We've been treated to a number of quality albums so far in 2017, and that will only increase with the summertime, a season typically reserved for major releases.
Some artists are returning after a lengthy musical hiatus (Haim), some are moving into position to own the year with anthems (DJ Khaled), while others are looking to show what they're truly capable of through a debut album (Camila Cabello, SZA).
To give you an idea of what's in store, we've put together a list of projects you can expect to get in the coming months. From Calvin Harris to Jay Z, these are the most anticipated albums of summer '17.
Release Date: June 9
Those waiting for SZA's debut album won't have to wait much longer as the TDE artist is set to release Ctrl on June 9. The project has had its share of delays in the past, but with the firm release date it's clear SZA and her team/label are both aligned and confident in what she's about to deliver to the masses.
Previously released singles “Drew Barrymore” and “Love Galore” featuring Travis Scott will both be included on the 14-song project, and we wouldn't be surprised if some of SZA's fellow TDE members pop up as well. —Edwin Ortiz
2 Chainz, ‘Pretty Girls Like Trap Music’
Release Date: June 16
2 Chainz is coming off an impressive 2016 run that included four projects and a grip of guest features to keep his name in the conversation. He's taking that momentum into Pretty Girls Like Trap Music, which is due out June 16, and the tracklist is stacked with features ranging from Drake to Travis Scott to Monica.
More guests made the cut including Trey Songz, Jhené Aiko, and Ty Dolla $ign on “It's a Vibe,” as well as Gucci Mane and Quavo, who join 2 Chainz on “Good Drank.” Even though a number of big names are attached, we expect 2 Chainz to shine through like he did all last year. —Edwin Ortiz
Vince Staples, ‘Big Fish Theory’
Release Date: June 23
Long Beach rapper and Complex cover star Vince Staples recently revealed to Beats 1’s Zane Lowe that his follow-up to Summertime ‘06 is on the way. Previous release “BagBak,” as well as his newest single “Big Fish” will be on the album, and it also sounds like he locked in an eclectic guest list. After Staples' Beats 1 appearance, Lowe took to Twitter to ominously list artists among the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Bon Iver, Flume, and ASAP Rocky for possible features on Big Fish Theory.
It’s unclear whether these features will come to be, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility.
Staples’ strength lies in his gifted storytelling through hard-hitting raps, and no matter what direction he chooses to take on this new project, it’s likely he has the insight to produce an album that’s as lyrically stimulating as it is fresh and compelling. —Nora-Grayce Orosz
Calvin Harris, ‘Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1’
Release Date: June 30
Calvin Harris has already demonstrated his prowess for producing star-studded bangers, which has led to some dubbing him the “DJ Khaled of EDM-pop.” That title is pretty on point, as his album teaser trailer boasts a long list of collaborators including: Travis Scott, Kehlani, Big Sean, Partynextdoor, Nicki Minaj, Lil Yachty, John Legend, Katy Perry, and Schoolboy Q. Finessing all these artists’ unique styles into one album could’ve been too daunting a task for a less skilled producer, but Harris seems to know exactly what he’s doing.
His Frank Ocean and Migos super jam, “Slide,” is already poised to be song of the summer, and it isn’t a stretch to say that Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1 could just be the album of the summer. His initial singles, (“Slide,” “Rollin,” “Heatstroke”) have given us a taste of what Harris is capable of creating when he fuses his own breezy electronic pop with funkier hip-hop beats and bass lines. Maybe it took splitting with Taylor Swift to realize his true powers, or maybe he’s just been waiting for the perfect moment to drop his most fire project to date, but whatever the reason, summer 2k17 is going to have him to thank when it’s released. —Nora-Grayce Orosz
Haim, ‘Something to Tell You’
Release Date: July 7
To say that the follow-up to Haim’s 2013 debut Days Are Gone is highly anticipated would be an understatement. Since the sister trio dropped their Grammy-nominated project there’s been close to radio silence regarding any new music. Thankfully, the silence has finally been broken as Something to Tell You has an official release date of July 7.
The sisters have revealed that the new project will mark a return to their true rock roots, and, watching them perform, it’s clear that rock runs in their blood. The strength of the Haim sisters' live presence is truly captivating to witness, and likely why they chose to release their lead single “Right Now” first as a live take recorded and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. The video was a comforting little peek back into the sisters’ musical lives reassuring fans that they have initiated the staging of their comeback. Haim are still keeping things mostly a mystery regarding Something to Tell You, and at this point, it’s best to keep things a mystery to make the release that much more exciting. —Nora-Grayce Orosz
Lana Del Rey, ‘Lust for Life’
Release Date: July 21
From what we know of Lust for Life so far, Lana Del Rey has fixed her gaze on a slightly atypical subject matter for her newest record. The melancholic pop star has transformed her signature “Hollywood sadcore” style into a more nuanced reflection of the emotional complexities many, including the singer herself, are experiencing today. Del Rey admitted that her first four albums were for her, but Lust for Life is a gift to her fans.
With the latest release of “Coachella – Woodstock in My Mind,” it’s clear Del Rey has begun to wade into the shallow pool of “socially aware” pop music. The musings she’s presented on initial Lust for Life singles are introspective as always, but with a more optimistic tone. If this new direction wasn’t enough to get you excited for the album, the collaborations with the Weeknd, musical royalty offspring Sean Ono Lennon, and the white witch herself, Stevie Knicks, might help. Del Rey is tapping into new territory on Lust for Life and might just be her most intriguing work yet. —Nora-Grayce Orosz
DJ Khaled, ‘Grateful’
Release Date: N/A
Producer and life coach extraordinaire DJ Khaled has his tenth studio album Grateful on the way for summer 2017. With masterful executive production from his son Asahd, an endless collaboration roster of music’s elite and that ever-humble attitude, there’s really no way this album can fail.
If the success of his “I’m the One” collaboration with Chance the Rapper, Quavo, Justin Bieber, and Lil Wayne is any indication, Grateful is destined to make some serious waves this summer. “I’m the One” marks Khaled’s first No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and is a testament to his ability to produce songs with widespread appeal. You can’t help but be happy for him and luckily, there’ll be many more chances for hits when his album drops. —Nora-Grayce Orosz
Lil Uzi Vert, ‘Luv Is Rage 2’
Release Date: N/A
Fans have become restless over waiting for Lil Uzi Vert’s Luv Is Rage 2, partially because he teases it in every Instagram post, but also because the Philly rapper has created a buzz unlike any other act in 2017.
That’s only increased with the success of “XO Tour Llif3,” which has cracked the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. He also earned a No. 1 earlier this year thanks to his contribution to Migos’ “Bad and Boujee.” With that kind of momentum, Uzi Vert is in prime position to strike while the iron’s hot. —Edwin Ortiz
Travis Scott and Quavo
Release Date: N/A
At the top of 2017, three major collaborative rap projects seemed like more than a pipe dream: Kanye and Drake, Young Thug and Future, and Chance the Rapper x Childish Gambino. Not only does a Travis Scott and Quavo album deserve to be mentioned in that same space because of their undeniable chemistry, but we know for certain it’s happening.
Quavo first hinted at it back in December (on Apple Music’s Beats 1), and Travis has since teased the project with two song previews (on Beats 1) and a warning that it may arrive as a surprise drop. That said, don’t be surprised if Apple Music is involved in some way. —Edwin Ortiz
Camila Cabello, ‘The Hurting. The Healing. The Loving.’
Release Date: N/A
Making the transition to a solo career after gaining fame and success with a group can be tricky, but Camila Cabello has handled it well. The 20-year-old star first hit fans with “Crying in the Club,” an upbeat performance ripe for the airwaves, and followed that up almost immediately with “I Have Questions.”
Her debut album The Hurting. The Healing. The Loving. is still without a release date, though she has marked September as the month fans can expect to hear what she’s been working on this past year. —Edwin Ortiz
Release Date: N/A
We’ve received a handful of signals that Jay Z’s next album is dropping soon. Among them: Swizz Beatz hinting Hov is in “album mode,” Jay lining up multiple festival appearances in early fall, and the fact that it’s been nearly four years since he dropped his last album, his longest break between projects.
What’s still unclear is how Hov will approach his thirteenth solo album. A lot has happened in his life since Magna Carta… Holy Grail, namely Beyoncé's Lemonade, two more kids on the way, his involvement in the streaming wars, and friend (now-foe?) Kanye calling him out. However Jay Z decides to tackle life at 47, we’re all ears. —Edwin Ortiz
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