Last year, G.O.O.D. Music's Cruel Summer, Rick Ross' God Forgives, I Don't and The Throne's Watch The Throne follow-up were among the many hip-hop albums anticipated by critics and fans alike. Now that the new year's in full bloom, there's a new batch of long-awaited and highly anticipated releases set to drop and we couldn't be anymore excited. With artists like Pusha T, Drake, J. Cole, among others, all expected to arrive with their next solo LPs this year, 2013 looks to be another strong year for hip-hop.

To properly kick things off, XXL Presents... The 35 Most Anticipated Albums of 2013. Place your bets.—XXL (@XXL)

35. Juelz Santana, Born to Lose, Built to Win

Expected Release Date: N/A

Label: Def Jam Recordings

Number of Pushbacks: N/A

Since the release of Juelz Santana’s last studio album What the Game’s Been Missing back in 2005, the game has noticeably been missing a full-length Juelz’ project. In a time where most artists would have at least flooded the streets with free music to keep relevant and more importantly, keep fans satisfied, Santana has kept relatively quiet. A few major setbacks have continuously delayed the release of any new music from Santana for more than six years. From legal woes to label politics, Santana has seen the joint effort with Lil Wayne, I Can’t Feel My Face not see the light of day, the Dipset reunion album never materialize and his Regan Era mixtape series, which initially was set to drop in 2009 and has now been renamed God Will’n yet to be released. Now with Def Jam and Lil Wayne fully behind him he’s ready to prove why he’s built to win. Let’s just hope Born to Lose, Built to Win isn’t on next year’s Most Anticipated Albums of the Year list.

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34. Azealia Banks, Broke with Expensive Taste

Expected Release Date: February 12, 2013

Label: Polydor, Interscope

Number of Pushbacks: Once

Following the release of her single “212,” there were rumors that Azealia Banks had signed with G.O.O.D. Music, Kanye himself called her the future of music, she performed at fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld’s home, she recorded songs with Lady Gaga, she collaborated with Mac Cosmetics on her Yung Rapunxel lipstick line, and even racked up cosigns from New York rap legends Nas and Styles P. Though her 1991 EP and the Fantasea mixtape couldn’t replicate the success of “212,” Banks still managed to keep people talking through a slew of well-publicized beefs with just about everybody. The outspoken Harlemite exchanged jabs with T.I., Kreayshawn, Iggy Azalea, Jim Jones, Lil Kim, Nicki Minaj, male managers, and most recently Angel Haze and Perez Hilton. With her debut, Broke With Expensive Taste she looks to bring the focus back to where it belongs, her talent.

33. Snoop Lion, Reincarnated

Expected Release Date: Spring 2013

Label: RCA Records

Number of Pushbacks: N/A

It isn’t often when a veteran MC with over 20 years in the game can say they are gearing up for a rookie run. The West coast legend formerly known as Snoop Doggy Dogg will release his first LP under the moniker Snoop Lion. Reincarnated, Snoop’s first foray into reggae music is slated for release later this year and will be accompanied by a documentary. The documentary will detail how a trip to Jamaica inspired The Doggfather’s transformation from Snoop Dogg to Snoop Lion. The singles “Lighters Up” and “Here Comes The King” offer a taste of what to expect from the forthcoming album. A recently inked deal with RCA Records, a new appreciation for reggae music and a new outlook on life (he’s now a practicing Rastafarian) seem to have Snoop truly rejuvenated.

32. Cam'ron, More Gunz, Less Butta/Killa Season 2

Expected Release Date: N/A

Label: N/A

Number of Pushbacks: N/A

Dipset’s head honcho had a few high profile appearances in 2012. He popped up on tracks from Nicki Minaj, Wiz Khalifa, Mac Miller, and Jim Jones. This year he looks to focus his attention on a solo project. Not much is known about Killa Cam’s new studio album, but he has reportedly worked with T.I., Nicki Minaj, and Wiz Khalifa for the follow-up to 2009’s Crime Pays. Starting the year off with new music, Cam premiered his “You Know This” on New York’s Power 105.1 giving fans a sample of what to look forward to.

31. Gunplay, Medellin

Expected Release Date: Summer 2013

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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.

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

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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.

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.

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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.

15. Jay Electronica, Act II: Patents Of Nobility (The Turn)

Expected Release Date: N/A

Label: Roc Nation

Number of Pushbacks: More than LeBron James’ hairline

Originally a mixtape, with Act IIIAct II and Act III—with the latter to feature “Exhibit C,” “Exhibit A,” and “Dear Moleskin.”

Just Blaze was mentioned as producer for both projects with Nas scheduled to appear on Act II. Few months later, the “Exhibit C” rapper inked a recording deal with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation imprint and revealed the completion of the former album. According to the N.O. native, “Jay-Z, Bun B, Jeymes Samuel, Tony Tagoe, Erykah Badu… are the only ppl that have heard the album in its entirety.” On July 28th, 2012 Jay Elect posted what looked to be the official track listing for Act II on his Twitter page with features from Jay-Z, Kanye West, Diddy, Erykah Badu, The Bullitts and many more.

Though it’s been almost four years since the project was first announced, we have a good feeling that Act II will finally see the light of day this year. At least we hope.

14. Kid Cudi, Indicud

Expected Release Date: March 2013

Label: G.O.O.D. Music, Universal Republic

Number of Pushbacks: N/A

Following up his rock effort WZRD, Cudi seems to be heading back in the direction of his (still eclectic) sonic roots with his new album, Indicud, tentatively scheduled for a March release. So far, the tracks “Just What I Am” and “King Wizard” have been released, with other confirmed cuts including “Solo Dolo Part II” with Kendrick Lamar and “Vortex” with Pusha T. Whether or not that date sticks, it’s a safe bet to presume that Cudder will continue with his innovative push this time around.

13. Danny Brown, ODB

Expected Release Date: N/A

Label: Fool's Gold

Number of Pushbacks: N/A

Danny Brown’s journey in the rap game is as vivid as the type of clothes he prefers to wear. Tony Yayo, Blu, to the late Dilla all had great words for the Detroit rapper’s talents, but the public didn’t quite get a wind of him until the release of Danny’s 2010 album The Hybrid. The blogs were hyped, rap heads were excited, and former DMC World DJ Champion, and all-around music epicurean A-Trak scooped up the Detroit MC to his imprint Fool’s Gold for the release of Brown’s critically adorned 2011 album XXX.

Since then, things have been on the up and up for Danny, who murked nearly every guest verses he hopped on, and unveiled several leaks that were brilliantly executed. Now, his follow up to XXX, currently titled ODB doesn’t have a set release date, but claims to feature an array of artists that range from Harlem’s A$AP Rocky to Glasgow (that’s Scotland) producer Rustie. His animated delivery, and bugged-out references will continue to catch on, and it appears ODB deliver all that plus more.

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12. Lil Wayne, I Am Not A Human Being II

Expected Release Date: N/A

Label: Young Money, Cash Money, Universal Republic

Number of Pushbacks: Two

When Lil Wayne was incarcerated for criminal possession of a firearm, his label took matters into their own hands. To make sure his fans had plenty of new Weezy, they released I Am Not a Human Being. It contained songs that were unreleased, as well as a few new ones. Tracks like “I’m Single,” “Right Above It,” and “Bill Gates” were some of his best output, even if he wasn’t presence to reap the benefits of their successes.

Wayne is in whole another space on his upcoming follow-up, I Am Not a Human Being II. We’ve seen it in the outstanding single “No Worries,” as well as the equally potent “Rich As Fuck” featuring 2 Chainz. While fans wait for Tha Carter V, this next installment has the potential to be another classic series for Weezy.

11. 50 Cent, Street King Immortal

Expected Release Date: February 26, 2013

Label: Interscope, Aftermath, Shady

Number of Pushbacks: Too Many

Yes, 50 Cent’s musical outputs haven’t made much excitement for some time now, but as a cultural icon, Fiddy’s relevance remains in the upper echelon. Whether it’s through Twitter, radio, or product endorsements, 50 continues to entertain, and XXL’s happy with it. “My Life,” featuring Eminem and Adam Levine still broke Billboard Top 40 last year, and it might be the fuel behind his long-delayed fifth effort Street King Immortal. Get your final album off Interscope, 50!

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.

5. Eminem, Eighth Studio Album

Expected Release Date: N/A

Label: Interscope, Aftermath, Shady

Number of Pushbacks: N/A

Arguably the best rapper alive, Em’s at a position where he has nothing else to prove. While for the past two years he’s been pushing lyrical masquerades overseeing the projects of Slaughterhouse, Yelawolf, and a collaborative effort with Royce da 5’9”, the guy’s profuse love for the art of rap probably retains his efficiency to strive in the studio non-stop. With that said, he’s most likely knocking out tracks that are piling up, and at his stature, with production provided by the likes of Dr. Dre and every top producer in the game, it’s a no brainer that Em’s next album will be another blockbuster. 50 Cent (who’s also on this list) claims to have heard the materials from the project. Whether Em will bring us forward or take us back, the guy’s rapping is unmatched and the expectations are high.

4. Big Sean, Hall of Fame

Expected Release Date: N/A

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

Number of Pushbacks: One

It’s a pretty bold move to name your second album Hall of Fame, considering the ever-looming sophomore jinx. But then again, confidence has never been an issue for G.O.O.D. Music’s Big Sean, who’s enjoying quite the successful run following his prompt ascent with 2011’s Finally Famous. Scoring a few accolades off the debut, including platinum and gold plaques for singles “Dance (A$$),” “My Last” and “Marvin & Chardonnay,” Sean Don kept milestones coming in 2012 as he swamped the game with top-tier verses (“Mercy,” “Burn,” “Clique”), delivered a G.O.O.D. ass mixtape (Detroit) and even scored a Grammy nod (“Mercy”).

One can only imagine what treats Sean Don has in store for Hall of Fame seeing as how he’s recently revealed that J. Cole, No I.D. and Kanye West were all “blown away” after hearing the album. Expected to be a “roller coaster” of different feelings and “far more inspirational and conceptually-driven,” Hall of Fame is said to feature appearances by Kanye West, Wiz Khalifa, Nas, Jhene Aiko, Common, Tyga and possibly Eminem. On this second go-round, Sean is poised to do it B.I.G.

3. Jay-Z, Twelfth Studio Album

Expected Release Date: N/A

Label: Roc Nation

Number of Pushbacks: N/A

It’s fascinating how nearly 20 years deep in the rap game Jay-Z still remains a leading force in what’s supposedly a young man’s sport. His 2011 effort with Yeezy (Watch The Throne) showcased multiple facets of Jigga from personal reflections to flamboyant lifestyle hip-hop’s modern one percent advocates, as well as spawning singles (“Niggas In Paris” and “No Church in the Wild”) that remained on the radio for the whole year. Along with his guest verses featured on G.O.O.D Music’s “Clique,” and Rick Ross’ “3 Kings,” the historic launch of the Barclay’s Center, and the highly publicized birth of his daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, Jay-Z remained more active than ever. Now, with a new set of ventures, a daughter, and the throne still trampled with his footsteps, the anticipation for this next Jay-Z venture remains high. Reports have stated that Hov’s been in the lab with Jahlil Beats, Pharrell, Timbaland and–of course–Kanye West. Whatever the outcome, a Jay-Z album never stays silent. It’ll be an event for certain.

2. Drake, Third Studio Album

Expected Release Date: N/A

Label: Young Money, Cash Money, Universal Republic

Number of Pushbacks: N/A

After dropping arguably a hip-hop classic with Take Care last November, he kept his run going with a string of strong guest verses throughout 2012. Drizzy shared on Twitter that he has started working on a new album. “It's been exactly one year since Take Care dropped. Sitting in our new studio working on the next album. Just want to say thank you.”

Another hint that Champagne Papi is ready to make new music: A song presumably titled “No New Friends.” Produced by longtime collaborator Noah "40" Shebib, “No New Friends” should mark his comeback season in 2013. It’s true that new LPs from legends like Eminem and Jay-Z are huge, but the anticipation is at an all-time high for some new Drizzy.

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1. Kanye West, Sixth Studio Album

Expected Release Date: N/A

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

Number of Pushbacks: N/A

A lot has changed for Kanye West since he unleashed his last solo album, the masterpiece My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. In the absence of a solo album Mr. West has released Watch The Throne with his big brother Jay-Z and the G.O.O.D. Music compilation Cruel Summer, he’s seen his protégé Big Sean become a household name, and is now on the verge of fatherhood. He has also sworn off of doing interviews, so there’s so much material there to potentially inspire his sixth solo album. There isn’t much information involving the album available, but we could only speculate that like all other Kanye West productions this album will be one of the biggest events of 2013.