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Top upcoming albums of 2017

Special to The Prospector

10. Young Thug – Hy!£UN35

There are few trap artists who have emerged from the scene and kept it going, mixtape after mixtape, quite like Young Thug. He broke out in 2015 with “Barter 6,” which earned him wide critical acclaim. Then, Thugga followed it up with three back-to-back-to-back solid mixtapes, “I’m Up,” “Slime Season 3” and “Jeffrey.” While “I’m Up” was a little softer, “Slime Season 3” was Thug’s most cohesive, structured tape to date. “Jeffrey” exhibited the creativity that Thug possessed and showcased how deep his artistry ventured through.

Now, “Hy!£UN35” is Thug’s most anticipated album to date. He has indicated how long he has worked on the upcoming project, which alludes to possibly his most organized and strong project to date. He and Future entered 2016 as the trap kings, but Thug snatched the crown due to his impressive releases. Now in 2017, if Thug fuzes his creativity on “Jeffrey” and his structure on “SS3,” he could potentially drop a confirmed classic.

9. The Internet / Syd Tha Kid

The Internet took over the R&B scene with their 2015 album, “Ego Death,” and it felt like the neo-sounding tape took new highs under frontwoman, Syd Tha Kid. For 2017, if the band put out some promising new work, it would emerge the group from the semi-underground urban scene to the mainstream world of R&B music.

In fact, Syd Tha Kid plans to release a solo project of her own titled “Fin.” She announced the album on an episode of OTHERtone and described the work as “a lot more mainstream” than her previous work. Maybe listeners can expect more of an electronic/songwriter sound from Syd, like she did on “She Dgaf” or “Cocaine” on The Internet’s debut album, “Purple Naked Ladies.”

8. Khalid

The El Paso-bred 18-year-old Khalid broke out in 2016 with his hits “Location” and “Let’s Go.” He was all over Kylie Jenner’s Snapchat and reaped famous artists’ approval for his gentle voice. His new wave R&B/songwriter style sounds something of Frank Ocean mixed with DVSN.

Throughout the recent months, Khalid has released four singles, “Saved,” “Coaster,” “Reasons,” and “Hopeless.” He has consistently delivered smooth vocals mixed with groovy on each of the tracks. Then, he went on Twitter to announce to his fans and followers both that he would be touring in 2016 and release an album.

7. Vampire Weekend

Last year I made the assumption that maybe after three years Vampire Weekend would finally be releasing a new project. I was brutally wrong after the New York band failed to release a project in 2016.

But maybe, just maybe, 2017 is the year for the Vampire. Ezra Koeing, the frontman for the band, ambiguously alluded to some future expectations from the group in the spirit of the seven-year anniversary of their hit album “Contra.”

There are no clear lines drawn about what the future holds. For me, it meant open to doing stuff with Vampire Weekend.”

It seems like forever since “Modern Vampires of the City” released in 2013. So an album in 2017 is exactly what their music-hungry fans have been asking for.

6. Earl Sweatshirt

Even though it wasn’t his first album, Earl’s 2015 “I Don’t Like Shit, I don’t Go Outside” blew up extremely well for a sophomore, experimental album. During 2017, he dabbled through different artists’ tapes as a guest feature, and one of his more noticeable was that of Danny Brown’s song, “Really Doe.” In his verse, Earl alludes to a new project in 2017.

Earl’s raw and vicious style is prescisely what 2017 needs in music.

5. A$AP Rocky

“At Long Last A$AP” was the best rap album of 2015. Period. And, “Cozy Tapes,” an album by the A$AP Mob crew, was also an effortless, solid record.

It was on “At Long Last A$AP” where the hip-hop community saw Rocky become his true artist. He emerged from the underground rap scene up to the greats. The album was drug filled and experimental with tons of new sounds.

Then on “Cozy Tapes,” Rocky acted like a narrator and a last say on tons of verses. Throughout 2016, Rocky was very busy with the fashion world, named best dressed of the year by GQ Magazine, yet still dropped a noteworthy project.

If he decided to drop something in 2017, there’s really no telling what to truly expect. He could put out a solid rap album with tons of bars and hard hitting beats, like he did on “M’$” and “LPFJ2.” He could also put out a project that is completely experimental and groovy, as he has done on tracks like “L$D” and “Electric Body.”

4. Lorde

Most 17-year-olds are content with getting their first job, good grades in high school and making new friends. When Lorde was 17 years old, she dropped one of the biggest albums of 2013, “Pure Heroin.” The New Zealand native truly made a name for herself with her radio hits, award receptions and high chart recognitions.

It would be interesting to see Lorde experiment with new melodic vibes that are different to her now. She has announced to be at various music festivals this upcoming spring and summer, so it’s evident that Lorde is cooking up something new.


The recent photo of Haim, tweeted out of the band all together recording music, increased the hype for the American sister act’s project in 2017. Their 2013 tape “Days Are Gone” is probably one of the most underrated indie albums of the 2010s.

We can expect another strong indie pop album in 2017 from the group with some deeper lyrics and maybe experiment with some new sounds. Hearing this new project in the spring would be nice, but expect an early summer release from the sisters.

2. Chance the Rapper

In 2015, Chance the Rapper started to gain more traction and emerged from the underground scene into the top of the hip-hop game. Then 2016 came and Chance went headfirst with his third mixtape, “Coloring Book.” He became the first Grammy-nominated artist based off streams because he refused to sell his album.

He had a high top album based on streams. He spent the entire third and fourth quarter of 2016 on a world tour, he had his first daughter, he released a Christmas album, and that wasn’t even all of it.

There’s no way that Chance stays quiet in 2017. The next chance (no pun intended) he has, he will spend it all in the studio and make another masterpiece. He’s had back-to-back years where he has been a part of the top-five album of the year. The third time around will not disappoint. 

1. Kanye West “Turbo Grafx 16

No one can tell say that “The Life of Pablo” wasn’t absolutely fire—easily the best Kanye album since “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.” The album reaped with hits, such as “Ultralight Beam,” “Father Stretch My Hands,” “Waves,” and so much more.

But it wasn’t all highs for Kanye in 2016. He was admitted to the hospital for basically overworking himself. After getting out, who knows what is on the mind of the Chi-Town rapper. Whenever big events happen in Kanye’s life, like this, he puts out some of his best work. He reportedly wanted to hit up the studio as soon as he got out of the hospital. “Turbo Grafx 16” will be one of the most hyped up albums, especially after his political rants supporting Donald Trump.

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About the Contributors
Adrian Broaddus, Sports Editor
Adrian Broaddus is the sports editor for The Prospector. He is a junior multimedia journalism major with a minor in political science.   Adrian was born and raised in El Paso, TX, and is a graduate of Franklin high school. He entered college in the fall of 2015 in hopes to better his career in journalism.   Along with sports, Adrian enjoys writing music reviews, perspective columns and news stories on politics.   Although he is pursuing his degree in journalism, Adrian would like to go to law school and be an attorney while doing part-time work in journalism.  
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Top upcoming albums of 2017