We don’t have to tell you that 2016 might have been one of the most impactful years of music in recent memory. You heard the work. You weighed in. You, like the rest of us, are still shaking it off.
But as we creep into the year of the orange blob, it dawned on us that if 2017 is to live up to its potent predecessor, there’s considerable ground to cover. And quickly. Lest we forget, at this time last year we had a clear-cut contender for MVP (Malibu.) This one’s off to steadier start, but by week’s end we could have this year’s equivalent.
You don’t have to look too deep into the crystal ball to see 2017’s got more than a chance. As it turns out, if all goes according to plan (it never does) this lap round the sun could prove to be just as overwhelming for heads and their hearts, with rumored projects from GZA, Earl Sweatshirt, Joey Bada$$ and the gamut of hip-hop’s most revered MCs and producers across the generational divide. Who knows, we could even get the now mythical DOOMSTARKS project by the time the ball drops on the year.
Hell, the confirmed projects alone are enough to get us giddy. All of The Internet‘s moving parts are slated to release respective solo records, Stones Throw‘s readying their next soul stunner in Gabriel Garzón-Montano‘s debut full-length, while long-delayed projects from Sampha, SZA, Kehlani, Dirty Projectors and Nelly Furtado are all landing square in the middle of Q1, sustaining the infinite stretch of r&b’s boundaries. Throw in potential showings from Kanye West, Travis Scott and G.O.O.D. Music, and you’ve got all the makings of another stellar year in music just a few months in.
The following pages compile all we know about these most anticipated albums of 2017. That TBD section is extensive, but we’re hoping to fill in the lines as details arrive throughout the remainder of the year. Flip through and get an early peek at what’s ahead and brace yourself for another year of excellence from go-to’s and newcomers alike.