The year was 2009 AD. After countless years of delays and speculation, Wu-Tang Clansman Chef Raekwon unleashed upon an unprepared world Only Buily 4 Cuban Linx II. Originally slated for a 2005 release, the exceptionally big gap between its announcement and its hitting store shelves was quickly forgiven in favor of the rap world realizing it had taken so long because it was being perfected. There’s been plenty of delayed rap releases, as well as announced projects that never come to fruition, but the handful of albums we keep getting updates about despite being roughly a decade in production are slowly killing us. Using a highly scientific and completely arbitrary system, we’ve assembled the odds for those of you willing to make a bet as to whether these oft delayed albums will finally see the light of day this year.
Despot’s Debut Album
Odds on a 2014 Release: 4-to-1
When rap game Teeny Little Super Guy Despot first cynically kicked his way into our hearts a decade ago on the now-defunct Definitive Jux’s third label compilation, the label’s frequent output made it seem like a Despot full-length would be out in no time. Admittedly a slow perfectionist writer, it’s now been a decade and Despot has remained an indie favorite dropping at least one show-stealing guest appearance and leaking one sleeper hit single a year. Information on whatever his full-length is seems to change, but given his fanbase and profile is now bigger than ever, 2014 might be the year we finally get it.
Odds on a 2014 Release: 10-to-1
2014 also marks 10 years since the release of the underground classic Madvillain album Madvillainy. Critically acclaimed upon its release and instantly amassing one of rap’s largest cult followings, the dream team of Madlib and MF Doom almost immediately announced they were working on a proper follow-up. While we did get a remix project from Madlib called Madvillainy 2 that saw him retool the original vocals, it’s somewhat shocking that a record which would conceivably be such a slam dunk hasn’t happened yet. With label Stones Throw returning to rap radars thanks to recent releases from Homeboy Sandman and Jonwayne, if the stars were ever aligning for a proper sequel, they would be now.
MF Doom and Ghostface – Swift and Changeable
Odds on a 2014 Release: 40-to-1
In the black hole that consists solely of announced rap projects including that second Black Star album and that Beanie Sigel and Scarface album produced entirely by Kanye West, nobody is more guilty of stirring up false hopes than MF Doom. While some of us are still stinging from the cancelled 3rd KMD album Mental Illness, the Doom-Ghostface carrot has been dangled in front of us far too long. One would think someone as prolific as Ghostface, who has put out three projects since we began typing this sentence, would at least be able to balance out the villainous procrastination of the metal faced one, but it seems not to be the case. The project’s label Nature Sounds has been on a hot streak as of late, and the sudden announcement of Swift and Changeable having a release date would be a welcome addition to their output.
Jay Electronica’s Debut Album
Odds on a 2014 Release: 100-to-1
Brace yourself readers. It’s now been FIVE full years since Jay Electronica’s “Exhibit A” crowned him the future king of rap who was going to finally unite all nations, ages and creeds under one hip-hop banner and save us all. Since then, we’ve gotten “Exhibit C,” one of the best songs of the decade, followed by a Mountain Dew commercial and some guest appearances with actors and songs for video games. The man was the center of one of the most public bidding wars in hip-hop history and has produced nothing. Don’t get us wrong, we would LOVE a Jay Electronica full-length and would camp out in front of an abandoned Tower Records symbolically as we download it from iTunes the midnight it drops, but the monsoon of negative space that Jay Electronica possesses in the rap world makes such an event highly unlikely.
Dr. Dre’s Detox
Odds on a 2014 Release: 2001-to-1
There have been endless “perfect” opportunities for Dr. Dre’s oft-delayed Detox was set to come out. From 2005, which would have put it at the exact same number of years between The Chronic and 2001, to 2009 where it seemed like it was going to be a one-two shot with Eminem’s similarly titled Relapse, to 2011 where we actually got two supposed singles with highly expensive videos from the project. Yet, we’re still nowhere closer to Detox finally hitting our ears. At least we have those expensive Dr. Dre Beats headphones to not hear the new album on, right? Keep in mind, if the ball drops on December 31st, 2014 and Detox isn’t nestled warmly on our hard drives, it will officially make the wait for its release longer than that for Guns ‘N’ Roses’ Chinese Democracy.