JANUARY’S CLEAR AIR IS PROMISING. Weigh less, feel better, and brush your teeth. The crackling night frost reminds me of something coming up: a slew of new, exciting releases in January.
The musical year wheel is based on a zero-sum game, where no big artists want to release at the same time as their fiercest competitors. Because everyone needs to hear the big releases, they are spread out over the first 11 months of the year.
But in December, the year wheel stops. Few artists want to compete with Mariah Carey and Michael Bublé, except Roddy Ricch and Boldy James, who released ‘Live Life Fast’ and ‘Super Tecmo’ on December 17 and 18, respectively. ‘ The former gets worse with each listen, whereas Boldy James has made a fantastic record that I listen to regularly.
Because big projects pile up over Christmas, January has a reputation for being a great release month. January 2022 looks promising.
I spent most of last year anticipating Gunna’s new album, as she has refined her musical expression and mastered her whispering and drowsy diction. He is by far the cutest of Young Thugs’ progeny. Gunna’s ‘Drip Season 4’ drops on Friday, the same day The Weeknd’s critically acclaimed ‘Dawn FM’ drops, and I’m expecting a dogmatic and uncompromising masterpiece.
From A Bird’s Eye View is out next week, featuring new hip-hop favorite boss Cordae (formerly YBN Cordae, girlfriend of tennis star and vulnerability icon Naomi Osaka). A brag, a brawl, and a prominent retro feature (Lil Wayne) characterize the first singles. It’s not the sound of the future, but it could be.
Earl Sweatshirt releases his first full-length album since 2018’s review hit ‘Some Rap Songs’ on January 14. This is a “lockdown record” that Earl Sweatshirt should leave to Danish Instagram artists who want to be part of the DR Upcoming project. So he’s been taking seven-mile steps in a direction that suits him for two years. A guest app at the genre’s more traditional excellences; Wiki, Boldy James, Armand Hammer, etc., Earl Sweatshirt was a much-needed, quirky touch. The record will likely bring together young masochists and older nostalgics.