No shortage of excellent Christian hip-hop albums are expected to be released in 2015.
Out of all the highly anticipated albums this year, Rapzilla’s staff put together a list of the 25 most. Albums on the list are by artists who have either announced, hinted at or Rapzilla simply expects them to release.
Here are the 25 albums and why they are anticipated.
Alex Faith & Dre Murray
Every retail project that Collision Records has ever released has been in the discussion for album or EP of the year. Alex Faith and Dre Murray would have to buck a trend of excellence for their collaborative effort to disappoint.
Andy Mineo’s last LP, Heroes for Sale, was the highest-selling debut in Christian hip-hop history. This time around, with MTV reporters Sway Calloway and Rob Markman in his corner, Mineo’s sophomore sales could again test history.
After releasing 10 mixtapes, Dee-1 is finally set to release his first retail project this decade. With RCA Inspiration behind it, his 3’s Up EP could make noise on the Billboard charts.
The God Over Money movement is larger than ever, and its frontman is expected to release a new solo album in 2015. Bizzle always brings the boldness.
After five well-received albums with Rhema Soul, Butta P debut solo album could be months away. Gawvi will likely play a major role in its production.
Corey Paul’s Grace Love Mercy was one of the best album of 2013. Since then, he’s stood out on all his features — and for more than his unique voice.
Empire will be Derek Minor’s first album not overseen by Reach Records since he changed his name from PRo. Releasing on your own label typically means more freedom, which should have fans anticipating what Minor will do with it.
It feels like Dream Junkies can do no wrong. Over the course of nine months, John Givez and Beleaf released celebrated solo albums and, in between, the collective dropped arguably the best free project of 2014.
Humble Beast has released four LPs since it signed Eshon Burgundy in 2013. A source told Rapzilla his long-awaited label debut will be on the level of Jackie Hill Perry’s The Art of Joy, which drew rave reviews.
Gemstones’ lead single for his debut album on Lupe Fiasco’s record label 1st & 15th Entertainment made Kanye West a fan, but the project never came out. Gemstones’ Elephant in the Room mixtape and single “Circles” rebuilt his buzz, making his Blind Elephant arguably the most anticipated album of the year.
HillaryJane dropped two EPs in 2014, Stix and Stones and an acoustic version. Few females in Christian hip hop are putting out music at a faster rate.
JGivens featured on what felt like was 47 songs this past year, and he shined on them all. He set the bar so high that, if his Humble Beast debut is a classic, few would be surprised.
John Givez featured on what felt like was 47 songs this past year, and he shined on them all. One Christian hip-hop executive not named Ruslan told Rapzilla that “Givez is next, dare I say now!”
Json is one of the most transparent artists in Christian hip hop. The combination of this and his No Filter concept could make for the most transparent Json album to date, which is saying something.
KB has been in the studio with COBRA Music Group, which consists of Grammy Award-winning producers Joseph Prielozny and Dirty Rice and songwriter Natalie Lauren. COBRA could produce the entire album, which was a successful strategy for Reach Records when Gawvi executive produced Trip Lee’s Rise.
KIDD just became able to vote, yet he’s gearing up for his third project after Murder My Flesh and Hipsavvy: The Introduction. He made noticeable strides between his first two efforts, so a similar improvement would further raise expectations for the 18-year-old.
Reach has given no hint that Lecrae will release music in 2015 because it’s busy with KB and Andy Mineo’s albums. However, Lecrae has dropped a project every year since 2010 and is likely to take advantage of his mainstream momentum.
Few Christian hip-hop artists have ever had the resources of a major label backing them. NF does with Capitol Christian Music Group and, if his label debut album performs as expected, more Christian rappers will start to send demos to major labels.
Natalie Lauren has been busy writing for Grammy Award-winning and nominated artists over the past couple years. The album that fans have been anticipating since she shined on the hooks of double digit Reach songs is finally months away.
No Malice has a unique voice for a Christian hip-hop artist. Not only has he seen more of the music industry than most, but most of his fans are still likely from his secular days.
PyRexx released one of the most popular mixtapes of 2014 in #Workflo Vol. 1. As if his debut album as a Christian, Born Again Disciple, wasn’t anticipated enough, the lead single “Imma Get There” featured Houston legend Bun B.
Curtiss King and Ray Rock, who have produced for Kendrick Lamar and Andy Mineo, respectively, raved about Ruslan’s upcoming music to Rapzilla. The singles he’s been releasing support their praise.
Many have called Sho Baraka’s first album removed from Reach, Talented Xth, a classic. Two years later, the socially conscious artist is sure to have something bold to say.
Renegades Never Die may challenge for the Most Bangers of the Year Award in Christian hip hop. Skrip executive produced his own project, which is rare for rappers nowadays.
Social Club is the best.