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Upcoming Albums to Check for in 2015: Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, Rihanna & More

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ABC/Richard Harbaugh

2014 proved to be a relatively quiet year for hip-hop acts, but next year a handful of music projects are due that fans are anxiously awaiting. Here’s a round-up of forthcoming studio efforts:

Late last year, Lil Wayne revealed that his long-awaited album Tha Carter V was delayed and expressed his growing frustrations with his label. “To all my fans, I want u to know that my album won’t and hasn’t been released bekuz Baby & Cash Money Rec. refuse to release it,” he wrote. “This is not my fault. I am truly and deeply sorry to all my fans but most of all to myself and my family for putting us in this situation.” Although he has yet to announce the release date, the set will include the lead single, “Believe Me” featuring Drake.

Kendrick Lamar‘s pumped new life into hip-hop with his self-love anthem “i” from his upcoming sophomore album. The Compton rapper has remained mum on the project, his first since 2012’s Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, but the set will include his new offering “Pay for It” featuring Jay Rock.

Kanye West‘s spent most of the year ducking into various recording studios spanning from Florence, Italy to Mexico for the follow-up to  2013’s Yeezus. Aside from Seth Rogen, who got an advance listen in a limo, fans were only given raw snippets of the rumored lead single “All Day.” And even though Kanye hasn’t confirmed the launch date, fans are almost guaranteed to hear new music from ‘Ye after Rihanna‘s Diamond Ball auction put 2015 Kanye tour tickets up for bid.

Speaking of Rihanna, the singer is taking her time while crafting her eighth album, tentatively titled R8, which she confirmed will arrive “very soon.” “That’s my hope,” she said in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. “I’m really excited about the music that we’ve been working on, so I can’t wait for people to hear it.” The set will serve as the first effort since 2012’s Unapologetic.

When he wasn’t hooking up with Rihanna, Drake was busy making progress on his fourth album, set for an early 2015 release. Drizzy’s upcoming album, Views from the 6, was proceeded by two infectious buzz tracks: “6 God” and “0 to 100,” in the latter he dropped a hint about his next LP: “We already got spring 2015 poppin,'” he raps.

Ne-Yo has announced that his upcoming set, Non-Fiction, will arrive in stores on January 27. His sixth studio album will include “Money Can’t Buy” featuring Jeezy, “She Knows” featuring Juicy J and a new song with Pitbull called “Time of Our Lives.”

In December, Miguel shared three funky new songs that were meant to tide fans over until he crafts his highly anticipated follow-up to 2012′s Grammy-nominated album Kaleidoscope Dream. He later told fans that he was following his instincts while recording the disc. “Creating isn’t always easy for me, but as a musician I’ve learned instinct is everything… and if that’s true all we have to do sometimes is put ourselves in a place to do what we are naturally inclined to do,” he wrote on Instagram.

Where has Frank Ocean been hiding? Likely, in the studio working on his next effort, following his Grammy-winning 2012 LP, Channel Orange. The crooner has been overseas recording at The Church Studios in London. He even gave fans a a sneak peek with the brief song “Memrise.”



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