Grading Rap's Recent Major Album Rollouts

Over the past eight weeks, there have been a string of major rap albums, ranging from Pusha-T to Coi Leray to Kendrick Lamar. We graded each of the rollouts.

Grading Rap's Recent Major Album Rollouts


Grading Rap's Recent Major Album Rollouts

Music is being delivered in a lot of different ways these days. From Kendrick Lamar disappearing for five years and returning to announce his new album with a Michael Jordan-esque press release, to Future using an image from a magazine photoshoot as his album artwork, the formula for rap album rollouts is wide-ranging in 2022.

A good rollout builds hype for the music, feeds fans in creative ways, and teases just enough of the project to maximize its success. The approaches to accomplish this have changed over the past few decades, but the end goal has stayed the same. Some rising artists, like Fivio Foreign, strategically place themselves adjacent to established stars, like Kanye West, to help bolster the number of eyes on their project. Others, like Pusha-T and Coi Leray, go the more traditional route and drop massive singles months before their final release date in order to build hype, and then go on a long press run. Then there are artists like Jack Harlow, who can use their star power and social media savvy to make the most of viral moments.

If 2022 has proven anything, it’s that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to album rollouts. What works for Kendrick Lamar or Future might not work for Jack Harlow or Coi Leray. That being said, the recent string of massive rap releases over the past two months, which started with Fivio Foriegn’s B.I.B.L.E. in April and now ends with Kendrick’s Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers in mid-May have delivered a wide array of album rollouts that have all had varied results.

We sat down and scored how well each of these major rollouts from the past two months were executed, and if they impacted the success of the project. We scored the rollouts based on their creativity, pre-album single quality (where applicable), fan reception, music video quality, and how effective the rollout was overall. Each category was given a numerical score on a scale from 1 to 10. Creativity refers to how the rollout was unique to the artist and played into themes in their music. Pre-album singles were scored based on quality and how well they drew attention to the project, music videos were scored by uniqueness, quality, and impact, and fan reception was scored based on how the artist’s audience responded to all aspects of their rollout. Effectiveness is how well the rollout brought attention to the album and bolstered the album’s sales. The overall scores were calculated as the average of all the other categories.

It’s important to note: We only graded the major rap album rollouts from the past 8 weeks, and we are only appraising the rollouts and the thought and execution behind them, not rating the overall quality of the music itself (for evaluations of the albums themselves, check out our Best Albums of 2022 So Far list).

Fivio Foreign, 'B.I.B.L.E.'

Fivio Foreign Shares Debut Album 'B.I.B.L.E'

Coi Leray, 'Trendsetter'

Cover art for Coi Leray's debut album 'Big Trend Setter.;

Pusha-T, 'It's Almost Dry'

The cover art for the latest Pusha T album is pictured

Future, 'I Never Liked You'

Future 'I Never Liked You' album cover

Jack Harlow, 'Come Home The Kids Miss You'

Jack Harlow 'Come Home the Kids Miss You'

Kendrick Lamar, 'Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers'

Kendrick Lamar 'Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers' album cover

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