2009 was a huge year for hip-hop and R&B. Jay-Z dropped his “new classic,” The Blueprint 3, spawning his first number one single, “Empire State of Mind.” Rick Ross humbled rap’s biggest bully 50 Cent with his third album, Deeper Than Rap. And Kid Cudi proved that you don’t have to be named Kanye West to win with emo rhymes. ‘09 also saw the triumphant return of R&B heavyweights Maxwell and Whitney Houston.
This year looks to be just as major. Sabbaticals are being broken. "Papers" are being filed. Thug Motivation classes are back in session. And then there's that Drake kid.
Check out the 10 projects VIBE is most amped about in the new year. ––Compiled by Linda Hobbs, Clover Hope, Keith Murphy and Brad Wete