have given the 36-year-old Baton Rouge rap vet plenty to talk about and lots of time to sharpen up his pen. Plenty of his peers had similar gaps before their 2022 releases and have impressed; can he keep up the trend?
Duke Deuce — Crunkstar — Due June 17
Regular Uproxx readers will know that this site has been following the Quality Control Music artist from Memphis since just about the beginning of his rise to stardom. His 2021 debut Duke Nukem certainly paid off that early support in quality, and we’re looking forward to seeing how he improves on the formula while capitalizing on his No. 3 Heatseekers chart placement with his sophomore effort.
Westside Boogie — More Black Superheroes — Due June 17
Boogie made an impressive entry to the rap game with his mixtapes Thirst 48, The Reach, and Thirst 48, Pt. II. Since then he seemingly slowed down the pace of his releases, taking another three years to drop his Shady Records debut Everythings For Sale. Three years later, he’s back with another serving of his unique, Compton-bred perspective. His low-and-slow approach to the last album paid off, and we fully expect it to do so again.
Joey Badass — 2000 — Due June 17
A rapper’s rapper, the 27-year-old Brooklynite has 10 years in the business, but only two full-length albums to his name. That should be enough to tell you why his new album is one of our more anticipated releases of the year; the quality with which he’s approached every project beginning with his breakthrough mixtape 1999 at just 17 years old bodes well — especially considering 2000‘s title appears very much to evoke a spiritual successor that exciting introduction.
Black Thought & Danger Mouse — Cheat Codes — Due August 12
Let’s keep it a buck. There are few rappers better at rapping than Black Thought. He’s hands-down one of the illest spitters to ever pick up a microphone, and three decades of releases are all the proof he needs to support this claim. Anyone who disagrees should get their ears examined. Meanwhile, Danger Mouse is one of indie music’s most respected producers, even though his output has slowed down a bunch in the last few years. However, during his most prolific era, he produced some of the most groundbreaking, genre-blurring projects in popular music, from the Gorillaz album Demon Days to the MF Doom Adult Swim experiment The Mouse and the Mask to projects with ASAP Rocky, Norah Jones, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Karen O. Basically, this one is as close to a must-listen as it gets.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.