The Crystal Ball – 2013

2013...what's in store?

Today’s been a good start to the weekend so far, but any weekend would be good when it starts off with going to the all-you-can-eat pizza buffet by where I live. Got a good little food coma going on about now.

But anyway, today I’m going to give you guys a look into some things I’m excited for in 2013. A lot of interesting things have come already, and it’s only been a month. Let’s hope it continues that trend:

1. Sophomore albums from Big Sean and J. Cole

As proven by how popular Guap has been, Hall of Fame should be a really exciting release from Big Sean. The project has mostly been kept under wraps, but that comes as no surprise knowing how Kanye operates. The album has been steadily building hype for a March release, as his lead single has been getting extremely heavy radio rotation. 2012 was a fantastic year for Big Sean, it will be interesting to see if he can continue the momentum (especially after how successful Finally Famous was).

J. Cole became a major success with the release of Cole World, after years and years of consistent grinding and being low profile. 2013 will be an important year for Cole, as he has been pretty dormant for the majority of 2012. Aside from a couple feature verses, a couple songs, and some teasers for Born Sinner, seems like the main focus has still been on Cole World. Which is fine, but it will be exciting to see his sophomore effort, as well as this elusive collaboration project with Kendrick Lamar that’s been in the works.

Should be a good year for both of these artists.

2. The Return of Kid Cudi
Indicud should be dope

After a long and strange absence from rap music, it’s nice to know that Kid Cudi is finally releasing his third studio album. Let’s hope it stays away from the depressing vibes that Man on the Moon II tended to have. It sounds like Kid Cudi realizes this as well, as he tweeted:

“The overall tone of Indicud is positive and confident,”

He’s also claimed that it’s “his version” of Chronic 2001. Honestly a pretty bold claim, since Chronic 2001 is one of the most prolific albums of all time. If it’s anything like Man on the Moon: The End of Day, honestly it may have a chance.

3. Gotta Love Collabs
dope collabs

The past couple years have sure been high in high profile collaborations. From Eminem and Royce Da 5’9″, to Jay-Z and Kanye West. Not to mention a bunch of other planned collaborations that still have not been confirmed or talked about much since (Rick Ross and Drake, Currensy and Wiz Khalifa, and I hate to say it, but Outkast as well). Talk about a J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar collaboration has been circling the internet for a litle over a year now, constantly being pushed back as time goes on. Reasons for being pushed back have been because of Good Kid M.a.a.D City, as well as more recently, Born Sinner. Will this ever come out? It’s gotta be the most anticipated thing in 2013, personally. We’ll see how it plays out.

Some other collaborations that look promising includes Big K.R.I.T. and Yelawolf’s Country Cousins. With a still unknown release date, this project is also still up in the air. The combination of these two lyricists should be interesting, especially because hearing Yelawolf over K.R.I.T.’s southern beats might lead to incredible music. Being that they’re both southern artists, the flavor produced from the sounds on this should be pretty tasty.

Also, The Man & The Martian by B.O.B. and T.I. should be pretty interesting as well.

4. Emergence of A$AP Rocky and Joey Bada$$

Ironic that both of their names have dollar signs in them.

A$AP Rocky has had the most fantastic year so far, in this young 2013. Even though his album Long. Live. ASAP. leaked almost a month before it dropped, it still managed to sell over 200,000 copies and top the Billboard charts. Not only has he been getting attention for his album, his lead single Fuckin Problem, featuring major appearances from 2 Chainz, Drake, and Kendrick Lamar, has gone insanely viral. Nowadays, seems like the local 97.9 plays it nonstop. It will be interesting to see where A$AP goes from here.

Another up and comer from the New York area is an MC named Joey Bada$$. Recently releasing a track produced by DJ Premier, Joey has been gaining popularity. Starting off as a regional success (on an underground level), he has gone far and beyond that. Landing himself on tours with Juicy J and Mac Miller, as well as giving a performance for the aforementioned A$AP on 1 Train, has really boosted him for future success. 1999 was originally what got him known, but hopefully we’ll see his debut come sooner than later.

5. Maybe a Little Less 2 Chainz
This guy is everywhere

Don’t get me wrong, I like 2 Chainz just as much as the next rap fan (from what I’ve heard, this is in range from total hatred to adoring). Is it too much to ask, though, for 2013 to be a little less 2 Chainz dominant? Let’s hear someone else take a run for top spot. Radio rotation is filled with his singles, and his goofy lyrics seem to be over everyone’s hooks lately.

You gotta respect the man’s grind for writing so many verses, and appearing on every household name rapper’s tracks from Drake to Game. Not to mention, he has talent to make incredibly catchy hooks. Tracks such as No Lie feat. Drake are proof of how big 2 Chainz features can make a song. Oh, did I mention he’s on Kanye’s team too?

I’m sure we’ll be seeing plenty more of him.


Dead Already

1bmqpSo, it’s been a little bit since we threw out a track for you guys. To get things moving again, we decided to give you a nice freestyle track. Over a hot 808 beat with loud bass, we bring to you dope bars for four minutes straight. Just a teaser for more things to come! Make sure you have the bass turned to obnoxious levels.

Monday Grooooooves

Another Monday for the masses.

The groove master

The groove master

To help soothe the onslaught of the new work week, here are a couple jams for the well-being of your mental. You know, just to make sure everything goes smoothly.

Classified – 5th Element

Classified has steadily been in the “Best MCs you’ve never heard of” category when I try to explain him as one of my favorites. For being such a talented producer and rapper, he sure does not get proper recognition in the United States. Part of this is the fact that he’s from Canada. There, he’s relatively famous, earning a couple awards and having a handful of top singles. Features on his projects have included artists from Royce da 5’9″ to Brother Ali. This banger off Boy-Cott-In the Industry has stayed on steady rotation in my car lately.

Kendrick Lamar – Rigamortis

To be honest, I was not the biggest Kendrick fan before Good Kid M.a.a.D City dropped. This caused me to overlook the masterpiece that was Section.80. My favorite part of K Dot’s style is his rapid fire flow, combined with his intricate rhyme patterns. Tracks like this one will always blow me away. You can tell he’s having fun while bouncing words over a quick and precise horn beat.

Jay Rock – Boomerang

A double dose of TDE for your Monday. Jay Rock always succeeds in making really catchy hooks and entertaining subject matter. Those two reasons alone make him my favorite member of the Black Hippy crew. Follow Me Home is one of my personal favorites of all time, and this track stands above most of the rest with a groovy synth pattern and sparse drum beat.

Pay attention this week as more posts are coming your way!