As 2015 comes to a close, we start to get a better grasp of who’s dropping and who’s not. Unless we get a Beyoncé-level surprise drop, it looks like the music year is relatively over. That being said, it’s time to look forward to next year, and there are certainly some heavy hitters slated to drop albums next year. Here’s my most anticipated albums set to release next year.
Frank Ocean – Boys Don’t Cry (???)
Oh Frank, why do you torment us? It’s been nearly 5 months since he announced on his Tumblr account he would drop his long awaited follow up to his 2012 masterpiece, Channel ORANGE, in July. Well July came and went, and with no release, as well as no announcements to why, to say he’ll drop Boys Don’t Cry in 2016 is certainly anyone’s guess. However, I can’t see him (or his label for that matter), keeping the fans waiting another year. And to that matter, with only one original song released since ORANGE (last year’s “Memrise”), it’s tough to say what the album will sound like, however, there have been rumors that Frank wants to rap more on this record, so we’ll just have to wait and see.
Drake – Views From The 6 (???)
Drake had a big year in 2015. After releasing his surprise (or not so surprising, depending on how woke you were) mixtape-for-sale If Your’re Reading This It’s Too Late, he followed that up with his Future-assisted What A Time To Be Alive. With all this material from the Toronto rapper, it’s easy to forget that his next LP is set to drop sometime next year. After announcing the project back in 2014, the rapper has kept information about it mostly under wraps. However, a few snippets have hit the web recently, including one from the man himself. Get ready world, the 6 God is coming; are you prepared to face him?
James Blake – Radio Silence (???)
Just like Frank Ocean, the electronic soul guru was supposed to drop his latest album in the second half of 2015, but obviously it never did. However, unlike Ocean, Blake has still been a public music figure, doing shows and such. And at a few of these shows (the Big Guava Fest in Tampa for example), he teased fans with the title track from his next album. The track is laden with signature Blake staples; soothe humming, crisp piano playing, and of course his larger than life voice. Along with a rumored Kanye West collab on the record, this is definitely an LP to keep your eyes on.
Kanye West – Swish (???)
Speaking of Kanye, he’s also been in the public eye this year, but then again, when isn’t he? Mr. West was all over the place in 2015, from dropping the hottest shoe of the year to announcing his candidacy for Presidency in 2020. He also dropped some dope music, including “All Day” and “Wolves”, which are reportedly going to be on the final tracklist for his next album. However, the man himself said that he’s going at his own pace in regards to the rollout process, and that the record may not even be his top priority at the moment. Furthermore, while he’s played the album for people several times, there’s no guarantee that he’s even finished with it at all. He recently tweeted that he doesn’t want to be bothered until Swish is completed, so does that mean he’s putting up the finishing touches? We’ll have to wait and find out, but knowing Kanye and his track record, he’ll probably deliver another classic.
Majid Jordan – Majid Jordan (Feb 5)
The singer-producer duo and OVO signees quietly dropped one of the best R&B projects last year in A Place Like This. The two were relatively quiet this year up until July, when they dropped the first single to their debut album, the Drake-assisted “My Love”. Add another single in “Something About You” that dropped this month and you get a taste of what their debut is going to sound like; uptempo R&B laced with funk and pop tendencies. The record, expected Feb 5, will likely make or break the duo, but with Drake and the rest of the OVO crew in tow, it’s hard to stack the odds against them not dropping a great album.
Juicy J – Pure THC: The Hustle Continues (???)
Juicy J’s solo career has been a surprising success. Rarely do rappers from groups make names for themselves, but the Juice Man has done that and more. 2013’s Stay Trippy was an underrated banger of an album, and with 3 mixtapes released since then, it seems Juicy has constantly been in the studio cooking. With only one song we’ve heard, the Nicki Minaj-Young Thug-Lil Bibby assisted “Low”, in line to be on the album, what the rest of the album will sound like is still a mystery. However, it will probably be more bangers on bangers. We trippy mayne!
Young Thug – Hy!£UN35 (???)
Young Thug followed up his breakout 2014 with another solid year, releasing several mixtapes, including his eccentric for-sale effort, Barter 6, and cementing himself as one of rap’s most electrifying personalities. His long-delayed debut album was supposed to have already dropped, but with hundreds of songs leaked over the summer combined with legal troubles, it’s no surprise it got pushed back. However, he’s said that its dropping some time in 2016, and with the stated, though unusual, Kendrick Lamar and J.Cole influences on the record, this should be without a doubt be one of the most intriguing rap releases of the year.
PARTYNEXTDOOR – PARTYN3XTDOOR (???)
Another OVO warrior is on the list, and for good reason. PND has steadily been honing his sound, and while he didn’t release any official project this year, he was a presence behind the boards, producing a few songs on Drake’s aforementioned IYRTITL. He also released a few loosies, which granted, don’t really sound like anything worthwhile. However, I wouldn’t count out “OVO’s secret weapon” just yet, as he said via The Fader in May that he would release his album after recording 100 songs. That was almost 7 months ago, so it seems PARTYN3XTDOOR is coming.
Modern Baseball – Holy Ghost (???)
The Pennsylvania emo-indie punk quartet had an interesting year. While they did do their fair number of shows, they also cancelled a few, as lead singer Brendan Lukens dealt with personal and mental health issues. However, that didn’t stop them from releasing new music, as they dropped The Perfect Cast EP in October, with plans to release their 3rd album sometime next year. If it’s anything like Cast, which was their boldest, most diversified project yet, than fans are in for a real treat.
Blink-182 – 7th Studio Album (???)
Last on the list is Blink, who’ve had a roller coaster couple of years. Their latest album was initially slated for 2013, but guitarist Tom DeLonge’s busy schedule and other commitments had the project delayed until further notice. Then, earlier this year, tensions between DeLonge and the other members reached a boiling point when the former left the band, leaving them to replace him with Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba. While that left longtime fans a little discouraged (including yours truly), reports from the band have been all positive. Can they make another comeback? We’ll see in 2016.