2019 is gearing up to be a powerhouse year in music. Plenty of top artists are slated to release new records, from Ariana Grande to The 1975 to Migos. In an age when surprise albums have become more common, it’s fair to assume that a number of singers could follow that trend this year. With that in mind, there’s a few musicians that have made their fans wait far too long for new content.
Since her debut release Music of the Sun lit up the world in 2005, Rihanna has been the gift that keeps on giving. 14 years and eight studio albums later, the reigning queen of R&B is a superstar with countless accolades, a popular makeup line, and a number of successful acting performances—yet she hasn’t put out a new record in nearly three years. Anti was released in January 2016, but outside of a few features on 2017 hit singles such as “Wild Thoughts” by DJ Khaled and “LOYALTY” by Kendrick Lamar, the singer has been awfully quiet. With her vocal talent and millions of fans around the world, Rihanna can’t keep everyone waiting. It’s worth noting that until the three–year gap between Unapologetic and Anti, she had rarely taken longer than a year between releases. Perhaps this is part of a new, lengthier approach to releases for the singer—so has she decided it’s time? An Instagram comment appears to confirm so.
Donald Glover has many talents, including comedy, acting, and performing under the stage name Childish Gambino. Speaking of the latter, it’s been a while since the singer–rapper’s last full–length release, Awaken My Love, burst onto the radio in late 2016. Since then, Glover’s career has been heavily devoted to his acting pursuits, especially towards directing and starring in his television series, Atlanta. However, he’s treated listeners to songs such as “This is America” and “Summertime Magic” this past year—the former has amassed over 460 million views on YouTube as of January 2019 while the latter was said to be the lead single for his fourth album. There’s no question that Childish Gambino has become a global phenomenon with a massive following—thousands were expected to attend his annual PHAROS festival in New Zealand in November. “Summertime Magic” came out in July 2018, so where’s the new record? It’s been six months. Glover needs to release it this year before the hype builds too high.
Re: hype, here’s one artist that should know better than to let expectations exit the stratosphere. After releasing his debut record, Channel Orange, to great acclaim and fanfare in 2012, Ocean subsequently delayed (and continued to delay) his sophomore effort until Blonde came out in August 2016, along with the video album Endless. Post—Blonde, it’s not as if Ocean has hidden from the spotlight—he’s started a radio show, released singles such as “Chanel,” and made his Instagram public. However, despite hinting at it, there’s been no confirmation of a new record. Still, if the singer continues to generate anticipation through his other activities, he can’t keep the world waiting. It’s time to break everyone’s hearts again.