Go Big or Go Home in the Rap Game
Last year was a strong year for rappers. We celebrated the final albums of Mac Miller, Juice WRLD and Logic. Meanwhile, we witnessed the potential for its future through 21 Savage and Lil Baby. In a genre of music that is widely diverse, there is no predicting which artist will reign in 2021. Although, we can be sure to keep an ear out for these rappers on our 2021 Radar!
J. Cole’s KOD (2018) was the best-produced album of his career. Everything about it felt authentic, from the instrumentals to his bars. Instead of glorifying drug use, materialism, and gang wars, he preached about their vices. He embodied the role of a fatherly figure wanting his younger audiences to stay away from all of it. Meanwhile, he still simultaneously took on a youthful energy.
Cole has spent 2020 developing and hinting at a new era of his career: “The Fall Off Era”. Clearly, he is planning on releasing a series of pieces starting in 2021 before an alleged retirement. These pieces can be disguised as anything from the Dreamers to his long-awaited collaboration with Kendrick Lamar.
Megan Thee Stallion
Aside from Cardi B and Nicki Minaj, Megan Thee Stallion is one of the newest top-tier female rappers in the industry. She had an astounding 2020 that assures that we will be hearing her next batch of new material. With a recent Instagram post confirming that she is writing new music, it brings to question how she could top her song “Savage” which featured Beyonce.
Stallion may fall into the same category as Minaj and Cardi, but she holds a distinguished sound. Her beats do not rely too much on tech and have an authentic, instrumental sound to them. Also, her timing with lyrics on top of such beats is top-notch. In a year where Cardi plans on dropping a new album, this rapper can give her a run for her money.
Kid Cudi surprising us in back to back years? Entergalactic will be Kid Cudi’s follow-up to his 2020 album Man On the Moon III. Named after the funky track from the first Man On the Moon, Cudi is not slowing his role yet.
This rapper is an interesting artist to follow because each of his albums are distinctly unique. Man On The Moon II is considered psychedelic rap while Speeding Bullet to Heaven is an homage to ‘90s grunge music. Whatever genre Cudi delves into with this new album is like rolling dice.
Another question to consider: who will feature in the album? Anyone from Kanye West to Pusha-T to Cee-Lo Green has a chance of being heard.
Nicki Minaj may have “retired” from the hip hop industry after Queen, but the “Anaconda” star did not remain quiet in 2020. This past year, she collaborated with ASAP Ferg on “Move Ya Hips” and Ty Dolla $ign for “Expensive”. An artist looking to get reps in through collaborations tends to give hope for a new album.
Minaj was one of the first female rappers to gain traction in the 21st century. She spearheaded the idea that women can bring as much power to bars as men. Without her, there may not be a Cardi or Stallion. In a year where both her successors plan to release new music, should the Queen herself reclaim her throne against the heavy competition?
Kendrick Lamar has been too quiet since DAMN (2017). The “Mortal Man” and “HUMBLE” rapper can make jaws drop with his elicit ideologies and poetic metaphors. He is a leader, whether it be in the rap game or the streets. He inspires future generations to become better representations of African-American culture. With racial tension carrying on in America, it is the perfect time for Lamar to act.
If the public found out tomorrow that he was dropping an album this year, no one would be ready for such a bombshell. His track record is nearly flawless and there is a high bar set by To Pimp A Butterfly and DAMN. Lamar is a perfectionist with his works, so fans can only wait patiently to see what he can do for 2021.
2021 may be the year Migos fulfill a Culture trilogy. The trio announced that there is a new album on the way, but it remains unknown if it is a third Culture or a standalone album. We look forward to what they will be preaching.
Certified Lover Boy has recently been postponed. Drake is one of those artists whose tracks instantly climb the charts upon release. However, how long can he hold that title with everything else bound to happen?
Be sure to stay updated with current music news on our site.
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