It’s a new year, meaning there’s a whole slew of new albums to look forward to—but the stakes somehow feel higher this time round. We’re officially in a fresh decade, and we can’t help but wonder which artists will be the first to put their stamp on this exciting era. Read on for the albums we’re most excited for in 2020.
There’s been plenty of buzz surrounding Cardi B’s second album. Since putting out her chart-smashing debut Invasion of Privacy, in 2018, the Bronx rapper has spent the past year releasing one-off singles. There was the J White-produced “Money,” the saucy Bruno Mars collab “Please Me” and “Press,” an unapologetic anthem that takes aim at the media.
In an interview with Billboard, Cardi revealed her sophomore record will feature “a more evolved” sound compared to her debut. “I’ve been listening to different types of music,” she said. “I wasn’t going with what was hot, I was going with what I want people to hear and what I liked. I’m just having fun in the studio.” So if CB2 is anything like those loosies, we’ll be in for a wild ride.
In 2018, Dua Lipa broke into the mainstream with her smash hit “New Rules,” and last year, she snagged wins for Best New Artist and Best Dance Recording at the Grammy Awards. And now, the British singer seems poised to extend her hot streak with her much-anticipated sophomore album, Future Nostalgia.
The pop star previously said in a statement that she aims to “keep the same pop sensibility” of her self-titled debut, while creating “something that felt nostalgic but had something fresh and futuristic about it too.” If disco-inspired lead single “Don’t Start Now” and the funky title track “Future Nostalgia” are anything to go by, Dua Lipa has done just that—and we can’t wait to hear the results.
Prepare for the return of Bieber fever: The wait for new solo Justin Bieber music has been a long one, but the singer is finally ready to release his follow-up to 2015’s Purpose.
Earlier this month, Bieber kicked off the as-yet-untitled record’s rollout in grand style with the infectious lead single, “Yummy,” the first taste of a new sound the singer has dubbed “R&Bieber.” He is also set to release Seasons, a ten-part docu-series about his semi-hiatus for YouTube Originals, and will embark on a huge North American tour in the fall.
In the four years since his last LP, the 25-year-old has still managed to stay in the public eye thanks to a number of huge collaborations. These include his chart-topping remix of Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito,” “I Don’t Care” with Ed Sheeran and a remix of Billie Eilish’s smash hit “Bad Guy.”
The three trap dons that comprise Migos—Quavo, Offset and Takeoff—spent 2019 walking their own paths by dropping solo albums. But the world feels ready for Culture III, and if Offset can be relied on, a new Migos album will be out this year. With any luck, it’ll feature more Drake collaborations on par with their smash hit “Walk it Talk it”: Last January, Quavo revealed that they went on a music-making tear with Drizzy while they were on tour together.
Megan Thee Stallion
2019 was Megan Thee Stallion’s breakout year, and 2020 is poised to be even bigger for the rising Houston rapper. After releasing her star-making Fever mixtape last summer, Megan announced that she was ready to drop her first-ever full-length in the new year. Her debut effort will introduce a new rap persona, Suga, whom she’s described as “besties” with her other alter ego, Tina Snow.
Though details of her upcoming project are still scant, the rapper teased on Twitter that she’s holding nothing back on her new release. “I’m supposed to be recording songs that’s more gentle but I keep winding up shitting on you bitches and reminding y’all n***as who I am,” Megan wrote. Is a new hot girl era upon us? We certainly hope so.
Normani might have been the last Fifth Harmony member to release a solo single, but if her debut “Motivation” is anything to go by, the 23-year-old might just come out on top. Normani Kordei Hamilton showed the world that she can not only sing, but really dance in the video for the old-school R&B-inspired song, which took the internet by storm upon release. Although few details about her debut album are available, Normani has already made her mark on 2020 with yet another high-profile collaboration: “Diamonds” with Megan Thee Stallion.
Rihanna didn’t keep her promise to release a new album in 2019, but that can be forgiven when you consider the leaps and bounds Robyn Rihanna Fenty made last year in the fashion world: Her lingerie line Savage x Fenty stole the show at New York Fashion Week, and she expanded her empire with a new high fashion line under LVMH, becoming the first woman of color to head an original brand with the French luxury conglomerate.
There were promising signs of a new Rihanna album towards the end of 2019, though: She signed with Sony/ATV Music Publishing, and trolled her fans with an Instagram video of an excited dog, captioning it, “Me listening to R9 by myself and refusing to release it.” We get the message, Rih, but we won’t stop hoping for an album drop!
SZA was by no means off the radar last year—see her collaboration with The Weeknd and Travis Scott for the Game of Thrones compilation album—but what fans really want from Solana Rowe is a new album, and she knows it. It seems the queen of Top Dawg Entertainment will be obliging this year: A week ago, she confirmed that she would be releasing some form of new music in 2020, and has also been doling out exciting nuggets of information on the follow-up to Ctrl. Fans can look forward to features from Megan Thee Stallion and Sam Smith, as well as possible collaborations with Justin Timberlake and Brockhampton.
Last October, Kevin Parker’s Tame Impala confirmed that a follow-up to their critically acclaimed 2015 album Currents was finally on its way. Titled The Slow Rush, the long-awaited full-length was recorded, mixed and produced entirely by Parker, who traveled between Los Angeles and his studio in Fremantle, Australia to write the album.
However, the road to their grand return wasn’t without a couple of setbacks along the way: Parker faced several creative blocks and in the fall of 2018, the new album’s recordings almost got destroyed in the Malibu wildfires. “It might have been a different story if I didn’t wake up when I did,” Parker recalled to Rolling Stone.
But the Tame Impala frontman is definitely back in the game, as evidenced by advance Slow Rush singles “It Might be Time,” “Posthumous Forgiveness” and “Lost in Yesterday.” While the songs might recall the familiar psychedelic touch of Currents, they’re both distinct from the group’s previous work, and a tantalizing preview of what the new album has in store.
Aside from 2018’s My Dear Melancholy EP, The Weeknd hasn’t released new solo music since his Grammy-winning 2016 album, Starboy. But last November, the singer born Abel Tesfaye finally broke his silence and welcomed “a new brain-melting, psychotic chapter” with a fresh hairstyle, plus two singles: “Heartless,” which features production from Metro Boomin, and “Blinding Lights,” which credits Swedish hitmakers Max Martin and Oscar Holter.
Although The Weeknd himself hasn’t revealed any details of his new LP, filmmakers the Safdie Brothers, who directed the singer in their new movie Uncut Gems, have said the record is a certified banger. “This whole album is like plugging into a degenerate HIFI system at a club at 5am,” they tweeted. “Love it.”
Who do you hope will drop an album this year? Let us know in the comments.