2023 was a transformative year for the music industry, marked by notable shifts and milestones. Country music dominated the Billboard charts, which showcased its enduring popularity and influence. Additionally, the ascent of rap on the charts was highlighted by Doja Cat’s “Paint The Town Red,” which was 2023’s first hip hop No. 1. Moreover, the pervasive impact of short-form social media apps and features like TikTok and Reels reshaped the music industry, encouraging artists to leverage them to promote their songs and engage with audiences in innovative ways. Notably, labels now consider an artist’s TikTok following and engagement a reputable and important metric, reflecting the evolving landscape of music promotion and consumption.
The anticipation of new releases from some of the most beloved rap and R&B stars is huge for 2024. From Beyoncé’s enigmatic RENAISSANCE: ACT II to J. Cole’s highly anticipated potential retirement album, The Fall Off, there is certainly a sense of excitement and curiosity surrounding upcoming projects. While not every artist on this list may be releasing an LP in 2024, the fervent anticipation for their future musical endeavors is undeniable.
Get into REVOLT’s list of who we want albums from this year below.
1. J. Cole
J. Cole has come a long way from The Warm Up. Hailing from Fayetteville, North Carolina, Cole is one of the few rappers who found his lane and built a GOAT-caliber resume by mastering it. For the longest time, conversations about Drake, Cole and Kendrick dominated. By 2023, their spots on Hip Hop’s Mt. Rushmore were secured in many fans’ eyes. All three are now approaching the tail end of their careers and Cole, in particular, has heavily hinted at his next album, The Fall Off, being his last. Truth be told, the rap game isn’t ready to say goodbye to Jermaine, but between The Off-Season and the incredible feature run we’ve seen from him these past few years, his fans have been well-fed. So, if the “Love Yourz” lyricist decides to take some time off after The Fall Off, fans can’t be mad.
Rihanna is the definition of a global pop sensation. She has left an undeniable mark on music history with her extraordinary output and beloved music catalog. Her 2016 release ANTI not only garnered critical acclaim but also achieved an impressive peak at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, which solidified her legacy of excellence in the industry and arguably went down as her best work. Truth be told, Rihanna doesn’t have to return to music. From having babies with A$AP Rocky to her billion-dollar beauty business, there’s probably little incentive for her to do so. But fans will always eagerly anticipate her next musical endeavor — even if it’s taking some time to happen.
Beyoncé, an unparalleled figure in the music industry, stands as one of the most successful and critically acclaimed artists of all time. With her 2022 release, RENAISSANCE, Bey reaffirmed her dominance through commercial success as she peaked at No. 1 on Billboard. The album set an incredibly high bar for what’s next and turned into a cultural moment to remember as Beyoncé embarked on a worldwide, record-breaking tour shortly after. As the follow-up to RENAISSANCE, ACT II looms on the horizon for 2024, fans and critics alike are hungry for another chapter of her brilliance. Because of Queen Bey’s unparalleled artistry and cultural impact, her upcoming project is highly anticipated, and fans are eagerly looking forward to witnessing the global superstar’s next phase.
Wale has had a reputation of being “underrated” for over a decade. That said, in 2021, he released his last album, Folarin II, which was a critical and commercial success. And, just a few weeks ago, he dropped his single “Max Julien,” signaling the beginning of a new era. Wale on his A-game means that he’s not to be played with, and after listening to “Max Julien,” the anticipation from fans is sky-high. Is the D.C. spitter about to let it all out in his music? If he’s coming with the same heat that he had on his latest single, it could finally be time to add Wale to the Hip Hop Mt. Rushmore discussions.
Latto has been grinding in music since she was a teenager on Jermaine Dupri’s show “The Rap Game.” The young lyricist’s bodacious bars and confident delivery have established her as a formidable presence. Her sophomore album, 777, released in 2022, achieved both critical and commercial success, and set the stage for her continued ascent in the competitive female rap landscape. As 2024 approaches, the anticipation for Latto’s next project grows, and fans are eagerly awaiting another dose of her signature style. Notably, the Georgia big name has been teasing collaborations with prominent artists as she hints at star-studded features on her upcoming LP, which has further fueled excitement and speculation. Additionally, her recent ventures into pop collaborations — including a potential project with Christina Aguilera — showcased her versatility and potential for groundbreaking musical endeavors. Latto’s active touring schedule in 2023 and 2024 shows her dedication to engaging with her audience and further solidifying her presence. With her multifaceted approach and promising trajectory, fans can’t wait for whatever Big Latto has coming up next.
6. Bryson Tiller
Bryson Tiller, who is celebrated for his signature style of trap soul R&B, has consistently mesmerized audiences with his velvety vocals and introspective lyrics. His 2020 release ANNIVERSARY not only garnered critical acclaim but also achieved an impressive peak at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top R&B Albums chart, solidifying Tiller’s position as a genre-defying artist. As fans actively await Tiller’s upcoming album, there’s excitement surrounding the musical landscapes he will explore next, especially after he revealed pending collaborations with stars such as Justin Bieber, Jack Harlow and the iconic Mariah Carey. Expected to be released in 2024, the LP has been a topic of anticipation and speculation, especially following his recent singles and success. Additionally, Tiller’s return to touring after six years and his commitment to delivering new music has further heightened the anticipation.
Often recognized for penning monstrous hits for artists like Drake and Rihanna, PARTYNEXTDOOR is revered for his smooth vocals and sensual production. But, we’ve still yet to see him reach the level of success some of his peers have. Even though his 2020 release of PARTYMOBILE had several tracks that leaked years prior, the album further emphasized his ability to craft a sonic experience that resonates deeply with fans. Plus, it stood out as some of his best work. Recently, Drake announced that PND4 was on the way, but since there’s been no sign of him dropping it, fans are eagerly awaiting yet another collection of soulful tracks that will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on the R&B landscape.
8. Summer Walker
When it came to R&B artists having a cult following big enough to command superstar status, few women fell into that category in 2023 — but SZA and Summer Walker dominated. With the former seeing an incredible amount of success from her latest LP, SOS, and single “Snooze,” she showed that R&B still has a ton of staying power. Walker, on the other hand, proved she’s capable of beating the “sophomore slump” with the success of Still Over It, and the anticipation for her next album is only growing by the day. As she garners attention for her music and personal life — including a relationship with Lil Meech from “BMF” and her first solo Grammy nomination for the CLEAR 2: SOFT LIFE EP — the enthusiasm for her next musical endeavor in 2024 is palpable.
9. Megan Thee Stallion
H-town Hottie Megan Thee Stallion has captivated audiences with her confident delivery and infectious hooks since debuting. Despite facing challenges, such as label disputes and court trials, Megan made a triumphant return to the music scene with “Bongos” alongside Cardi B and “Cobra,” signaling the unwavering commitment to her artistry. Notably, Megan has revealed that her next album will be released independently, showing her determination to take control of her musical journey. This move has sparked anticipation and curiosity among fans, who eagerly await the next chapter in the Hottie’s evolution — especially after the release of her sophomore studio album, Traumazine. As the Houston native continues to navigate the rap industry’s ever-evolving landscape, her resilience and creative prowess have positioned her as a force to be reckoned with.
Grammy-winning artist H.E.R. has been making waves with her versatile talents as a singer, songwriter and producer. Her self-titled compilation album, which was released in 2017, set the stage for her subsequent accomplishments in the music industry. Furthermore, her debut studio album, Back Of My Mind, released in 2021, received widespread critical acclaim and solidified her position as one of the industry’s most dynamic figures. As fans look ahead to 2024, there is a palpable sense of anticipation for H.E.R.’s next offering, and many recognize her potential to become R&B’s biggest superstar given her exceptional ability to play several instruments. With her dedication to creating meaningful and impactful music, fans are excited for H.E.R.’s next album and eager to witness her continued artistic growth.
11. Tyler, The Creator
Tyler, The Creator has solidified his position as one of the most innovative rappers in the industry, known for pushing the boundaries with his unconventional sound and fearless experimentation. Since 2019’s IGOR, Tyler has continued to separate himself from the pack. CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST achieved both critical acclaim and commercial success, and reached the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 chart. Now, fans are expecting another round of genre-defying brilliance following CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST: The Estate Sale in 2023. Tyler’s consistent track record of delivering innovative work has left fans on the edge of their seats for his next project, even as they anticipate a longer wait time.
12. Ice Spice
Ice Spice’s meteoric rise to stardom made 2023 her year. Her breakout single, “Munch (Feelin’ U),” went viral on TikTok in 2022, which propelled her into the spotlight and set the stage for her rapid ascent to fame. This success has captured the attention of the music industry and fans alike, generating widespread anticipation for her debut album. Spice’s unique sound, which fuses New York drill with elements of other genres like pop, has sparked excitement about the direction her debut offering will take. Moreover, her commitment to female empowerment and intention to explore the use of new sounds have further intrigued her fanbase and the wider music community. The announcement of a deluxe version of her debut EP and collaborations with other artists have sustained the momentum and heightened anticipation for her upcoming album. Ice Spice’s ability to transcend genres, her rapid ascent to stardom and her commitment to pushing the boundaries of her music make her next album highly anticipated.