Ab-Soul – DWTW (Top Dawg Entertainment)
Do What Thou Wilt, or the abrreviated, DWTW is the album that marks the end of Herbert Anthony Stevens IV’s twenties before his landmark birthday and entry into his thirties next February. The album will feature appearences from Ab-Soul’s friends and Top Dawg Entertainment labelmates SZA and Schoolboy Q. The momentum for the West Coast rapper’s fourth album has been steadily building since September following the release of the first single from the album ‘Huey Knew’, which featured a cameo from Da$h, and each track that has been shared to has been well received and another indication that this is a strong return by the artist. Top Dawg Entertainment had an incredible output earlier this year with Schoolboy Q’s Blank Face record and fans of the label will be equally satisfied with this offering. Anyway, you’ve got to love an artist that can write a song entitled, ‘Wifey vs. WiFi.’
J. Cole – 4 Your Eyez Only (Dreamville)
J. Cole has been generatng quite the frenzy in the music headlines lately. If it isn’t a story about a potential feud with Kanye or articles rounding up reasons why his fourth studio album, 4 Your Eyez Only is the quintessential piece of work to round off an exceptional year for new music, Cole is a constant talking point. This is an album to be savoured and one to pay close attention to the artist’s lyrics as he has been hinting at an early retirement, or at least an extended break, during recent performances and in his verses.
Post Malone – Stoney (Republic Records)
Stoney is the highly anticipated debut album from Post Malone, the twenty-one year old rapper whose single ‘White Iverson’, made him an artist that garnered people’s attention. It has only been seven months since he released his mixtape, August 26th but that brief interim is not evident throughout Stoney. This is full of captivating arrangements, effects and lyrics from the opener. The album also features a guest appearance from Justin Bieber. Post Malone will definitely become a more familiar name and a regular fixture on your playlist in the next year.