Two giants of hip-hop are set to make a return to their return to the rap scene this fall, which will also see album releases from new and old pop princesses. Read on to see what you can expect to hear the next few months as well as the songs that are already available.
Charli XCX — “Sucker,” Oct. 21
This British pop princess co-wrote two of the past few years’ biggest hits — including Icona Pop’s “I Love It” and Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” — and she looks to have saved a few gems for herself. She already has a hit with her “Sucker’s” first single “Boom Clap,” and there is no reason to think that her sophomore effort will be anything less than packed with pure pop. Expect vapid lyrics (she did write the lines “I don’t care / I love it,” and “Let’s get drunk on the minibar”) along with insanely catchy choruses. In other words, expect a hit.
Listen now: “Boom Clap,” “Break the Rules”
Taylor Swift — “1989,” Oct. 27
Despite some cringeworthy moments (like actually using the lyric “Haters gonna hate”), “Shake It Off” was destined to be huge. Critics who fell for Swift after “Red” were left disappointed, but there was no denying the accessibility of the first song from “1989.” And more of the same is coming in October. We are in for a whole lot of Swift for next year — count on at least two more earworms, Grammys and MTV Awards.
Listen now: “Shake It Off”
Run the Jewels — “Run the Jewels 2,” Oct. 27
The first Run the Jewels album, a collaboration between El-P and Killer Mike, was a fire-breathing monster of angst and aggression. Taking political frustrations out over churning and pounding beats, the duo put together the best hip-hop album of 2013.
Just a year later, that album’s sequel seems destined to surpass its predecessor. Their two tracks released so far are absolute bangers, harking back to their bread and butter of ominous beats and in-your-face lyricism. RTJ is back to take what’s theirs.
Listen now: “Blockbuster Night Part 1,” “Oh My Darling Don’t Cry”
Lil Wayne — “Tha Carter V,” Oct. 28
2014 Lil Wayne is not 2006 or even 2010 Wayne. Years of drug abuse, health problems and attempts at making rock music have hindered the man who was once the best rapper alive. Still, the fifth and possibly final installment of “Tha Carter” album series will make any music fan take renewed interest in Weezy.
“Tha Carter IV” came out in the middle of Wayne’s struggles, and coupled with the pressure of following up the fantastic “Tha Carter III,” was doomed to disappoint. “Carter V” sees Wayne picking himself back up; he has abandoned the weak and lazy flow of the past few years and went back to his signature stream-of-consciousness rhyming.
We’ll never see the “Dedication 2-3” era Wayne again, but maybe we will see a great rapper enjoying a renaissance.
Listen now: “D’usse,” “Believe Me”
Kendrick Lamar — TBA
Following up a hip-hop classic is not exactly an easy task. Anything released will be held up against its predecessor.
Lamar’s “good kid, m.A.A.d. City” is an essential hip-hop album, one that matches complex wordplay with intricate storytelling. With that album, this kid from Compton became the best rapper alive.
His third album is still in the making, with sparse details reported here and there. It is said that it will be more emotional and aggressive, and without guest features. Lamar also has said he has about 30 to 40 songs recorded, about the same number of songs he cut “Good Kid” down from.
Listen now: Nothing official yet, but check out Lamar’s recent guest verses on Jeezy’s “Holy Ghost” remix, and the new Flying Lotus “Never Catch Me Now.”
This is the second part of a three-part series previewing upcoming and notable album releases this fall.
Correction: A prior version of this article stated that the release of Charli XCX’s ‘Sucker’ on Oct. 21 would be the pop star’s debut. In fact, it will be her sophomore album.