Like I opened up with in my “Monthly Music Rundown” in the April mag, 2019 has been quite an interesting music year thus far. We’ve gotten memorable releases; forgettable releases. Quality releases; garbage releases. Some artists have thrived in 2019; some artists have fallen the fuck off in 2019.
As I begin writing this piece, it is the first of May. I may not be good at math, but I do know that means we still have over seven months left of this very weird year. More than half the year still lies ahead. (quick maths)
With that being said, I am hopeful that the remainder of 2019 will make up for the slightly-disappointing first half of the year. It hasn’t been all bad, but be honest- how many projects have truly impressed you so far this year? There most likely aren’t a staggering amount of projects on that mental list of yours (nor mine).
2019 still has the potential to be an excellent music year; many great artists are still yet to drop their anticipated releases this calendar year. While there are many speculations about what releases we can expect in the near future, plenty of releases have been confirmed to at least some degree. Of those, I’m going to challenge myself to pick the 5 upcoming projects that I am most excited for as a fan.
#5: Tyler, The Creator’s Next
If I had written this piece a few days earlier, this anticipation wouldn’t even be on the list. Yet, here we are- awaiting the confirmed summer release from one of music’s most eccentric and talented characters.
Just recently, it was discovered via Sony financial reports that a “TBD” Tyler, The Creator album will be released by the end of the current quarter- June 30. In timely fashion, Tyler released a 50-second snippet coordinated with a collage of his various faces. While it’s hard to really dissect a 50 second clip (especially one this unusual), I feel that it is still quite indicative of the sound and style we can expect on the TBD project.
While this news shocked me personally, it really could have been expected- Tyler has kept up with every-other-year releases for his whole career (the world would be a better place if more artists could be that consistent). As 2017’s Flower Boy is my personal favorite Tyler album, I’m extremely excited to see what he brings to the table next. I hope this next album dethrones Flower Boy as my favorite, but that will be no simple task. Regardless, this album will be a staple of my summer rotation.
#4: Tame Impala’s Next
Anyone who’s familiar with me and/or my writing should know by now that I’m quite the Tame stan, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that this one is up there on my list.
While nothing has been set in stone as far as when exactly we can expect a new Tame installment, he has been hinting at a 2019 release for some time now. Not to mention, he has dropped two stellar singles this spring- “Patience” and “Borderline”. These singles have me very excited- they are tropical and summer-friendly, trying out a sound that we have not previously heard from him. With Tame playing many festivals this summer, I have a strong feeling about a summer 2019 release. When announcing his Coachella headliner spot, Tame said: “New Year. New Shows. New Sounds.”
Also considering it’s been 4 years since the release of Currents, Tame is long overdue for a new album. It will be hard to top Currents, but I know he has the potential to. I have a feeling that his next album will have a much different sound than his previous 3, and I am more than excited to copiously listen.
#3: Chance 4
If Chance’s next project, his “debut” studio album, is anything like the verses that he’s given us on “Atlanta House Freestyle” and “I’m Not Crazy, Life Is”, we’re in for something special.
Chance is in his bag right now, man. He just got married, his family is thriving, he’s getting colder with the bars. He’s living good. It shines through his music; Chance has reached a new level of confidence and unique, poetry-meets-trap lyricism.
Chance has been talking about his July #awbum on Twitter for a few months now, and the emoji in his name suggests a July 17 release. Considering that the standard calendar emoji has July 17 as its date by default, it may not mean anything. But, nonetheless, it’s definitely a smart marketing move from Chano. With him promising the album in July, I feel that July 17 is a safe speculation date.
Chance has also promised that this album will sound nothing like Coloring Book, Acid Rap or 10 Day. Having been 3 years since the release of Coloring Book, the mixtape that made Chance a household name, I have a strong feeling that Chance will shock the world with a new sound. I hope he’s moved past the church rap, but it still slaps regardless. Either way, this album is gonna be special. Chance has evolved exponentially in the past few years; it’s time for him to show the world.
#2: Eternal Atake
After months of uncertainty towards the release of Eternal Atake and the future of Lil Uzi Vert, it may finally be safe to assume that we will be receiving the long-awaited project in our near future.
Lil Uzi recently made a bold comeback with two bangers- “That’s a Rack” and “Sanguine Paradise”. Both of these tracks are highly-catchy and hard-hitting, proving that Uzi didn’t lose his juice during his hiatus, or should I say, “retirement”. Uzi’s publicity stunt retirement didn’t last very long; he recently inked a new deal with Roc Nation, escaping the plight of Don Cannon and DJ Drama.
Now, Uzi is free to spread his creative wings and bless us with more classics. After dropping his two new singles on the same day, April 9, I have a strong feeling about another single or two blessing us just in time for the summer. I have a feeling that Eternal Atake will be a primetime summer release, but nothing is certain yet. All I do know is that the world will stop once Eternal Atake finally drops from the heavens.
Honestly, the day that Yandhi drops will be one of the most euphoric days of my life.
Kanye has been blue-balling us for many months now. Cancelled release dates; rescheduled release dates. It feels like an endless cycle. We’ve also been force-fed Sunday Services and snippets, leaving our minds running wild in attempt to fathom what the already-infamous album will be like.
Kanye, thankfully, has been quiet on Twitter and other social media for most of the calendar year thus far. I say thankfully for two reasons: 1). he isn’t saying anything “cancel” worthy; 2). he’s fully focused on Yandhi. Kanye has always taken great integrity in his work, but with Yandhi you can really tell that he has an exact vision that he wants to perfectly execute.
As far as the sound of Yandhi, my predictions are all over the place. Judging from its most popular snippet, “80 degrees”, I get a feeling that Yandhi will have a futuristic trap feel. In total contrast, the Sunday Services that Kanye and crew have been delivering for months now lead me to believe that there will be a large gospel influence across Yandhi. Ultimately, I have a feeling that Yandhi will be a total amalgamation of every Kanye style. I feel it will have the gospel and R&B workings of College Dropout and Late Registration; the abstract trap quality of Yeezus and The Life of Pablo; the pop vibrance of Graduation and 808s; the artistic symbolism of MBDTF and ye; the rock influence of Kids See Ghosts. I feel like Yandhi has full potential to be a career-defining project for Kanye.
Unfortunately, we still have no true estimate of when we can expect the holy Yandhi. One can hope for a summer release; after all, it seems realistic after the June takeover that Kanye and the GOOD Music family had last year. If not this summer, I feel that it will drop before the end of the year; I don’t think it’s in Kanye to keep us waiting that long for an album he originally promised in September 2018.
-Kendrick (it’s been 2 years since DAMN; I smell a release soon)
-Frankie Ocean (more than overdue, but it’s Frank)
-Thug, Thug, and more Thug