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24 Most Anticipated Rap Albums For the Rest of 2017

Jay Z, Eminem, Nicki Minaj and more LPs that may drop before 2018

As 2017’s first two quarters wind to close, here’s a look at some albums you may hear before year’s end.

MadGibbs

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Freddie Gibbs & Madlib

Album: TBA
Release Date: TBA
During a May 2016 conversation at Red Bull Music Academy, enigmatic loop-digging genius Madlib revealed that he and Midwest thug-poet Freddie Gibbs are working on a follow-up to their 2014 collabo Piñata. He added that the beats he gave Gibbs were originally made for Kanye West. (Madlib and West memorably joined forces for “No More Parties in L.A.”) When asked about a possible release date, Madlib answered in typically cryptic fashion, “Ain’t no telling. … We got tracks recorded, but that don’t mean they’re gon’ come out.” Meanwhile, Gibbs wrote lyrics for the project while he languished in an Austrian prison last summer amidst sexual-assault allegations. In September, he was acquitted of all charges.

Kamaiyah

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Kamaiyah

Album: TBA
Release Date: TBA
Kamaiyah packed her acclaimed 2016 mixtape A Good Night in the Ghetto full of slick, funky Bay Area hip-hop, and the release earned her a contract with Interscope. She’s proceeded carefully since inking the deal, sprinkling the occasional feature on records for Bay Area comrades YG (“Why You Always Hatin?”) and E-40 (“Petty”) and joining self-proclaimed “King of Teens” Lil Yachty for “All Around Me.” During an interview on 106 KMEL last year, Kamaiyah explained her slow-and-steady approach: “Most people make the mistake of putting out records prematurely, and then it don’t sell and the record label looking at them like, ‘What the hell? We put all this money into that,'” she said. She encouraged patience from her listeners. “Don’t even think that I’m just a one-hit wonder,” she continued. “Everything is strategically planned with me. I always know what my next move gonna be.”

Desiigner

Ryan Jay

Desiigner

Album: The Life of Desiigner
Release Date: TBA
Desiigner has cut an unpredictable path since rocketing to fame behind “Panda,” an out-of-nowhere Number One hit in 2016. He managed to transform an XXL freestyle into a wildly strange Top 40 hit (“Tiimmy Turner”), but hasn’t seen much radio play on recent releases like “Outlet” and “Up.” In a moment of frustration, the young Brooklyn rapper tweeted “Fuck NY radio” in April, earning the ire of powerful New York City DJs like Funkmaster Flex. With his major label debut on the way, Desiigner then visited local radio stations Hot 97 and Power 105.1 to apologize. In his interview with The Breakfast Club, the rapper sought to put the focus back on the exciting eclecticism of his upcoming LP. “I got all type of swag,” Desiigner explained. “Y’all gonna see something real different – after this album, I’mma have everybody lookin’ at me real different. … My music is great. No matter what. If you didn’t know, y’all gonna see.” 

PRhyme

Johnny Nunez/WireImage/Getty

PRhyme

Album: PRhyme 2
Release Date: TBA
Last year, Detroit spitter Royce Da 5’9″ and boom-bap icon DJ Premier announced plans for a sequel to their 2015 collaboration. After releasing their debut, the two subsequently returned to their respective careers, with Royce issuing a new solo album and Premier developing his Year Round roster as well as serving as executive music producer for the VH1 series The Breaks. But Premier has said that the album is almost done, and Royce recently posted an Instagram video of Premier making a beat for PRhyme 2, suggesting that it should be ready before year’s end.

Shabazz Palaces

Victoria Kovios

Shabazz Palaces

Albums: Quazarz: Born on
a Gangster Star
and Quazarz Vs. the Jealous Machines
Release Date: July 14th
Seattle duo Shabazz Palaces are responsible for some of the most strangely alluring hip-hop of the 2010s. In July, Palaceer Lazaro (a.k.a. Ishmael Butler) and Tendai Maraire will drop two albums. A Sub Pop press statement explains that these Afro-Futurist concept suites will tell the story of the extraterrestrial Quazarz, “a wave warrior wielding his sonic sword,” who attempts to break our collective dependence on technology with “a collective Nah to the device and the guilds that proliferate them.” Pre-release tracks include “Shine a Light,” a dusty and melodic tune centered on a sampled loop from Dee Dee Sharp’s “I Really Love You.”

Milo

Spencer Wells

Milo

Album: Who Told You to Think??!!?!?!?
Release Date: August 11th
Rory “Milo” Ferreira has emerged as one of avant-rap’s most compelling figures since releasing his widely acclaimed and quietly reflective So the Flies Don’t Come in 2015. He’s recently wrapped a tour with Future Islands and is preparing for a third album that includes production from Kenny Segal and Illingsworth, alongside cameos from Elucid and Busdriver. The project is mixed by L.A. underground veteran Daddy Kev, who is best known for his work with Flying Lotus. “In the ?uest of rap mining the existential depths, Milo is asking, ‘Who told you to think?'” he explains in a press statement. “This is the record that bridges the personas of Milo on record, a Milo performance and Scallops Hotel, the blunted hermit in a fortress of demo tapes.”

Dr. Octagon

Jen Osborne/Redux

Dr. Octagon

Album: TBA
Release Date: TBA
Dr. Octagon’s 1996 debut album Dr. Octagonecologyst established Kool Keith’s post-Ultramagnetic MC’s career and launched the career of Gorillaz producer Dan “The Automator” Nakamura. But, after creating a landmark LP for alternative and underground hip-hop, Keith, Nakamura and turntablist DJ QBert subsequently went their separate ways for a variety of other projects. This year,
they reunited for the first-ever tour by the original
team and, at a show in April, Nakamura told
fans that a new Doc Oc album was on the way. In the meantime, the original LP was reissued on vinyl, with bonus tracks, in an octagon-shaped box.

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