Top Dawg Entertainment’s packed release schedule for 2024 is officially underway, with a new album from ScHoolboy Q arriving this week. Last month, the label teased a list of artists on their roster expected to drop albums this year. In addition to ScHoolboy Q’s Blue Lips, fans can hope for new projects from the likes of SZA, Isaiah Rashad, SiR, Ab-Soul, and Doechii, as well as a TDE compilation. There is also Jay Rock, the label’s very first signee who has not released a new album in nearly six years.

Outside of ScHoolboy Q, Rock’s album is arguably the most anticipated. 2018’s Redemption marks his longest gap between releases, and expectations have continued to rise with each of the four singles that he shared throughout 2023. As TDE kicks off its stacked calendar of releases, here are 5 things we want on Jay Rock’s next album.

Read More: 5 Things We Want From ScHoolboy Q’s “Blue Lips”

No Skips

Based on the latest singles that Jay Rock has dropped, his next album is already sounding promising. Standards may be high, but Rock has generally been consistent in delivering quality projects. Last year, he spoke to Bootleg Kev during BET Weekend, promising an album with “no skips.” “I’m tryna do an album like my last one where you ain’t gotta skip sh*t,” he expressed. Previous projects like Redemption and 90059 featured concise tracklists with runtimes of under one hour, leaving minimal room for error. This time, we are hoping that Jay Rock’s album is true to his word, containing no skips.

Sharp Lyricism

Sharp lyricism is almost guaranteed when it comes to a Jay Rock album. Fans can rely on him for skillfully crafted bars, and so can artists. In the time since Redemption, Jay Rock contributed standout verses to songs from Lil Wayne, Vince Staples, Anderson .Paak, Isaiah Rashad, and Reason. Each of these features showed Rock’s skillset has not at all diminished. Both his guest verses and latest singles signify that we can expect some top-tier lyricism from Jay Rock. 

West Coast Bangers

One can always count on Jay Rock to deliver West Coast bangers on his albums. From “Hood Gone Love It” to “Tap Out,” he always brings his neighborhood of Watts into his music. Each of the singles he has released for his upcoming album has been exciting, but the most quintessentially West Coast track of the bunch is “Too Fast (Pull Over).” The Mustard-produced track features standout verses from Anderson .Paak and Latto. On the song, the three flow over a fast-paced West Coast funk beat laced with trumpet and steel drums. Judging by that song and other singles like “Still That Way,” we’re hoping for more energetic West Coast tracks.

Read More: Top Dawg Entertainment 2024 Releases: TDE Artists Dropping Albums This Year

More Moments Of Introspection

Jay Rock might be known for his aggressive delivery and tough bars, but some of his best lyrics are embedded within his most transparent songs. Songs like “Fly on the Wall,” “Broke +-,” and “Redemption” stand out on their respective albums as they see Rock at his most vulnerable. His projects usually balance upbeat gangsta rap songs with poetic moments of introspection, as well as plenty of storytelling. With those expectations in mind, let’s hope that Jay Rock provides some more smooth and reflective songs on his next album.

Black Hippy Feature

With most of the TDE roster slated to release albums this year, fans are optimistic for some of Jay Rock’s labelmates to feature on his upcoming album. More specifically, they hope for contributions from his fellow Black Hippy members, or ideally, an entire Black Hippy reunion. Jay Rock recently addressed the group’s current status on TMZ. He said that “we still doing our thing” and that every member is on good terms. However, he mentioned that “everybody’s busy” and on their own schedule in regards to doing more music. “The timing’s gotta be right,” he said. 

Leaving the door open for a possible reunion, a Jay Rock album would be the perfect opportunity for Black Hippy to reconnect. Jay Rock tapped Ab-Soul for one of his album’s latest singles, “Blowfly.” While the chances of a potential reunion are unpredictable, especially with Kendrick Lamar’s departure from Top Dawg Entertainment, fans would rejoice over a Black Hippy song on Jay Rock’s next album.

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