It’s fun to look back at everything that has happened this year. The time between Christmas and New Years Eve is a perfect opportunity for reflection and closure. I already did that here and as much as it is fun to think about the past, it’s even more fun to fantazise about the future. Who’s going to have the hottest album? Which underground artist will have his or her break-out year? Can men make a comeback into the pop culture conversation? Of course, it’s impossible to know and the best things are often suprises -see: D’Angelo, Beyoncé- but that’s part of the fun. Let’s take a look at what we can expect in 2015.

Kendrick Lamar Won’t Be Affected By The “Second Album Curse”

When Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City dropped in 2012, nobody could stop talking about Kendrick Lamar. He was the savior of hiphop, mixing East Coast storytelling with West Coast beats, the new Eminem, N.W.A. and Nas mixed in one young, charismatic guy. One year later, he murdered the summer with a guest verse on a track that didn’t make Big Sean’s album. But after those two huge years, Lamar disappeared to the background. He was still there, most notably in a commercial for Beats by Dre, but the need for new music by Kendrick grew stronger. The world needs a hiphop record that was as universally acclaimed as GKMC and the eyes are focussed on King Kendrick. Then I was released and the reactions were mixed. The uplifting track was not what the hiphop heads expected. But I can remember a similar reaction to Backseat Freestyle and that song fitted perfectly in the playlist of GKMC. I trust Kendrick. He will deliver one of the best rap albums of the year. Only two other rappers can compete for this title: Drake and Kanye.

Kanye Will Drop His Last Album

Okay, there’s a pretty big chance this won’t come true. But there are signs. And they are not good. Since The College Dropout dropped, Kanye has never released less music than he did in 2014. Not one single track featured Kanye as the main artist. Even his featurings were sparse. Here’s the list with songs from Yeezus in 2014: Rick Ross’s Sanctified, Beyoncé’s Drunk In Love, Theophilus London’s Can’t Stop, Chief Keef’s Nobody and I Won with Future. That’s it. Of course, this might be good sign. He’s saving all his music for next year. Maybe he’ll release Yeezus II on New Year’s Eve. Who knows? But it seems like his heart isn’t in music anymore. There’s heavy speculation about him leaving the music industry for the fashion business. It wouldn’t surprise me. In some way, Yeezus felt like one big “Fuck you” to the music industry. Let’s just hope he has one last great album in store for us.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Will Break Some Records…

The force is strong. Even though the trailer for the new installment in the Star Wars franchise was less watched than the trailer for Fifty Shades of Grey, Star Wars: Episode VII is going to be a success. It’s inevitable. It probably won’t be as good as the original three movies, but aren’t you at least curious to see what they’ve made of it? That’s the reason everyone will see this movie: curiosity. Whether it’s any good will determine the succes of Episode VIII. Star Wars will have a lot of competition though. 2015 is shaping up to be the year of the blockbuster. Just take a quick look at some big titles coming out next year, in no particular order:

Furious 7
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II
Spectre
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Jurassic World
Mad Max: Fury Road
Terminator: Genisys
Mission Impossible V
Ant-Man
The Hateful Eight

Those are all huge movies. And not all of them will be as successful as the studios hope them to be. But Star Wars: The Force Awakens seems like a safe bet.

…and Jupiter Ascending Won’t

Everything about this movie screams BOMB. First scheduled for a release in the summer of 2014, Jupiter Ascending should hit theatres early February. The reason for this delay? They needed to complete over 2,000 special effect shots, which they knew they couldn’t finish just one month before the original release date. I don’t buy that. The first round of trailers got nobody excited1 and I don’t think the new media campaign will change anyone’s mind. With a production budget of $175 million, the Wachowski siblings need Jupiter Ascending to be a hit. Their previous output, Cloud Atlas, bombed both domestically and internationally. If Tatum and Kunis can’t save the Wachowskis, no studio executive will give them a budget this big ever again.

Frank Ocean Will Deliver The Album Of The Year

Frank Ocean & Lil B creative dream 2015This looks like an awfully shot picture of two guys sitting on a couch. And maybe it is. But it’s also Frank Ocean and Lil B, working on new music. Or in the wonderful words of Lil B: “RARE photo of LIL B x FRANK OCEAN IN THE STUDIO TOGETHER!! NEW MUSIC COMING SOON! Collect this!”. It’s not much, but after two years of almost complete silence from one of the most promising artists of the past decades, it’s enough to get me excited. Ocean hasn’t put out a bad record yet. Channel Orange and nostalgia.ultra are modern-day classics. He’s two-for-two. I can’t imagine a world where his third album won’t be any good. So the question is not will it be great, but will he release it in 2015?

True Detective Will Be Interesting, at least

The first season of True Detective was beautifully shot, with the production value dripping off of every scene. For the second season of the anthology series, the cast has changed. Gone are Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, in are Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn and Friday Night Lights hero Taylor Kitsch. Director Cary Fukunaga, who directed all eight episodes of season 1, is replaced by multiple directors. The only thing that hasn’t changed is Nic Pizzolatto, the writer of the show. He’s already said the second run will be about “hard women, bad men and the secret occult history of the United States transportation system”. The setting is confirmed as California – but not the usual cities – and the hard women will be Rachel McAdams and Kelly Reilly, among others. The show will be the talk of the internet for eight weeks in the summer of 2015. No actual release date has been set, but you already know time’s a flat circle, so it doesn’t really matter. Get ready.

  1. No, not even the most die-hard Channing Tatum fans.

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