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XXL Presents… The 35 Most Anticipated Albums of 2013

10. A$AP Rocky, Long.Live.A$AP

Release Date: January 15, 2013

Label: Polo Grounds, RCA, Sony

Number of Pushbacks: Two

Let’s not act like you haven’t heard the album yet. With that said, the question is, are you still willing to purchase it? Did it meet your expectations? For XXL, it certainly did. Rocky wasn’t swayed to change his musical landscape and didn’t edit out what made his music so infectious in the first place. If anything, the album’s trilled-out, zoned-out, waved-out aural traits have been smoothed out to fit with a wider spectrum, with proper dosage of rap, hooks, and sound to bill the A$AP captain’s output as a possible tour de force. Certainly worth the $14 price tag if you ask us.

9. Pusha T, My Name Is My Name

Expected Release Date: N/A

Label: G.O.O.D. Music/Def Jam Recordings

Number of Pushbacks: One

Initially scheduled to arrive on in 2011 for Black Friday, Pusha T’s G.O.O.D. Music/Def Jam solo debut has been long awaited since he and Malice emerged with the shelved Exclusive Audio Footage and graced us with Lord Willin’ (2002). Now with a G.O.O.D. consignment, two acclaimed solo efforts (Fear of God series) and a Future-assisted single (“Pain”) under his belt, not to mention his stellar contribution to his clique’s Cruel Summer release, King Push looks ready to unveil that instant classic fans have been yearning for. Ugchk!

8. Future, Future Hendrix

Expected Release Date: N/A

Label: Free Bandz, A1, Epic Records

Number of Pushbacks: N/A

Despite Pluto’s modest first week sales, 2012 belonged to Future, who had arguably the biggest year of XXL’s 2012 Freshmen class. Recent collaborations with Lil Wayne, Pusha T and Rihanna have solidified Future as the go-to hook man of the industry. Now an undeniable star, Future’s sophomore LP Future Hendrix certainly won’t be flying under the radar again in it’s first week on stands. Last month Future claimed the album was 40% completed and on several occasions he’s stated the album will reflect a more introspective side. No word on it’s scheduled release yet but Future’s F.B.G. (The Movie) mixtape is planned for a January 13th release.

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7. Rick Ross, Mastermind

Expected Release Date: N/A

Label: Maybach Music Group, Def Jam Recordings

Number of Pushbacks: N/A

Rick Ross did it big in 2012, even scoring a Grammy nod (Best Rap Album) to further validate it. If God Forgives, I Don’t didn’t fully galvanize fans and critics, than it was his blockbuster freebie Rich Forever that did just that, and then some. Never the one to slow down, the Bawse recently revealed the title to his forthcoming studio album, Mastermind. While all of the album’s details currently remain under wraps, one must wonder what kind of surprises the MMG bigwig will have in store for this go-round.

6. J. Cole, Born Sinner

Expected Release Date: N/A

Label: Roc Nation, Columbia Records

Number of Pushbacks: One

J. Cole took the mainstream by surprise when he sold over 200,000 units out of the gate with Cole World: The Sideline Story, based mostly on his fervent fans, since “Work Out” had yet to take off. Now, almost a year and a half later, as Cole preps his sophomore album, with plenty of momentum this time around, the Roc Nation signee is poised to deliver once again as he balances tales of his fame and the life that it brings with his more thoughtful side. Though most details about the album have not yet been released, there will reportedly be a short film accompanying the release of the album, and fans can expect Cole to handle much of the production once again.

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