January has come and gone and tbh, we haven’t really been blessed with any 2018 albums that have really captivated us (aside from CupcakKe, you go girl). Perhaps it’s because we received such a divine dump of new music on what seemed like a weekly basis last year, or perhaps everyone’s taking a collective nap this month, but we’re thinking less of what’s around us and what we have on the horizon.
And though it may be a bit unorthodox to push out a mini-2018 albums preview a full month into the new year, we say whatever. We at Highsnobiety Music are never ones to be constrained by the normal limits of space and time.
So without further ado, here are 10 artists with albums due out this year that have us shivering with anticipation the most – from the rumored JAY/Bey collab to the long-overdue Charli XCX full-length to whatever the hell Kanye has up his sleeve.
Azealia, Azealia…. My, what a ride it’s been! Your breakthrough single “212” still blows our mind… What. A. Banger. Then you did it again with your recent ’90s ballroom homage “The Big Big Beat.” Yes, you’ve said some nearly-unforgivable things and your interest in witchcraft is borderline terrifying – but truly, all that’s irrelevant. We just need you to do Zeze, get in the studio, and work your magic.
There’s even rumours that “Anna Wintour,” the first single from your upcoming Fantasea 2 album is going to feature none other than Scary Spice Girl Mel B and Nicki Minaj. At least, that’s what Zeze wants. We have a feeling that in 2018, whatever Zeze wants, Zeze gets. We’re extremely here for it and can’t wait to listen.
After a queen-making, historic, record-breaking 2017, Cardi B can – quite literally – do whatever the hell she wants this year. Which should first and foremost (aside from getting hitched) be an album.
Last year Cardi dropped a wholly-entertaining mixtape, Gangsta Bitch Music Vol. 2, but she has confirmed something larger is in the works. Next to no other details have been confirmed, but are you seriously worried this queen wouldn’t deliver?
It’s now been about a year since Charli XCX first broke word of a full-length follow-up to her revered sophomore album Sucker. But unlike some of the other artists on this list, Charli has spent the year not just teasing, but releasing a boatload of career-defining, excellent work.
The interim has seen pop’s dark princess drop not one but two mixtapes, Number 1 Angel and Pop2, both of which are – not only stellar – but actively starting the conversation of how a pop star can release work or what even constitutes a ‘proper’ release in 2018. Still, we’re in serious need of that album, particularly if it contains the gem of a dance track that is “Bounce,” a jam which she has toured live for the past year but has yet to see a proper studio release.
The news surrounding Childish Gambino‘s upcoming album changes with the winds, but we do know for sure that something is coming this year. Donald Glover is fresh from – not just his first Grammy win – but a massive deal between his creative agency and his record label that puts the focus on releases this year, most recently reissuing his debut Childish Gambino EP from 2011.
Rumors persist that this next one may be his last as Gambino, which given his next-level busy schedule makes sense. Which means that if (no, when) this record arrives, it’s sure to be an event.
We can hardly believe it’s been nearly three years since Grimes released her magnum opus Art Angels, especially because we’ve listened to it nearly every single day since she released it.
Our girl Grimes recently updated us in the summer, saying she was “in the studio every day trying to legit make something you’ve never heard before.” She added: “Unexplored sonic landscapes. i need another month or 2 of pure unadulterated creativity at which point i will begin finishing tracks. won’t let u down.” We’re intrigued, to say the least. Her most recent update came today, telling us that will be arriving in “spring but realistically, fall.”
Before that, she had revealed she was working on “chill vibes, downtempo, synth-y shit” and said she wanted her next release to be “slower and more reflective.” All this to say, we can already tell this is the weird, wonderful album of 2018 we had no idea we needed. In the album’s lead up, she’s shared some incredible Spotify playlists, such as “Rat in a Cage” and her last self-directed music video – which was the electrifying “Venus Fly” with Janelle Monaé.
JAY-Z & Beyoncé
Back in November, JAY-Z was interviewed by T Magazine where he spilled some seriously heavy, uh… T. Namely that he and his wife, Queen of the Heavens and Earth alias Beyoncé, had made a joint album together during the recordings for their most recent records, 4:44 and Lemonade, respectively.
“It didn’t happen that way,” he says of the unintentional project, “We were using our art almost like a therapy session. And we started making music together. And then the music she was making at that time was further along. So her album came out as opposed to the joint album that we were working on. Um, we still have a lot of that music. And this is what it became. There was never a point where it was like, ‘I’m making this album.’ I was right there the entire time.”
Few other details exist on the project, but considering rumors are also swirling of another joint tour between America’s First Couple (Trumps be damned), its release seems more likely than not.
Placing bets on when a new Kanye album will arrive is a prospect few would be foolhardy enough to make, but we would remiss if we didn’t at least consider that Ye might bless us with new material this year.
After taking some much-needed time to recover following his public breakdown at the end of 2016, Kanye’s been back on the horse breaking the internet in all sorts of ways with his YEEZY Season 6 campaign. Again, no one can predict what he’ll do next, but you never know – 2018 could be the year of Turbo Grafx ’16, or any of the other myriad of projects he has teased.
Nicki Minaj technically has been everywhere these past two years, appearing on all manner of guest spots (like the recent Migos-outing “MotorSport”) and dropping a swarm of remixes. And yet, Mrs. Minaj has been markedly quiet; keeping things – for her – relatively to the sidelines.
Which for her, usually indicates an album is going to drop at any moment. Queen Barbie herself has said that this next album cycle for her is going to be her “most impactful,” only adding that “I’ve made it my business with this album to not even put a date or a deadline on it. I can’t say if I’m fifty-per-cent, eighty-per-cent or ten-per-cent done, because I don’t know.” So in other words, stay tuned and prepare for obliteration.
Everyone’s favorite Ghost Adventures guest star and “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” interpreter was supposed to drop his gosh darn sophomore album in 2017, so needless to say we’re on the edge of our seats for that Post Malone.
“Rockstar” basically brings us to tears every single listen with its wavering melodies, hitting us repeatedly right in the blissfully melancholic guts, and it is of course Beerbongs & Bentley’s lead single. With features ranging from Nicki Minaj to John Mayer to Ty Dola $ign to Mötley Crüe’s Tommy Lee, to say that this album will be a trip and a half is an understatement. We hope.
The hype for Travis Scott‘s long-promised full-length AstroWorld is reaching fever pitch. Which is understandable based on his behavior, such as dropping the project’s lead single “Butterfly Effect” in July 2017, continuing to promise its arrival then go drop a collab project with Quavo instead of you know, actually releasing what he said he would.
But La Flame keeps promising its arrival, so much so that we devoted a running tally of all the info we know about it. We know such tidbits as he’s been at work in the studio with both PARTYNEXTDOOR and Tame Impala, or that he’s preparing a stage show that will feature actual amusement park rides to accompany it. Which is fine and all, but he can also just drop the damn thing.
- Words: Jake Boyer & Bianca Giulione
- Cover Image: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images