The rap industry has been on one this week. On Thursday, Kanye West blew up social media by announcing he has not only a solo album dropping on June 1, but also a joint album dropping the following week with Kid Cudi. Not only that, 'Ye also took it upon himself to announce that G.O.O.D. Music President Pusha T's long-awaited album would be dropping May 25, a month before Teyana Taylor's upcoming project. He told us all that in just one day. One fucking day.
Let's take it back to Monday, when both Drake and J. Cole announced they have new albums on the horizon. That news alone was enough to send the music world into a tailspin, as both are regarded as some of the top MCs in the game. We hadn't even recovered—Cole's album KOD dropped Friday—before we were hit with Kanye's flushing out of anticipated dates. It's been a hell of a week for rap, and it's just the tip of the iceberg.
These are mere announcements, but they're so impactful that they have rap fans, journalists, and artists scrambling to secure their wigs and prepare for glory. (Or at least that's what we're hoping for.) There are still albums that we've yet to hear official dates for—namely, Travis Scott, Nicki Minaj, and A$AP Rocky. And we haven't even touched the work that's already rolled out.
Cardi B dropped her debut album, Invasion of Privacy, two weeks ago. It was all anybody could talk about—until one week later, when Nicki Minaj announced she would be dropping two new singles, "Chun Li" and "Barbie Tingz." She premiered the songs in dramatic fashion while on Zane Lowe's Beats 1 show, and promptly had the internet popping. But after just one week (AKA this week), Nicki's highly anticipated comeback moment has been overshadowed by Cole, Drake, and now Kanye's album announcements.
A grip of the music itself—Drake's album and Kanye's solo and joint projects—will be dropping in the same month, June. Drake is already off to the races with his back-to-back No. 1 hits "God's Plan" and "Nice for What," both of which came out of nowhere and dominated mainstream listening habits as quickly as they appeared. Kanye, on the other hand, had just been tweeting his "philosophy book" for a few days when he suddenly pivoted to music, immediately drawing attention away from both Drake and J. Cole, and Cardi and Nicki. They're adapting to a news cycle custom-made for the easily distracted just like we are.
Maybe it's just the hullabaloo of rappers announcing their projects on top of each other, but something in the air is hinting at a classic year in hip-hop. You could say we got a taste of this last year, when Future dropped two albums, FUTURE and HNDRXX, in two weeks. But it was especially enthralling toward the end of the year when Future and Young Thug surprised us with Super Slimey in October, Metro Boomin, Offset and 21 Savage dropped Without Warning on Halloween, and Travis Scott and Quavo dropped Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho in December, just days after Gucci Mane's El Gato: The Human Glacier.
It seemed like it all came in a rush, but that was nowhere near as electrifying as the recent releases and announcements have been. The expectations are high and the widespread excitement is palpable. Now, we just have to wait for the music.