The art of making an album has become a non-factor within contemporary hip-hop. With mainstream artists and labels constantly pumping out singles, tracks are getting shorter, and entire bodies of work are becoming scarce. Last year featured several releases from some of the culture’s most revered artists. However, specific individuals undoubtedly do not need to release a project in 2023.
There are multiple reasons why an artist may refrain from releasing an album. Still, sometimes an act must recompose themselves before thrusting their art upon fans. Whether they have flooded streaming services with their average material or displayed some inexplicable and erratic behaviour, some musicians belong out of the limelight.
There is a multitude of figures within the culture that need to take a much-needed break and assess their next move. In 2022, several acts put their careers on the line. Whether that be because of their demeanour or abominable music, it’s undeniable that some hip-hop acts need to sit down and re-evaluate their careers before they start recording new music.
Some of last year’s breakout rappers are one-hit wonders and appear incapable of making another decent track, let alone an album. On the contrary, other exceptionally talented artists went on the rampage and have turned people off them completely.
In this article, we will list five rap music artists who definitely should not need to release an album in 2023.
The five artists who shouldn’t drop an album this year:
5. Azealia Banks
Azealia Banks has been an agent of chaos ever since she broke out in 2011 with her debut single ‘212’. The rapper has repeatedly sabotaged her career, and it is no surprise that 2022 saw no difference from the Harlem artist. In 2012, the artist chose to sign with Interscope. By 2014 she had cut ties with the label. In 2018, the New York native signed with Eone. By 2019 she had severed comunnication. At the end of 2022, the rapper signed with Parlophone. By February of this year, she had cut ties. The chaos is endless.
Furthermore, she viciously trashed the entire nation of Australia in an extremely vulgar way due to a minor misunderstanding with a promoter located in the country. I think it’s safe to say that she has alienated the entirety of her fanbase. She most definitely does not need to release an album any time soon, as it will fall upon deaf ears.
Drake has put out a lot of projects over the years. However, although he has always framed it as merely embracing, the Toronto rapper (real name Aubrey Graham) has done a lot of genre-hopping. For many, it is suspicious and extremely confusing as many of his albums aren’t cohesive, and it sends mixed messages. Drake has always been known as the soft-hearted lothario of hip-hop. However, when he began to release UK Drill songs, it threw the whole world off as they didn’t align with his previous work and didn’t seem organic.
This has increasingly been the case with Graham. From amapiano to house and grime, the rapper has done it all and needs to refrain from releasing anything until he composes himself and thoroughly re-evaluates his creative direction. Creatively, Drake has become lost. His R’n’B format is getting tiresome, especially as more aggressive genres such as drill are beginning to dominate. With so many accolades to his name, it may be hard for Drake to bring something new to the table. The Toronto native definitely has no need to release an album in 2023.
3. The Game
Despite what he may believe, The Game hasn’t been musically relevant for a long time. During the early 2000s, The Game signed with Aftermath. Having been discovered by Dr Dre and quickly became part of 50 Cent’s G-unit crew. However, following the deterioration of their friendship, the rapper (real name Jayceon Taylor) has not done much.
However, he has continued to make headlines by ranting on social media, making songs about 50 Cent and his affiliates, including Dr Dre and Eminem. This has led to the Compton emcee becoming a bitter has-been, and, for many, it is growing tiresome. The Game’s 2005 debut album, The Documentary, was a smash hit. However, it was executively produced by both 50 Cent and Dr Dre, whom he fell out with shortly after its release. The fallout resulted in Taylor parting ways with Aftermath, and he has been trying to replicate the success of his debut ever since.
In 2022, Taylor released Drillmatic: Heart vs Mind which boasted a track entitled ‘The Black Slim Shady.’ It seems The Game will forever be hung up on the fact he is no longer signed to Aftermath and, as such, will continue to goad 50 Cent and his affiliates as he desperately seeks publicity. Following last year’s project, the last thing Taylor needs to do is release yet another body of work.
2. Nicki Minaj
Although it may be somewhat controversial to say, since 2015, Nicki Minaj has been slowly but surely losing respect within hip-hop due to her shenanigans. From name-calling and goading on her radio show to trolling individuals on social media, Minaj has stooped unbelievably low over the past five years, and many are disgusted by it. Minaj has said and done some despicable things over the years.
From calling Travis Scott a “hoe n*gga” to claiming that Cardi B had sexual relations with DJs to achieve success, the Queens rapper has crossed the line on more than one occasion. Although the artist (real name Onika Maraj) released her first greatest hits album, Queen Radio: Volume 1, last year, following her battle with Latto and other new female artists, it would be highly unwise for the ‘Super Bass’ rapper to release another project.
1. Kanye West
When it comes to Kanye West, one can’t say much. Due to his erratic and malignant behaviour last year, West got himself blackballed from hip-hop, banned from social media and had all his fashion endorsements and various deals terminated. Moreover, his antics culminated in his net worth depleting by four billion dollars.
2022 saw the Chicago rapper buddy up with Nick Fuentes, a highly controversial individual. On his podcast, America First Fuentes proudly proclaimed, “I don’t support women’s rights, I don’t support LGBT rights, I believe in race and gender essentialism, I’m Catholic, I’m a Catholic reactionary, I believe that organised Jewry is extremely influential in the United States.” Kanye was too preaching a similar message of intolerance and stunned hip-hop.
From his music and fashion endeavours to his family relations, West threw them all in the bin as he toured right-wing media outlets delivering tirades of antisemitic and nonsensical conspiracy theories. This culmination shocked fans and critics alike as he proceeded to go off the rails. The last thing West should do is release an album at this point in his career, as it won’t be well-received considering the vast swathes of people he has offended both in and outside of the industry.