1. Dr. Dre's Detox
If this list was made every year for the last seven years, Dr. Dre would have topped all of them. Yes, Detox is slowly pushing it's way into punchline territory with it's effort to beat Chinese Democracy's record-breaking procrastination. There have, however, been multiple hints that the record is getting closer and closer to its release. With a new single from Dre, "Kush," finally out, Detox might actually be on it's way out this time. And rumor has it that Dr. Dre's new protege and part-time Dallas native, Slim Da Mobsta, wrote a large part of the album. So Detox definitely will be on our radar in 2011.
2. Andre 3000/Outkast's new releases
The deal was clear: Big Boi releases an album, and then Andre 3000 does, and then Outkast does. Well, Big Boi played his part with a spectacular album that proved he's not just the sidekick. But Andre 3000 still seems to be anonymous -- except for a few instances where he promised an album coming out in 2010. Uh, he'd better hurry up.
3. The Strokes's new album
The Strokes have been on the new release radar since 2009, with everything from a Pharrell/Santigold/Casablanca Converse mix to a 2010 ACL headlining gig hinting at things to come. Unfortuntately, delay after delay has marred the band. And as more information came in -- including hiring producer Joe Chicareli (U2, Beck) and streaming their recording process -- more and more anticipation built up. Then the band announced its new 10-track album wouldn't be released till 2011. Bummer.
4. Lupe Fiasco's Lasers
It was a gigantic mystery as to why not Lupe Fiasco's Lasers hasn't being released. He said he finished it, then he released a few singles, and even had a promotional website for it. Then news of the album disppeared, and Lupe seemed to get really dark in his interviews, as if he were hiding something terrible that happened. After a group of fans protested in demand of the album in front of Atlantic's headquarters, the label finally promised a release on March 8, 2011. Since, Lupe has finally opened up, saying how Atlantic demanded he sign a new contract that would give them 30 percent of all profits (otherwise known as 360 deal) or they wouldn't release it. Given the circumstances, Lupe legally couldn't go to another record label or release another album, virtually enslaving his art. At least we can now hope to see an album in March.
5. Radiohead's new album
In June, Ed O'Brien told BBC 6 Music that the seminal British band's album was near completion and that it's "the best record [they've] ever made." Great way to build up the hype, eh? Well, fast forward to November, and all of a sudden, Jonny Greenwood comes out and says that the album is not completed and that they have no time line for completion. Great tease, Radiohead.