After months of previewing snippets on his Snapchat, Instagram, etc, Rich The Kid finally dropped off his smash record “New Freezer” last Tuesday, featuring a surprise verse from Kendrick Lamar, who has been slated to direct the music video for the track. Rich The Kid had been previewing “New Freezer” since at least last December; back when the song originally featured verses from A$AP Ferg and Madeintyo.
Seeing that his fans were tired of waiting to hear “New Freezer” in its entirety, Rich The Kid decided to launch a countdown earlier this month for its release, further increasing the anticipation for the track. Whether or not “New Freezer” will perform up to expectations sales-wise is unknown, as the hype for heavily-delayed songs in recent years is sometimes too great for the song itself. And so with that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most highly-anticipated rap songs of the past few years.
“Had hit records on my demo! Did y’all boys not get the memo!”
With booming horns and a resounding bassline all put together by renown producer Hit-Boy, Drake’s “Trophies” is arguably one of the most anthemic tracks of his career. The quintessential lay-up line track was first heard as an instrumental-only 30-second snippet (see below) for the second trailer for his Nothing Was The Same album. Because NWTS was slated to release just a couple weeks later, it was assumed that “Trophies” would end up appearing on the album; however, it ultimately failed to make the final cut.
During the Barclays Center stop of his Would You Like a Tour?, Drake had his DJ Future the Prince preview the first verse of “Trophies”, cutting the record off just before the hook would take place. In an interview with Revolt TV a few days later, Drake stated that “Trophies” was definitely supposed to be on NWTS but the delay was mainly due in part that he couldn’t decide on a hook for the track.
“Trophies” was eventually released by Drake through his OVO Soundcloud page, one day after it was leaked on the Internet. And while it remains one of Drake’s most recognizable tracks, the fact that it didn’t end up charting well (peaking at #50 on the Billboard Hot 100) makes you wonder how it would have fared had it been subject to a better rollout.
“Bobby Bitch”, Bobby Shmurda
“They say shootin’ is my hobby bitch and I’m a problem kid!”
Bobby Shmurda had arguably one of the biggest hip-hop records in the past five years in the summer of 2014’s “Hot Nigga”. With the release of other smash hits like “Computers” and “Living Life”, it seemed as if Shmurda was poised to become the next big thing in rap. And when the video surfaced of him and Rowdy Rebel going crazy in the studio to a song which Bobby had just recorded, you knew that the kid was truly something special.
Along with Shmurda throwing his hat in the air for it to never come down in the “Hot Nigga” video, the sight of him being strong-armed by Rowdy while the bass of the song bangs in the background will forever be one of the most iconic memories of his career, which has sadly been put on halt since his arrest in December 2014. Free the 9 man.
“Tunnel Vision”, Kodak Black
“Lil Kodak they don’t wanna see you winninnnn”
Other than “New Freezer”, the most recent of rap’s most highly-anticipated tracks is Kodak Black’s “Tunnel Vision”. The track was first heard on Kodak’s Instagram in the video below from mid-December, where he seems to remain calm up until about 30 seconds at the point which he and his fellow Sniper Gang members begin to rock their arms back in forth in a dance they called the “Bomb Squad”. Kodak then went on to preview the song at a number of shows, leaving his fans restless for its release date.
“Tunnel Vision” arrived in mid-February first in the form of its controversial music video, which helped earned him a VMA nomination for Best New Artist last month. While the song is arguably the biggest hit of Kodak’s career, going 2x Platinum and reaching #6 on the Billboard Hot 100, many felt as if the final version of the song itself simply didn’t live up to expectations.
“All Day”, Kanye West
“How long you niggas ball? All day nigga”
Back in July 2014, Kanye West told GQ magazine of plans to release a new single titled “All Day”, saying that it was “a song that can be in the club like ‘Don’t Like’ or ‘Niggas in Paris’”. A rough 2-minute snippet of the track surfaced on the web a couple weeks later, and while it seemed to have elements similar to that of his brash, experimental album Yeezus, it still very much sounded as if it had the potential to be a hit once completed. However, after the Yeezus Tour and the release of a records “I Won” and “FourFiveSeconds”, “All Day” was nearly altogether forgotten. Then came the 2015 BRIT Awards in February.
Kanye was added to the list of performers one day before the awards took place, and almost as if to spite the show coordinators, he went on to deliver one of the most powerful, controversial, and fiery (literally) performances of his career with a completed version of “All Day”, which now featured Minnesota-based rapper Allan Kingdom.
The official and final version of “All Day” was released on March 3rd with features from Kingdom, Theophilus London, and an outro from Paul McCartney. And while it turned out to be a great track nevertheless, it seemed as if it never lived up to the aggression and overall energy from his BRIT Awards’ performance. If only he hopped in the booth with 50+ blacked-out grime artists and a flamethrower.
“Superheroes”, Chief Keef x A$AP Rocky
“I’m off this Earth I feel like Superman!”
Back in 2014, Chief Keef and A$AP Rocky were two of the biggest young stars in rap; both heads of arguably the two most significant rap groups/collectives of the past five years: GBE and A$AP Mob. While A$AP had been in beefs with Odd Future and Raider Klan, they always seemed to have a great relationship with GBE, performing at each others shows and altogether praising each others’ overall movement. And so when Chief Keef took to Instagram in June 2014 to show off the cover art for a track featuring A$AP Rocky titled “Superheroes”, the ultimate “when worlds collide” cut was finally to come. And when this behind-the-scenes video of Rocky, Keef, Tadoe and others with the track playing in the background surfaced on the web soon later, it looked like it was to come fast:
Unfortunately things just didn’t pan out so easily. The delay of “Superheroes” just so happened to coincide with the delay of his long-awaited project, Bang 3, which was originally supposed to release way back in December 2013. Bang 3 was finally leaked in August 2015, including the completed “Superheroes”, which was probably the first song that everybody rushed to listen to. As for the music video, well that didn’t arrive until February 2016. So it’s either brilliant marketing in being able to keep a record relevant for over the course of 3 years, or one of the worst rollouts of all time especially if you’re a fan of both Keef and Rocky. We’ll go with the latter.
What do you guys think? Did these songs live up to their expectations? Did we leave any other notable highly-anticipated songs out? Let us know in the comments or @ us on our Twitter page.
And check out some more of my previous articles…