We’ve received a few of the albums we were eagerly anticipating back in 2019 and 2020, but as always, there’s still more to look forward to. From announced projects that have been delayed multiple times (*cough* Kanye *cough*) to long awaited debuts, we recount eight 2021 albums we can’t wait to listen to.
So far, 2021 has had its ups and downs, but we are grateful to see the light at the end of the tunnel from many of the hardships that plagued the last year that shall not be named. The news of Lionel Messi joining Neymar and Kylian Mbappé (for now) at PSG, and the United States beating Mexico in the Gold Cup final signals a new era in the football world.
As for music, we’ve been gifted with lots of gems in 2021 as well, including Isaiah Rashad’s The House is Burning. (Finally!) Nas dropped King’s Disease II and we got J. Cole’s The Offseason as well as new goodness from Tyler, The Creator in the form of Call Me If You Get Lost. But there’s still a handful of projects that we are hoping we are treated to before 2021 bids adieu.
A$AP Rocky – All Smiles
There’s been much commotion about how in the world A$AP Rocky is headlining all these festivals this year when his last album was 2018’s controversial Testing. Well, that must mean he’s finally releasing his next project, All Smiles, right? Flacko has been teasing the album for some time now. He performed a new song called “Sandman” in January for Yams Day and another one in July at Rolling Loud. He’s said that his new work is highly influenced by his relationship with Rihanna (I mean, aren’t we all highly influenced by RiRi?) and that he got British rock titan Morrissey’s assistance as well. Should be interesting…
This is a long shot, but we also wouldn’t be mad if Wang$ap somehow magically materializes as well.
I-K-E – Corazón
I-K-E is a Los Angeles based rapper who has a really special project, Corazón, on the way. It’s a tribute to Selena, who besides being a cultural icon, is a very personal influence for him. I-K-E blends his Mexican-American heritage with smart lyricism and catchy beats. His mission with his music is to motivate, as his rap name literally stands for “Inspiring Kings Everywhere.” In April, he released “Yo Soy Un Rey” to empower listeners to live in their identity of royalty.
Kanye West – Donda
Kanye went from his album release party to the crowd of the Atlanta United match at Mercedes-Benz Stadium ?
(via @victoriamcbryde) pic.twitter.com/GutdC7XQ2t
— Planet Fútbol (@si_soccer) July 24, 2021
Will Kanye West release Donda? That’s the million-dollar question of 2021. In July, Ye held a listening party at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta and got fans excited with a tease of a Jay-Z reunion and lots of interesting features and sound elements, including the voice of his late mother, who the album is named after. Kanye had some fun with soccer fans while he resided at the arena, appearing in the crowd for an Atlanta United game. But it’s all fun and games until you do a second listening party and don’t drop the album. Looking back on several of Yeezy’s previous releases, especially 2016’s The Life of Pablo, we shouldn’t be surprised.
Becky G – Something?
It’s been two years since Becky G’s Mala Santa album, where the Latin popstar and Angel City FC co-owner showed her duality. The project is now certified seven-times platinum by the way. She’s continued to dominate airwaves as artists take advantage of TikTok, and her “Shower” challenge went viral. She is a frequent collaborator with several other Latin stars, including Natti Natasha, Ozuna, and Bad Bunny. In June, she released a new spicy track, “Fulanito” with El Alfa. We know it’s not always the move to release a full album when everything’s so fast-paced, but we would enjoy more Becky G in the form of an LP.
Side note: In addition to being a part of Angel City FC’s ownership group, Becky G has an extra tie to the soccer world as she is LA Galaxy star Sebastian Lletget’s girlfriend.
Vince Staples – Ramona Park Broke My Heart
Back in 2019, Vince Staples claimed he had four albums worth of material recorded. That was after the release of his FM! project and two years after Big Fish Theory. Basically, we’ve been waiting a long time for the “Norf Norf” rapper to make a return, and we’re sorry if we’re greedy for a lot. We rejoice because we did get Vince Staples in July. But he revealed that he also has Ramona Park Broke My Heart on the way. Even though all of Vince’s projects are tributes to his hometown of Long Beach, this one should have an extra special element to it.
Rockstar JT – Streets Signed Me Vol.2
If you haven’t heard of Rockstar JT, this is your opportunity to get in the know. He had his breakthrough moment when his song “Getcha’ Weight Up” was featured on the hit HBO show Euphoria. But the Alabama native wasn’t content with that as he kept cranking out slapper singles like “Big Drip” and “My Migo” that belong on any gameday playlist. Streets Signed Me Vol.2 will be the follow-up to his 2018 debut mixtape and should make a big splash. So get your umbrellas ready.
Bree Runway – Debut Album
British popstar Bree Runway took over last year with her 2000AND4EVA mixtape that brought along some of the best ladies in the game right now, including Yung Baby Tate, Maliibu Miitch, and Rico Nasty. Perhaps “ATM” with the legendary Missy Elliott is what made Bree Runway undeniable. She shook up 2021 with a new single called “HOT HOT” that samples Busta Rhymes’ “Touch It.” After teasing what she’s been working on in the studio, fans are clamoring for Runway’s debut album. “HOT HOT” will probably not be on there due to sample issues, but she’s supposedly got a song with Khalid on the way that we can’t wait to hear.
Drake – Certified Lover Boy
C’mon even if you can’t stand Champagne Papi, the selfie king, you know you’ve low key been wondering where Certified Lover Boy is. Drake said last October (almost a year ago) that we’d get it in January. Remember that cool promo video where he acted out all his previous album covers? So dope. Also so long ago.
Drake then hurt his knee doing who knows what and had to delay the album. He showed up to the Billboard Music Awards to accept his Artist of the Decade trophy with precious Adonis clinging to him. So we get it… Drake has daddy duties… but still… it’s been three years since Scorpion, his last proper album.
Drizzy whet fans’ appetite a little bit with his Scary Hours 2 EP and a phenomenal verse on Nicki Minaj’s “Seeing Green.” Ah, the good ole Young Money days. So we don’t have Certified Lover Boy, but we do have reminders of why Drake is so dominant.