2015 is shaping up to be quite the year for hip-hop music. It’s only March and I would say that this year has already exceeded all of 2014! Albums from J. Cole, Big Sean, Drake and newcomer Joey Bada$$ (which I recently bought on vinyl) is a must to check out! Not to mention, albums from Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar and the always unpredictable Action Bronson, are still on the way.

It seems as though more and more rappers are jumping on the surprise album release bandwagon, à la David Bowie and Beyoncé. Typically, the way an artist presents their newest material and promotes an upcoming album, would be to drop their first single off to radio; post a music video on the internets; create some buzz for a few months; and then announce an official release date. But these days an artist will just release their album with little to no warning, no radio single, no music video…just the album. Something as simple as a Tweet with an iTunes link that redirects you to go purchase it. It pretty much reads like this, “….Oh hey guys, fyi, I have an album out, and here it is…enjoy!”….WHAT THE?! That’s it? Just like that? Yup, just like that.

So in the last couple of months, artists like J.Cole and Drake have used these exact methods to release their latest and both have done extremely well on the Billboard charts. Just recently, Kendrick Lamar out of nowhere Tweeted out a link to preorder his sophomore album with a release date that is only two weeks away.

Even though I feel like I already have enough new music to last me the next three months, I know that there is still a TON more to come, and that just makes me feel super friggin happy!

Check out this months Standard 25 Playlist: Hip-Hop Edition, where you will hear the latest and best releases from hip-hop heavyweights and some lesser known underground artists you should definitely look into!

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