Lupe Fiasco, Lasers (Atlantic)
Expected Release: Spring 2010
Expected Production: Instead of shelling out top dollars for super producers, Lupe works exclusively with his 1st & 15th producers Soundtrakk and Prolyfic.
Expected Collaborations: Contributions from his stable of artists, including Gemstones and Nikki Jean
Why the Buzz? While in the past Lupe dazzled true hip-hop heads with his intricate wordplay, he’s always shirked the spotlight. After reneging on retiring from the game, though, he’s now out to prove he should be No. 1 on everybody’s list (see: his Thanksgiving mixtape, Enemy of the State). Which means more work for those still decoding metaphors from his last two albums, 2006’s Food & Liquor and 2007’s The Cool.
Young Jeezy, Thug Motivation 103 (Def Jam)
Release Date: Feb. 9, 2010
Expected Production: Kanye West is the first producer invited to Mr. Birthday Bash’s motivation party. After assisting Mr. West in Hawaii with 808s & Heartbreak in 2008, expect the “Put On” creator to give Jeezy a bunch of tools to teach. Southern beats kings Shawty Redd, Zaytoven and Drumma Boy will also lend a hand.
Expected Collaborations: Nothing is confirmed yet, but Jeezy reportedly has a wish list that includes Lil Wayne (featured on the leaked “Scared Money”), Eminem, Jay-Z and Kanye.
Why the Buzz? On his last album, The Recession, Jeezy took a break from talking about what could be to rap about what is. With the America’s economy headed back in the right direction, the snowman’s back to being the trap’s go-to professor. Class is back in session.