At some point in an artist's career they have pressure on them to drop a great album. Whether they need to rebound, they need to keep their career afloat or are on the verge of greatness at one point or another, artists will have a time where they need to be clutch. From JAY-Z's 4:44 showing that he can still drop classics on the tail end of his career or good kid, m.A.A.d city solidifying Kendrick as a Hip-Hop heavyweight there is always an expectation to deliver at one point or another. With that we will today be discussing eight artists that need to come through in their next effort.
The top rising star at Dreamville is at an all-time career high, in terms of fan interest but is also expected to level up when The Forever Story drops. JID is no stranger to the public with minor hits 151 Rum, Off Deez with J. Cole and Down Bad with Dreamville, but The Forever Story is an opportunity for him to reach a mainstream level. He has one of the most unique flows in the game and is really in a lane of his own and not only is he expected to cross over to a larger audience with the release of The Never Story, it's also expected to be his best album. Everything we have heard since DiCaprio 2 is very high quality, from his feature on Conway the Machine's Scatter Brain to his own singles like Skegee and Cludder, which are all top tracks this year. The Never Story and DiCaprio 2 are both great albums, but as a whole nothing that truly encompasses how good JID truly is. With The Forever Story being JID's third studio album and considering everything we have heard from him recently, this could be the album that levels him up in terms of popularity and respect from the Hip-Hop community, moving him into a conversation with some of the most respected modern rappers.
Ski Mask The Slump God
Ski Mask is an interesting spot, as he's been in this situation since the release of his debut studio album STOKELEY in 2018. The album was a success selling 51k first week and producing hits like Faucet Failure, Nuketown with the late Juice WRLD and Foot Fungus. But since 2018 Ski has been very quiet, announcing he's dropping three albums this year in June, then going on to drop Sin City The Mixtape with no promotion at all, which did poorly in sales and was not received very well either. Fans are very eager for Ski's next release, but if it doesn't live up to the hype his career could very much be in jeopardy. Ski Mask is a very talented and skillful rapper who has a very high ceiling in terms of potential, but his catalogue does not reflect that. STOKELEY being the only great release from Ski makes it even more important for him to deliver on his next project. His fans are still here, but if they aren't into what he releases and he doesn't see much success from the next album, it could be looking grim for his mainstream career.
Though not having immense mainstream success, Saba has a strong fan base who loves his work, and the respect of most of the Hip-Hop community for his critically acclaimed album CARE FOR ME. With his second studio album (CARE FOR ME) being such a success critically, as it is often praised as one of the better albums in recent memory, everyone is wondering if he can do it again. He's released two singles this year, and four in 2020, but other than that he's been fairly quiet. None of the track have made too much noise outside of his core fans, other than Mrs. Whoever which is a great record. With no news on his upcoming album fans are eager to see if he's capable of dropping another great album, or if he'll spend the rest of his career trying to chase the highs of CARE FOR ME.
Ever since the release of his cult classic album Trap Lord, it has been slightly downhill. Plain Jane was an undeniable hit in 2017-18 but has had trouble topping the charts since then. His two most recent Floor Seats projects have also been decent at best, going under the radar in terms of sales too. Ferg has shown strokes of his past great hits in tracks like Value, WAM with Madeintyo, and Dreams, Fairytales and Fantasies with Brent Faiyaz. It is very clear that Ferg still has it, he just hasn't been able to pull out another huge hit, or another consistently great project, with his most recent effort, Floor Seats II, being his worst record yet. I don't think we'll see another album from him until 2022, maybe even 2023 but his next album has to be a huge comeback for him.
Faneto is Chief Keef's most recent hit song. Faneto came out in 2015. For an artist who releases music as often as he does, that is not okay. In 2021 Chief Keef is a highly respected figure in Hip-Hop but that is for his early tapes, in recent years he's had little to no mainstream success. Although Chief Keef's career is fine regardless of whether he ever even drops music again, I would very much like to see him return to the top of the rap game. His recent singles have been heavily criticized, personally I've enjoyed them but other people are not loving the sound he's going for. Although not in desperate need of a comeback, every Chief Keef fan would love to see it.
It's been three years since the last Rae Sremmurd record, but it feels like even longer. That's because Swae began to launch a solo career, with huge features on Sicko Mode, Sunflower and Arms Around You. With having several huge songs in 2018, late 2019 and 2020 he began releasing solo singles, most of which have actually been quite good like Reality Check and Someone Said, but not seeing much success at all, especially when compared to his work with Rae Sremmurd, or his elite feature runs. He began talks of a solo album, followed by delay after delay, and not being spoken of since last year, with the anticlimactic release of his single Dance Like No One's Watching, which his label was hoping would trend on Tik Tok. I don't know if he will ever get the solo album, with his solo career being shelved all of 2021 as well as no music from Rae Sremmurd since SR3MM. I find it likely SremmLife 4 drops at some point, considering it was allegedly finished in 2019. I hope we don't see Swae Lee or Rae Sremmurd phase out of Hip-Hop considering they are trap pioneers with SremmLife being a groundbreaking record. Their situations seem really up in the air right now and I don't know what's next for them.
Fivey has seen a recent resurgence in popularity, considering he's been fairly quiet since blowing up in late 2019 and early 2020 with tracks like Big Drip and Wetty. Fivey is notoriously great on features but has really had a popularity spike in the last couple of months, being featured on Headshot with Lil Tjay and Polo G, as well as the recent Off The Grid with Kanye West. The reason he's blowing up is because he absolutely murdered his feature on Off The Grid, and it got everybody in the Hip-Hop world talking about him. He then announced his upcoming album is being produced by Kanye West, leading to even more excitement and speculation. Fivey is the most popular he's been in his career and for a good reason. With everyone discussing his new found skill, his next project is going to do numbers regardless. The question for Fivey is will it be good enough to keep the many new fans he's gained through Kanye.
Since Mood featuring 24kGoldn being a huge chart topping hit, people have been wondering what's next for Iann. He was never the biggest artist until Mood took him to the height of a popstar. Although he's released a couple albums prior to his next, this one will be the determinant of if he stays a mainstream staple, or goes back to releasing tracks that his fans love. His career is not at all in jeopardy, but it's more of a test of his star power. Is Iann Dior a hitmaker, or is he a mainstream artist with a strong core fanbase? Either way it's not a bad thing, but considering how low 24kGoldn's album streams were, with respect to the success of Mood, it'll be interesting to see if Iann Dior tanks a bit as well.