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Updates
Apr. 15: Marsha | May 6: Pharrell | May 24: Róisín | Jun. 2: Dilla | Jun. 10 : Baby Elephant, Blur, MA | Jun. 18: Sq/Herbie/Eno | Jun. 20: Del | Jun. 28: Verve | Jul. 3: Saigon, Roots | Jul. 4: Saul | Jul. 11: Rakim, Rae/Ice | Jul. 24: Kast | Jul. 27: Dre | Aug. 3: Puscifer | Aug. 10: Q-Tip | Aug. 11: P73 | Aug. 12: Wayne, Guilty, SA-RA | Aug. 18: Lupe, Gnarls, Underground, Kanye, Rae | Aug. 19: Wu, Howerdel | Aug. 20: CRS | Aug. 22: NIN | Sep. 30: RH | Oct. 11: PH
Advice for buying & finding cheap CDs

 
M.I.A.Kala August 21Link, Youtube search timbaland m.i.a. (in two parts)--well, it's been deleted, but email me if you have the videos. Beats on the album supposedly by Timbaland, Diplo, Three 6 Mafia, Switch, Bangladesh, and M.I.A. herself. Someone posted on a forum these early thoughts on the album: "kala is good. it tones down the revolutionary rhetoric, but counters with an expansive worldliness that at times becomes almost melancholy. in less abstract terms, it has a lot of unique percussion and some interesting guest appearances that include an african rapper and some kids from some far flung place who rap about fishing." The Village Voice interview says that M.I.A. coproduced all the songs, which were recorded around the world and took on such influences as soca. However, "nearly all" of the tracks with Three 6 Mafia and Bangladesh were cut from the album. The previously released Timbaland collaboration "Come Around" that was a Shock Value UK bonus track appears as a Kala U.S. bonus track, and a Nigerian/London rapper named Afrikan Boy and a group of juvenile aboriginal rappers named Wilcanna Mob are the only guest vocalists on the main album.
Raekwon Presents Ice WaterIce Water: Polluted WaterAugust 28While Dre spins his wheels, Raekwon is peddling a mixtape of his mediocre group to indie Babygrande. Curiously, the "quartet is bolstered by cameos from Method Man, Busta Rhymes, Three 6 Mafia, Rick Ross, Remy Ma, and Jagged Edge on the project." Production by Scram Jones, Jagged Edge, and EZ-Elpee (source).
50 Cent
Curtis September 11My interest in 50 was returned primarily from the addition of Timbaland and Rich Harrison as producers and what they said about their roles, as well as the hint that Dr. Dre would be more involved than on the last album. The album's Wikipedia page lists other tentative guests like Eminem (up to 3 tracks), Robin Thicke ("Follow My Lead"), Justin Timberlake ("She Wants It," formerly called "Revealed," produced by Timbaland), Akon, Ludacris, Bun B, Jay-Z, and Chamillionaire. "Straight To The Bank" is supposedly the only track about money--yeah, right! Before I Self Destruct will now be 50's next album and allegedly his last studio album for Interscope. MTV has an article up that blames "last-minute additions and the album's simultaneous worldwide release" for the delay. In addition to the full songs purposely put out in advance of the album (receiving a lukewarm reception at best),snippets of the older songs have leaked so a full bootleg may pop up long before the official release.
Kanye WestGraduation September 11
This may or may not feature the old, unreleased John Mayer duet, "Bittersweet" (right now it's an iTunes bonus download with preorders retitled "Bittersweet Poetry"). There was an older rumor that SA-RA is producing half of the album, which would be "electro jazz." It's confirmed that we're getting Jon Brion again. "Can't Tell Me Nothing," the first single, is coproduced by DJ Toomp. The song "Stronger" samples Daft Punk's "Harder Better Faster Stronger" vocoded lyrics. Here's an overseas listening party review of Graduation (only 12 songs, one of which "features scratches and co-production from" DJ Premier, and "with no featured rappers" except for Mos Def singing a chorus). Mos Def is now on two songs and there is at least one rapper actually rapping, Lil Wayne on "Barry Bonds." Sneaky Sound System singer Connie Mitchell is apparently featured throughout the album including "Can't Tell Me Nothing." An attendee from a listening party with Kanye reports "that even though it's hit number three in the charts over here and has repeated a similar feat stateside, Kanye still wasn't happy with 'Stronger' when he heard it in a club alongside Timbaland's 'Way I Are' which is his favourite beat at the moment. So he dragged Timbo into the studio and got him to redo the drums on the track" and also, "Another staple of Kanye's albums have been a saturation of ridiculous skits (apparently some people like them) but the no nonsense Kanye is done with them and instead there are two musical interludes, both of which are veryearthy and natural incorporating African sounds and percussion."
Baby Elephant
Turn My Teeth UpSeptember 15Don't get your hopes up as this "release date" is a Saturday. Anyway, this is Prince Paul and Bernie Worrell's long-gestating collaborative album, said to be on the "funk/soul" side of things.
Guilty SimpsonOde To The GhettoSeptember 25Out on Stones Throw; no longer titled Beast. Denaun ("Mr.") Porter, aka Kon Artist of D12, is executive producing both the Stones Throw album and another Guilty album for his own Interscope-distributed Runyon Ave. imprint. Either album will feature beats by Black Milk, Young RJ, Madlib, Jake One, House Shoes, Eric Lau, Hi-Tek, Waajeed, and of course J. Dilla (leftovers from the incomplete The Verdict EP they worked on together are slated for both albums). Rumor has it, on Ode To The Ghetto, The Scientist did a dub mix of a song, oddly enough. Lastly, a third album is expected, as a duo with Sean Price; hiphopsite claims "Black Milk (is) producing the entire LP."
Del Tha Funkee Homosapien
The 11th HourOctober 2
Unsubstantiated claim, take it or leave it: "11th Hour is in fact done. No more wondering if it's done, not done, half way done,etc. I have heard it in its entirety. The single, I don't recall the title off the top of my head, is a banger!!! The album release date is October 2nd. [...]He also has an EP entitled L.E.D. produced by Compound 7 (A-Plus and Aagee) which I have heard in its entirety as well."
Radiohead In Rainbows October 10
I won't be updating my big Radiohead in-studio site. At Ease noted that they the band are recording "Arpeggi," a new song Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood debuted with the Nazareth Orchestra at Ether Festival 2005. Thom said the song is "nearly finished, but couldn't say if it will appear on Radiohead's upcoming album." He also recently acoustically performed nine-year-old unreleased song "Last Flowers Til The Hospital," which narrowly missed appearing on OK Computer. That and new song "House Of Cards" were performed for the first time. Green Plastic has some exclusive but ultimately useless new info about studio progress and a projected release schedule. Thom told NME that the recording has been "a bit like Kid A - we're going through a period of change. But that's good." At Ease reported that Ed O'Brien just confirmed rumors that longtime producer Nigel Godrich is not involved this time but rather the album is being produced by Mark 'Spike' Stent, famous for working with Madonna and Bjork. Sessions with him began in February 2006. On the contrary, Ed told a fan in June 2006 that "the band will soon join Nigel Godrich for some sessions." Thom has mentioned "large orchestras doing drum machine noises" on Dead Air Space. The band has also said that they've resurrected "Nude" aka "Big Ideas." Tons of new songs have been performed on tour now. This At Ease page nicely sums up the recording progress thus far. You can buy the download here; a traditional release is, presumably, forthcoming.
Puscifer
V Is For VaginaOctober 30
Maynard James Keenan is in this group and in the past it has also included Danny Lohner. A director said "I've been working with Maynard (TOOL,Perfect Circle) on two videos for his project band Puscifer. We've started on production for the first video recently. I had MJK scanned into a 3D model, and I am now making him do things like virtually break-dance and professionally river-dance using motion capture technology. I can't show any images or animations yet, but I really can't wait until I can - it's some of my best work yet IMHO...and it's for a really cool song. There will be much more to follow.... He hopes to release the Puscifer album in September." Maynard himself says "Maybe mid October." Earlier this year (February) he wrote: "As promised, I've been working on some Puscifer tunes on my tour break. [...]Several tracks are in the works. Tim Alexander on a couple, Jonny Polonski on a few others, as well as Brad Wilk and Timmy C. And the Lustmord tracks are turning out excellent." One song on the album may be a cover of King Crimson's "21st Century Schizoid Man" as Robert Fripp has written about hearing a new mix of Maynard's version of it. Puscifer updated its Myspace to say "Finishing up the tracks. Should be mixing with Alan Moulder by August..." Title comes from this later blog update.
SA-RA Creative PartnersNuclear Evolution: The Age Of LoveNovember 6Apparently the long-discussed "experimental" album on Ubiquity (once titled Synthesizers And Sex Toys). Rumor has it that it's all-new material.
Wu-Tang ClanThe 8 Diagrams November 13The Wu first wanted to put out a group album in 2003 to coincide with the ten year anniversary of their debut. This will be the final group album, reportedly. "It will probably be hard this year to record a clan album with everybody's solo album being released and we rather take time out to deliver our final album together. But if we don't record it this year, I'm giving people The Cure album" (RZA, 2004). RZA promises one more album before the Wu disbands. "If the group itself feels the vibe and wants to continue, then maybe two more albums, but at least one more album that will give closure to the Wu-Tang legacy." The GZA Wu-Tang documentary DVD is also delayed indefinitely because of distribution issues. MTV repored back from the RZA that "even though it's going to take a while for the Wu-Tang to 'marinate' and come back together like they once hoped, [don't] count out a reunion album later in the year, 'maybe fourth quarter,' after they get out a few more solo projects." As of 2006, new recording is being led by Meth, who says "We gotta do this album for us." In late December 2006, the group re-signed with Steve Rifkin, on his SRC label (link). The ODB tribute song "Life Changes" will finally see release on this album, and the man himself will appear courtesy of an unreleased performance, according to Billboard, which later published an article saying that Q-Tip guests on this album's "Kids With Words". Apparently, the group "really" started recording this April (2007) and the song "Thug World" features System Of A Down bassist Shavo Odadjian. "For a change, RZA yielded some of the production duties to a handful of major names he isn't quite ready to reveal. 'You will hear some unique sounding stuff and a vintage hip-hop spirit,' he promises." On the plus side, rumoredly, Marley Marl and Easy Mo Bee are two of them and Dr. Dre may produce the first single. The new release date (November 13th) should stick as it commemorates ODB's passing. There is also a loose cover of the Beatles' "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." The Wu song samples it, replays it with both John Frusciante on electric and Dhani Harrison (George Harrison's son) on acoustic guitar, and reimagines it as a story revolving about heroin with Method Man as the addict and Ghostface as the dealer.
Lupe Fiasco
The Cool November 20Lupe's second of a planned three albums before retiring from rapping. He told Billboard "I'm coming up with concepts, but I need to find a way to wean myself off the Internet. I think I need to break my laptop. Lyrically, it's going to be intense, but nothing is recorded as of yet." Although he first said only FNF producers like Soundtrakk and Prolyfic would be on the album (Prolyfic himself later said he's probably not going to be on the album, but a few weeks later Billboard again included him), Lupe later told Okayplayer that he's keeping it Chicago by also including Kanye West on the beats. Apparently Double-0 is another producer, and the album contains "no samples" (probably in the same way that Common's Like Water For Chocolate contained "no samples"... until they got sued for an uncleared sample). Look for Pharrell to contribute as well since Lupe gets "free beats" now that he is in CRS with him and Kanye.
Lil Wayne
Tha Carter III
December 18
Production expected from Kanye West, Timbaland, Will.I.Am, Scott Storch, and even Mannie Fresh and Dr. Dre. Delayed from June 19, 2007, for whatever baffling reason, and initially pushed back to mid-2008 before it was moved up again (for the time being).
Q-TipThe RenaissanceDecember 18L.A. Reid refused to release Q-Tip's critically acclaimed jazz album Kamaal The Abstract (but it was actually mailed out as a promo in 2001) because, in Q-Tip's words, "he didn't know what to do with it." In 2002, he started recording an all-new solo album, Open, for Dreamworks (in addition to sessions for the Tribe reunion), again featuring a live band. 3/11/04 update thanks to an interview with Gilles Peterson: Q-Tip is trying to legally acquire "the Kamaal stuff," which he says has been floating around since 1999, so it can finally be officially released! He wants to release a new album as Kamaal but it seems like he can't because people know him as Q-Tip. There is something he did with Common that he is "messing with" that may make it. He also wants to work with Ghostface and Mary J. Blige for the album. He describes his new music as live but with hip-hop style drums. The new song "Official" was premiered and it sounds very Tribe. Another song called "Scram Jones" is a white label single. Jay Dee produced two songs for the album according to his webmaster, and apparently one is "Open." Kanye West and the Neptunes are also tipped for inclusion. As of January 2005, he has a handful of tracks from producer team Cool & Dre. Q-Tip is now on Universal/Motown and there's no word on what happens to the album he's been working on for Dreamworks. Busta Rhymes and Pharrell teamed up with Q-Tip on would-be lead single "For The Nasty." No longer called Open, and now no longer called Live At The Renaissance, it may still feature Andre 3000, D'Angelo, Consequence, Kanye West, Busta, Pharrell, and Pharaohe Monch, all according to Q-Tip's HHS interview. Q-Tip produced all tracks (what about all those Jay Dee-produced songs that are already leaked?) except the one by the Neptunes and one by Kanye. According to AOL Black Voices 8/3/06, D'Angelo "is in The Big Apple this week collaborating on new tracks with Common and Q-Tip, respectively, for their forthcoming album projects." Presumably this is not the track recorded long ago for Open that leaked earlier this year. The latest (summer 2007) failure-to-be lead single for Motown Records' The Renaissance (which still has a live band and is "thought-provoking, dance-friendly, fun and last but not least, hip-hop" -Q-Tip) is "WorkItOut". If you believe this album is actually coming out, I've got a bridge to sell you...

 
SaigonThe Greatest Story Never ToldSummerRead this fascinating interview (now quite old) to get a handle on who this guy is. Just Blaze was first said to be producing the bulk of the album (as of late 2006, it's 10 of the 16 planned tracks). Alchemist is also producing, and Saigon reached out to Kanye West (as long as he doesn't rap on his beats). Other producers he likes but has no plans right now to work with include DJ Premier and RZA. The album, which Saigon hopes to have complete creative control over, will be released through the imprint Just Blaze set up with Atlantic. Saigon is poised to be the next big thing in hip-hop and be "that dude from New York who's going to bring New York back." No longer titled Dear Black America, the album now also features production from Scram Jones, Buckwild, and Digga. Recently asked which rappers he wants on his album, Saigon answered Jay-Z, Nas, and Flava Flav. As of September 2006, ?uestlove wrote "i heard the 2 of the 4 blaze did" and someone who worked as an intern said there was a hot Neptunes track on the album, so overall the album isn't exactly what it once was said to be. As of the end of the year, Cocoa Chanelle (would-be lead single "Pain In My Life") and Kanye West are the "other" producers (beyond Just Blaze). Regarding his album's status, Saigon wrote on Myspace: "Pleassssse don't believe that the hold up of my album has ANYTHING to do with me or my work ethic or my rate of producing GREAT music. If you go to YouTube and type in JBTV Saigon, you will hear snippets of my album that Atlantic doesn't seem to have the desire to release." If they don't, he will, however, in bootleg form." Greatest Story Never Told coming this summer... regardless." Just Blaze said in his reply to this deleted Myspace post that he produced at least 8 songs on the album, not counting song-like skits and coproduction on other producers' songs, and that guests include Faith Evans, Jay-Z, Swizz Beatz, Bun B, and more.
Prefuse 73PreparationsFallWarp sez "The first single from Preparations features a collaboration with New York wall-of-psych band School Of Seven Bells and Battles drummer John Stanier. Class of '73 Bells' swirls with undeniable pop melodies grounded by Prefuse's stereo-rattling low-end while 'Smoking Red' takes Stanier's punishing drums and uses them to carveout a fierce hip-hop banger." October.

 
Dan "The Automator" Nakamura & El-P as Sammy's Romanians
2005An instrumental, heavy beat oriented album. Automator's up to a million other things; to find out what (as of January 2001), click here. Finally, in 2003, it looks like this project is back on track, as it's mentioned in El-P's official list of current projects. According to a November 2002 interview, the two are "legally bound to do the record" (with the now defunct 75 Ark, so now they're doing it through Automator's label, "through MCA, or whatever it is").
Graph Nobel
2005 I received emails from the Black Corners label owner saying: "Coming early summer .produced by Martin 'Doc' Martin" (90% anyway; you might know Doc from his work with Esthero and Res) "Nobel has recorded with res, esthero, hawksley workman,and g.love ... we expect a first single by may." Now it's pushed back to "early 2005."
Gravediggaz
2005Hiphopsite alleges that the group has reformed with the following lineup: RZA, Frukwan, Shabazz The Disciple, Warcloud and Killah Priest. The next album will supposedly have Prince Paul production although in interviews he says Gravediggaz are over.
Immortal Technique Middle Passage 2005 Official, label-released debut.
Johnette Napolitano (of Concrete Blonde)
2005Collaborations with Danny Lohner, four of which feature Wes Borland (Limp Bizkit guitarist).
Kool Keith & H Bomb7th Veil2005HipHopSite (4/6/04) posted this news, "look for Kool Keith and H Bomb's (AKA Jacky Jasper) 7th Veil, which features cameos from Jewel, Flavor Flav (Flav and Keith on the same track should be interesting, to say the least) and Mr. Smack a Bitch, Ike Turner. Some production will be added by Lench Mob's Chilly Chill. 7th Veil will be accompanied by a bonus disc, which dabbles in Keith's other fetish (besides rhyming) XXX porn."
Kush Project
2005B-Real, Stephen Carpenter (Deftones), and the former rhythm section of Fear Factory. At least B-Real is "being real" about all the record label red tape by saying this won't come out for a year (possibly not even till fall 2003). Check it: MTV article. "Unstable" demo = awful. Ugh! Talk about disappointment. Later this summer (2004), B-Real "hopes to finally put the finishing touches on Kush." He told MTV, "Everybody's labels have released everybody for that particular record, so it's just a matter of us getting back into the studio and finishing it up. But there's some very heavy material there just waiting to be put on the grill."
Melvin Van Peebles vs. Madlib Brer Soul Meets Quasimoto 2005 Title and artist info are my best guesses based on this information: Melvin Van Peebles - filmmaker, author, playwright, and ... believe it or not, newest Stones Throw recording artist. Last night in Los Angeles, Melvin Van Peebles publicly announced his next project - a double album with Madlib to be released on Stones Throw. The first half of the album will be his own "Brer Soul Meets Quasimoto" and the second half will be the Madlib Invazion remix. This is being planned a 2 disc set released together in one package.
NasThe Lost Tapes Vol. 22005More unreleased tracks from Nas. Hiphopsite promises Dr. Dre-produced tracks cut from The Firm LP, Pete Rock's remix of "One Love" (f/ Sadat X), a few Large Professor tracks, and some I Am/Nastradamus stuff. Finally, in September 2004, the Japanese released a cover and tracklisting. DJ Premier said in November 2004 that the track he did with Nas for Street's Disciple that didn't make it would be on here.
Piano Overlord
2005 New Scott Herren (Prefuse 73) album. Taken from RichDork, "Early in 2005, Chocolate Industries is scheduled to release a Piano Overlord full-length, currently untitled, that deals with political issues." Regarding the more organic style of the music, click here to read it in the artist's own words. I assume the singles compilation isn't the last from this project.
Quincy Jones
2005Pasted from MTV: Quincy Jones is reaching out to many hip-hop producers for help on his next album. For the LP, Jones wants the producers to remix one of his classic cuts, and in turn he will rework one of their songs. Jones' spokesperson said it's too early to disclose the album's lineup, but revealed it will be hip-hop heavy. However, a rep for Alicia Keys said she will be involved in the project.
RZAThe Cure2005I first heard about this album in early 1998. I was excited about it for a long time but around 2000 I just gave up on the album, assuming it was abandoned. The first details I knew were from a RZA interview describing it as very deep and innovative, and having songs featuring Rage Against The Machine and Isaac Hayes. When The W dropped with the "I Can't Go To Sleep" joint I just assumed that was a The Cure track re-worked. But anyway RZA's been talking about this album again lately in the press so it seems like it could come out some day. I doubt it'll be in 2002 though. Here's a lot of great confirmed and unconfirmed info on the album courtesy of the Okay Player boards. Damn, they deleted it. Oh well. RZA kinda confirms the album because he closed his last Bobby Digital album with "The Sickness" and hinted that what do you give someone who's sick? (Note: He fouled up by releasing more Bobby Digital songs on Birth Of A Prince but if you observe the changes in the music at the end it hints at The Cure, the last five songs possibly being from those sessions). It was announced on the official site in 2004 that more songs from those sessions will finally be heard in the form of the limited edition CD The Formula For The Cure. "It will contain seven new RZA songs, plus unreleased exclusives and original versions of some old but released songs. It has exclusive RZA verses, beats and him building about The Cure that nobody has ever heard before... Some of the guests include Isaac Hayes, Stevie Wonder, Beethoven and many more." Unfortunately, this CD turned out to be an unauthorized bootleg and the collaborations were mostly just samples and almost all songs were previously released. The next legitimate RZA rap release may not be The Cure, but Digi-Snax (or Digi-Snacks), the Bobby Digital album he announced before BOAP and is now 7 songs into. RZA also mentions the possibility of reuniting with Method Man for a new album (not the garbage he released as the "prequel" to Tical). Red Hot Chilli Pepper guitarist John Frusciante recorded five songs with RZA in 2005. Daron Malakian, guitarist of System Of A Down, recorded up to 10 songs with RZA around the same time.
Slick RickThe Adventure Continues2005A lyrically ferocious (hence the working title Ferocious) and more substantive new album. Beats by "unknown" producers at this point but eventually some big names may be brought in. In mid-2004, MTV noted, "Slick Rick has signed with Def Jam for his first album since spending 17 months in a federal detention center. 'It's gonna cater to the mature audience,' he said, adding he hopes to collaborate with Elephant Man."
Vinia Mojica
2005 A sure-to-be ill collaborative EP between Scott Herren (Prefuse 73) and amazing, extremely underrated singer Vinia Mojica. Although it says "late spring" I bet it gets pushed back to summer (actually it never even came out in 2004!). Taken from Prefuse73.com: "A collaboration with Vinia Mojica and myself is in full effect and isn't going to be what you expect it to be for those who know my music and hers... I don't want to ruin the outcome, so wait for the e.p. on East Dev when we finish at the end of March... Which means it will come out in late spring i suppose? She's doing her own shit, that's why Señorita Mojica is fresher than you!!!!!!"
Zack de la Rocha
2005 Expect a massive departure from Zack's work with RATM. Most of the tracks have been recorded apparently, and Zack is just choosing which to include on the album. It is to feature producers/collaborators: Muggs (Cypress Hill), DJ Shadow, ?uestlove (The Roots), El-P, Trent Reznor, Roni Size, DJ Premier, and Dan The Automator. The nine tracks recorded with ?uestlove (which have Soulquarian James Poyser on keyboards) have been described by the drummer as "dangerous," very fast and scary drum 'n' bass, with weird Moog synth lines and even a theremin. Many years later (July 2004), ?uestlove wrote: "My shit was somewhat timeless (a jawn called 'carpel tunnel') but it was like 4 years ago." The two or three tracks with El-P do not have El-P rapping. Muggs only recorded one song and he said on his site that it will not be released because "it has lyrics dissing fred durst." The tracks with Trent Reznor were recorded at Nothing Studios in New Orleans in late 2002 and early 2003, featuring programming from Atticus Ross of 12 Rounds. DJ Shadow said in mid-2003 that Trent is producing the bulk of the album. Automator once described the production on the 8 songs he did for the album a long time ago as "kind of like if the Country Bear Jamboree was angry" and focusing on Zack's "Judy Garland side." One of the many songs Shadow did with Zack, "Disavowed", is on Shadow's single/EP for "You Can't Go Home Again." The credits: co-written by Shadow & de la Rocha, additional production and live drums by de la Rocha. So I guess Zack will be doing more than vocals on this album. And apparently, if an anonymous poster on the Internet claiming to have worked with Rage for six years is to be believed, Zack is doing a lot of rock singing (not rapping) on the album. Shadow said in mid-2003 that he completely finished three songs for the album. According to this interview, "some" of the older songs Shadow did together will make the album. While this is heartening in a sense, it's also frustrating because a lot of the great music Zack's recorded since he began the project in 1997 most likely will go unheard. Listen to the March 2003 song "March Of Death" that Zack did with DJ Shadow at this address. In early 2004, DJ Shadow posted another song on his official site (which you can find in the media player). He uploaded his beat "Instrumental 3" fearing that it would otherwise never be heard, as he earlier revealed that Zack has not been showing up at his recording sessions with other producers and won't return Shadow's phone calls (plain text here). In April 2004, Shadow told a fan that he thinks Zack is suffering from writer's block, the same thing he and others attribute to Rage breaking up. As for the album, Trent confirmed what Shadow said in his answer to my question on nin.com that he "worked on some interesting material with zack that had promise but got derailed for a number of maddening reasons." An anomyous poster on the Internet claimed in July 2004 that "the suits arent feeling what he is doing. He is increasingly frustrated with the music industry, doesnt wanna release on a major and is having a tough time coming up with ideas that stand the test of time." One of the Reznor-produced tracks, "We Want It All," appears on a Michael Moore/Fahrenheit 9/11 compilation. A fan who spoke to Zack in person this past August (2004) said that the man told her his album will be out "late next year" (i.e. late 2005) because he keeps writing new songs he wants to record. Newest anonymous Internet rumor: the self-titled album, entirely produced by Trent Reznor, will be released in December 2005. Or maybe not. Here's a new (May '05) quote from Reznor: "Over time, I think it was a matter of Zack not knowing what direction to go. I know the feeling of fear." The MTV article this quote is from says that as "for what will happen with the other 19 or so tracks the two worked on together, Reznor has no idea (nor did De la Rocha's spokesperson)." ?uestlove on Zack's whereabouts circa 2005: he "is enjoying his life in brazil just..taking it easy. plays in a local band. finding himself."
Cee-Lo & Jazze Pha as The Good Time GuysThe Happy Hour2006A whole album together was to be released on Pha's Sho'Nuff Recordings (via Capitol) in November 2005 and then February 14, 2006 but it's been delayed again. Nate Dogg, Keith Sweat, Aaron Hall, and Mannie Fresh are guests on the album. Ciara appears on "Lose Your Cool" and the Pussycat Dolls help with "Disco Bitch," dedicated to Rick James. According to Cee-Lo's interview with MTV, "It's 60 minutes of well-dressed drama," where along with co-producing, Jazze and Cee-Lo both sing and rap. Also, rumor has it that Cee-Lo is doing a whole album with Plantlife as Love Stink and he has reunited with Goodie Mob.
dead prez
Hood 2006 According to M1's interview with ThaFormula.com, the next dead prez album is called Hood, though they have no distribution presently. They are officially off Sony, but we've heard that before. Also, a fan wrote, "I spoke w/Stic recently at a show in Jersey & he said they were working on an LP w/Goodie Mob,Bone Thugs & Outlaws."
Deltron 3030

2006Automator and Del are recording this now (late summer 2004). Automator told Billboard, "I have done about 12 sketches. I'm going in with Koala on Oct. 15 and we'll start putting some cuts down." In May 2006 Kid Koala said he had finished his part. Finally an update: "Del says a new Deltron project he has going with Dan the Automator will be totally unpredictable. 'Dan said he has all the beats and samples done and it's time for lyrics... It's going to be different. The first one was in the future, this one's afterward. Have you seen Fist of the North Star or Mad Max? Like that. Everything's broken down.'" In a new (fall 2006) Hiero podcast, it was revealed that new Deltron tracks have been made and are waiting for Del to write to them.
DJ PremierA Man Of Few Words2006This may be one of those albums that gets talked about but never released, but DJ Premier is recording a solo album with a variety of influences, including rock and pop. Old rumored guests include Scarface, M.O.P., Devin The Dude, a duet with Gladys Knight & Jill Scott, AC/DC, and a track featuring Big L, 2Pac, Big Pun and Notorious B.I.G. (source). His friend Dr. Dre may also contribute. According to HipHopSite (6/12), he expects a November 1st (2nd would be a Tuesday) release of an album with guests like Ghostface, Redman, Nas, 50 Cent, and Roberta Flack (not Gladys Knight) with Jill Scott. Update: On 11/9/04 Jill Scott replied to something I wrote, saying she has no idea about any kind of collaboration with Gladys Knight on a Primo solo album. D'oh. Allegedly, Fat Joe said that this album fell through and Primo confirmed it, adding that he's now looking to negotiate a deal with Jay-Z at Def Jam instead. DJ Premier, as of late 2005, plans to release it on his own indie label, Year Round, and it will indeed feature Jill Scott, Roberta Flack, and Nas, as well as Mary J. Blige (source: Remix, where he also said "I'm gonna make a DJ Premier instrumentals album").
Guns n' RosesChinese Democracy2006People who have recorded for it since the '90s include Buckethead, Brian May, Robin Finck, Brain of Primus, and some programming by Billy Howerdel, though without any other original members, it's more or less an Axl Rose solo album. "After having worked with a long list of producers — including Roy Thomas Baker, Bob Ezrin, Sean Beavan and Moby [he didn't actually record with them] — Axl Rose has taken over production duties for the album" (source). Delayed repeatedly for years. According to Axl it will include 18 tracks, with "10 extra tracks on top of that." Axl adds, "There will be elements of blues-based things on the new Guns record. It's a very diverse record. There's a lot of hip-hop beats, there's straight-ahead rock." He clarifies that he means "Radiohead style" hip-hop beats. You can download "new" songs from live sets played in 2001-2. New bassist Tommy Stinson said in mid-2004 that the reason the disc isn't done yet "is because Rose is a methodical perfectionist who wants to make the creation of Chinese Democracy as democratic as possible. 'He likes to take all the members of the band and get the best out of each guy for each song... It's a brilliant process that gets everyone involved so everyone owns a piece of the song because they've put themselves into it. That way you don't have people going, "Well, I'm not gonna play on his song if you're not gonna sing on my song." And that's a lengthy process because you have to get eight people to basically write a song together that everyone likes.' Stinson added that he thinks the record is finally almost done, and the only thing that's holding back its completion is legal issues." Axl Rose says people will hear "music" this year, 2006, and it now sounds like Queen. Info about the leaked songs and so-called album listening parties. The comprehensive Wikipedia page claims the album may come out on November 21, 2006 (riiiiight).
Jay Dee aka J. DillaDilla2006Another album, this one due November 2006 according to his manager. Promised guests: D'Angelo, Q-Tip, Common, Talib Kweli. This was not confirmed to be finished before Jay Dee passed away so it's unknown what will happen to any recordings. The title of this last album might have changed recently to All ID.
JegaVariance2006New album on Planet Mu. Former flatmate µ-ziq describes the album as bringing together "all the digital techniques learned producing Geometry with some old-skool ragga rave'n'bass action." Also, Jega's message titled "Parp" in this thread implies that Variance will be a multimedia affair, with the other media created by Jega himself. Update from Jega: "Variance is as close to finished as it could be... It's taken a while. But now I've got over 40 tracks to pick through, written in Manchester, here in Brooklyn, some in Rekyjavik, some in Amsterdam. I loved writing them all." Update from Planet Mu artist Tim Tetlow: click here (it explains that Jega had to take a day job and gives a run down of 10 tracks). Apparently one of Jega's friends leaked an early draft of the album which can now be found online, although fans are trying to keep it unshared out of respect. One person claims they first saw the leak in May 2003. A tracklisting for this version appears at Discogs. In late spring 2004, Planet Mu promised a new Jega album was coming: "Lots of new stuff. It's so NOT the album on slsk." In December of the same year they claimed it may come out in July 2005. What a joke. Fellow artist edIT said in July 2005, "the Jaggaman is close to releasing a new record. the history of Variance goes is that it was basically done, but unfortunately pirated and leaked to the net. so he scrapped most of those cuts and started over hence the hundred some odd releases since ZIQ024. be patient it is on the way. even his lady doesn't have a copy. it is top secret. the videos for it are grade A 100% high class." So if you haven't downloaded it already... Live reviews found in that thread say it's nothing short of phenomenal and on the drill 'n' bass tip.
Madlib
2006Beat Generation album on BBE, not Stones Throw.
MadvillainMadvillainy 2 2006Madlib and MF Doom have said since before the release of their first collaborative album that there would be a Madvillainy 2. Jay Cam from Okayplayer claims that "DOOM will have up to 5 beats on the album too, with Madlib actually laying a verse as himself on one (as well as Quas of course)." Another poster on the board said in early 2006 that all tracks were produced by Madlib with 2-3 skits produced by MF Doom. Right now they're not sure if a track that Madlib produced with Doom and Ghostface Killah will be on Madvillainy 2 or Swift And Changable. At any rate, the finishing touches are being put on this followup now.
MF Doom & Count Bass D as Count Paper
2006 Count Bass D leaked track "Josephina DrakeMan" on his web site in March 2005. The mp3 was attributed to Count Paper, not Count Fingers as many expected.
Pharrell Williams
Voltron: Defender Of The Universe OST2006Soundtrack to live action version of the old cartoon Voltron, to be written and produced by Pharrell Williams. No further details, such as Chad Hugo's involvement and an approximate time of release, are known. Here's a little more about Pharrell and the album though from tv.com.
The Pixies

2006Unsurprisingly, the reunited Pixies are have begun recording a new album. Frank Black says it's almost finished.
Portishead
2006Beth has not left the group despite her solo album. They were at one time said to be recording an album in Australia of all unlikely places. Few solid details have ever been known about the third album, though some people once believed hip-hop producer Madlib was contributing. The Alien album rumor was officially put to rest by the band. After roughly five years of unconfirmed and scattershot reports of studio sessions, Geoff Barrow told NME in January 2005 that the album is near completion and that "We're actually into it as we speak. We took some time off for Christmas, but generally we're doing another record." The band broke another year long silence, speaking to MOJO for their February 2006 issue. Choice quotes: "Piecemeal recordings had been made over the years, but they began work in earnest in June 2005 in Utley & co-producer/drummer Geoff Barrow's studios in Bristol. Seven tracks have been completed, minus Gibbons' voice, which will be recorded in the early part of this year. Keyboard player Johnny Baggot, drummer Clive Deamer & bassist Jim Barr are also scheduled to play." Barrow claims the album will be "colder than the first two albums, but in a different way... The warmth amd the jazziness isn't so apparent, there's a bleaker quality... but, Beth has to come from a real place in her life, and she does like to touch people with what she does, so there will be warmth." He confirms that they're not using turntables this go-around and says he wants the album to be more "extreme" than "middle of the road," music they hate. No promised release date. In mixdown stage now, October 2007.
PraxisProfanation: Preparation For A Coming Darkness2006Though a brand new album was expected September 27, 2005 from Praxis, it's been delayed until 2006 and may get shelved altogether. Rumor has it, the label "is one inch away from bankruptcy, therefore this release may be indefinitely shelved in limbo, till picked up by another company."Bill Laswell's "rock-metal-electronica adventure, featuring Iggy Pop, Serj Tankian (System Of A Down), Killah Priest and many others." This is just one of the many exciting releases Laswell was planning to put out in 2005 as part of his new six-album label deal with Sanctuary Records.
The Randy Watson Experience(various)
2006Sad Libs will be ?uestlove and James Poyser's group's tribute to Madlib's tribute to Stevie Wonder, ?uestlove said on Gilles Peterson Worldwide in May 2004. "Hopefully that will be out in mid-September." It will include a cover of "You've Got It Bad Girl" as aired on the show. Official album to follow in early 2005: Good And Terrible. Apparently this will be ?uestlove's long-awaited BBE/Beat Generation album. Asked in September 2005 what he thought of doing an instrumental album, he said a solo from him would be more of a concept album with emcees than that. "that is gaggy. i didnt like petestrumentals." According to this old interview, don't expect any emcees. "It's gonna be singing. We have our background singers called The Mighty Sharps. I can't reveal them, but basically it's three very high profile women that I work with. ...As soon as I finish the Phrenology album, then I'll move on to that." Ha! A BBE founder interview promised a 4-track EP. RWE songs like the beautiful "Be Still My Beating Heart" can be heard on ?uestlove's MySpace page.
Reload
2006Mark Pritchard says a new Reload album is due out on Warp this year and Beans does spoken word on one of the tracks. Additionally, Global Communication releases are being reissued in expanded form. The album has been delayed due to a studio move to Australia.
Various ArtistsSoul Assassins III2006Latest Muggs-produced comp, to be released on his new label Angeles Records. Co-produced by DJ Khalil and The Alchemist.
12 Rounds
2007Produced by and featuring Trent Reznor. Gigantic problems with distribution and management. A version was finished early to mid 2002 and it was worked on some more in 2003. Will most likely never be released (Trent confirmed it in his answer to my question on nin.com). Uncovered promo artwork: click. Jerome Dillon revealed in late 2005 that he played drums on a couple tracks on the album, which he said is "beautiful" and he was "heartbroken" that it was shelved. Interestingly, as of mid 2006, the band acquired the masters for their third album. Officially, "the band are currently busy with other projects, but hope to be able to complete the material in six months to a year. Claude has written many new songs since the album was last worked on, and will be incorporating some of those new works into the final mix." Click on the link for a list of songs contending for the album.Atticus Ross and Claudia Sarne also scored the USA Network show Touching Evil along with Atticus's brother Leopold (together the two are in the band Error). Until they're removed there are mp3's from the TV show and pilot movie here.
Andre BenjaminKind Of Black: Benjamin On Davis 2007An updated tribute to Miles Davis' Kind Of Blue album. The personnel is listed by USA Today as Andre Benjamin (Andre 3000 of Outkast for those who don't know) along with "acclaimed trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and popular Roots drummer/producer Ahmir '?uestlove' Thompson." However, this earlier AllHipHop.com article talks about an earlier version of the project, provides additional details on this one, or describes a totally different release. The site says that "Nas collaborated with guitar god Santana for a track on the album, titled Evolution of the Groove," possibly an album coming out in fall 2006. The day after the news about Andre version leaked, ?uest posted, "Nas Lost[...] dre has REALLY gotten dope on his keywork. wynton must really be desperate for a check[.] i thought he woulda rejected the notion. but he was more excited than ever."
Big Boi
2007The MTV interview says that fans "can expect something similar to Speakerboxxx" and Andre "will contribute production. 'I'm going to try to keep it in-house,' Big Boi said, noting that he's also producing along with Organized Noize."
Black Thought
(various)2007?uestlove and The Roots/Okayplayer management confirmed that a Black Thought solo album produced by Danger Mouse is something being discussed for 2007. BT talks with MTV about the album here, noting that it's an album utilizing personas instead of a conventional MC album with beats from one producer. XXL online confirms that the duo is called Dangerous Thoughts. If Karriem Riggins' MySpace page is to be believed, you can also expect a Black Thought album with Karriem Riggins (D.Troydelphia) and another with both Karriem Riggins and Madlib (Jay Dee's Revenge).
Company Flow
Funcrusher Plus (reissue) 2007Billboard recently divulged that Def Jux has obtained the masters of Company Flow's album Funcrusher and plan to reissue it. It is meant to be a 10th anniversary celebration and there are tentative plans for the group to record new bonus tracks. Bigg Jus confirms the recording of new songs for an album. Someone who interviewed El-P confirmed that the reissue is Funcrusher Plus and that the final Co Flow concert DVD will come with it.
CRS (Kanye West, Pharrell Williams & Lupe Fiasco)

2007Lupe Fiasco told Billboard "there's also a 'top secret' project in the works with 'another superstar rapper and someone who is a rapper/producer,' but Fiasco declined to reveal details, including whether the pairing was for a full album or just a handful of songs." A little while later, a song surfaced called "Us Placers" (Lupe leaked the snippet with just himself on it the previous year) that samples Thom Yorke's "The Eraser" featuring Kanye West and Pharrell together with Lupe as the group CRS, allegedly standing for Child Rebel Soldier. Lupe told Billboard later on that so far this is their only song but an album is probably coming on a to-be-determined label. "Whoever is going to pay is going to pay a whole hell of a lot. Everybody is excited," he said. Also expect production from Q-Tip according to his interview with AllHipHop.com.
D'AngeloJames River 2007D is recording songs with Raphael Saadiq in L.A. this year (2003). Apparently there's some beef between D and ?uestlove that needs to be resolved (update: they worked it out so expect them to work together soon!). The two of them along with Musiq are all separately contributing their songwriting skills to the new Earth Wind & Fire album as well. Asked February '04 about the current direction of this album, ?uest said, "well--he said that the demos are all guitar and bass---no keys. his guitar playing is wicked. i know i will bring in some of my deepest snare funk this side of 'head'." A fan lucky enough to have heard over the phone a song and a half that Russell Elevado (refresh...) just finished wrote the following, heavily emphasizing the funky guitar element: "the beat was ridiculous, the keys were crazy, and i haven't heard any current artist play a funky ass guitar like that. i mean damn. then when the lyrics began, i got excited with whoever was whoopin' it up....couldn't hear the words but heard the melody. it was such a big, complex sound - i admittedly didn't know what to pay attention to (in addition to the others talking). but it sure was funky as hell, people aren't ready for this. definitely an evolution to a whole nother sound than whats around today. i was listening to Sly last night, and this fit in perfectly, but with more funkadelic. the guitar was what struck me the most." ?uestlove himself later posted, saying: he was drumming, 11 songs are done, most of them are 7-9 minute epics in need of a "haircut," the market is not ready for it, and there will be no radio-friendly single. For "newbies" he gave a list of names to study. In full: funkadelic, maggot brain, america eats its young, cosmic slop, standing on the verge of getting it on, let's take it to the stage, tales of kidd funkadelic, there's a riot going on, on the corner, inspiration information, smile, abbey road, revolver, electric ladyland, nevermind the bullocks here comes the sex pistols, dirty mind, ego, tony willaims emergency. According to AOL Black Voices 8/3/06, D'Angelo recently "took meetings with Virgin Records urban music honcho Jermaine Dupri to explore ways to re-ignite his once thriving career. Veteran music executive Gary Harris (with whom he created magic with 1994's groundbreaking 'Brown Sugar') is said to be working closely with the two-time Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter. High powered music industry titan Irving Azoff (Christina Aguilera, Lenny Kravitz, Seal) is also in the mix." Blender Magazine says D'Angelo is in NYC recording with Dr. Dre on as producer for his new album ?uestlove wrote, "he is back in new york. we spoke last week. he is hungrier than ever, wants to start fresh. thinks the last 16 joints that woulda been on the James River album bit are Evil and Tainted and too dark to go to. i say he is too married to that shit and lived with them too long. shit is brilliant to me. my solution? release the DARK and LIGHT cds. we deserve an overblown makeup disc: 40 songs. guess i gotta get to work huh? lol" According to D'Angelo engineer and mixer Russell Elevado in his March 2007 Q&A, "we have been working on it (on and off) since 2002. [...]we were in the studio last november doing some o/d's and rough mixes on about 5 new songs that we could play for the label. but besides that, D has not worked on the album for about 2 years or so. we do have plans to head in the studio in may to finish mixes on some live material from the voodoo tour[...] it will be a different album than voodoo, that much is definite. to me it's leaning more in a rock direction. like funkadelic meets the beatles or something. he hasn't given up his soul roots by any means, but he is growing and exploring a new genre. he's writing quite a bit of music on guitar rather than the keyboard this time as well. it will have a different sonic quality as well. [...]my contributions wil be (more than ever) in the old school production techniques and style. but this time it will come from a slightly more rock prespective...slightly. and heavier."
Dabrye

2007KFresh, of Renaissance Soul Detroit, said in February 2007 that "there's going to be a two/three remix album this year." Some tracks are already popping up on artists' MySpace pages (e.g., Black Milk and Flying Lotus, although only the remix by the former is probably official).
Dan "The Automator" NakamuraOmakase2007Automator album with guest artists and a story line. Confirmed in January 2003: Maceo from De La Soul, Black Rob, Beenie Man, the Neptunes, Mike Patton, Beck, DJ Q-Bert, Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, John Medeski, the Blue Man Group, Mos Def, and frequent collaborators Damon Albarn and Kid Koala (additional sources: Wired Oct. 2003, this article, and a mid-2004 feature in Billboard). NME details here. MTV says he'll tour with a full band in support of the album. The biggest story for the album is probably the pair-up of LeAnn Rimes and Busta Rhymes for a song. Apparently long finished (2002) and now sitting around collecting dust while MCA rethinks and gets bought out (it is or was to be his major label debut). The album "was pushed back from the summer to early next year when MCA recently folded into Geffen Records." Dan The Automator told Billboard "I'm really proud of that record, but to think about it too much is frustrating." Also, "Damon and Mos Def do a beautiful duet called 'Lonely Man.'" Years later, in August 2006, Automator told Billboard what happened with the album and that he still plans on releasing it but will now redo it because it's old and stale to him. He's unsigned right now but has promising offers from other labels who want to release this album.
Del Tha Funkee Homosapien(various)2007Del has working on several albums simultaneously including 11th Hour (apparently the top priority right now for Hiero as of late 2006) and the long rumored album Achilles Heal. HHS (8/22/04) says that The 11th Hour will be produced "entirely by Del with the assistance of one producer, Casual... Also in October a project with Del, Motion Man, Abtract Rude, EMC, Myka 9, Bukue One, and Ammbush will be released. The big news is the announcement of a Deltron 3030 II. During the Q & A after the screening Del announced that he is indeed back in the lab with Dan the Automator." That hasn't come out yet but the album of Del with Motion Man produced by TOM C3 is apparently due soon. Bad news: "Del's computer hard drive crashed last year [2005] with all his new material on it."
Dr. DreDetox2007This album was considered scrapped, now it's back on. HipHopSite said at the time that many of the beats Dre recorded would "find their way on 50's sophomore LP, Game's debut and Busta Rhymes' AfterMath debut." When it was announced in early November that the album was back on, MTV quoted Game as saying, "After he got me out of the way, Busta's album is almost wrapped, Eve is working her album, Dre is feeling vibrant. Dre got his groove back, and he's ready to do the Detox." Dre admitted in Scratch Magazine's summer 2004 debut issue that he needed the time to put out his new artists and that the collaborations with Nottz will also be reused elsewhere. That issue of Scratch also revealed that Denaun Porter was set to work on the album also. DJ Khalil (of Self Scientific) is producing on Detox, according to Rhettmatic, who adds that "Khalil also said that Jay-Z was doing a lot of ghostwriting for Dre." Wikipedia has some additional random info I don't have here. Dr. Dre's "final album" is a hip-hop musical concept album, reminiscent of Prince Paul's A Prince Among Thieves, only with mainstream guests. Details here. DJ Quik says "Dre is using a lot of strings and brass," and according to Truth Hurts, Dre is working with other producers on the album as well. They might include Raphael Saadiq, SA-RA Creative Partners, Hi-Tek, and Just Blaze. Stat Quo is on it and he describes the music he heard from it as amazing. HipHopSite said on 11/19/03 that the recording had been put on hold because of a fall-out with Mel-Man and backlash over Rakim and Truth Hurts being dropped, and that, incidentally, he has 3-4 albums worth of unreleased material recorded in just the last two or three years. Scott Storch, who is all over this album as a co-producer, says this will be "the most advanced rap album musically and lyrically we'll probably ever have a chance to listen to." Dre "usually does more than 100 records and then picks his favorites." Songs that are currently beats and rhythms are being fleshed out right now. "Storch said Eminem, 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg and Knoc-Turn'al would record parts as well as newer names like Lloyd Banks, Guvner and Game." According to a March 2004 Jay Dee interview with Power 106, he and Dre had plans to work together in the future. A long Q&A with Mel-Man, who apparently was at the time back in the fold, contains way too much new information for me to paste here. Choice excerpts: "We are striving for 100% live instrumental tracks built completely from scratch... Dre pushes us to dig deep and put our own ideas into the skeleton instrumentals we have made alongside him for Detox over the last couple of years. ...the dilema is how complex of tracks will the listening audience want to hear. Do they want orchestra like pieces or the tightly focused, yet simple beats you are used to from Dre. Ideally all of us and Dre want the most mindbending and complex original music experience ever heard on record. ...In the end i think you will hear elements of these complex beats but you won't hear the way they originally were created... I know there are rumours out there that Detox will not be 100% Dre produced. Dre is accepting tracks for consideration from a limited amount of producers, but the goal is for Dre to either produce or co produce the entire album. If Dre is having a hard time getting 16-18 quality tracks together of his productions that he likes he may look to someone else's production to fill in the needed tracks. Dre is humble enough to use someone elses track (like Lord Finesse's The Message beat) if it is dope enough to match the 'classic level' of the Dre tracks on the album. Interscope is breathing down Dre's neck to get Detox out by year end. But Dre refuses to release it until he is ready." Dr. Dre told Big Boy's Power 106 radio show in Los Angeles, "I'm trying to get everybody that I've ever worked with over the years to appear on the records... There are gonna be some new guys that I'm working with, Bishop Lamont and Slim the Mobster... I'm tryna put 12, 13 songs on thealbum. I'm not totally sure about the month but it will be definitely be out this year." According to former Aftermath artist G.A.G.E., "he just got Mel Man back with him." According to Bishop Lamont's interview at thaFormula.com, Hittman is back. Hi-Tek says don't expect Detox until 2008.
Ghostface & MF Doom
Swift And Changeable 2007An article in Hip-Hop Connection #189 interviewed a Nature Sounds label rep who acted as the go-between for the project. Ghost and Doom have been fans of each other's work and sent each other CDs back and forth. In addition to the CDs-in-the-mail route they have worked with each other in the studio during downtime. Ghost will do most of the rhyming while Doom will produce the whole album and contribute some verses. It seems like most of the beats will be brand new, not from Special Herbs (as was the case on some tracks on Fishscale). The album was to be out in late summer 2006 according to Lex Records, who will distribute the album in the UK. Now it's 2007, according to Nature Sounds (though it was once said to be finished by early or mid-2005). Nature Sounds' Devin Horwitz told hiphopsite, "All production will be handled by DOOM. With the exception of one Dilla track. Right now there are no guest features recorded, although some interesting ones are planned." Also, as of January 2007, several years after the project was begun, "I'd say they are about 75% done. All the songs are sounding incredible. This was originally gonna be an EP (we have enough material for that), but both guys were so excited about the way the project was coming together that they decided it needs to be a whole album!" He also said there is no official album title yet.
Herbie Hancock, Brian Eno & Squarepusher
2007I'm not sure what to make of this. These three had a jam session (click for story and pictures) and allegedly an album may come of it by "mid-2007" (that's already now). Don't get your hopes up though. Other session musicians were apparently Steve Jones and John Hopkins, but I don't know who they are.
Isaac Hayes
2007New music to be released in 2007 on Stax, seriously.
Ike Turner & The Black Keys
2007RichDork Media has an interview with The Black Keys where they say that they are "working on a project right now with Danger Mouse and Ike Turner." They are "writing and recording an album that Ike Turner will sing and play on with us. Danger Mouse put this thing together and asked us to be part of it, and we agreed. He's going to produce the record, and he wants it to be a return to form for Ike Turner." Although he's not going to be involved in the songwriting process, "Ike is going to sing on it and also play guitar and organ and piano." The album is being recorded with the basic "two mics on the drums and guitar" so it will still "sound like the Black Keys."
Kool G Rap
Half A Klip 2007EP produced by DJ Premier, due soon.
Marsha Ambrosius

2007Marsha from Floetry just signed a solo deal with Aftermath Records. She has been recording songs with Dr. Dre and would also like to work with Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, and Dre & Vidal. A song with 50 Cent has been recorded and may end up on the album. "It's Dre at his most genius, plus my melodies and song concepts. I did all the writing," she told Metro Philadelphia. The article says that "Chad Hugo of The Neptunes, Scott Storch, and Just Blaze also contributed work to the album."
Massive AttackWeather Underground2007Info. A more "thrown-together" album was said to be recorded and released within a year after the fourth album came out. This album was to feature Mos Def and Tom Waits, and probably the songs they recorded with Dot Allison and Liz Fraser that didn't make the last album. Daddy G was also going to eb a lot more involved with this album than 100th Window. Years later, all NME knowsis 3D has been in the studio working on a "gothic soul" album and "five songs are nearing completion" although 15 more were expected to be done by Christmas 2005. Another DVD was once said to be in the works. More comments from 3D over the years: "We almost did something with Bjork as well, and with Tom Waits, but probably what Bjork does is already too close to the Massive Attack sound. And Tom Waits, that's might be a very long winded thing. There were also some plans with Thom Yorke, and we worked together with Lupine Howl, but the result was sub-standard. But most of all, I would like to cooperate again with Liz Fraser." As of late 2004, 3D and Neil Davidge are sampling again. The fifth album is (still) in writing and initial recording phase now, although they admit to wanting to finish some older things. New songs they did on the last tour are "Speed Of Dark" and "Bullet." The band has a new member in Gloucester's Town Crier. Current expected guests: TV On The Radio, Mos Def, Mike Patton, Horace Andy, Liz Frazer, Beth Orton, and Leslie Feist. Title may have changed.
N*E*R*D

2007The band is back on with plans for a third album in the near future. As of July 2006 Pharrell has dismissed his previous claims as just empty threats.
Nine Inch Nails
Y34RZ3R0R3M1X3D 2007Seemingly oblivious to the fact that Linkin Park used the 133+ h4x0r naming scheme themselves years back for their remix album, NIN posted the cover to its own remix album with this ridiculous lettering. Besides selections from (if not all of) the previously released remixes from the Year Zero album, The Faint has done a remix and so has Bill Laswell. I've read a rumor that this album is fan mixes or rather remixes done using the multi-track files that have been provided online regardless of how well-known the remixers are. Stay tuned to The NIN Hotline as they post all the names of the remixers (sounds good so far).
Nottz

2007Hip-hop producer and sometimes rapper has a solo album coming out, he tells ThaFormula. "I've been working on an album like (Dr.) Dre working on Detox. ...You know I started out rappin' first like I said man. My manager keeps telling me don't do a whole album rappin', but to do some features and stuff like that. But I was rapping first so I'd rather rap. I'm a few joints into the album already. Me and Pete Rock got a joint together. Me, Denaun Porter and Hi-Tek got a joint together. Kardinal Offishal is up there with me. Corey Guns, I'm trying to get Cee-Lo on a joint on a hook with me and Corey Guns. Busta is gonna do something up there."
Peeping Tom

2007Mike Patton says the Avalanches are collaborating with him on the next Peeping Tom record. He has said before that there is enough material already recorded for at least two more albums.
RakimThe Seventh Seal2007
Currently expected in the first quarter of 2007. Rakim left Aftermath before dropping his album Oh My God, after being signed for three years! Musical differences with Dre. Dre wanted him "to bring the guns back out" but Ra wanted to stay true to himself and be different from everyone else. Check out this interview, parts one and two. Original details here and here. A version of the album was completed, but then Alchemist was going to pitch in with some production. Dre and Ra recorded over fifty tracks together (this may be bogus info, as Rakim says he only did 16 songs on Aftermath and only 3 were with Dre). DJ Premier (Dre rejected most of his tracks...), DJ Hi-Tek, DJ Quik, Xzibit, Eminem (who wrote a song for Rakim to jump on that didn't make his 2002 album The Eminem Show), and Nas were to be included on the album. It was originally to be released summer 2002, then it was being retooled for "stronger choruses." (Update: Mel-Man's 2005 Internet Q&A explains this in detail, saying that Interscope wouldn't let Dre and Rakim do the album they wanted and were doing. Mel-Man also says "Common thought is that only a few tracks were recorded for Oh My God. That is false. We may not have got a lot of full songs with vocals recorded (altough we did more than has been reported)but we created a lot of instrumentals with Rakim in mind. Like Dre rakim is very picky in the beats and sometimes he would pass on beats that we thought were perfect. However the shit Ra and Dre did do together were mind blowing.") Dre's beats were to be the opposite of what's expected; DJ Premier had been giving him inspiration to play with his old SP-1200, making retro and gritty sounding tracks instead of polished productions. After leaving Aftermath, Rakim was said to be linking up with Dreamworks (after almost signing with them before Aftermath), but the truth is he's started his own imprint, RA Recordz, on an indie label. The just-begun, self-released album will have Premier and Large Professor producing. According to HipHopSite (1/27/04), Rakim told MTV2 "that he has recovered some of the Dre tracks from the Aftermath sessions, and has other collaborations with Timbaland" and R. Kelly, but he didn't mention DJ Premier or Large Pro. According to Rakim himself, "Dre promised me a track" for Rakim's new album he wants ready for this summer. In other words, he's starting all over, this time with his own label deal. The Neptunes have reached out to him and Rakim promises "a couple of duets, something I haven't really done in the past. There's going to be a couple of surprises on the album." Also, expect the album to have "at least 15 to 18 records," music visualizations, and video footage of him "chillin' in the hood, chillin' in the studio, chillin' with my kids, you know just chillin'" (ThaFormula). Rakim said in concert in January 2006 that his new album will be out in the summer. Rakim and Nas announced in a joint interview with MTV that they plan to work with each other on one or both of their albums. Rakim's new independent label, Ra Records, is releasing this album, allegedly on 07/07/07, a Saturday--this, of course, didn't happen.
Róisín  Murphy

2007This would be a followup to the terrific solo debut, Ruby Blue. Mark de Clive-Lowe said, "yep, seiji smacked that one up properly. he's got some shit in the pipeline at the minute with rosin murphy (ex moloko). havent heard all the tracks yet, but no doubt, a quality project that we're all well happy to be involved with." From another discussion board: "This is ill Factor, I worked with rosin murphy on her upcoming album along side with Jimmy Douglas mixing the tracks produced by myslef and roisin. (had her come down to Miami at our studio for a couple months) Let me jsut say you will most not be disapointed. I myself must say working with the lovely roisin was a striaght up Gangsta of a time. and just dropping knowledge about the album to some loyal fans of hers.. So sit tight andenjoy Cheers."
The Roots
Rising Down 2007Expected some time between October 2007 and February 2008. Formerly known as This Too Shall Pass. ?uestlove has been playing The Roots' "I Will Not Apologize" MP3 on his last.fm page. Additional Roots MP3s have included "Vertigo," "Jonze," "Raj," "Radj with Drums," "Birthday w/Fall Out Boy," "Malik Is Nuts (Rock With Us)," "Malik Jawn," "Roxanne, The Seed, I Can Understand It" (all together;  he's also been playing a J. Dilla song called "Roxanne," and there's always the famous Police song, so this may be some kind of remake), "Swirl Smurf," "Robo Cop," and "?uest meet Patrick of Fall Out Boy." On being in Jon Brion's studio working on the new Roots album, ?uest wrote "damn damn damn we aint even track yet and i hear the texture of 1974 in a way that i could NEVER approximate." And elsewhere, "Malik B is on this album more than he was on Game Theory. Peedi just dropped his and he set a bar so high I don't even know if we can follow it. I don't want to use the cliché, 'It's crazy!,' but I'm excited about it. [...]For this record, I'll say the prominent instrument is the synthesizer, even though it's the same instrumentation. Kamal's utilizing more actual keyboards and synth stuff than he is the Fender Rhodes. I will call this the synth record. But thematically we still don't know where we're going," ?uestlove told Allhiphop. They're still on Def Jam.
SA-RA Creative Partners
Black Fuzz 2007SA-RA signed a deal with Kanye West's GOOD Music imprint to produce for the label and release this artist album. The album name has changed from Set-Ups & Justifications to this, there are two albums due for release soon, or that was just the name of the sampler, who knows. The album sampler cover can be viewed here. Here's the tracklisting (a lot of old favorites). Supposedly they have a song with Iggy Pop called "Big Fame." The recent Vibe review not only confirms the old rumor that Erykah Badu is on "Fantastic Vampere," Herbie Hancock is on it, too! GOOD Music supposedly folding may put a dent on this album ever coming out. Look for SA-RA to eventually release more singles, EPs, an instrumental release called Sick Sick Beats, a Rawkus album called Leniency And Mercy consisting of mostly old material, and watch for the Zombie/Mandingo collaborative album with SA-RA, Erykah Badu, Karen Wheeler, Zap Mama, and others.
Saul Williams

2007Trent Reznor has been recording with Saul Williams. The NIN Hotline learned that Reznor is, in fact, the co-producer of his next album. They are now recording in Reznor's Los Angeles home studio. Williams told MTV that the new music "doesn't sound like Nine Inch Nails, and it's unique." CX KiDTRONiK, Saul Williams' longtime live show DJ/hypeman and collaborator on the new album, told The NIN Hotline about the heavy music Trent's provided so far: "THE BIG THICK BASS, LOUD DRUMS, WIDE SONIC SOUNDSCAPES, AND POWER BALLADS. YES, TRENT DOES PERFORM IN THE NEW SONGS." The album will be out at the end of 2007 according to a concertgoer who spoke to him. Trent Reznor said in early July: "I am in the studio with Alan Moulder finishing Saul Williams' new record and it sounds awesome. We'll be done this month just in time for the NIN tour." Saul posted back in January of this year (2007): "The album is almost done. We have about 18-20 songs recorded. We've been taking time to listen and decide what needs further work etc. I'm very excited about the sound of the project as it truly sounds like the music I began envisioning around the time of Amethyst Rock Star that I hadn't developed the savvy to pull out of my mind and onto tape. During the recording of my second album, I was going for something much more specific, tempo driven and hard. Always hard, but this time, with the help of Trent, we've found something neither one of us have ever heard before. Hauntingly beautiful and in yer face when it needs to be. Fun. Blah blah. No backburner, simply giving the music the time that it deserves. Also, I've decided not to talk to any labels until after the album is completed so as to truly gage excitement as opposed to, 'hey, I think Timbaland could really re-work this into...'" He also posted, "It's a concept album. Pretty theatrical, yet still intensely personal. We're talking about the recording but the albums real life will be onstage."Those guessing on what it will sound like, read this: "Trents been working extra hard as he's been recording his new material [ Year Zero] while also helping me record mine. Ofcourse, we've fed off one another creatively and that's been really cool." Some Johnny-come-lately Saul fans actually believe the album is called Chinese Democracy. Please.
Souls Of Mischief

2007Prince Paul is producing all or at least a lot of it.
Various ArtistsThink Differently Music Vol. 2 2007Dreddy Kruger is currently assembling his next Think Differently compilation. In this interview he says he has two GZA collaborations already lined up, one with The Game and one with Pharoahe Monch. He's also getting Mos Def and other major label artists but the format and style of the compilation will stay the same. One significant difference will be RZA handling the majority of the production!
Billy Howerdel
2008Solo album written and sung by the founder of A Perfect Circle. May include early APC instrumental demo "Army" reworked into a full song, according to APC.net. In mid-2006 MTV spoke to him about this album, being recorded and shopped to labels while APC is on hold or done with. "Guitarist Billy Howerdel's not so sure what's happening with A Perfect Circle. The creative strength behind the band has been working on his own material. He's also in the throes of assembling a fresh outfit he'd like to record and tour with. ...He's written 14 tracks, nine of which he's content with." The band rehearsing these songs now consists of Josh Freese, Jonny Polanski, Troy Van Leeuwen, and Freese's brother, Jason Freese (keyboards), though the touring band may be completely different. Some signs of life: Danny Lohner mentioned how awesome the album is in his first Myspace blog update.
Blur
2008Drummer Dave Rowntree told The Independent this June (2007) that Blur would return to the studio in the fall on a provisional basis. Graham Coxon said in late 2006 that he would consider rejoining at his bandmate's behest. Old 2004/2005 news: Was to be a newly recorded EP to possibly include a reworking of "Sub Species Of An American Day" from Damon Albarn's solo album Democrazy (source). It's not supposed to be Think Tank outtakes but there are still good unreleased songs from those sessions. RichDork recently updated folks on Blur's new plan. "Blur drummer Dave Rountree recently told British website Xfm Online that the band is currently in the studio recording what will be not a new EP, but a new full-length album, for which Albarn's solo, vinyl-only, limited-edition demo album Democrazy will be the creative jump-off point. According to Rountree, Blur has already completed a week or so of recording, and will return to the studio for another couple weeks in September. [...]Rountree also said that Blur 'may still do [a stand-alone EP],' but are just focusing on the recording process for the time being. And as for the much-ballyhooed return of erstwhile guitarist Graham Coxon? The grapevine is markedly silent."
Gnarls Barkley

2008The second album from Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse is completed but has been put on the backburner until early 2008 according to UK rag The Sun, which states the reason as Danger Mouse's studio commitments to the upcoming Underground Animals album.
Nine Inch Nails

2008The second of at least two concept albums (the first being Year Zero) is due as early as 2008. According to Kerrang! radio, "[Trent]'s admitted he's already in talks about a movie version of his upcoming album a concept piece, with part two scheduled for next year. 'I'm excited by the prospect of what this has brought to me. We're really looking into things it could be.' Reznor revealed." This is also NIN's last album on Interscope (thank God).
RaekwonOnly Buit 4 Cuban Linx Part II2008Raekwon has been planning a "sequel" to his debut album for several years. The album isn't going to be RZA-produced in its entirety (as of late 2005 he will do "90%"). RZA and The Alchemist were the first confirmed producers with Dr. Dre and Nottz now contributing as well. System Of A Down bassist Shavo Odadjian said he worked on a track that will be on the album. Guests include Mobb Deep, Nas, Fat Joe, and Busta Rhymes, who can be heard with Rae on the mixtape preview song "Baggage Handlers." This song is in fact merely a loop of the interlude beat ?uestlove did for Common's album before "Thelonious." Busta Rhymes is the co-executive producer of the album with RZA. All of the Clan returns as their Wu-Gambinos characters, with GZA allegedly contributing the most. In fact, some songs the Wu recorded for an unfinished group album in 2005 may pop up on the album. RZA said in Scratch magazine that Scram Jones is yet another producer on the album and Ghostface has yet to contribute but will in the end; it's explained in the album storyline why GZA and Inspectah Deck are more heavily involved this time. RZA gave Wu-Tang Corp a big update in early April 2006. The news is as follows: "The whole Clan (minus the late ODB) is confirmed to appear on the album. ...Although RZA is sceptical about outside producers making the final cut, there are a few that have a good chance of getting on there. With respect to the late J. Dilla, the song 'House Of The Flying Daggers' is a candidate for the album. ...RZA and [Dr.] Dre were in the studio last week together going through a mass amount of beats. So far, according to RZA there are 3 songs produced by Dre that both Raekwon and RZA are feeling heavily. These three songs are recorded, mixed and done! One of the songs features Raekwon, Busta Rhymes and RZA together over a booming Dre beat!" Raekwon has officially signed to Dre's Aftermath label. Wu-Tang Corp updated to say, "According to Raekwon's management the production credits are shared 50/50 between Dr. Dre and RZA but the final tracklisting has yet to prove if it will be the end result." I saw a leaked, rumored tracklisting with production and feature credits first on Okayplayer, and you can click here to read the same info. Pretty impressive; on the production it's mostly RZA but Dre weighs in, including an alleged track coproduced together! The Dilla track is included on this version, as are two songs with Ghostface and one with John Frusciante. To the surprise of no one, Interscope didn't seem to be a good match for Raekwon for his "99 percent finished" (as of summer 2007) album.
Underground Animals

2008This is an [Adult Swim]-affiliated compilation spearheaded by Danger Mouse. An article says it is "a new group of renowned beatmakers... an animated collective in the same vein of the rock group Gorillaz, but their true identities will be kept under wraps." Downtown Records cofounder Josh Deutsch said, "We have some very celebrated producers and some up-and-comers, all of whom are arranged around Danger... For the introductory album, the idea is that each song will feature a different producer working with a different artist, but there won't be a reveal as to which producer is doing a given track, [which] will allow them to produce the kinds of records they wouldn't necessarily want to do without the benefit of a pseudonym. We've already had a really A-list rock guy wanting to do a hip-hop record."
The Verve

2008The reunited band (including guitarist Nick McCabe, not Simon Tong) is recording a new album right now in London and will return to finish it after the summer.
Outkast
The Hard Ten
2009Quoth Big Boi: "But before we put the soundtrack out, we're going to put another album out this November. It's gonna be a hardcore album, me and Dre letting Organized Noize produce the whole album. I can't give you the title of it yet, but it's coming together nicely. It's going to be a lot of MCing and a little bit of other stuff. But a lot of MCing." MTV confirms the new album was at the time called 10 The Hard Way and "will feature 10 songs that return to a raw rap style." Big Boi on collaborations: "We're trying to do a song with Anita Baker, [as well as] Sade, maybe Kate Bush if we can find her. We been trying to find [Bush, a reclusive British singer]. They say she's crazy, so I don't know what's going on." Sleepy Brown told The Guardian in November 2006 about the album: "That's supposed to be the last OutKast album. It's supposed to be produced by the three of us, Organized Noize, and be just ten tracks - hard tracks, rap tracks. They was all for it, we've made plenty of beats for it, then, all of a sudden, he don't wanna do it no more." The status of the album and the group itself, he says, is in limbo because of Andre. A singer who said she heard most of the album back in early 2005 responded to the article, reiterating that she did hear it "but if dre don't wanna drop it, he doesn't want to...and trust me. the source that played the stuff i heard is more than reliable. this article makes me sad." Andre 3000 in summer 2007: "After we do those solo albums, we're planning on doing another Outkast album. I don't know how long that's gonna be; it could be two years." However, apparently in the July 24, 2007 Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Big Boi was quoted, "Dre's been in the studio rapping like crazy, laying some of the most incredible [tracks] I've heard him put down--ever. I've got my solo album down to like 15 songs... So with our solo albums and a new OutKast album, and one other cat I can't let out of the bag just yet, it's about to be ridiculous!"

 
A Tribe Called Quest
Hiatus?uestlove let the ball drop in 2002 and told Roots fans that a reformed Tribe is back in the studio. They'd recorded six songs at that point and had at least six more to go (recording was to resume this past summer). They denied it vehemently but it's true (Phife finally admitted it). Large Professor and Madlib are also producing. Here's a new article with quotes from Phife about the album's sound and how it won't come out until winter 2004 (they're on strike against their label so they're not recording now). Update 3/11/04 (interview with Gilles Peterson): in Q-Tip's words, the reunion album is "not gonna happen unfortunately" because of creative differences with the label!
Black Sabbath
HiatusSabbath's first album with its original lineup since 1978! Produced by Rick Rubin. Apparently this was just planned but not actually worked on.
Black Thought Masterpiece Theatre Shelved Black Thought has claimed his shelved solo debut "evolved" into the new Roots album Phrenology(many of the solo songs were reworked). Evil MCA canceled this fully completed album supposedly for sample clearance reasons but few people believe that. Update: Black Thought still plans to release a solo album (but note that many of the songs he recorded for Masterpiece Theater were retooled for Phrenology). Here are some March 2001 Okayplayer insider comments about the songs and beats recorded for the album. Older 2001 info (or click here): Forget that live instrumentation Roots thing. This solo side project will be more conventional hip-hop, with several producers. Only two songs feature ?uestlove, the only Roots member on the CD. Producers: DJ Krush, Pete Rock, Soulquarians' Jay Dee, Scott Storch, Hedrush (who produces dead prez), Rockwilder. Includes the Krush-produced "Hardware" which was released as a vinyl single fall 2000.
Cannibal Ox

HiatusFrom El-P himself: "yes. they have resigned with jux. yes. i am producing the record. yes. yes. yes." Prefix Blog has some somewhat contradictory information from a press release. They expand on what El-P wrote by saying it's a worldwide multi-album deal but add, "scheduled guest producers for the Can Ox album as of press time include the RZA and Pete Rock" in addition to El-P. El-P tells RichDork in October 2006 that he hopes the album comes out "in the fourth quarter of next year. That's the next big record that I'll really throw myself into, and it's going to happen immediately." In this interview, when asked "Is there a new Can Ox album coming out any time soon?" El-P replied, "I really doubt it. ...At this point I can't pretend anymore or cover for those guys. They haven't been together for a long time, but they tried to get it back together again, but it's proving to be an impossible task." After this, Vast Aire unleashed a rant on his Myspace sealing the fate of both the album (if not the group itself) and his relationship with El-P and Def Jux. Some highlights (caps his): "THERE WERE SOME GREAT TIMES WITH DEF JUX / WEATHERMEN AND SOME VERY BAD TIMES AS WELL. REALATIONSHIPS CHANGE....PEOPLE MOVE ON"... "EL-P TOLD THE PRESS LAST WEEK THAT THE CAN OX LP WAS DONE. AND THIS IS TRUE. IM SORRY TO SAY THIS BUT VORDUL MEGA SUFFERS FROM A BAD CASE OF CLINICAL DEPRESSION. AND HAS BEEN FIGHTING THIS FOR YEARS, AND IT HAS HURT THE PROGRESS OF CAN OX PROJECTS...WE WOULD HAVE HAD AT LEAST 4 RECORDS OUT BY NOW IF HE WAS HEALTHY. IM SORRY , BUT THIS IS REAL LIFE. VORDUL IS DOING WELL AND JUST TRYING TO GET BETTER AND JUST MOVE ON." In a purported email, Vast emphasized that it was largely an issue over creative "control and money." Choice quotes: "how are you giving out advances and i dont have my loot yet???? this all went down around 4 years ago, and the vibes have never been good since then..." and "el-wanted to do the whole rec...and we didnt want that...so that cause another beef...because el-p is a control freak! and he wanted can ox to be like a GANGSTAR...ME AND VORDUL WOULD BE 'GURU'...AND HE WOULD BE DJ PRIMERE BUT WE DIDNT WANT THAT."
Cex Presents Doctors And Lawyers
Shelved This was to be an album by a group consisting of Cex, Height (Baltimore rapper featured on Cex's Tall, Dark & Handcuffed), and their associates Grand Buffet. Unfortunately, he told me in 2004 that "we never finished it, i really doubt we ever will. hopefully grand buffet and I will do something together in the future, but our touring schedules will have to coincide properly."
The Damning Well
HiatusMay be involved next with the upcoming Filter album and the Underworld sequel (in-between Wes and Danny's work with Milla Jovovich, Trust Company, Keith Flint, Evanescence, and Johnette Napolitano). Here's some great insight into the goals of TDW as well as Puscifer and other Danny Lohner projects. In addition to this, Danny will be remixing A Perfect Circle again, Wes and Danny will work on Rob Zombie's next album, and Danny and Charlie Clouser are collaborating on the score to the film Saw (source). The Damning Well are on hold as Richard Patrick finishes a Filter album, according to this winter 2004 Kerrang! interview. They dream of stealing "Amy Lee out of Evanescence and start a band with her, but she's a tease." (The tracks they recorded with her for Underworld were not cleared.) Older info iaken from Danny Lohner's recent Metal Hammer interview: This supergroup consists of Lohner, former Limp Bizkit guitarist Wes Borland, super-drummer Josh Freese and Filter vocalist Richard Patrick, and even though the band was formed specifically for the Underworld soundtrack they've continued to write material. With around 14 songs now completed "just for fun" the trio are hoping to eventually take time away from their permanent commitments to release an album. "If we did put a record out, and it's fairly likely that we will, we'll definately tour on it" Lohner asserts "The sound is very agressive but not relying on nu-metal formulas. It takes some of my Nine Inch Nails influences and applies them to what Richard and Wes do."
Dan "The Automator" Nakamura & Mark Bell
HiatusDan's shy about releasing material with his friend Mark Bell (LFO on Warp Records). He's also taking a break from his usual whirlwind of releases (Gorillaz and Lovage in 2001 for example).
dead prezThe Game Or The GospelShelvedOriginally due December 2003. Amazingly, dpz planned to release another mixtape two months after Get Free Or Die Tryin'. Also, M-1 may work with Boots Riley of The Coup on a planned collaborative album under the name The Instigators. Actually, it may now be with Stic.man, according to the news section of thecoup.net.
Dr. Dre & TimbalandChairmen Of The BoardHiatusThey've been talking about a collaborative album and they nearly appeared on Swizz Beats' solo album (co-producing a beat which Swizz would have just rapped over), and nearly made a collaborative dis song about Jermaine Dupri (who arrogantly said in an interview that he could outdo them). Dre says the bulk of the performances would be by Aftermath and Beat Club artists.
The Future Sound Of London as Amorphous AndrogynousAlice In UltralandNot issued in U.S.
Out in 2005 in the UK. Described initially as a CD of "psychedelica mixed in a bizarre way," this was also once tipped to be a collection of remixes from the Isness sessions. "We're sampling bits from this record and putting them back together in different forms. If you sample material you tend to loop it more, which lends it a trance-like quality," says Gaz. Delayed indefinitely, though seemingly this became The Otherness b-side collection. Other projects (quoted from here): "The Isness sessions are far from lost forever. They are currently trying to conclude negotiations for a new deal that will include two albums. This will be a new Amorphous Androgynous album and firstly a new Future Sound of London album. The plan is to make Amorphous and FSOL two separate but ongoing entities." A DVD may come out in 2004 as well. Update (5/5/04): the AA album will be first actually, due now in the second half of 2004 (don't hold your breath). Ross says about the new album, Alice In Ultraland: "The album will probably contain more tracks from The Isness sessions, along with some newer material in that style. The tracks are also intended to be in a slightly darker, funkier vein, possibly less playful than some of The Isness." Outtakes and new songs are listed on that page, and three of them were recently featured in their BBC Radio 6 mix. This news piece says the album will come out in "July/August" (2005) on classic psychedelic label Harvest/EMI, and it looks to be in a similar vein as The Isness. Here's the latest: click for tracklisting and, not suprisingly, a later release date. Here's Ross's review. May or may not be out in parts of the U.S. (good luck finding it!). Ross later passed on some official word from FSOL: "The US release is set for the early part of next year I believe although we haven't been able to extract an exact release date." Apparently they are getting no press at all in Europe and the very few reviews published have slated the album.
Jay Dee aka J. DillaJay Love JapanNot issued in U.S.
This release was first mentioned in an advertisement in an issue of Wax Poetics: "produced by J. Dilla, coming in 2006." Click here for the label site. It's since been said to be an EP with Raekwon, Blu, Ta'Raach, Truth Hurts, and more. Dilla's manager said it was one of two albums completed before his death. The label, Operation Unknown, also lists The Octopus as a forthcoming release from him (on the label site under "artists"). There's some uncertainty over whether this album will even be released outside of Japan even though Operation Unknown is a California-based label. A bootleg version of the album/EP leaked without Raekwon's vocals in mid-2006. Months later, the label site finally posted a March 7, 2007 release date, even though that is a Wednesday. Dilla.biz has announced the new release date and a tracklisting, which is indeed different from last summer's bootleg. I have long stopped caring about this release. Final tracklisting here. Retail album apparently clocks in under 20 minutes and does not deliver on the guest appearances listed even before Dilla passed away. And it's been delayed again, at least in the U.S. Talk about a let down.
Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star
HiatusThe duo collaborate again on a new album. ?uestlove said they are re-doing "Brooklyn's Finest" (by Jay-Z and Biggie). A Black Star track "Bright As Stars" was recorded during Kweli's Quality album sessions but not included on that album. Okayplayer "Waterdude," allegedly an engineer who was in the studio with Mos and Kweli in October 2003, says that they are "planning to put out the BlackStar album immediately after Jack Johnson" ("jack johnson is gonna be during the first quarter and blackstar is the at the end of the first quarter") and are recording at a rapid-fire rate and are very passionate about speaking out against the current political climate. One song has the working title "Hellfire" and is supposedly a classic produced by Pete Rock, while "a bunch of the tracks" are being produced by Kanye West. A user posting on the official Mos Def forum said he talked to Saul Williams and he said a Black Star album was finished a year ago (Nov. 2002) and he heard it, meaning it's been shelved by now. Allegedly Roc-A-Fella want to sign them. After a long silence, MTV reported in spring 2005 that while Mos is recording his third solo album, "when time allows, his publicist said, Mos and Talib Kweli hope to record a second Black Star album."
Mos Def Presents
Black Jack Johnson
Mos Def Presents The Black Jack Johnson Boogie Man Show Shelved Incorporated into The New Danger, I think because the labels didn't want to chance a 100% "rock" album from Mos. Originally it was delayed because Mos Def's acting schedule allegedly prevented him from promoting it. The latest tidbit is Rawkus is no longer working with Mos on this album at all and it will be released (supposedly) through MCA directly. The offputting album title Black Bastard (announced in 2001) is likely to be changed. I saw the band in DC January 2002. Here's my review. Here's the latest information about producers and collaborators (now including Foxy Brown, Styles, Snoop, Noreaga, Ludacris, M.O.P.). Live band debuted in April 2001. A rock/funk all-African-American super-group project. The band features Mos Def, P-Funk keyboardist Bernie Worrell,  Bad Brains guitarist Dr. Know, and Living Colour's rhythm section: Doug Wimbish and Will Calhoun.  It is being recorded at Longview Studio in North Brookfield, Massachusetts. The album title is tentative. The band is named after the first black boxing champion who won the heavyweight title in 1908. In 1970, Miles Davis released A Tribute to Jack Johnson, a jazz-fusion soundtrack to a documentary about the African-American icon. The CD is supposed to be released before a new Black Star album.
My Bloody Valentine(various)HiatusOnline retailers were at one point offering a new Japanese import package containing previously unreleased MBV material. Apparently it will eventually be out in other countries like the US. Pasted from the EIL shop (click for tracklisting): "2004 issue Japanese digitally remastered 2-CD album set comprising of 17-tracks from their EP's plus 8-track bonus CD featuring previously unreleased tracks, picture sleeve + obi-strip." Pasted from the MBV site: "Update: March 23. This release has been postponed, problably due to the fact that apparently Kevin just got the masters from Island. No new release date has been set." A boxed set was originally due for release around winter 2003/2004. As requoted here by Dinosaur, the band (perhaps minus vocalist Debbie Googe) were in the studio "re-recording 5 songs they had abandoned for the Glider EP. Originally the Glider EP was to be a full-length album, but due to pressures from the record company Shields decided to only release five songs as an EP because the other material wasn't ready to see the light of day." The newly completed, album-length Glider will be a part of the new boxed set. Though there isn't supposed to be a "new" album, when bands are in the studio almost always new songs materialize so let's cross our fingers. (Late 2004 correction: this stuff about the band reforming and finishing old songs/albums all turned out to be untrue, says Kevin Shields himself!). As of February 2004, however, things have changed. Instead of rehashing the news of boxed sets of rare and unreleased live and studio material, as well as the prospect of a Kevin Shields solo album before the next MBV album (which is far less likely to ever be released), please click here to read details from the great MBV site To Here Knows Web. Here is much more and contradictory information on the boxed set and alleged new group recording sessions from the MBV site. Not surprisingly, nothing over the years has ever come out. In January 2007, To Here Knows Web updated with comments from a recent Shields interview in the the Jan./Feb. issue of Magnet: "A lot of people say the reason My Bloody Valentine didn't make another record is because we couldn't. That's mostly true, but not because we couldn't make another record, but because I never could be bothered to make another record unless I was really excited by it. And just by fate or whatever, that never happened. I'm quite optimistic about the future, even though experience has taught me that I'm probably just delusional. I do feel that I will make another great record. We are 100 percent going to make another My Bloody Valentine record unless we die or something. I'd feel really bad if I didn't make another record. [...]How long will that take to transpire into an actual physical record? I don't know."
N.W.A.Not Those N****z AgainHiatusDr. Dre, Ice Cube, MC Ren, Snoop Dogg (replacing Eazy-E). Early sessions were not fruitful. Difficult to manage everyone's (but Ren's, hahaha) busy schedule. Info. Ice Cube signing with Aftermath may make this reunion possible. The album is now in doubt, however, as at least Ice Cube feels that a new N.W.A. album would tarnish their history unless they really made something astounding.
Nine Inch NailsClosure (DVD)Shelved"The long-awaited Closure DVD will finally see the light of day - with extra content." -Trent Reznor, Access, 7/13/04. The trailer for the new DVD posted on the site calls it a "deluxe edition two dvd set including 90 minutes of new footage." Such footage, guessing by the video, includes the unreleased original "March of the Pigs" video and earlier (1990?) live footage. There are many other possibilities for what else is on there, like the uncut Broken movie. Unfortunately, the DVD has been delayed until "early 2005" due to "legal problems." Where is it now? TNH reported that Chad Michael Ward's livejournal has the DVD designer talking about finalizing the DVD, which was already 95% done when he started on it earlier in 2005. The mysterious "seed0" has begun uploading the 2004 "prototype version" of the DVD to BitTorrent, starting with disc 1. It includes such things as "appendage (newly discovered footage, 1989-1997)" but do note that "This prototype has not been professionally authored, encoded, or color-corrected, and the main feature has not been digitally remastered. As such, video quality is not as high as it will be if Closure ever sees an official commercial release."
Organized
Hiatus NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. According to Prince Po's statement here (5/18/04), Monch is too wrapped up in solidifying his deal with Shady Records and Po can't wait any longer. O.C. called Po out on his comments so harshly that it's obvious this is dead. Who knows what will happen to the recorded material? Old info: Formerly known as Organized Konfusion. Since Rawkus refused to release another Pharoahe Monch album, they decided to reform, this time with a new name and new member O.C. Producers on this project will include Large Professor, DJ Premier, Showbiz, and Buckwild, according to Hiphopsite. An Okayplayer wrote me "last thing OC said was that he and Pharoahe have done their part for the Organized album and are hoping Prince Poetry gets in on it too...they've left it open for him, but he has yet to agree to the project...so they might end up releasing it as just a Monch/Mush collabo album...but they remain optimistic that he'll come through." HipHopSite (4/6/04) confirmed with Prince Po that he will be on the album, which is allegedly due out this fall.
Pharrell And The Yessirs
Out Of My Mind HiatusNo doubt jilted by the poor sales of the original album, Pharrell has enlisted the help of ?uestlove to re-record In My Mind with live instrumentation. The Roots drummer said on his blog (reposted here) that he has to "do strings, percussion overdubs, make sure all the rhythm instruments are cool, record all the vocals that need to be redone, mix the record." Helping him so far are Roots bandmate Capt. Kirk (Douglas) and frequent collaborator James Poyser, according to Okayplayer.com on 10/23. ?uest's blog already has a video sneak preview and some more info, namely "xmas release with some bonus cuts". There are three new songs according to an industry friend of ?uestlove. The Youtube clip of the ending of the new "Baby" is "a nod to The Time's 'I Don't Wanna Leave You' which for some unknown reason just goes in some radically different direction for the last 30 seconds of the song. The whole [present version of the] album is full of little music references like that. Not straight up samples, but little nods to different songs/artists/producers." It will be the "same vocal tracks but pharrell's been okaying what's been done, giving his 2 cents on what he likes and doesn't." ?uestlove has been playing the finished Pharrell & The Yessirs tracks, as seen on his last.fm page, including a new one called "Creamcikle." Updating the status of the record, ?uest told Okayplayer "well...it's done. it's beyond dope.... but Rell has had an epiphany.....so plans were changed. just hold on a lil longer....i don't wanna spoil nothing." MTV has a story up on the album's "limbo" status. "Out Of My Mind was recorded very quickly, over a 15-day period in October. ?uestlove worked with members of the Roots, frequent collaborator James Poyser and other members of his various production incarnations — e.g., the Soulquarians, Illadelphonics and the Randy Watson Experience."
Portishead
Shelved According to an email from the official web site: "In April 2002 Portishead are really excited to be offering a new release containing previously unavailable material and more." This obviously didn't happen.
Propellerheads
ShelvedIn the late '90s they recorded a couple albums worth of new material and then decided not to release the music because it didn't sound "fresh" enough. Years ago they did a song with Debbie Harry of Blondie. Another song they recorded is "Welcome Home" with Rufus Wainwright and k.d. lang.
Radiohead
ShelvedRemix album. Breaking news (10/7/04): according to the shop Eil.com, which offers a 4 song official studio CD-R that includes Thom Yorke's unreleased remix of "We Suck Young Blood," the album "was pulled after the wide range of tracks was considered to be disjointed and lacked cohesion for an official release." If true this is terrible news. DJ Shadow played on Live 105 FM his remix of "The Gloaming," which features George W. Bush samples. Although this was a work-in-progress, the completed remix has since been added to that station and will soon be released as a limited edition (500 copies) 12" single but, however, will not be on the new Radiohead disc due to Bush sample clearance problems (source)! Bang Magazine confirmed that Kid Koala has also done a remix. My guess is other remixers may include past acquaintences like Buck 65 and maybe Autechre. Pasted info from MTV (note: the Four Tet remix is already on a "2+2=5" single and Com Lag): Radiohead are commissioning remixes for either an LP or EP due out next year, according to a band spokesperson. The group will get the hip-hop treatment by producer Madlib, the Los Angeles beat conductor who just released a Blue Note jazz remix album, Shades of Blue. Madlib was asked to work on the project by the band personally but had never heard Radiohead's music before. After a crash course, he chose the song "Sit Down. Stand Up" from Hail to the Thief (a post from either Jeff Jank or PB Wolf on the Stones Throw message board later said that Madlib decided not to remix it). In addition to the Madlib remix, electronic producer Four Tet has taken on "Scatterbrain" for the project.
Revenge Of The Triads
Shelved Charlie Clouser, Troy from A Perfect Circle (2nd guitar), and Jason the ex-drummer from Snake River Conspiracy.Distributed by MCA Records. Here's a good explanation of their song creation process. Troy is doing most of the singing. Here's the bad news: Leviathant, owner of The NIN Hotline, revealed on a message board (of all places!) months after he found out, "ROTT got screwed by their label, and is not coming out." Once again, record label poliTRICKS are to blame for more probably good music going unheard.
Robert Smith
HiatusSolo album produced by Flood and Trent Reznor (only a couple tracks). Robert is very excited about the planned collaboration with Trent.
Skillz I Ain't Mad No More Shelved Formerly known as Mad Skillz. Includes the Neptunes produced "Suzie Q" featuring Cee-Lo and Jazze Pha. Delayed, delayed, delayed, delayed (from a September 2002 confirmed release date). Rawkus may never release this (especially now that Geffen bought them out). Actually, it's now being reworked according to Skillz but you can buy a tour CD with the original tracks under the same name. Also, he's recording a new LP for an indie called Your Favorite Rapper's Favorite Rapper, to be produced by Hi-Tek, Nottz, and DJ Fusion. Update: Rawkus was caught bootlegging this album and Skillz is now no longer with them. The chances of this album ever being released are slim. He is recording a new album (or two).
Sonic Youth, Brigitte Fontaine & AreskiSYR 6ShelvedThis was supposed to come out in the spring of 2002. Details on this release and the re-releases of 3 classic SY albums here. Pitchfork says "Originally scheduled to see release in April of last year, but pushed back for reasons unknown, SYR 6 is now rumored to have been expanded to a DVD/CD collection, and will likely include a behind-the-scenes documentary (or something like it) detailing its creation-- as well as tracks excluded from Fontaine's Kekeland and concert footage from a performance in the Pompideau Center in Paris. No specific release date has been etched in stone, but the band is definitely shooting for sometime next month."
Tapeworm
Shelved Significant news (5/8/04): click here to read Trent's sad confirmation of what we all knew, that "Tapeworm is dead." He explains that label red tape, various members' main commitments, and his own waning enthusiasm contributed, adding that "if the music had been great, all of this probably could have been worked out." Old info: Something must've happened between Charlie and Trent because Tapeworm is now described as: "Danny Lohner, Atticus Ross, Maynard and Trent Reznor"; Ross being the primary musician in the duo 12 Rounds. Jerome Dillon "did work on several of the tracks but they were the basic ideas with Trent playing bass and programming and [Jerome] playing drums." Also, this picture and others at the official Tapeworm site would indicate Josh Freese (drummer for A Perfect Circle and formerly The Vandals) has also gotten mixed up in this. Toni Halliday of Curve has said her contributions will not make the album as it has taken a "different turn" since she recorded with Danny. Supposedly 15 demos have been completed for the Nothing Records debut. What I wouldn't do for those demos. Charlie is described as "formerly" involved with NIN and no longer a part of the Tapeworm project, sadly. Older info: Danny Lohner, Charlie Clouser, and Trent Reznor with collaborations from Maynard James Keenan, Phil Anselmo, Page Hamilton, Chino Moreno, Joshua Eustis, etc. A Perfect Circle has been performing Maynard's Tapeworm collaboration "Vacant" on tour. Here's something new (Sept. 2003) from Danny Lohner in Kerrang!: "It's painfully close to being finished. We've got a whole Tapeworm album ready to mix. What happens is that we do the songs, then everybody has to go off and do their own thing. We actually got to a point during the last Tool tour, where we were all really focused, and we were planning to get the record out by Christmas 2002. Then we got into some legal scenario – Maynard was signed to one label, Trent to another, blah blah blah to cut a long story short we ended up shelving it yet again." 
Various Artists Newport South OST Shelved This is from John Hughes (aka Slicker) himself: "the majority [of the score] was done by Telefon Tel Aviv.  I did a few cues, as did Scott Herren and Richard Devine. The movie and soundtrack were both buried by the film company.  I think you can actually find the DVD on amazon.com, but the soundtrack isn't avialable... and probably won't be any time soon.  The soundtrack is amazing however." The soundtrack includes TTA's unreleased remix of NIN's "Even Deeper" (which you can hear if you download a live set of TTA's). The film itself went straight to video. Rent the DVD to hear the soundtrack or click around the Telefon Tel Aviv site to hear clips.
Various ArtistsSoundbombing 4ShelvedHosted by Mos Def. Rawkus' latest bomb, this time with 8 Mos Def songs (according to MTV) including "Beef" (the Dave Chapelle version had Kweli so maybe it's a Black Star song). The studio version of "Beef" is produced by Minnesota, while the new collaboration between Mos Def and Cassidy, "Monster Music", is produced by Swizz Beatz. SB4 also features Talib Kweli, Little Brother (who recently recorded with Kanye West), Pharoahe Monch and Skillz. Evidence from Dilated Peoples says his group's on there, too. With Rawkus now history who knows what will happen to this. It's seeming less and less likely Geffen will option this as time goes on.
Various ArtistsSpectral Musicians (DVD)ShelvedNot to be confused with the recently announced DVD Warp Vision: The Videos 1989-2004 (due 9/21/04 and featuring who and what you'd expect), Chris Cunningham is "making a DVD album for Warp of film and music. There are going to be around 12 to 14 pieces. Three are collaborations with Aphex Twin and Squarepusher." The Drukqs full clip to be included as well (this is Rubber Johnny)! According to the Director File site, Spectral Musicians was "a short film commissioned August 2001" so that's likely to be included, too, given the title. Everything is finished on the DVD now and it should be available "in a few months." The Squarepusher Billboard article says Cunningham is set to make a film based on Squarepusher's music, perhaps this DVD is actually what the writer meant or perhaps it's something else entirely. Variety.com also calls this a "DVD Concept Album" and the first DVD-single will in fact be "Rubber Johnny" (the infamous Drukqs "full clip," judging by the trailer on Cunningham's Director Series DVD). "It has been sold to the Sundance Channel in the U.S. Chris also wishes to expand it into its own 10-part TV series. The only story detail: It is about a kid with a mean dog, shot in the style of an underground comic" (source). Also, suddenly the project is not 12-14 pieces but just "eight short films with a strong musical element, some of it composed by Cunningham" (Variety). Variety more recently reported that it is just a Warp Films DVD single for now (though Cunningham still aims to expland it into a 10-part TV series). The good news is that it is indeed scored by Aphex Twin though there is no mention of a soundtrack release. This begs the old question if Aphex Twin is or ever has been the recording artist Rubber Johnny (I say yes). After a long silence, in early 2005 a release date for Rubber Johnny--which is now described as "a 6-minute 10-second abstract short, featuring 'afx237 v.7'" (i.e. the music video they did in 2001 and nothing else)--as well as more information on Spectral Musicians were announced on Cunningham's site. The latter is now also a "short," disappointing after a near four year wait, and all the music but the Aphex/Squarepusher collaborations will be Cunningham's own. After years without any word on the project, someone on IMDB said, "His squarepusher project was cancelled by him! he thought he went over board with the material, and that it was inappropriate. [...]And if anyone was wondering what the Squarepusher project was, it was about a little boy being put together on an assembly line of sorts like a robot, that's all he would release... once again, his inappropriate comment is quite ludicrous... HE DID FLEX AND RUBBER JOHNNY!"
Wu-Tang Clan
Shelved Not a new album but a double disc set to commemorate their 10 year anniversary. From Trickology.com: "Oh but then Method Man said something about how the group is unfocused so it probably won't happen. Yeah but then RZA said nevermind Meth, the album will drop this year. The album will drop in November, so RZA was right but the album won't be new material so Meth was also right. Looks like the November album will be a double disc collection of rare and unreleased Wu tracks from over the years and with an accompany DVD of all the classic and unreleased Wu music videos. Close enough I guess." Maybe this will include unreleased tracks with Bjork or RZA's early The Cure recordings with Isaac Hayes and Zack de la Rocha?

 
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NOTE: Most information comes from mtv.com, various band and label sites, and a few direct sources (artists and labels).

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