There have been a couple of lists that have the most anticipated albums of 2011 on there, but this list is different.  These are artists in my humble opinion that must drop an album (not a mixtape, EP or street album – a real album) this year in order to sustain , jump start, or begin their careers as professional rappers. You may not even like or be thinking about some of these guys.  This post is out of love and respect – not to hate or s#!t on anyone.  With that said, lets get into it:

5. Dom Kennedy

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For a guy who dropped one of the best mixtapes of 2010, Dom has been pretty quiet.  Sure he’s been on some songs, but others have emerged from the West (Kendrick Lamar) and the underground (Wiz Khalifa) that have surpassed their initial buzz, leaving the Leimert Park MC in their dust.  I’m hearing he’s planning to drop a part II of From The West$ide With Love this year – but that can’t be it.  Like T.I. said – F@#k a mixtape!  I think he’s ready for prime time with an album and a real tour.

4. Cool Kids

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Here we have another case of the mixtapes.  Plenty of buzz and quality work – but no album.  They have worked to gain a serious buzz and a viable cult following.  Mikey Rocks had been making noise as a solo act and Chuck Inglish has been producing hits for Kid Cudi and others.  The time is right too – especially with a lack of unique groups. It’s time they put the label drama they had in past behind them, grind it out and drop a real album this year.  We all deserve it.

3. Young Dro

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Even though he’s #3 on here, this guy has to be one of my all-time favorite rappers.  Young Dro has managed to stay young and keep relevant through all of the T.I./Jail drama and the emergence of B.o.B taking up a big slot on Grand Hustle.  But let’s be real; he hasn’t dropped an album since “Shoulder Lean” and he aint getting any younger.  Dro has kept us all thoroughly entertained with his antics and mixtapes, but still no sign of an album.  P.O.L.O. needs to be released in 2011 – even if it does 2,011 units.  Let Dro continue to live in our speakers and blunts as the best thang smoking!

2. The Game

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Sometimes I really feel for gangsta rappers and what the labels put them through.  First, they want the hardest album ever then they tell them to create a single or singles for them to sell for radio.  This formula has left The Game in label limbo.  His R.E.D. album was supposed to been out this summer/fall and now it has no release date in sight.  He’s done tracks with Dr. Dre, Pharell and Cool & Dre – none of which apparently weren’t hot enough to get some momentum with his album.  I’m not sure what combination he needs to get things moving – but he needs to figure it out asap.

1. Young Jeezy

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Jeezy is in the most precarious position in all of hip-hop.  He is literally stuck between a Ross and a hard place.  His album is expected to do numbers comparable to Bawse and Ludacris and his music has to be harder than both of them. His lane was all but cemented; the gangsta rapper that everyone wanted on their album. Then comes along Rick Ross delivering the same product with better wordplay and a cheaper price.  On top of that, his B.M.F. swag was straight jacked and pimped into the biggest single of 2010. Jizzle also had some shots he sent that fizzled instead of sizzled. Add it all up and you have TM103 in a pickle jar.  I’m rooting for Jeezy and I truly hope he can drop another great album.  Until then we’ll have to wait and suffer through another CTE album.

  • Smokin420live420

    Game is the only one on this list who needs to be here. Young Dro belongs in the great abyss and Jeezy doesn't make the tunes he used to.

  • ThePrick

    Dom needs a management team. Enough with the ringling brothers trying to take you to the top. You look at Jigga and the moves he made com in up. Nigga was surgical. Time marches on. Even if he gets that XXL freshman cover it's late. The game is about timing as much as anything else and u make a good point about the west as many many others have emerged. Young hungry niggas making more popular music. Last point, can Dom Kennedy make a hit? Not a record that would have been a hit when Tribe Called Quest was going platinum but a hit today….

  • Porterjones

    Jay Electronica should be on here R.E.D

  • Bob

    Jeezy and Dro must be up thier…i dont feel for the game at all..but i cant ride to a couple of songs…cool kids nice…but jeezy is coming hard on these mixtapes….dro i miss ya boi drop somthing to bump in da car again

  • http://twitter.com/redinc4u Rashaan (R.E.D.)

    Jay just needs more material out period. He may never drop an album