When Game announced that L.A.X. was going to be his last album, I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who smelled 'BS' in the air. As soon as he announced that he would be releasing The R.E.D. Album, Hip Hop fans began to wonder what direction he would go in this time. Thus far we know that the album is going to be executive produced by Dr. Dre (which marks the first time they've worked together since his first album) and Pharrell Williams of The Neptunes. A virtual 'who's who' of producers are said to be contributing including Timbaland, DJ Premier, Just Blaze, RZA (!) and Polow Da Don. Since Dr. Dre is co-executive producing this album, hopefully it'll be a little more cohesive than his last two albums, which had one too many filler tracks.
Many fans (including myself) were disappointed with Common's last album, Universal Mind Control. While there were definitely some jams on there, it simply lacked the 'Hip Hop' feel that we've come to expect from Common. Well, consider this a return to form because Kanye is back as executive producer, with No I.D. and Twilite Tone (who produced the majority of the songs on Common's first album, Can I Borrow a Dollar). In a recent interview, Common stated, "we know that we want to do some raw Hip Hop. That's exactly the direction and feel we want, so that's the basis of it. 'Ye and I definitely know we want to do some pure Hip Hop." That's good news for the rest of us.
When Eminem declared that he would be releasing two CD's after quite a lengthy hiatus, I was skeptical to say the least. To say that I loathe album filler tracks is an understatement. I'll always take an album with 13 songs, that I can play all the way through, over a double-disc album that I have to skim through. Personally, I thought Relapse was a bit of a let-down. It was great to hear Em rhyming again, but once again, I found myself skipping a lot of the tracks just to get to the few that I liked. Dre's production, which is usually always on-point, seemed uninspired and lackluster. Fast-forward to the sequel, and we're set for what one writer claimed to be "The Dark Knight of Hip Hop album sequels." If Relapse was more along the lines of The Slim Shady LP, then Relapse 2 is The Marshall Mathers LP. Said to be more personal than his previous albums, Em said he went in an entirely different direction than originally planned since he decided to work with Just Blaze and Denaun Porter for the majority of the album.
Shrouded in mystery, little is known about Distant Relatives, and that's exactly how NaS and Damian Marley want it. Meant to shed light on Africa, DR is more than just a collaboration of two great artists. Both Nasir and Damian have stated that they have looked for an opportunity to speak 'the truth' regarding Africa's standing in the world, and this is the opportunity to do so. Regardless of how you feel about the topic, one thing is certain... the music will be dope. Damian is doing most of the production, although I'm sure Salaam Remi and other past contributors will make appearances. Check out the EPK below for an exclusive peek at some new fire off the album.
As a collective group, the last time we heard from Jadakiss, Styles P, and Sheek Louch, otherwise known as The LOX, was way back in 2000 with their album We Are the Streets. Since then, all three have released albums, some better than others, but no one has ever denied their chemistry. Not a lot is known about this album, but it's safe to assume that the usual suspects from the Ruff Ryders crew will make appearances, and Swizz Beatz will be doing a vast amount of production. Recently, Diddy announced that The LOX re-signed to Bad Boy, and the new album will be jointly released with Interscope. This is also great news, because no matter what anyone says, Diddy knows Hip Hop; the dude executive produced all of Biggie's albums. With Puffy in their corner, expect The LOX to come out swinging.