Biggest Comebacks of 2011

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    Biggest Comebacks of 2011
    People love a comeback story, and hip-hop—a traditionally unforgiving genre—had its share in 2011. A select group of MCs—all in different stages of their careers—overcame obstacles to leave their mark on the year. Lil Wayne resumed his platinum ways post-prison. Busta Rhymes re-emerged as a Cameo God 20 years after his breakthrough. 2 Chainz upped his stock after years in semi obscurity. Wale proved his haters wrong, and Young Jeezy prevailed through countless set backs. Here, <em>XXL</em> looks back at the five biggest comeback stories of 2011.—<em>XXL Staff</em>
  • lilwaynebiggestcomebacks
    Lil Wayne
    Lil Wayne executed his comeback to perfection. Roughly a month after being released from Rikers Island last November, Weezy dropped his first post-prison song, the lyrically-dense, "6 Foot 7 Foot." The song carried into 2011. Numerous guest appearances followed. Mixtape Weezy jumped on songs with Ace Hood's "Hustle Hard (Remix)," Chris Brown's "Look At Me Now" and DJ Khaled's "I'm on One," among numerous others. <br /><br />Weezy was inescapable once again. Still, <em>Tha Carter IV</em> suffered several set backs. Then, with <em>C4</em>'s due date approaching, the album appeared to be taking a backseat to Jay-Z and Kanye West's <em>Watch the Throne</em>. Lil Tunechi turned the tables when he leaked "It's Good"—a song on which he finally responded to Jay's "H.A.M." jab. Weezy was poised to due numbers, but no one expected him to rival first-week sales of <em>Tha Carter III</em>. <em>C4</em> sold 964, 000 copies in its first week and stands as the highest-selling rap album of 2011.
  • Walebiggestcomebacks
    No one saw Wale coming. The D.C. MC had perpetually been haunted by the underwhelming sales of his 2009 debut, <em>Attention Deficit</em>, when he joined Rick Ross's Maybach Music Group earlier this year—a move that earned him more scrutiny. The deal worked. Rozay released MMG’s <em>Self Made, Vol.1</em> in May. The compilation showcased Wale as a solid lyricist and gave him a hit in the Jeremih-assisted “That Way.”<br /><br />He then crashed Hulkshare with the release of <em>The Eleven One Eleven Theory</em> mixtape in August. Wale told <em>XXL</em> <a href="">he expected the mixtape to clear roughly 1 million</a> downloads. This time, Wale's mixtape buzz translated into commercial success. His sophomore effort, <em>Ambition</em> debuted at No. 2—selling 164, 000 units in its first week. The album's sold well over 300, 000 copies to date and will likely earn a gold certification in the new year.
  • youngjeezycomebacks
    Young Jeezy
    Young Jeezy didn't go into 2011 with much momentum. He'd unsuccessfully release a string of poorly received singles in an attempt to build anticipation for his perpetually delayed fourth LP, <em>Thug Motivation 103: Hustlerz Ambition</em>. The new year initially didn't bring much promise, as Jizzle kept misfiring and his album continued to get pushed back. The success of his rival, Rick Ross, didn't help either. <br /><br />Then, Jeezy went for broke. He sparked interest with the T.I.-assisted "F.A.M.E." and later the highly anticipated "I Do" featuring Jay-Z and Andre 3000. More well-received <em>TM103</em> tracks kept leaking leading up to the album's release this past Tuesday (December 20). Now, according to <em></em>, <em>TM103</em> is poised to sell between 200 and 225, 000 units in its first week. Win! Win-win, win-win!
  • bustarhymescomebacks
    Busta Rhymes
    Bussa Buss kicked the year off with a solid performance on DJ Khaled's "Welcome to My Hood (Remix)," but his buzz went into overdrive after his scene-stealing guest verse on Chris Brown's "Look At Me Now." Fittingly released 20 years after his breakthrough verse on A Tribe Called Quest's "Scenario," the song won several BET Hip Hop Awards and is now nominated for two Grammys. <br /><br />Seizing the moment, Busta then jumped on Tech N9Ne's "Worldwide Choppers" and delivered a verse some believe may be his best yet. Busta was in-demand once again, but, rather than flood the market as he did in previous years, Busta took a selective approach. He capped his remarkable year by signing with Cash Money late last month. Welcome back!
  • 2chainzcomebacks
    2 Chainz
    With all due respect to 2 Chainz, the lanky spitter was primarily known for his Ludacris affiliation and Playaz Circle’s Lil Wayne-assisted platinum hit, “Duffle Bag Boy” at the top of the year. Not anymore. The Atlanta rapper went on a solo tear with the release of his <em>Codeine Cowboy</em> mixtape earlier this year. He followed up with the DJ Drama-helmed, <em>T.R.U. REALigion</em> in November. The project featured guest spots from Meek Mill, Jadakiss, Trey Songz and Tit’s Playaz Circle partner, Dolla. In turn, Tit’s been tapped to appear on records with Young Jeezy, B.o.B, Big Sean and Wale, just to name a few. His remix to “Spend It” featuring T.I. is still in heavy rotation across the nation. Don’t call him an overnight sensation. To let 2 Chainz tell it, it was the right griming (grind and timing). 2 Chaaaaainnnnzzzz!


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  • josh

    Lil Wayne didn’t have a comeback…he had a fall off

    • jman

      wooooord hahaha


    unbelievable…GAME..RED ALBUM..if thats not a comeback..then I dont know what it is…duded proved himself with the RED album..classic tracks…born in the trap..ricky..the city, martians vs goblins, drug test…what up XXL…you guys hatin or what? Game is here to stay…think RED

    • jimyyjam

      how iz a commercial and critical failure a comeback. dude ur names backwards that truth? plz u know nothing. classics. HAH stop cloggin up the comment section with ur bullshit.

      • THA TRUTH

        @jimyyjam..let me school u…I been listening to hiphop since 87, the Year u were born…Game sold over 500k for red album worldwide, that generates over 12 million dollars for the record label (interscope)..the total investment for red was 2 million, meaning the label made 10 million of this project so far, which is why he never got dropped, also, it was very impressive cause he never had any real radio or video singles..he has sold more than 80% of the rappers in 2011..hes had two succesful tours so far, in the U.S and europe, GAME stay winning, and haters keep hating, he here to stay homie, four albums deep now, hate it or love it…

        • Clement

          FUCKIN TOLD , word to THA TRUTH, think red.

  • irishvking

    Bad Meets Evil came back this year from a 10 year hiatus. That is a comeback

  • that nigga

    Bad meets Evil shoulda mos def made the list.

  • Yah

    None of the above!!!!!!

  • Cole

    Uhhhhh Common? and Wale hasn’t even been in long enough for a comeback.

  • Revolver

    this is a horrible list…lil wayne got arrested..him getting out of jail to release a shitty album isnt a come back. wale hasnt been around long enough. young jeezy has absolutely no hype on his album..i’ve barely heard about 2 chainz all this year and busta rhymes is always around…common shoulda been on this list. game, bad meets evil. royce da 5’9 (solo), lupe fiasco, beastie boys

    • get ur facts straight

      Haven’t heard anything from 2 Chainz? Do you simply not listen to rap? That man has worked his fucking ass off. So many features this year, probably more that all of your idols.
      That being said, Common especially deserved a spot on the list.

      • Revolver

        i’m sorry, i was talking albumwise. yea hes been on features…some pretty dope features. but i feel like if its gonna be a should be getting all the recognition. not just half. same thing with busta. he had ill features this year. but still no album yet. but why stop now was a ill song by busta

  • SC

    From the people off this list I have 2 go with either Busta Rhymes or Young Jeezy, but I agree with Tha Truth why ain’t Game on this list?

  • China

    Wale definitely had a major comeback and dominated with new freestyles, v logs, collabos, and then topped it all off with a solid mixtape and album. Coming from 28k sold to 160+ he’s resurrected himself. His no days off philosophy is finally paying off and he deserves recognition for fighting to stay relevant. Anyone that disagrees is hating.

  • Trillest Nigga Out

    lupe & game shoulda been on there

  • j-man

    2 chainz sucks, buss did what hes been doing his whole 20 yr career, lil wayne dropped a half ass album after being in “jail”, & wale did an album that was barely better than his 1st. & i havent listened to jjeezys album yet but what ive heard from his mixtapes, he hasnt had the best year. how bout tech or royce?

  • C.mon… Think

    These niggas are so stupid mentioning game for a comeback. The red album is good but for you to sell 538k in the first week with The Documentary then 358k in the first week with Doctors Advocate, 238k in the first week with the lax ( all good 1st week sells) THEN 98K IN THE FIRST WEEK WITH RED ALBUM IS A BIG FALL OFF. just saying. 2 of these comebacks(wale and lil wayne) are about sells and game’s sells took a big ass plumbet compared to his last albums thats called a fall off my friend

  • HU

    Only person that makes sense on this list is Pharoah Monch. He hadn’t released an album in years and the dropped the best album of the year by a long shot.

  • mike

    how can wale make a come back? he was never here to go away to come back from?

  • Igotacos

    How bout andre 3000????? Hes poppin up on features alot lately,last year he did about 2 all year!

  • krazycee

    Lupe? Really? ‘Losers’ was one of the worst hip hop albums of ’11. Too much pop chasing and no songs heads would bump in their systems. Garbage. Agreed Game should have been on the list, but he made a CD for the streets; that shit will last long into springtime of ’12.

  • hellno

    such a bs list. voted for busta cause of the other people on the list. wayne never had to come back, unfortunately he was away for only a year and he was still in the news , just people covering him randomly and releasing an EP with like 3 huge singles. wale had never came before, so its impossible for him to have a comeback. same with 2chainz. jeezy didn’t come back he fell off years ago. people who should be on–Royce da 5’9″. was about to be big when he was with Em originally, the beef screwed him over for a long time now he’s got the shady deal and had a single all over the radio for months. Common–released a horrible album in 2008, a pretty good album in 06, gets back to his roots with the masterpiece the dreamer, the believer. terrible list

  • HOVA

    Lil Wayne had a fall off but he went platinum in a week…

  • kukluxswag

    Busta Rhymes only goes hard on featuring guest

  • kukluxswag

    i would say wale but his first album was dope so i can’t say he is the biggest comeback of the 2011

  • Taz Binx

    2 Chainz definitely .

  • cuaass

    this should unanimously be busta. im disgusted by the ignorance of these voters. and why the fuck is 2 chains in there? really?

  • Prudential

    Andre 3000 anybody?