6 of the Best Rap Albums of All Time
Assessing art in any form is a practice that is often plagued by personal preference and taste. This is a large reason why music critics are nowhere near as large of a business as movie or art critics. Music is unique in that the artist is directly talking to the audience and the listeners tend to be loyal to the artist as they feel that the songs are relatable. One way to assess music in a non-biased way is to look at the number of sales of each album and compare the numbers with other albums. Below are 6 of the best rap albums of all time based on the number of albums sold. For more information on the albums discussed you can utilize resources like RapTV.
The Marshall Mathers LP’s
Eminem’s number 1 best selling album was the Marshall Mathers LP. This was Eminem’s second record with Aftermath Records and was released in May of 2000. With the help of Dr. Dre, Eminem was given the opportunity to not only get his name out there but become one of the most well-known names in pop culture. The album won the Best Rap Album award at the 2001 Grammy’s award and the song “The Real Slim Shady” won the best Solo Rap that same year. The album went on to sell over 11 million copies across the globe. Eminem’s second take Marshall Mathers LP 2 was released in 2013 and went on to sell over 2 million copies. Both of these releases take Eminem’s Marshall Mathers LP’s total sales well over 13 million copies which holds the spot for the most sold albums of all time.
Jay Z has been in the rap game since the mid ’90s but in that time has become a household name when discussing hip hop. Jay Z in 2019 was estimated to have a net worth of 1 billion dollars. A huge contribution to Jay-Z’s success lies in his album series of the Volumes. The series includes “In My Lifetime, Vol. 1”, “Vol.2… Hard Knock Life”, and “Vol. 3… Life and Times of S. Carter”. Out of the 3 volumes, Volume 2 was Jay Z’s most popular in the series with total sales exceeding 5 million albums. In total, the series sold well over 10 million copies. The fact that the volume’s collection only spanned from 1997 to 1999, makes the achievement even more grand. In a matter of 2 years, Jay-Z had successfully created 3 albums that would remain on the best selling of all-time album list.
Lil Wayne was among the first rappers to originate from the south giving him a sense of uniqueness from the rest of the industry at the time. Lil Wayne attended the University of Houston and got an honorary degree in psychology in 2008. The higher education Lil Wayne attended gave him an edge in his mastery of the English language and it showed in his Tha Carter album series. When combined, Tha Carter 1-4 sold over 9 million copies globally and gave Lil Wayne a reputation unmatched by others.
Overall rap is something that is subjective but by looking at sales numbers one is able to determine what albums are timeless and popular by the masses. Ultimately the best albums are the ones that you own. Looking at charts and top sold albums is not necessarily going to be the best music for you. Often the albums that people believe are the bests are those that are the most relatable. Utilize the top sold charts as a guide to your music journey and delve deeper to find an album or artist that speaks to you.