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Summer Album Guide

Hot new releases for the upcoming season

Kassmin Williams | 6/12/2013, 4:53 p.m.

The summer months are a big deal when it comes to black music. Between June and July, R&B and hip hop fans will see artists who have been absent from the music scene returning and those already on the scene continuing to make music.

John Legend “Love in the Future” June 25

The five-year wait is over for R&B and soul crooner John Legend, who will release his fourth album, “Love in the Future,” June 25. The first single, “Who Do We Think We Are” featuring Rick Ross hit radio waves in April. Legend told Billboard.com that the album will have a similar feel to his first and second albums, “Get Lifted” and “Once Again.” The G.O.O.D. Music artist reunited with Kanye West to work on the album.

India Arie “Songversation” June 25

On the same day, R&B lovers can pick up India Arie’s new album “Songversation,” her first new album in three years. The album features Arie’s new single, “Cocoa Butter.” The Soulbird Music and Motown Records artist told Essence Magazine she hopes “Songversation” will spark conversation for listeners.

Wale “The Gifted” June 25

June 25 is also a big day for rapper Wale, who will drop his third album, “The Gifted.” The album features a number of collaborations including Meek Mill, Lyfe Jennings, Cee-Lo Green, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna and Rick Ross and features the Maybach Music Group artist’s popular single “Bad.”

Ciara “Ciara” July 9

R&B singer Ciara not only changed the title of her upcoming album, but she pushed the release date originally set for June 4 to July 9. The original title of the now self-titled album was “One Woman Army.” Ciara recently released the full track list for her fifth album on Instagram. Nicki Minaj will be featured on the opening track , “I’m Out,” and Future will also appear on the album.

Chris Brown “X” July 16

On July 16, Chris Brown will release his album titled “X,” which features recent single “Fine China.” The single peaked at No. 31 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. The album, however, will not feature Breezy’s single “Nobody’s Perfect,” which dropped the same day he revealed his album release date.

Pusha T “My Name Is My Name” July 16

On the same day, Pusha T, one half of hip hop duo the Clipse, will release his debut album “My Name is My Name.” The G.O.O.D. Music album features Pusha T’s single “Pain” with Future.

Mariah Carey Untitled July 23

Mariah Carey took to Twitter to announce the July 23 release date of her untitled album. It will be Mimi’s 11th studio album and the first since the release of “Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel” in in 2009. Mimi also recently released a new single “#Beautiful,” featuring Miguel. She spoke to Ryan Seacrest in a phone interview recently, when she revealed she worked with “American Idol” finalists Kree Harrison, Angie Miller and Candice Glover, who recorded backing vocals for an unreleased track on the album.

Ashanti “BraveHeart” July 30

After a hiatus from the music scene, Ashanti will return with her fifth album, “BraveHeart” on July 30. The album will be the first recorded under her own record label, Written Entertainment, and will feature Ashanti’s new single “The Woman You Love” with Busta Rhymes.

Wu-Tang Clan “A Better Tomorrow”

Staten Island crew Wu-Tang Clan, who dropped their new single “Family Reunion,” will reunite for an entire album, “A Better Tomorrow,” expected to be released sometime in July.