55°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

New Year, New Tunes!

The anticipation for various hip-hop albums has created a fevered start to 2017. Migos kicked off the flurry of releases in January with their album “Culture,” while artists like Big Sean and Lupe Fiasco are expected to ignite February with their albums. In later months, more notable artists like Drake, Fetty Wap, 2 Chainz, and T.I. are scheduled to bless the radio waves with their lyrical genius. In the interim, these same artists are triggering a buzz with periodic releases of songs form their awaited albums.
The first artist causing commotion is B.O.B. with the release of three singles in as many weeks. Two weeks ago, he released “Scary” featuring Cyhi The Prince, then followed up with “Run the Night,” and finally capped this week with “Find a Way.”  You would have assumed B.O.B was out of material after releasing five mixtapes last year, but like many other artists, he could not avoid exploiting his creativity during this unique political discourse. His songs highlight the distress plaguing the black community as police brutality has become a norm. He also sings about the disparaging shape of our current society and the disappointing state of government.
Like B.O.B., Joey Badass used the turmoil during the presidential transition of powers to release the single “Land of the Free,” which condemns injustices in the US emanating from corruption and inequality. Lupe Fiasco continued the social commentary trend and gave us a preview of his album, Drogas Lights, with the song “Tranquilo” featuring Rick Ross and Big K.R.I.T. Rick Ross is also fueling his own hype with the release of “I Think She Like Me” featuring Ty Dolla Sign.
Fetty Wap contributed to this recent music flood as he poured down songs like a tropical storm. Last week, he brought back his seductive personality in the song “With You,” but returned to his usual ways with the banger “Island Boy.” We are expecting a great year from Fetty Wap, and if he manages to slither to the top of the charts with any song, it would be a successful 2017.
Despite the myriad of albums slated for 2017, fans still speculate about artists who might end their dormancy and release some hits. Nicki Minaj is one of the first names to come up. She has not released an album since “The Pinkprint” in 2014, but has been featured in several songs since. Nicki had released a studio album every even year since 2010, so it was as certain as taxes that she would release an album in 2016. Unfortunately, that album never materialized and here we are, still waiting.
Another rumored star’s album is from Kayne West. Just days after the release of “Life of Pablo,” he revealed he was already working on the concept of his next project. However, I don’t think he foreshadowed having an on-stage meltdown, a cancelled tour, and a hospital stay by the year’s end. Perhaps all he needed was rest and a hair color change to get this new project moving. Many more artists like Nas, Travis Scott, ASAP Rocky, and even Lil Wayne are reported to have upcoming albums. However, much of the hearsay does not have any traction as it is simply speculation arising from tweets or Instagram posts.
But wait, there’s more!
In all the unsubstantiated chatter, you will find gossip about a collaboration worthy of being compared to the combo of Eminem and Dr. Dre. It has been speculated that Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole may be working on a joint album, and if true, it will be a colossal piece of work. Rapper Ab-soul spread this news like fire by confirming that J.Cole and Kendrick were “working” on something together.
During an interview in the Breakfast Club, Ab-soul said, “there is a Kendrick/Cole album. They got it. They got something on the works.”
Host Charlemagne pressed the issue, but could not get any more information from Ab-soul. An album of this magnitude could single-handedly start countrywide house fires, but if we do not get such a combustible masterpiece, 2017 will still be a fiery year. I would recommend getting a fire extinguisher before it’s too late.