As the year winds down, traditionally that’s when the big dogs come out. Similar to the NBA, giants are made and broken in the 4th quarter. Labels shut down towards the end of the year and don’t fully get back until around mid 1st quarter. In recent years this standard hasn’t been applied as much. We’ve seen releases all over the place. It seems the top tier acts aren’t saving their efforts for the last three months. This year could be different. All year, we’ve been waiting for a few projects to drop. Mainly J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, and Drake.

2020 has been a turmotuous year to say the least. The world has been altered in so many ways and we’re all playing catch-up. Some rapper’s have flourished in this time, like Da Baby, whose ‘Blame It On Baby’ cover art featured the rapper with a surgical mask marking the times the LP was put under. Like ‘Baby’, some executive have figured out how to stay active and even start new company’s. Swizz Beats and Timbaland birthed arguably one of the most culturally influential entities all-time, in Verzuz.

First up is Drake. We can give Drake some cushion because he has actually dropped a full-length project this year, ‘Dark Lane Demo Tapes‘ in May 2020. Also, Drake dropped ‘Care Package‘ in August 2019. Two projects both marketed and treated as leaks and throwaway’s. We’ve gotten several singles, most notably “Toosie Slide” (which would serve as a lead to ‘Dark Lane’) and “Laugh Now, Cry Later” featuring Lil Durk. A presumed street single from the album ‘Certified Lover Boy‘, whose title actually released at the end of the ‘Laugh Now’ music video. The single performed along the lines of Drizzy’s previous street singles, so where is the album???

The Latest: September 1st, the Toronto’s CN tower was flashing red broken hearts. October 15th, Noah “40” Shebib said on Kevin Durant’s ETCS Podcast that Drake had had the album for 10 months. October 17th, CLB trucks were spotted on the way to Toronto. Coincidentally, the trucking company is named “Daytona”.

Next up, J. Cole. Cole teased “The Fall Off” on his April 2018 LP, ‘KOD’ with the track “1995“. He released three singles this year and in standard J. Cole fashion, they became talking points in “hipster media” news outlets. June’s supposed NoName diss “Snow On Tha Bluff” and July’s “The Climb Back” and “Lion King on Ice“.

The Latest: It seems J. Cole has decided not to drop an album in 2020, and instead, at 35 he’s pursuing his dream of playing in the NBA. It’s like he’s never heard of Master P. In ‘No Limit Chronicles’, the documentary details the parallels of the fall off (no pun) of ‘No Limit’ with Master P abandoning music for his NBA dream. Good luck to Dreamville (they’ll be fine).

Lastly, Kendrick Lamar. K Dot has the most conscious, unapologetically Black, politically-charged aesthetic of the three. We all thought FOR SURE Kendrick would either hit us with music in/for these times. He has been radio silent. Not a peep. Not an update (sans an audio clip proclaiming his allegiance to TDE). Nobody’s caught him going to Wal-Mart. Not even a feature from him, except a leak with his cousin, and supposed industry plant Baby Keem titled “Gotta Love Me” August 18th.

The Latest: ‘Lamar’ revealed in i-D’s 40th anniversary edition, where he interviewed Baby Keem (cough cough), and K Dot reveals why he takes so long to churn out music. We’re not going to quote that because it’s neither here nor there. We want music. To shoot Kenny some bail though, nobody from TDE has dropped minus newcomer Reason, who spoke to the labels status on Everyday Struggle. They’re all on the clock.

Interestingly enough, Big Sean, who started out in the class and conversation of these three and has since been dropped a tier, kind of stole the show this year. He dropped ‘Detroit 2‘, the sequel to his fan favorite ‘Detroit’ mixtape to much acclaim and notable numbers. Part of Hit-Boy’s 2020 run along with his projects with Nas & Benny, which we reviewed here on G-HOLY.com.

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