Now that rap music is at an all time high, one crew is on the run to become one of the greatest collectives in recent history. Top Dawg Entertainment, made up of Ab-Soul, Jay Rock, Isaiah Rashad, SZA, Schoolboy Q, and Kendrick Lamar, is managed by Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith, TDE’s founder and CEO. Previous achievements include Kendrick’s universally beloved 2015 album To Pimp A Butterfly, which almost every critic had at the top of their Album Of The Year list (including our own), or Isaiah Rashad’s 2014 stand-out EP Cilvia Demo which scored very well among critics. It is important to look at the future of the record label and prepare for the colossal rap movement that will be caused by TDE in 2016.
The big thing to be ready for in 2016 is not one album but four. Four albums. TDE President, Dave Free, spoke with MTV and confirmed albums from SZA, Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, and Isaiah Rashad. When these albums are coming is unknown, but if these artists’ past projects are any indication, they will all be of the utmost quality. Free said, “I’m excited for people to hear the new SZA album, I’m stupid excited for y’all to hear the Isaiah Rashad album. I’m stupid excited for y’all to hear the new Ab-Soul. I’m so excited for y’all to hear Q’s album. Oh my God. These are songs I’ve been living with. I already know what it’s gonna do.” Free probably knows these albums could have the same impact that Kendrick’s To Pimp A Butterfly had by earning 11 grammy nominations. That is only one nomination shy of the record which was set by Micheal Jackson in 1984.
“This year was a great year, but 2016 is going to be an amazing year…” -Dave Free TDE President
TDE’s 2016 effort has also gained some hype thanks to the possible collaborative album between Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole. After both artists remixed each others tracks and hinted at a possible collab with Cole’s line, “But this February, bet shit get scary when I fuck around and drop…,” images have been circulating through the web that have only added to the anticipation of two rap giants getting together on one project. Neither artist has confirmed nor denied if we will be receiving this project any time soon.
While a record label president’s word is not one to take lightly, you can never be too trusting in the rap game. With no release dates and TDE’s past of being bad with releases, it would be smart to appreciate these albums when we are given them instead of refreshing your twitter daily in hopes of something new. Upcoming teasers are periodically dropping and will continue to do so. The other day, Isaiah Rashad dropped a single titled “Smile.” SZA recently teased a possible single on her Instagram. Kendrick was even given the key to the city of Compton from the mayor Aja Brown. Top Dawg Entertainment is a lucky and successful label. Reminiscent of the Soulquarian movement, there aren’t many collectives that can hit the mainstream and retain soulful, wholesome projects. With the evidence provided to us in these recent years, TDE is able to do just that.
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