Well, 2019 is mostly over, and with the promise of a new year comes the promise of new music. In this industry, the next shiny album is always on the horizon.
So, what does the DJBooth staff have their sights set on? Just a bundle of albums from artists who are long overdue to deliver.
Let’s hope these albums drop in 2020. Enjoy!
Rihanna — TBD
There’s no confirmation on whether Rihanna is releasing an album next year, but I’m praying for one. [Editor’s Note: It‘s done.] I’m so happy that she’s grown into this trailblazing businesswoman by choosing to explore her other passions. Her career has been an eye-opening one and a showcase of what happens when you nurture what you love. Not many artists can create lanes outside of the one they’re already popular in, yet Rihanna has. That’s talent. Now, all we need is an album, sis. Please. Even if it’s her final album, our ears are so depraved that we’ll take it. — Simi Muhumuza
Isaiah Rashad — TBD
It’s been over three years since Isaiah Rashad’s last project, The Sun’s Tirade. Despite this hiatus, I still listen to it—and his 2014 release, Cilvia Demo—regularly. Rashad is teeming with an intangible charisma unmatched by any of his peers in the game today. Filtered through his unaffected drawl, everything he raps sounds 500 percent cooler. I never feel more confident than when I’m on a long drive, blasting his song “Brad Jordan” on the highway. I have no concrete proof his album is slated to drop in 2020, but after this long of a wait, it’d be absurd if it didn’t. — Hershal Pandya
Childish Gambino — TBD
I know, I know. Childish Gambino’s forthcoming (and final?) album has been “on the horizon” all 2019, and it looks like the wait will spill over into 2020. Judging from tracks he’s previewed on tour and my unparalleled faith in Donald Glover, I’m certain it will deliver, and I’ll patiently comb through his discography until it’s finally time to dig into the new album. At least I have the memory of his awe-inspiring final performance at ACL to tide me over until then. — Kenan Draughorne
Frank Ocean — TBD
Look, the promise of new music from Isaiah Rashad, Playboi Carti, and Lil Uzi Vert dazzles. I’m legitimately excited for so much of what will come in 2020. Nothing, rumor or otherwise, can reasonably top the excitement of new Frank—of his two recent-released singles, “DHL” is great, and “In My Room” is already among my favorites. Nobody else in the music industry can at once buck and define trends of genre, independence, and identity like the famous recluse. I don’t have much faith in anything, but I know this: If Frank is dropping an album, most of my 2020 superlatives are already answered. — Zachary Miller
Tierra Whack — TBD
There isn’t an emcee right now more electrifying in such shorts bursts than Tierra Whack. Beyond just her immaculate debut, Whack World, the Philly native dominated 2019 with a string of formidable loosies like “Gloria” and “Only Child,” the latter of which has one of the verses of the year, and short, but delectable, freestyles on Instagram. With two years of teasers of Whack’s full capabilities as a rapper and creative mind, she’s prime for the ascent into being one of the most electric artists we have. — Matt Wilhite
Lil Uzi Vert — Eternal Atake
I listen to the “Free Uzi” freestyle at least three times a week. I was late to the Philly superstar’s bandwagon, having hopped on when his studio debut Luv Is Rage 2 dropped in 2017. His ear for melody and Auto-Tune drew me in, but his subsequent battle with Atlantic Records kept me invested in his fight for freedom. His second studio album Eternal Atake has been through delay after delay and is reportedly complete, so I’m holding out hope for Roc Nation to give us the keys to the kingdom next year. All I need is enough juice to get a good shoulder shimmy going. — Dylan "CineMasai" Green
Sylvan LaCue — TBD
Sylvan LaCue has been quiet, and if you know anything about Virgos when they’re quiet, they’re usually up to something. Sylvan’s someone who stays true to his style and story, while remaining open to what’s current so I’m looking forward to seeing what he comes with next year. He’s always creative with his album concepts and raw and transparent in his rhymes, so it’s like getting a new season of your favorite series. — Ronnia Cherry
JAY-Z — TBD
JAY-Z doesn’t have to rap. As one of the greatest rappers to ever live, to ask the man born Shawn Carter for another album would be like asking Michael Jordan for another NBA season. Honestly, is there anything left for him to accomplish? The statements have been made, and the records have been broken. For Mr. Carter, longer longevity is all there is remaining. That’s why I would like Jay to keep it going. This deep into his career—13 studio albums—he’s like a falling star that refuses to kiss the ground. That’s special. There will never be another, so let’s cherish all he still has to give if there’s more to offer. — Yoh
SZA — TBD
I love to cry. Crying is healthy and cathartic and my personal brand. In 2017, SZA dazzled me with CTRL. “Drew Barrymore,” “Normal Girl,” and “20 Something” still get me good. I can’t wait to witness how SZA catalogs my discomfort, frustration, and emotional duress in 2020. I love her voice, I love her pen, and I love the way SZA understands a generation without having to so much as lift a finger. Bring on the tears. — Donna-Claire Chesman
André 3000 — TBD
Hey, a man can dream. Right? — Z