While there’s always one or two artists trying to get back into the limelight each year, frantically attempting to revive their once vibrant careers; few succeed. This year, however, the hip hop scene is flooded with one-time favorites who seem poised for positive reception. Check out the list of this year’s biggest, weirdest and most exciting comebacks, as well as some old favorites we’ll be rooting for.
Nelly: After his 2008 release, Brass Knuckles failed to make a big splash, Nelly released his long-delayed album, 5.0 in November. Singles, “Just a Dream” and “Move That Body” have been in heavy radio rotation for months, and his most recent release, “Gone” with Kelly Rowland is reminding everyone just how much they used to love the Midwest’s golden boy.
Bow Wow: At age 24, Bow Wow’s been at this game for years and enjoyed unparalleled success. Now, he’s re-branded himself with a new look, new sound and new label, signing up with Young Money Records in August. His single, “Ain’t Thinkin’ Bout You” featuring Chris Brown is one of his best in years, and his upcoming release, Underrated promises to show us a new side of the one we’ve raised from a pup.
Eve: It has been nine years since Philly rapper, EVE released a solo project, but it looks like this just may be her year. She is currently featured on singles with Jill Scott, Swiss Beatz and Alicia Keys, and recently told fans to keep an ear out for a “big record” she recorded with fellow Ruff Ryder alum, Swiss, called “Mama In The Kitchen”. Fingers crossed for a green-lit release date, we expect big things from her upcoming fourth album, Lip Lock.
Dr. Dre: After ten years of rumors and speculation, Dr. Dre made his triumphant return to the mic this year at The GRAMMY Awards. While his album, Detox, still hasn’t hit store shelves, twosingles, “Kush” and “I Need a Doctor” have made notable radio impact. While some are still skeptical, the label is promising a May release date for the long-awaited project.
R. Kelly: Kelly has been laying low since his 2007 child pornography trial, his viral video circulation and his ill-fated ‘Unfinished Business’ tour with Jay-Z put him on everyone’s sh*t list. Now, the Chicago-based singer, (who was found not-guilty on all charges) will hit the road with Keyshia Cole for the Love Letter Tour, kicking off this summer.
Eminem: After his 2009 album Relapse failed to impress, many thought this one-time icon had seen his last days of glory. The world was shocked when he released Recovery bringing him back to the forefront stronger than ever before, and making him the best-selling rapper of the year. The Detroit emcee racked up ten GRAMMY nominations for the project, bringing home the award for Best Rap Album and Best Solo Rap Performance. Now, he’s back on top and bringing some friends with him, including longtime friend and mentor, Dr. Dre, and newbie, Yelawolf.
Salt N Pepa: The ladies who put female rap on the map are ready to do it again, celebrating twenty-fve years since their debut, Hot, Cool & Viscious launched them to super-stardom with their Legends of Hip Hop Tour. The three lovely ladies lead a hip hop revival, joined by trailblazers like Whodini, Kurtis Blow, Doug E Fresh, Biz Markie, Naughty By Nature, MC Lyte, Big Daddy Kane, Kool Moe Dee and Slick Rick to name a few.
Chris Brown: Depite making headlines again for his ill-tempered antics, his album F.A.M.E. is certified gold and debuted at Number 1 on the charts. He kicked off his F.A.M.E. Tour in Australia last week to a crowd of adoring fans, and his singles, “Deuces”, “Look At Me Now”, and “ Yeah” have been some of this year’s most successful songs.
Kelly Rowland: The former Destiny’s Child member is back to her R&B roots with her new, yet-to-be-titled album. While she heated up dance tracks internationally with her last project, it failed to register stateside. Now, she’s climbing back up the charts with her Nelly collabo, “Gone” and her sexy single, “Motivation” featuring Lil Wayne.
Da Brat: Recently out of jail from a 2007 aggravated assault incident, Da Brat rose to fame in 1994 when her hit, “Funkdafied” made her the first-ever platinum-selling female rapper. Nowshe’s back and hungry for a comeback, re-joing longtime friend and collaborator, Jermaine Dupri for her upcoming mixtape, due out Memorial Day weekend. She has already released three tracks, “Racks” featuring YC and “Fab 5 Freddy” featuring J.D. as well as a remix to Kanye’s “All The Lights” titled, “Turnt Up” featuring Dondria.
Lauryn Hill: After some impromptu appearances and rumors of a comeback swirling for months, Lauryn’s Coachella performance gave a big indication that she’s ready to return. The former Fugee performed fan favorites including “That Thing” and “Ex-Factor”, songs she had previously refused to perform anymore. She seemed more like the grounded superstar of her Miseducation days than she has in years, and she hinted at a surprise that would shock fans. Unless it’s a sixth child, we’re guessing she’ll be delivering news of a new album any day now.