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XXL Presents… The 35 Most Anticipated Albums of 2013


30. Tyler, the Creator, Wolf

Expected Release Date: N/A

Label: Odd Future Records/Sony RED

Number of Pushbacks: N/A

Tyler, the Creator’s third album has been pushed back on many occasions. Hip-hop’s most polarizing figure stayed busy last year promoting his OF brand to the mainstream. The list of accomplishments for the 21-year-old range from landing a sketch comedy series (Loiter Squad) to opening pop-up shops for his GOLF line. Yet, the “Yonkers” rapper has been stagnant in his solo material, except for a few guest verses in 2012.

It’s hard to tell if Wolf will actually drop this year. And it’s even harder to determine what direction he’ll go for his third installment of his “therapy sessions.” What we can say is that Tyler’s dark aesthetic and shock raps have been missing in the game. With even a bigger fanbase than before, Tyler has the potential to drop one of the biggest albums in 2013 and put the new West Coast movement back on top.

29. Joe Budden, No Love Lost

Expected Release Date: February 5, 2013

Label: E1 Music

Number of Pushbacks: One

In addition to his candor and lyricism, much of what has allowed Joe Budden to remain relevant in the decade since his breakout “Pump It Up” came and went has been the New Jersey native’s constant flow of musical output. Since he dropped his last album, Padded Room, four years ago, in February 2009, Joey has released four projects with Slaughterhouse and just as many solo efforts. Still, longtime fans are excited for his third official solo album, curious as to where he’ll take the sound, as confirmed guests include Wiz Khalifa, Lil Wayne, Lloyd Banks, Kriko Bangz, Juicy J and French Montana.

28. Tyga, Hotel California

Expected Release Date: March 2013

Label: Young Money, Cash Money, Universal Republic

Number of Pushbacks: N/A

For the uninformed, Tyga is an easy punchline: he’s the “Coconut Juice” guy; the “Far Away” guy; the other Young Money guy; just another guy with a lot of tattoos. And, sure, he is those things, sort of. But he’s also something more, which he proved with 2011’s Careless World: Rise of the Last King. Though it ran a bit long, it revealed a level of well roundedness of the Los Angeles native that surprised some: He has “Rack City” and “Faded,” but also moments of reflection and depth. This year, he’ll be dropping Hotel California, looking to build upon that success. The Rick Ross-assisted “187” already hit the ’net, and features from Chris Brown, Wiz Khalifa, and Nicki Minaj are also said to be in store.

27. Fabolous, Loso’s Way 2: Rise to Power

Expected Release Date: N/A

Label: Desert Storm/Def Jam Recordings

Number of Pushbacks: Three

Three years. That’s how long it’s been since Fabolous last released a proper studio album (2009’s Loso’s Way). But during that gap, the BK rhyme-slinger managed to stay afloat thanks to a string of well-received mixtape installments (There is No Competition and The Soul Tape series), killer guest verses and street singles (“SoNY,” “For the Love,” etc.). After a few pushbacks and delays, Loso now appears ready to rise to power on his next studio follow-up, Loso’s Way 2—an album that he says will showcase more evolution than his previous efforts.

26. Ghostface Killah, Supreme Clientele Presents…Blue & Cream: The Wally Era

Expected Release Date: N/A

Label: N/A

Number of Pushbacks: N/A

It’s an understatement to say Ghostface is one of the most consistent artists in rap history. It’s difficult to find a dud in Ghost’s widely expansive catalogue. 2012 was another productive year for the Wally Champ with a scene-stealing guest verse on Kanye and Pusha’s G.O.O.D Music effort “New God Flow,” and a well-received collaborative project with Sheek Louch called Wu-Block. On top of that, he already cooked up some marvelous ish along with RZA and composer Adrian Younge called Twelve Reasons to Die expecting to drop on March 19. If the sequel to Ghost’s most adorned album Supreme Clientele does see the light, it’s indeed another triumphant moment for the Wu-Tang Killer bee. 20 years deep in the game, the Wu-Tang swordsman still ain’t nothing to fuck with.

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