Need a reason to get excited about hip-hop in 2010? How about 10? Break out your calendars. Start feeding your piggy banks. Here are the 10 Most Wanted Rap Albums of 2010.
Honorable Mention: The Roots' How I Got Over, Jean Grae's Cake or Death, Dr. Dre's Detox
The early verdict on Reflection Eternal's sophomore LP, Revolutions Per Minute, is that it could be one of the year's most memorable albums. The duo of Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek unleashed "Just Begun," a compelling posse cut with Jay Electronica and J Cole, to whet our appetite.
Street Date: May 18, 2010
9. Madvillain - 'Madvillainy II'
Madlib is quietly having a great run as one of hip-hop's most potent producers. After playing a pivotal role as the copilot of Mos Def's The Ecstatic, he has now teamed up with DOOM to rekindle the Madvillainy flame. If you're still on the fence, treat yourself to this hard-hitting sample of Madvillainy 2.
Street Date: TBA
Relapse was originally intended as a double album, but Eminem changed his mind at the last minute. He re-released Relapse in December 2009 with 7 bonus cuts to "tide the fans over until we put out Relapse 2 next year." The second installment is supposedly more personal than the first. And for those griping about Em's Triumph the Insult Comic Dog-esque accent, you'll hear him rap in his normal voice on Relapse 2...for three minutes. (Update: Eminem is now calling his follow-up album Recovery)
Guest List: Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, Just Blaze, Denaun Porter, Jim Jonsin,
Street Date: June 22, 2010
6. J Cole - 'TBA'
J Cole's hunger is undeniable. In a recent interview with Rap-Up TV, the NC native was quoted as saying, "One year from now I see myself at the Grammys up for best new artist hopefully, best hip-hop album hopefully and I'ma walk away with 18 Grammys. I'ma walk away with best country album and everything man."
Street Date: 2010
5. Jay Electronica - 'Abracadabra: Let There Be Light'
Without an album or a hit single to his name, Jay Electronica already boasts street buzz unheard of since 50 Cent's debut. First things first. Jay Elec is set to record a collaborative album with Mos Def and Curren$y under the moniker Center Edge Territory. Expect his solo album to follow soon after that.
Guest List: Mos Def, Just Blaze
Street Date: Unknown
There's a good chance we'll finally see Big Boi's Sir Luscious Left Foot on shelves this year. There are also indications that Boi's elusive partner in rhyme Andre 3000 is working on his own solo disc. The fans' response to those two albums will ultimately determine the future of OutKast as a unit. Or so says Big Boi.
Release Date: July 6, 2010
Nas and Damian Marley have been hard at work on Distant Relatives since 2008. The duo also tapped the services of a live band for the project, so expect it to be musically rich. Nas has said that he'll start working on his 10th solo album, following the release of Distant Relatives. Proceeds from the record will go toward building a school in Africa.
Guest List: Stephen Marley, K'Naan, Lil Wayne, Joss Stone
Street Date: May 18, 2010
2. Lupe Fiasco - 'Lasers'
After going through a laundry basket worth of suggestions, including Lupe Fiasco's LupE.N.D. and The Great American Rap Album, Lupe has finally settled on Lasers as the title of his third album. The album finds Lupe experimenting more than ever.Guest List: Soundtrakk, Matthew Santos, The Neptunes
Street Date: March 2010
1. Kanye - 'TBD'
Kanye West was hoping to finalize his college-themed series with Good A-- Job, but he placed that project on hold to experiment with auto-tune and drum blasts 808s & Heartbreak. With 808s & Heartbreak and all its eccentricities now out of the way, 'Ye has returned to the studio to focus his energy on Good A-- Job, the final installment of the college series.
Guest List: Big Sean
Street Date: TBA 2010