It’s common for artists to take a year or two to release a new album. But for a few artists, two years is two years too many. Let’s check in on Kendrick Lamar, Kali Uchis, and Joey Bada$$, for a little vibe check on their progress making new work, and what they’ve been up to since their most recent album.
Last Studio Album: DAMN., 2017
Last Contribution: Arranger/Composer – CrasH Talk, ScHoolboy Q
Pressure is mounting on Kendrick to release a new album. Fans have been waiting since 2017 for a new studio album, and while he was a main composer for the “Black Panther” soundtrack, and helped out with “CrasH Talk,” ScHoolboy Q’s 2019 album, neither have slowed the growing hunger for a new K. Dot project.
Fans may have noticed that Kendrick recently trending on Twitter, but that was only due to Nicki Minaj reaching out to collab. While this Only Hip Hop Facts page cites Kendrick among a large section of TDE members hopefully dropping albums in 2020, they didn’t list a source, so fans will have to stay in the dark.
Last Studio Album: Isolation, 2018
Last Contribution: Featured Artist – 10%, Kaytranada
Kali Uchis burst on the scene in 2018 with a feature on “See You Again,” one of the highest charting songs on Tyler, the Creator’s “Scum Fuck Flower Boy,” and then dropping one of the best albums of the year; “Isolation.”
But since “Isolation” dropped, fans haven’t gotten much from the breakout star. “Solita,” a one-off single, dropped earlier this year, and was quickly overshadowed by hit single “10%,” a pre-release to Kaytranada’s “Bubba.” “10%” carried with it so many of the things fans loved on “Isolation,” featuring a bubbly vocal delivery and alluring lyrics over a bouncy, danceable beat.
While looking into Kendrick’s presence on Twitter wasn’t very helpful, a quick peek into Uchis’s profile shows that she has some loosies from past work that should be released soon. The Tweet has since been deleted, but it featured a screenshot of some selection of B sides from her last album.
Uchis fans can rejoice knowing they’ll be fed soon enough.
Last Studio Album: ALL-AMERIKKAN BADA$$, 2017
Last Contribution: Featured Artist, Daemons, XXXTentacion
Well-known for keeping the classic New York hip-hop sound alive, Joey Bada$$ has been dormant for several years after his politically poignant album from 2017, “ALL-AMERIKKAN BADA$$.” That album, along with “B4.DA.$$,” from 2015, solidified Joey as a staple of hip-hop, but with such a low-lying presence since then, what do we have to look forward to in the coming year or so?
Just like Kali Uchis, Joey clearly plans on dropping a new album soon! His recent features don’t lend to adopting a whole new sound, but the nature of those tracks also imply that he might not have had much creative control over the style of his vocal delivery. Tracks like “Daemon” by XXXTentaction and “Hot Box” by JID each had their downfalls, including poorly mixed vocals and tired beat selection. It will be refreshing to hear Joey over some new beats.
As always, Kendrick Lamar fans will be kept in the dark until the very last minute- but based on how long it’s been since “DAMN.” it’s not too extraneous to think he could be blessing us with another full-length project in the coming months. It might be loosies from “Isolation,” but if Kendrick’s set of b-sides on “Untitled Unmastered” has any bearing, Kali Uchis could have another album of the year candidate in the running. Even in the face of two of his weakest verses made public in the last year or so, Joey Bada$$ is still the same rapper that re-enlivened that classic New York sound, with a modern twist.