2021 Keeps on Delivering!
Mike “The Visionary” Cotton
March 1, 2021
Although it’s still early in the year, I can tell this will be a great year for rap fans. With that being said, I want to take the time to highlight some of the best and most popular albums of the year so far, as well as the albums I’m excited to hear later on this year. The year could have started better; there were only two albums that stood out to me. Griselda and Black Soprano Family released the soundtrack for their film Conflicted, which consisted of features such as Wale, Smoke DZA, YN Billy, Armani Caesar, Lloyd Banks, Boldy James and Dave East. When it comes to Griselda, I had to quickly learn that they’re never going to miss; that’s literally my only take on that album, they’re simply that good. The next album was Carry the Fire by The Alchemist. Every tape produced by The Alchemist is beautiful to me, but this one is definitely one of his most experimental instrumental tapes. Every song included the signature Alchemist sound, yet it had the vibe of an 80’s film. This tape was something different coming from The Alchemist and I believe that he only gets better, especially when it comes to his production when he’s working with artists such as Action Bronson and Freddie Gibbs.
February was a tad bit better than January in terms of how many good albums came out. The Weeknd released his highly anticipated album The Highlights, which by no surprise debuted at number two on the top Billboard 200; he then followed up with an exceptional Super Bowl halftime show performance two days after his album’s release. U.K rapper, Slowthai also did great numbers with his album Tyron, which debuted at number one on the U.K albums chart. This album honestly deserved that type of credit, especially coming from such a talented artist that’s becoming internationally famous. The third album that caught my attention from last month was Big Ghost LTP and Conway the Machine’s album If It Bleeds It Can Be Killed. This album had great features such as D-Styles, Rome Streetz, Ransom, Shots and Knowledge the Pirate; and this can’t be said often, but every feature carried their own weight and shined in their own individual way. That makes this album extremely easy to listen to, there’s nothing to skip because it’s clear that everyone is bringing the best out of one another and it worked. With that being said, I also need to point out the fact that anything a Griselda member touches turns to gold. It’s as if rapping is too easy for them at this point.
This year is also the year legends return and more highly anticipated works are going to be released. Unfortunately, the albums that I am about to name are intended to be released this year, but have no release date. In regard to returning legends, Wu-Tang’s Raekwon the Chef is releasing Only Built for Cuban Linx 3 and honorary Wu-Tang member, Redman is dropping Muddy Waters 2 sometime this month; which his fans have been waiting for since he released his third studio album Muddy Waters in 1996. A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip is making a major comeback by announcing that he’ll be dropping three projects this year entitled AlGoRhythms, Riotdiaries and The Last Zulu. Lil Uzi Vert fans are also expecting three projects this year, as Lil Uzi Vert is planning on releasing projects entitled Forever Young and Luv is Rage 3; the third project has yet to be named. Fans are really excited for these projects, mainly due to the fact that Uzi and his longtime friend Playboi Carti are rumored to have a song on one of these projects, as well as a feature from Juicy J. Last, but not least, Kanye West is intending on dropping two projects this year, one of them being the long-awaited Donda album (which was supposed to be released last July). Kanye also plans on collaborating with Dr. Dre on his Jesus is King Part II album. If all of these projects come out this year, 2021 may be considered one of the best years for rap in a long time.
2021 Keeps on Delivering