It was obvious 2014 was bound to (no pun intended) be a barren wasteland for hip-hop by the time we got midway through 2013. At that point, A$AP Rocky dropped an impressive debut, Kanye went head-to-head with J. Cole, Jay Z announced a new album then dropped it two weeks later, and Drake and Pusha T were scheduled to impact the fall. And that's just a concise summary of what was indeed a bountiful year. Despite unpredictably exciting offerings from a seemingly endless parade of randos and one-hit-wonders, 2014 lived up to its bleak predictions, at least album-wise. Now that hip-hop's earth is scorched, with a new year brings an inevitable period of rejuvenation, no?
Drake, Kanye, Wale (with Seinfeld!), Big Sean, A$AP Rocky, Kendrick, and Meek Mill are all due. Pusha T, too, probably. Rick Ross could fuck around and drop three projects this year to one-up himself. Jay Z might do...something. Jay Electronica will continue to tease an album of increasingly mythical proportions, just to keep things even. With an added bout of fresh-faced January-flavored optimism, 2015 is looking aces. It's going to be a great year. Probably.
Allow yourself, if you dare, to venture down a dark wormhole of pessimism with me. Even the best laid plans can go horrifically awry—just ask any of the dozen dead good guys on Game of Thrones. Just ask any Lil Wayne fan who's been expecting Tha Carter V since last May. Shit can go way left, very quickly. Here are just a few of many probabilities in which hip-hop can totally squander all of its 2015 promises. Happy Friday, though!