Most everyone can agree that 2020 hasn’t been the most favorable year, to put it mildly. A pandemic that led to quarantine coupled with the ongoing race to find a vaccine for the coronavirus has left many rap fans feeling weary, worn out and worried about what’s next while dealing with work, families and daily life. Let’s be real, it’s a struggle some days, and hip-hop is the therapy that cures some of life’s ills—if only for a moment. With rappers no longer touring and both fans and artists in the house bored, the one thing to look forward to is the music.
It’s the norm for projects and new songs to get pushed, but when social distancing and quarantine is still going strong, rap fans are looking for artists to stick to their word. Some of the year’s most anticipated releases have been delayed or haven’t dropped at all despite release dates being mentioned and teased. Drake is the latest rapper to get the hip-hop community’s hopes up.
On Thursday (Aug. 27), talk on social media steadily increased throughout the day that Drizzy could be dropping his next album, Certified Lover Boy, tonight, just in time to meet the Aug. 31 submission deadline for the 2021 Grammy Awards. Although Drake said his LP would be coming this summer, he never confirmed the arrival date of his sixth studio album. August typically signifies the end of summer, even though the season ends on Sept. 22 this year, so when Drake shared the words, “My 6th STUDIO ALBUM DROPPING SUMMER 2020!!!,” in an Instagram post just before releasing his Dark Lane Demo Tapes mixtape in May, fans were expecting him to drop around this time.
First came “Toosie Slide” in April, then Dark Lane Demo Tapes in Mayand when Drake dropped“Laugh Now Cry Later” with Lil Durk earlier this month, that’s when the momentum for the album really started growing. Following the release of that track, the Toronto rapper announced the Certified Lover Boy title and gave the LP’s line of merch a subtle push on Instagram, displaying his collaboration with Nike.
Yes, it’s true summer isn’t over yet, but it’s about time for that Certified Lover Boy album. In the words of the 33-year-old rhymer, “if you’re reading this” the album isn’t here, fam. Once again, the midnight hunt on a Thursday night, scouring Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal or any other streaming service has led to page refreshes and disappointment. No Drake album tonight.
But Drake isn’t the only rapper who has teased and promised new music only to let a release date (or a supposed one) come and go with no music. Check out some of the other times rappers left us hanging for a new album or single below.
Lil Uzi Vert
Lil Uzi Vert‘s Eternal Atake went through a lot of twists and turns before it finally hit the streaming streets. The world first found out that the album even existed via an Uzi tweet in July of 2018, then shortly after, he revealed the album art that resembled the logo of the infamous Heaven’s Gate cult (and they weren’t happy about it). He then announced the album would drop in June of that year, then released his single “New Patek” in September.
In early January of 2019, Uzi said that he erased all of his work, and was done with music in general, and the album still never surfaced. He seemed to have a change of heart in mid-2019, when he dropped “Sanguine Paradise” and “That’s A Rack,” then closed the year out with “Futsal Shuffle 2020” and “That Way.”
Still moving amidst very public label issues with GenerationNOW label head DJ Drama, Uzi hopped on Instagram Live in late February of this year to state that his album would be out in two weeks and over-delivered, dropping it a week before it’s intended date. The rest is history, as it debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, and is now certified platinum.
“Over Your Head” and “Patek”
Future and Lil Uzi Vert
For much of the summer, Future and Lil Uzi Vert fans were running in circles trying to figure out if the two rappers were going to deliver a mixtape together. Fans’ questions and speculation didn’t come from thin air, though. In July, shortly after video footage surfaced online of the two rappers shooting what appeared to be a video together, followed by Uzi’s record label, GenerationNOW, confirming that a collaborative effort was coming, fans thought they knew the project was going to come to fruition.
Both Future and Uzi also shared the same Hype Williams-directed clip on their Instagram pages, further fueling the mixtape rumors. However, once midnight arrived on July 31, many of their supporters were pissed and lamented via social media because the new music between the former XXL Freshmen was nowhere to be found.
Usually, teasing a new song means that it’s about to come out. When it comes to DJ Khaled‘s most recent Drake collaborations, that wasn’t the case. Back on May 17, Khaled posted a video of himself on Instagram with plaques for his Father of Asahd album, and in the caption, he announced that the single for his latest album had already been recorded.
“Up next: New Album in the works First single BEEN done! x MORE CHUNE PON THEY HEAD TOP ,” Khaled wrote in the latter portion of the caption. The owl emoji hinted at the existence of a new collab with Drizzy.
And the teasing continued on social from both Khaled and Drake. Then, on July 17, two months after first hinting at a single, Khaled unloaded not one, but two new singles featuring Drake. One single is “Pop Star” and the other is “Greece.” While fans were happy for the songs, unfortunately, they both dropped well after the typical New Music Friday hour of 12 a.m. and hit the internet at around two in the morning instead. Thankfully, both tracks slap so all was forgiven.
Back in March, Young Dolph shocked the rap world when he announced that he wanted to retire from rap so he could spend time with his son. A couple of weeks later, on March 20, he reneged on those plans when he used his Instagram story to tease a new album set to drop at midnight the next day. However, when 12 a.m. on March 21 came and went without dropping an LP, fans were left a little disappointed.
The next day, Dolph said the project was delayed. Nearly five months later, on Aug. 14, Dolph returned with Rich Slave, an LP that documented his experiences in the street while also addressing racism in America. While the album came later than fans expected, that didn’t stop them from streaming. The LP became his second-ever project to land in the top 10—he scored a No. 4 spot—of the Billboard 200 albums chart after it moved 65,000 equivalent album units in its first week of release.
Fans first got wind of Travis Scott‘s new single, “The Plan,” from an interview with GQ, in which it was confirmed the song would appear in the new movie Tenet. The film’s director, Christopher Nolan, told the magazine that Travis’ “voice became the final piece of a yearlong puzzle…his insights into the musical and narrative mechanism [composer] Ludwig Göransson and I were building were immediate, insightful, and profound.”
The interview with Scott and Nolan went live on Tues., Aug. 18, and later that night, Travis tweeted the song’s artwork and confirmed its release date: “FLAME x CHRIS NOLAN COOK UP THE PLAN FRIDAY.” However, when midnight rolled around that Friday (Aug. 21), the song never dropped.
Fans flooded Twitter with tweets of disappointment and confusion as to when the song would actually be dropping. Early on that Friday evening, La Flame tweeted that the song would be dropping at midnight, 24 hours later than when fans initially expected. Sure enough, on Aug. 22 at midnight, “The Plan” hit streaming platforms and saw an official release.
It’s suitable to begin this with an exhaustive sigh. Back in May, it was announced that Kanye West‘s next album, God’s Country, was slated to drop soon. In the next couple of months, he released two records: a radical “Wash Us in the Blood” with his unofficial in-law Travis Scott and a tribute to his late mom titled “Donda.” On July 18, following his mom’s birthday on July 12, ’Ye announced that he was changing his next album title to Donda: With Child, and shared a 20-song handwritten tracklist and an accompanying film. The new release date: July 24.
Fans speculated that he might not drop on time, but they still thought it was coming. When midnight on July 24 came, the album didn’t, nor did it that afternoon like the Jesus Is King release last year. That Saturday (July 25), Kanye tweeted out a photo that appeared to be a possible trippy album cover, once again teasing his fans purposely or accidentally. You choose. But no music followed and now a month later, a lot of fans have lost their already thin patience. In the meantime, his Twitter fingers still heat up from time to time, he’s trying to get on presidential ballots and is working through some family things. As far the album though, it’s one big question. It might just become a myth like Yandhi.
Whole Lotta Red
Last summer, Playboi Carti had rap fans in a frenzy when he told a crowd at a Milwaukee, Wis. show that he would drop his sophomore album, Whole Lotta Red, within 60 days. Well, that time frame came and went with still no project in sight. This year, there was a red glimmer of hope when the Atlanta rapper shared artwork for what his stans thought was the album cover. On Tues., April 14, Carti posted a dreary photo of himself on Instagram, in which he appears to be sitting and looking off into the distance. No IG caption led to speculation that he was dropping Whole Lotta Red and that was the cover.
That same week on Thursday night (April 16), when new music releases arrive, the anticipation was at a fever pitch. Was Whole Lotta Red dropping? Was Carti finally letting loose the project that he had initially promised would come in 60 days in 2019? Midnight hit and the Atlanta rapper came through with new music, just not what everyone wanted. Whole Lotta Red never dropped, but what did was the song “@ Meh”—along with that gloomy-looking cover art.
“@ Meh,” produced by Jetsonmade, Neeko Baby and Deskhop, was the first track of Carti’s to appear on streaming services since he delivered his debut studio album, Die Lit, in 2018—the year he first began teasing Whole Lotta Red. Fans were angry to say the least, but somewhat satisfied for the moment with the new song. Facts are that Playboi Carti will release Whole Lotta Red on his time. He could be perfecting his baby voice or focused on daddy duties with the arrival of his first child with Iggy Azalea. Either way, he’s keeping one of the most highly anticipated hip-hop albums of the year under wraps.
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