10 Best-Selling Rap Albums Of All Time
Coming up with a list of the 10 best-selling rap albums of all time would mean going back to its golden age during the '90s and see who among the best have earned the right to claim a place on such an exclusive list. Originally defined as a spoken or chanted rhyming lyrics, the music now popularly known as rap is fundamentally a part of the hip-hop music genre. However, the way it has contributed to the worldwide success of the now considered household names of Eminem, 50 Cent, P. Diddy and a multitude more, rap has evolved so much more and branched out mainstream and has ingrained itself in society as another means of expressing one’s sentiments in a very creative way.
- Outkast – "Speakerboxxx /The Love Below" (Arista/Leface, 2003). Imagine an album selling an estimated one million copies. That would give an artist an automatic platinum album award. Now multiply that five and a half times, that’s a staggering 5.5 million copies which is what the group Outkast did after the 2003 release of their Speakerboxxx album. Due in part to its double LP (long playing) status, he album actually sold an equivalent of an eye popping eleven million copies, earning it a Diamond Award and the distinction as the best-selling rap album of all time to date.
- MC Hammer – "Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em" (Capitol, 1990). Credited as the rap album that put rap on the face of music and released by the artist who defined the term rap master during his time. MC Hammer’s 1990 album also achieved a Diamond Award with ten million sold copies credited to its name.
- The Notorious B.I.G. – "Life after Death" (Bad Boy, 1997). With perhaps the most apt album title in the list, Notorious B.I.G.’s Diamond award earning album Life after Death was released approximately two months after his death. With the support of close friend P. Diddy, the album managed to sell ten million copies. Not only one of the best-selling rap albums of all time, it is also widely believed to be one of the best rap albums of all time.
- Eminem – "The Marshall Mathers LP" (Aftermath / Interscope, 2000). From the man who revolutionized the rapping industry, Eminem’s second year album is only one of four rap albums ever to receive the music industry’s Diamond Award with ten million copies sold.
- Eminem – "The Eminem Show" (Aftermath in 2002). Eminem’s second album in this top ten list, this is also considered to be his most controversial with the mix of songs and their respective messages.
- Beastie Boys – "Licensed to Ill" (Def Jam, 1986). A top ten list featuring the best-selling rap albums would not be complete if it did not feature one from the immortal Beastie Boys. Before Eminem burst into the scene, it was the Beastie Boys who proved to the rest of the world that rap is color bind.
- 2Pac – "All Eyez on Me" (Death Row, 1996). In just seven months after releasing his All Eyez on Me album, 2Pac Shakur passed away. Reaching platinum in a mere four hours after its release, this has been viewed by many as one of the most dominant rap albums ever.
- 2Pac – "Greatest Hits" (Death Row, 1998). Two years after his death, 2Pac’s friends and his record label made a compilation of his greatest hits as a means of honoring his memory. Composed of twenty-one unforgettable hits, it has managed to sell over nine million copies.
- Will Smith – "Big Willie Style" (Columbia, 1997). Credited with sales of over nine million copies, the iconic album of Will Smith, yes the actor from the movies; features an excellent mix of catchy rap compilation and party music.
- Lauryn Hill – "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" (Ruffhouse, 1998). Former member of "The Fugees", Luaryn Hill released her debut solo album in 1998 and it went on to become one of the greatest albums of all time as declared by VH1 and the Rolling Stone Magazine. It also opened up the world of opportunities for her fellow female rap artists.