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XXL Presents… The 35 Most Anticipated Albums of 2013

25. Juicy J, Stay Trippy

Expected Release Date: N/A

Label: Taylor Gang, Kemosabe, Columbia Records

Number of Pushbacks: N/A

Juicy J’s resurgence as a solo artist last year was nothing short of remarkable. Aligning himself with Wiz Khalifa’s Taylor Gang introduced the Memphis veteran to a whole new crop of younger fans who probably wouldn’t have come to know Juicy if it hadn’t been for that new partnership. Then came “Bandz”, an instant classic in gentlemen’s clubs everywhere. Juicy J was back, and plans for his third solo album Stay Trippy soon materialized. Earlier this month Juicy J confirmed the album was in it’s final stages. Prepare accordingly and get your vices in order.

24. Lupe Fiasco, Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 2

Expected Release Date: N/A

Label: Atlantic Records

Number of Pushbacks: N/A

Lupe Fiasco is never afraid to speak his mind. On Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1, the Chi-Town native sounds inspired again. It hits a variety of reflective themes that felt reminiscent of the first effort. From the controversial sampling found on “Around My Way” to the conversation starter “Bitch Bad,” the album contains many moments to spark a social dialogue.

Lupe will bring more of his dexterity and lyrical substance on Part 2. He’s at a stronger place mentally since his former label disputes have died down. Conscious rap fans should look forward to it addressing politics and mainstream hip-hop in a much a wider scope than before.

23. Nicki Minaj, Pink Friday: The Pink Print

Expected Release Date: N/A

Label: Young Money, Cash Money, Universal Republic

Number of Pushbacks: N/A

2012 was an interesting year for Nicki Minaj. Though she further cemented her status as a global superstar with the release of her sophomore LP, racked up endorsement after endorsement, won a ton of awards, and became a judge on American Idol she also experienced some adversity. Her adventurous Grammy performance was universally panned, the underwhelming (and underperforming) Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded had detractors wondering if Nicki had gone too Pop, and her American Idol gig sparked a feud between her and her Idol co-judge Mariah Carey. Not one to crumble under pressure, Nicki looks to silence her critics with the follow-up to Roman Reloaded. Reportedly her third album, Pink Friday: The Pink Print will be more of a continuation of the more Hip Hop/mixtape influenced Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded re-release The Re-Up, which will give her barbz reason to rejoice. #OldNickiBack

earl sweatshirt featured

22. Earl Sweatshirt, Doris

Expected Release Date: N/A

Label: Tan Cressida, Odd Future, Columbia Records

Number of Pushbacks: N/A

It’s been three years since the world received a proper solo effort from Odd Future’s critically-praised wordsmith, Earl Sweatshirt but that may change this year with his upcoming follow-up LP, Doris. Set to feature production from The Neptunes, Alchemist and more, including guests spots from his OFWGKTA ensemble, all eyes will be looking out for this project.

21. Mac Miller, Watching Movies With The Sound Off

Expected Release Date: N/A

Label: Rostrum Records

Number of Pushbacks: N/A

Mac Miller has been dabbling in different creative outlets lately. Watching Movies with the Sound Off could be Mac’s most mature body of work yet. His style usually consists of experimenting with new sounds while spewing consistent rhymes that can take a party to another level. Add to that his charm behind the mic and Mac should have what it takes to top his memorable debut.

He may not have found his definitive sound yet, but he has shown growth through his producer alter-ego Larry Dollaz. Even those piano freestyles that went viral bring to light his versatility. Mac could have something huge in store.

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