Despite what you may have been told, Hip-Hop is not dead. It may have been on life support for a few. In 2010, it should signs of life, but in 2011 while it may not have made a full recovery, it seems to be in stable condition. Allow me to be your GPS to some real good hip-hop dropping this year. But you know how it goes, on any given Tuesday a album can be pushed back! Here is my list of the 11 Hip-Hop Albums You Need To Look Out For in 2011!
1. Talib Kweli – Gutter Rainbows (Duck Down) January 25, 2011
Talib Kweli may be the second coming of KRS One and like KRS, basically just hearing he has an album coming is enough to hit the stores and digital outlets. But wait, there’s more. Talib is going to hit us with a double dose in 2011. He will also drop his second album this year titled Prisoners Of Conscious – where he will be addressing some issues.
2. Jay Electronica – Act II (Roc Nation) TBA
There is much anticipation for Jay Electronica’s inaugural disc, Act II. He received heavy rotation on radio stations where hip-hop lives across the nation without a record deal, for Exhibit C, off the Victory mixtape (which was released for free).
3. DJ Premier vs Pete Rock (TBA)
While I am hearing blips of this historical project which came about from a series of concerts in Toyko they did, the possibility of Premo & The Chocolate Boy Wonder together and releasing an album in 2011 is worthy of listing and is what hip-Hop sorely needs right now!
4. Lupe Fiasco – Lasers (Atlantic) March 8, 2011
Summer 2010 the fans issued a petition to force Atlantic Record to release this album. It seems like Atlantic has heard their cries. Let this be a lesson, the fans do have the power to create the change they are looking for!
5. Common – The Believer (G.O.O.D. Music/ Geffen) TBA
Common got a new album coming out, what more do I need to say!
6. Jean Grae – Cake Or Death (Blacksmith/ Warner) TBA
The best female lyricist in the game right now, you need to check out this album
7. Pharoahe Monch – W.A.R. (We Are Renegades) – (Duck Down) February 2011
Originally due to drop Fall 2010. Check out the premier of the single Clap, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PR5at8AhQMs
8. Smif -N-Wessun – Monumental (Duck Down) February 8, 2011
Steele & Tek wrecking havoc on a new album entirely produced by Pete Rock, what more do I need to say. Check out the single Prevail featuring Raekwon, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MY3kCDiGOI
9. Jay Z/ Kanye West – Watch The Throne (Roc Nation)
Both have created great hip-hop and together (while I haven’t heard the project yet) I predict the duo will put some points on the board for hip-hop as DJ Premier would say!
10. Dr. Dre – Detox (Shady/Aftermath) February 2011
Finally the time has come, Detox may actually drop in February. Personal I feel if its pushed back again, the window of opportunity may close on this project forever.
11. M.A.J.O.R.S. – Light’s Out, The Album – Political, Spiritual, Gangsta & Romance (Divine Order Music) Dec 31, 2010
Released as a free download www.itsmajors.com on New Years Eve. M.A.J.O.R.S. is also scheduled to release another album tentatively titled For The People, Spring ’11 to be exclusively sold on Itunes.
J Cole (Roc Nation) TBA
Signed to Roc Nation for over a year now, J. Cole’s debut disc is projected to drop, early 2011. No info available yet, but this will be an album to check for!