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XXL Presents… The 35 Most Anticipated Albums of 2013

20. Action Bronson, Saab Stories

Expected Release Date: N/A

Label: VICE

Number of Pushbacks: N/A

The gourmet chef-turned rapper known as Action Bronson gave fans two album-quality mixtapes in 2012 with Blue Chips and Rare Chandeliers. Now, with Paul Rosenberg in his corner and the backing of a Warner Bros. and Vice record deal Bronsolino is prepping his major label debut for release this year. With a catalog of critically acclaimed free releases to his name, the expectations for this album are high. But he’s been a model of consistency to date, and Action’s given us no reason to believe he that won’t meet them.

19. 2 Chainz, Sophomore Album

Expected Release Date: April 2013

Label: Def Jam Recordings

Number of Pushbacks: N/A

2 Chainz had one hell of a year in 2012. Besides scoring a gold plaque for both his Based on a T.R.U. Story debut and first single “No Lie” (w/ Drake), the lanky ATLien also earned himself a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Album as well as Best Rap Song and Rap Performance for his contribution on G.O.O.D. Music’s “Mercy.” Equipped with a no-days-off mantra, Tity Boi plans to carry on the momentum this year with a brand spanking new album that he says will be ready come April. Truuu!

18. Wale, I Ain’t Perfect

Expected Release Date: N/A

Label: Maybach Music Group, Warner Bros. Records

Number of Pushbacks: N/A

Back at the Maybach Music Group press conference last summer, Wale said that he’d be dropping his third album, a follow up to 2011’s Ambition, in January 2013. That no longer looks like it will be the case. The DMV native dropped his #Folarin mixtape in December, but he’s already focusing on the next effort. In late 2012, in an interview with HipHopSince1987, he hinted that the upcoming effort would be “very reminiscent of my older stuff with Mark Ronson and things of that nature, so I’m excited.” As of now there is no clear timetable on the release.

17. ScHoolboy Q, Oxymoron

Expected Release Date: N/A

Label: Top Dawg Entertainment, Interscope

Number of Pushbacks: N/A

After delivering the widely praised Habits & Contradictions last year, TDE’s eclectic rhymester ScHoolboy Q solidified that he was the next-up within his Black Hippy collective. Now after the success of his brethen’s good kid, m.A.A.d city debut, Q looks to have big shoes to fill—but he’s already aware of that. “It’s impossible for me not to drop a hell of an album that’ll let you all say if its classic,” he mentioned in a previous interview. “Kendrick raised the bar that high.” Expect features from Black Hippy, A$AP Rocky, Danny Brown and production from TDE’s in-house finest.


16. French Montana, Excuse My French

Expected Release Date: March 12, 2013

Label: Bad Boy, Interscope

Number of Pushbacks: Two

It remains to be seen how French will fare in anchoring his Bad Boy debut Excuse My French, or if he’ll even attempt to do so. The album’s two confirmed singles, “Pop That” and “Marble Floors” are feature heavy affairs and French has thrived in this space, most impressively on last year’s “Stay Schemin’.” French showed promise on his most recent mixtape Mac & Cheese, which despite also being feature heavy showcased French standing alone on some of the mixtape’s strongest cuts (“Sanctuary” “Hatin’ On A Youngin” and “Intro”). With a collaboration with The Weeknd tapped for Excuse My French’s next single, there’s good reason to be excited for French’s long awaited debut album.

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