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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Hip Hop’s Most Anticipated

With 2008 firmly in the rear view, Hip-Hop heads can now look to 2009 with eager anticipation because the next 365 days look to have the best album line-up, in years. With albums from Hip-Hop heavyweights Eminem, Dr. Dre, and Jay-Z, fans shouldn’t be disappointed in 2009. So without further ado, here are 2009’s Most Anticipated Hip-Hop albums.

10. Raekwon – Only Built 4 Cuban Linx IILinx II is the sequel to Chef’s 1995 classic solo debut, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, and with RZA back manning the boards, fans have reason to be anxiously awaiting for this album to drop. Recent interviews has ‘Kwon expecting to drop this in March, but since this was projected to drop nearly two years ago, expect this around the summer.

9. Rakim – The 7th SealThe 7th Seal is yet another album that has been continuously pushed back for years, with rumors stating that work on the album dates all the way back to 2002, and that it was actually supposed to drop on 07/07/2007 in order to keep with the seven theme. However those plans never came into fruition. Now, nearly a decade after Rakim’s last studio album, The 7th Seal should be out in the spring – just don’t hold your breath.

8. Lil Wayne – Tha Carter IV / Various ProjectsAfter selling a milli opening week last year with the long awaited Tha Carter III, Wayne is determined to stay in the limelight and keep his pockets tight in 2009, with several different projects announced. Although Tha Carter IV was projected to drop this year, Weezy is instead dropping his rock album, The Rebirth on April 7th. The Rebirth will attempt to break new ground for a hip-hop artist, similar to 808s & Heartbreak that dropped less than three months ago. Prom Queen, the first single off the album has already leaked onto the Internet, and initial reactions seem less than enthused, but the legions of Wayne’s fans will most likely be coping the album on April 7th.

7. 50 Cent – Before I Self DestructBefore I Self Destruct marks the first time in Fif’s career where he’s actually dropping as an underdog. After losing the much hyped first week sales battle with Kanye West in 2007, 50 is looking to take the crown back and gain relevance in a mainstream market now dominated by Lil Wayne and others. This album is also 50’s last album in his current contract with Interscope; Depending on his SoundScan, he could potentially be negotiating his next contract with Scott Boras. Look for this to drop sometime in February.

6. Big Boi – Sir Luscious Left Foot: The Son of Chico DustyOutKast’s Big Boi comes through in 2009 with Sir Luscious Left Foot, his first solo album. Expect his OutKast counterpart, Andre 3000, to man some of the boards and to deliver some classic vocals. Boi has called the album “a recession special,” And goes on to say, “I’m talking about what’s going on in the world, with everything from rising gas prices to the election. It’s just my insights on life up to this point.” Big Boi’s looking to drop this around the first quarter.

5. Mos Def – The EcstaticMos Def’s career started with a BANG, as he teamed up with Talib Kweli in ’98 to release the classic Mos Def & Talib Kweli are Black Star album, and then in ’99 he dropped his classic solo debut, Black on Both Sides. But his career has skidded since then as he’s focused mostly on his acting career. The Ecstatic should prove to be a return to form, for the MC that many consider to be 10 ten dead or alive. The album is slated to drop on February 24, 2009.

4. Jay-Z – Blueprint 32008 saw the first time in Jay’s career (outside of 2005’s “retirement”) that he didn’t drop an album. That’s right, he’s dropped an album in every year since 1996 except for 2008, which represents a 13-year span of chart topping success, talk about consistency. Well Mr. Consistency returns in ’09 with the third entry into the Blueprint series. It will also serve as Hov’s walking papers from Def Jam, as he continues his career with Live Nation, after signing a 10-year $150 million contract. Look for this to drop sometime in the first quarter.3. Lupe Fiasco – LupE.N.D. : “Everywhere”Lupe seems to be following his former mentor, Jay-Z, in saying that he will be retiring after his next album, LupE.N.D. While he hasn’t said that he’s calling off his retirement, Lupe is looking to make his final effort a three-disc endeavor, with the trio being named LupE.N.D. – “Everywhere”, “Nowhere” and “Down Here” (E.N.D.). While Lupe is definitely one of the best MCs to emerge in the 21st century, and perhaps all time, I seriously doubt he will attempt to deliver a three-disc album. On the other hand, I do see him releasing three individual albums over the next several years, and prolonging his “retirement”. Look for “Everywhere” to drop in June.

2. Dr. Dre – DetoxDetox is probably the only album to have graced every most anticipated albums list since 2002 and still hasn’t seen the light of day, although 2009 seems to finally be the year that Dre drops his third, and final, studio album. A decade has passed since Dre’s last classic effort, 1999’s 2001, and fans are eagerly waiting for one of hip-hop’s most prominent producers to drop what could be yet another classic album in his catalog. If nothing else, you should expect the best-produced album of the year, hands down. Look for this to drop around 3rd or 4th quarter.

1. Eminem – RelapseEminem is not only one of hip-hop’s greatest MC of all time, but he’s also the highest selling hip-hop artist of all time. So, when he’s ready to drop an album, the hip-hop world (and perhaps the world in general), awaits for it like summer vacation. Add to the fact that it’s been five years since his last effort, and you have the makings of not just an album release, but rather a phenomenon! If this isn’t #1 on a hip-hop fan’s list, then I suggest you find a new hobby. Look for Em’s keenly anticipated album to drop around Spring.