With 2012 in full swing, it's time to look forward to what the new year will bring in the hip-hop and R&B worlds. With game-changers, newsmakers and a host of new albums on the way, the next 12 months will shape up to be a very interesting year in music, which is why we've compiled a list of industry predictions.
Far from wishful thinking, The BoomBox relied on hard facts, some lyrical beef and even a celebrity baby to formulate 10 moments we think will occur and grab your attention this year. Whether it be Common and Drake putting an end to their 'Stay Schemin' ways or indie darling-turned-major label fixture Lana Del Rey collaborating with some soulful crooners or rap gods, there's something for any hip-hop and R&B fan to talk about.
10. Hip-Hop's Notorious Players Settle Down
Jeff Gross, Getty Images
Aside from their day jobs, Lil Wayne
have something else in common: they love the ladies. Diddy has fathered six children by four different women and Wayne has four offspring by four separate women, but they both appear to be on the brink of monogamy. Weezy met girlfriend, Dhea, last year and has been gushing over her ever since. Meanwhile, the perpetually single Diddy is rumored to be getting up close and very personal with actress Cameron Diaz, even kissing her in public. Here's hoping these guys can finally find true love in 2012.
9. The Next Dance Craze & Matching Instructional Video Emerges
Paul Zimmerman, WireImage
Dance has long been an integral component of hip-hop and R&B -- just look at videos from MC Hammer
and Mary J. Blige
, respectively -- so fusing a dance move and a catchy song are an obvious recipe for success. In 2012, we'd like to see the dougie and the cat daddy crazes replaced by reggae-inspired moves. The man for the job is the king of dutty rock, Sean Paul
. The 39-year-old will drop his 'Tomahawk Technique' album later this month, and with its debut there's sure to come some fancy footwork.
8. T.I. Stays Out of Jail
Michael N. Todaro, Getty Images
finished his latest stint behind bars in September 2011, and it looks like the King of the South is done dabbling in illegal activity. Upon his release, Tip showed the world a new side of himself by way of his VH1 reality show, 'T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle.' The father of six seems happiest with his children, which is a great motivator to prevent spending another second behind bars.
7. Beyonce Earns Some Best Mom Awards
Steve Granitz, WireImage
This month already marked a very special milestone for Beyonce
, and the year hasn't even passed 30 days in yet. One week into the new year, the superstar welcomed her baby girl Blue Ivy Carter, into the world. Even though she's a first-time mom, Bey doesn't have to look very far for inspiration. The 30-year-old notes her mother Tina and sister Solange as great parenting examples, and if her dedication to her career is any indication of the devotion she will put into being a mother, she'll do a wonderful job.
6. Kanye West Goes Hard in His DJ Career
John Sciulli, WireImage
never does anything mediocre so when it comes to spinning records, he'll likely live up to his hard-working reputation. The Chicago MC debuted his DJ skills under the name Yeezy World Peace in December 2011, at a New Year's Eve party in Las Vegas. Much like his innovation when it comes to music and fashion, this is one artist-turned DJ that we feel will be just as good at dropping beats as he is at spitting rhymes.
5. Amber Rose Teams With Just Blaze
Chris McKay, FilmMagic
has gone from stripper to model to style icon, and now she's tackling a music career. Current girlfriend of Wiz Khalifa
, and ex-girlfriend of Kanye West, Rose has long been in the presence of dope MCs. Her new single, 'Fame,' is a dance floor tune coated in pop flavor and serves as the first offering for critics to judge if the Philly native has talent. After landing a judging gig on BET's 'Master of the Mix' DJ reality show, which ended earlier this month, a collaboration with lauded producer and fellow judge Just Blaze
may be in the works and just what she needs to be taken seriously.
4. Roman Gets His Revenge
Kevin Winter/DCNYRE2012, Getty Images
has teased fans -- known as her legion of "Barbz" -- with the lyrical venom of Roman Zolanski, her nasty, male alter ego. For her sophomore album, 'Pink Friday: Roman's Revenge,' the Queens native will finally give him a chance to shine. His crass, take-no-prisoners demeanor is expected to appear more than any of her other rap personalities on the effort. The follow-up to Minaj's monstrous solo debut is slated for release on Valentine's Day (Feb. 14), but we have a sneaky suspicion that 'Roman's Revenge' will be far from sweet.
3. Andre 3000 Drops a New Album
George Pimentel, WireImage
It's been nearly a decade since Andre 3000
dropped his 'Love Below' album and hip-hop has been patiently awaiting his return ever since. Last year brought a few features by the lauded lyricist including Beyonce's 'Party,' Kesha's 'Sleazy' remix, Young Jeezy's 'I Do' and Drake's 'The Real Her,' however, the second half of OutKast
has yet to drop his own music. This year is the perfect time for "Three Stacks" to bless us once again with his musical genius and deliver an album to satiate listeners appetites.
2. Hip-Hop & R&B Wants Lana Del Rey
Andy Sheppard, Redferns
Interscope Record's newest signee Lana Del Rey
could become hip-hop and R&B's next go-to collaborator. With pipes reminiscent of Adele and Amy Winehouse, finding her jumping on tracks with the likes of Nas
doesn't seem unfathomable. The self-proclaimed "gangsta Nancy Sinatra" has just enough edge to hold a rap dude's attention -- producer Clams Casino
recently remixed her 'Born to Die' track -- and her forthcoming major label debut of the same name may give her enough credibility to live between the lanes of both hip-hop and R&B.
1. Drake & Common End Their Lyrical Beef
Steve Mack, FilmMagic | Jason Merritt, Getty Images
The verbal war between Drake
is still in its infancy, but we've already had enough. Common ignited the beef with 'Sweet' off his recently released 'The Dreamer, The Believer' album, forcing Drake to respond on 'Stay Schemin,' a song featured on Rick Ross' 'Rich Forever' mixtape. One month later, a full-grown beef has emerged with the Chi-town MC referring to the Toronto rapper as a "h-- a-- n----" on a remix to 'Stay Schemin.' Even though competition keeps hip-hop interesting, we'd rather these two just squash their differences by releasing a joint track -- Drizzy's sensitive vocals paired with Common's euphoric flow.