The current year-long celebration of hip-hop’s 50th anniversary has made way for many new conversations surrounding the art of rap and an overall surge in popularity for a genre seen as music’s most profitable. Hip-hop has grown so exponentially from a lucrative standpoint that we now have an impressive handful of Diamond-selling albums to show for it.
On top of that list is Outkast, the Atlanta-bred duo that changed the game by dropping six classic LPs from the mid-90s well into the 2000s. However, the group really made it to the big leagues last Friday (September 29) when their 2003 double album, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, officially was certified as 13-times Platinum.
Knocking rap king Eminem out the top spot, the influential fifth project by Outkast still serves as a testament of true creativity, uniqueness from one disc to the other and an undeniable prowess of lyricism from both André 3000 and Big Boi alike. “Hey Ya!” and “The Way You Move” equally impacted the culture, even though the former song received way more accolades and pop recognition for 3Stacks, and it didn’t hurt that a double CD also meant double the sales.
Interestingly enough, sales don’t always account for personal taste. The full best-selling rap albums list bears only 11 emcees — two are deceased, one has three separate entries, four happen to be white rappers and only one woman clocks in on the list. Suffice to say, the “best-selling” might not immediately correlate to “fan-favorite.”
Some have already began talking over on social media, and it even looks like the debate has been going on for years:
Do these albums bought at record length by rap consumers, specifically when it comes to the artists we helped turn into icons, accurately reflect the overall taste of hip-hop fans everywhere? There’s certainly a few gems in the bunch of Diamond-certified albums, but don’t be surprised to find out that legendary LPs like Nas’ Illmatic (1994), Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) by Wu-Tang Clan (1993) and even the pioneering 1980 self-titled album by Kurtis Blow didn’t make the 10-million-dollar mark.
Keep scrolling to see the full list of best-selling rap albums of all time in order, and let us know if any of these match your personal playlist:
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Do The Best-Selling Rap Albums Of All Time Match Your Personal List? was originally published on blackamericaweb.com
1. ‘Speakerboxxx/The Love Below’ – OutKast (2003)
2. ‘The Eminem Show’ – Eminem (2002)
3. ‘The Marshall Mathers LP’ – Eminem (2000)
4. ‘Life After Death’ – The Notorious B.I.G. (1997)
5. ‘All Eyez On Me’ – 2Pac (1996)
6. ‘Greatest Hits’ – 2Pac (1998)
7. ‘License To Ill’ – The Beastie Boys (1986)
8. ‘Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em’ – MC Hammer (1990)
9. ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’ – Lauryn Hill (1998)
10. ‘Country Grammar’ – Nelly (2000)
11. ‘Curtain Call: The Hits’ – Eminem (2005)