Music has been the saving grace for a lot of people over this lockdown period, but so many albums across the industry have been delayed due to the pandemic.
Luckily, there has been some exciting news about what’s to come, and even some spectacular releases over the first quarter of 2021 that will be covered on this list.
There are still some uncertainties as to how many other albums could be released over the year, but there is still plenty of time.
For now, here are the top 5 albums releasing in 2021 that you should be looking forward to.
1) Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak – An Evening With Silk Sonic
In what could only be described as a dream scenario, the talents of both Grammy award-winning Bruno Mars and the extremely talented Anderson .Paak have come together to form the band Silk Sonic.
It has been some time since Bruno Mars has released music, so his collaboration in the two-piece band was surprising to say the least.
The two have worked together previously, Anderson .Paak accompanying Bruno on his tour of the 24k Magic album back in 2017.
This out-of-the-blue collab broke the internet last month, with their debut song ‘Leave the Door Open,’ charting at number 4 of the Billboard 100 in its first week.
Since then, the pair have gone on to perform their debut single on the virtually-hosted Grammy’s in March.
They also did an interview with Radio 1’s Zane Lowe, talking about their plans for the Jazz/Soul band and Bruno revealed that there will be an album along with a full tour in the not-so-distant future.
The full interview is linked here:
2) Drake – Certified Lover Boy
In October 2020, Drake released a video teasing the release of his next record and fans all over the world were excited to see what would come.
But the excitement was short lived when it was announced that the project would have to be delayed.
Originally set to the month of January, Drake announced on his Instagram that the album would have to be delayed due to the rapper suffering an ACL tear in his knee.
Drake did surprise fans with an EP last month titled ‘Scary Hours 2’, a sequel to his ‘Scary Hours EP months before the release of his platinum album ‘Scorpion’ back in 2018.
The three songs on that EP were all in the Billboard Hot 100 charts, taking the top three slots deservingly.
Hope is not lost yet, as the album was meant to come out in the beginning of 2021, they are either adding some finishing touches to it or are just waiting for the perfect time to released it.
But just like the lyrics on his smash hit ‘What’s Next,’ Drake fans will just have to “see what’s about to happen next”.
3) J. Cole – It’s a Boy
After a video taken by a fan on J. Cole’s K.O.D tour was released on YouTube, fans of the Fayetteville rapper began to speculate there was an album on the way.
The video emulated a presidential campaign promoting his next album, with the final words being “vote for ‘The Fall Off’ 2020″.
However, this did not come as a surprise to followers of J. Cole as, in his platinum album K.O.D released in the early part of 2018, the final track titled ‘1985 (Intro to ‘The Fall Off’) hinted to fans that there was a project in the works.
Unfortunately, the impact of COVID likely derailed his plans, leading him to change his release schedule.
J. Cole posted a picture showing his upcoming plans for what he called ‘The Fall Off’ era. The plan showed ‘The Off Season’ being the first scheduled release, followed by ‘It’s a Boy’, and finally ‘The Fall Off’.
The Dreamville rapper also released an EP titled ‘Lewis Street’ last year to prove to rap lovers that he is not done yet.
The EP featured two songs titled ‘Lion King on Ice’ and ‘The Climb Back’.
Seeing as though his eventual album was meant to release sometime last year, it’s safe to say that there are some songs in the works.
Whatever the outcome is; whether in the form of another EP or an album, if this upcoming project is anything like what he teased on the ‘Lewis Street’ EP last year, fans should be excited for his eventual return.
4) Rod Wave – SoulFly
American rapper and singer Rod Wave is one of the hottest rappers in the industry right now.
This is the only album on the list that has been released.
Fans have been patiently waiting for the release of this album after his highly successful platinum-rated album ‘Pray 4 Love’ came out in April last year.
His claim to fame came through two songs off that album, ‘Rags2Riches’ and ‘Girl of My Dreams’.
Since its release in March, Rod Wave has earned his first-ever number one album on the Billboard 200 charts.
It debuted with 130,000 equivalent album units sold in just its first week, which tops any of his previous releases.
The closest at number one was his 14-track album ‘Pray 4 Love’ which debuted selling 72,000 units.
‘SoleFly’ has clearly been receiving high praise, with the songs on the album being some of the most-streamed tracks he has ever released
Two tracks – ‘Street Runner’ and ‘Tombstone’ – seem to be among the most popular at almost 27,000 Spotify streams combined thus far.
The album features only one guest, Polo G, who joins the Floridian artist in a song titled ‘Richer.’
It is one of the more popular songs on the album, at just below 13.5 million Spotify streams.
We’ll just have to wait and see how successful this album becomes further down the road, but it’s definitely in contention for the best Hip-Hop/Rap album of 2021.
5) AJ Tracey – Flu Game
AJ Tracey fooled mainstream journalism last month after holding a fake press conference all to promote his upcoming album ‘Flu Game’ scheduled for April 16th.
Here’s the link to watch the video: https://www.pscp.tv/w/1dRKZNbNbVwKB
The press conference mimicked the style of how athletes would hold press conferences after a blockbuster signing.
This album title is meant to recall the moment where NBA player Michael Jordan put on a historic performance of 38 points in the 1997 NBA Finals against the Utah Jazz, all while suffering from the flu on the court.
The Ladbroke Grove rapper has since released a couple of songs set to be released within the album including: ‘Anxious’, ‘Bringing it Back’ featuring Digga D and ‘Dinner Guest’ featuring MoStack.
The album has several other features with artists like Kehlani, NAV and even T-Pain.
His highly regard self-titled ‘AJ Tracey’ album released in 2019 saw success by debuting number three on the UK Albums Chart and number one on the UK R&B Albums Chart, selling 12,894 copies first week.
Since then, he has released a few projects but nothing to the scale of what’s to come.
This record is the most ambitious project AJ Tracey has ever done, coming in at 16 tracks.
But if this album receives even half the praise that his almost 62 thousand streamed single ‘West Ten’ featuring Mabel received, fans should be impressed by what he was able to achieve.