Following the release of his third studio album “Sounds from the other side” EP in 2017, rumors started to circulate that Wizkid had some issues around his record/distribution deal with Sony Music International and US label RCA Records. The album had received a lackluster response from Wizkid’s home fans and it hadn’t done that great internationally too. In response, Wizkid had promised a 10-track album with no features for 2018. Throughout 2018, Wizkid only dropped two singles Fever and Master Groove and they were released through his Starboy label. Other singles he has released since then include Aphrodisiac and Lagos Vibes, both of which are not available on any streaming platforms. You can only get them on SoundCloud for free.
According to Billboard, Wizkid’s deal states that all of his official releases worldwide must be vetted, sanctioned, released and sold through Sony Music International. Perhaps, that is why he released an EP “SoundMan Vol. 1,” in December 2019, without himself as the title artiste. On February 20, 2020, he tweeted: “I(‘ve) been working on my album and my spirit. Finally done! So you know what that means! Very happy for growth and God’s guidance. I love my scars more than ever.” Does this mean the most has finished recording the album? Or that is ready to be released? We can’t say for sure, but we wouldn’t hold our breath.
Since 2016’s “ANTI” (which has since gone several times platinum) was released, Rihanna has not dropped a single nor album. In those four long years, she has teased it several times. One time in 2018, she told chat show host Graham Norton that fans will have to wait for details – we are still waiting. In January 2019, the singer, who has sold over 33.1 million albums so far, tweeted a video showing a glitter-filtered RiRi in the studio coupled with a two second melody. Then in March 2019, Jennifer Rosales (Rihanna’s best friend and project manager) posted a photo of her child captioned: “When tia @badgalriri gives you the first listen 😎. #newmusic.”
There is no information on Beyonce’s Internet about the track list, album art, features or anything else for that matter. In a November 2019 interview with Vogue, the Bajan sensation confirmed that her next album is going to be a reggae-infused album. “I like to look at it as a reggae-inspired or reggae-infused album,” she said. “It’s not gonna be typical of what you know as reggae. But you’re going to feel the elements in all of the tracks […] Reggae always feels right to me. It’s in my blood. It doesn’t matter how far or long removed I am from that culture, or my environment that I grew up in; it never leaves. It’s always the same high. Even though I’ve explored other genres of music, it was time to go back to something that I haven’t really homed in on completely for a body of work,” she said.
To be fair to 12-time Grammy winner Kendrick, he hasn’t publicly “promised” any projects. That said, this is the longest time period between Kendrick Lamar projects and fans are already clamoring. There were only six years between his first four albums: “Section.80,” good kid, m.A.A.d city,” “To Pimp A Butterfly” and 2017’s “DAMN.” which won a Pulitzer prize. Since DAMN., Kendrick Lamar has also received an Academy Award nomination for curating Marvel’s Black Panther soundtrack on which he teamed up with everyone from SZA to James Blake.
That said, Kendrick’s album may be closer than we think. Bill Werde, Billboard columnist and former editorial director, tweeted that Kendrick’s upcoming album was “pulling in more rock sounds” which could mean production is well underway on the album. “Did anyone not named Beyonce release better, more meaningful back-to-back albums last decade than Kendrick Lamar? Are you interested to know that I hear from several friends that recording on the new album may finally be done? And that he’s pulling in more rock sounds this time?” he tweeted.
It will be quite the thing if all these artists release albums in 2020. The fans want it and the culture needs it too. But we will not be holding our breath until they actually turn up on all the streaming platforms. Then we’ll know it’s real.