(Jay-Z on new solo album and 2nd Throne LP)
By Rob Markman
It's 2012 day two, and we're looking forward to the year ahead. 2011 brought a wealth of albums, tours and new music to get excited about and the coming months show no signs of slowing down. In December, Jay-Z hinted that we'd get solo albums from both himself and Kanye West, and possibly even another Throne LP-- but Jay and Yeezy aren't the only ones gearing up for huge releases this year. Rick Ross, T.I., Nicki Minaj and Nas are all on deck to drop in 2012, and there are rumors of an OutKast reunion — then again, there are always rumors of an OutKast reunion. What about Dr. Dre's Detox? Will 2012 be the year it finally drops?
Drake will begin his Club Paradise tour in February. What better way to bring his platinum-selling Take Care to life than by hitting the road, right? What about Diddy? Seems the Bad Boy head honcho is building his rap roster and looking to once again dominate with music. Can Machine Gun Kelly, Red Café and French Montana put the storied label back on top?
Only time will tell what the next 12 months will bring, but 2012 already seems to be filled with so much hip-hop promise.
Albums We're Looking Forward To
Hov released his last solo album, Blueprint III, in 2009, and quite frankly, going three years without a Jay solo feels like a crime. After captivating fans with his and Yeezy's WTT team-up, Jay told MTV News that he and 'Ye will not only drop separate solo LPs, but possibly a new Throne LP as well. Oh yeah, and who could forget Kanye's G.O.O.D. Music compilation?
T.I.'s Trouble Man should return the King of the South to his top spot, and Rick Ross will be looking to prove that his 2011 health scare couldn't slow him down with his upcoming God Forgives, I Don't. Nas may have scrapped the Life Is Good title for his 10th album, but based off of the LP's first single, "Nasty," MTV News has high hopes just the same. 50 Cent and Fabolous are both riding high off of their respective 2011 mixtape releases, so expect them both to be in album mode in the coming months.
Nicki Minaj and Wiz Khalifa will also look to prove that they can overcome the dreaded sophomore jinx with their respective albums, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded and O.N.I.F.C. Speaking of sophomore albums, can Eminem lend his Midas touch to the upcoming Slaughterhouse LP? Hell, we'll be happy as long as it's super-lyrical!
As far as Dr. Dre's Detox and OutKast's always-rumored reunion album, we can only hope.
For the most part, artists don't go announcing tours too far in advance, but fans have already begun looking forward to Drake's Club Paradise Tour, which begins on Valentine's Day in Miami.
With Nicki, Tyga and Lil Twist all scheduled to drop albums, is it too far-fetched to expect an all-YMCMB tour? Now that would be something.
The Rise of New Artists
It seems rap is breeding more new stars than ever before. Wiz Khalifa earned himself a gold debut, and his Rostrum Records labelmate Mac Miller snagged the #1 album with his first LP, Blue Slide Park. Big Sean and J. Cole took their mixtape grind to the major label, and Wale rejuvenated his career with his sophomore LP, Ambition.
Wale's Maybach Music partner-in-rhyme Meek Mill is set to drop his first album and capitalize off of his deafening street buzz, and MTV News' 2011 Hottest Breakthrough MC Machine Gun Kelly hopes that his deal on Bad Boy Records will enhance his cult fanbase.
Speaking of Bad Boy, Diddy seems to be building quite the roster. Can Red Café and the recently signed French Montana rekindle Puff's musical flame? You gotta stay tuned.
What hip-hop music are you looking forward to in 2012? Tell us in the comments!