EMGWorld lists the top five most 'slept on' debut releases in hip-hop
Sometimes the best products fail to generate the most demand. The artists on this list are all legends in their craft. Everyone listed is considered to be a ‘self-made’ musical legend. Unfortunately, fans needed just a little bit more convincing after the release of their debut albums. EMGWorld lists the top five most ‘slept on’ debut releases in hip-hop.
5. “Adrenaline Rush” (1995) – Twista
Perhaps the best lyricist of our time, hip-hop just wasn’t prepared for the release of Twista’s debut album “Adrenaline Rush.” The industry received a dose of ‘rapid flow’ from hip-hop group Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony, but no one had ever done it quite like Twista. His rapid, spit-fire flow was in a class of its own.
“Adrenaline Rush” placed Twista in the Guiness Book of World Records as the fastest rapper alive. Too bad fans were too slow to catch on to the clever wordplay and delivery in the album. “Adrenaline Rush” scored the worst commercial performance of any album on our list. However, the album managed to achieve artistic success and captured the interest of many of hip-hop’s top artists.
Though not a commercial success, “Adrenaline Rush” is considered as an artistic masterpiece to the hip-hop community.
4. “SouthernPlayalistiCadillacMuzic” (1995) – Outkast
Though “SouthernPlayalistiCadillacMuzik” was well-received by fans, we at EMG World believe it just wasn’t well-received enough. The album was more than just a compilation of tracks. “SouthernPlayalistiCadillacMuzik” gave birth to the hip-hop scene in Atlanta…
With production from the Dungeon Family, Outkast’s debut album scored major underground success. Had only the Billboard charts reflected the same results. Their debut album didn’t flop. It just didn’t receive the full attention it deserved.
“SouthernPlayalisticCadillacMuzik” is considered the soil that helped Atlanta sprout up today’s top artists. The album helped open the door in the South and created fusion between funk and hip-hop.
3. “I’m Serious” (2001) – T.I.
“I’m Serious” is considered to be a Southern classic. The album was in heavy demand in every ol’ school Chevy you could find. However, “I’m Serious” just wasn’t in heavy demand on the Billboard charts as it failed to crack the top 100.
T.I. definitely came into the ring swinging with great punches. The album’s only commercial released single [I'm Serious] was produced by The Neptunes and featured Beenie Man, both two of the hottest names in music at the time.
Dismal sales resulted in T.I.’s release from Arista Records. T.I. came back bigger and better with mainstream acceptance on his sophomore album “Trap Muzik.” The rest is history.
2. “Reasonable Doubt” (1996) – Jay-Z
How can an album that features Mary J. Blige and Notorious B.I.G. fly under the radar? To this day, the moderate success of “Reasonable Doubt” remains one of hip-hop’s ‘unsolved mysteries?’ Mary J and Biggie were two of hip-hop’s biggest stars, but maybe they just weren’t big enough to help Jay catapult “Reasonable Doubt” into commercial success.
Unlike former rival Nas, Jay-Z stepped into the game with two of hip-hop’s most respected co-signers and delivered an album that can be played without interruption. Unfortunately, the mainstream just wasn’t ready to give “Reasonable Doubt” their undivided attention.
“Reasonable Doubt” ranks as one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all-time. The album will forever reign as a classic to any true fan of hip-hop.
1. “Illmatic” (1994) – Nas
Without question, “Illmatic” is one of the greatest albums ever released. The album possessed no flaws. Nas dropped 10 songs and they were all home runs. Unfortunately, they just weren’t home runs at the cash register.
Still, what makes “Illmatic” so respected is that the album has NO star features on it. Nas was committed to signing his own papers into hip-hop glory. He had no co-signers. AZ, the only featured artist on “Illmatic,” was unknown in hip-hop until he breathed life on Nas’ debut album.
Nas enlisted the help of Refugee All-star Lauryn Hill on his next project ‘It Was Written.’ They collaborated on the infamous single “If I Ruled The World.” The rest is history.
Honorable Mention: “Food & Liquor” (2006) – Lupe Fiasco