Eight Misleading Classic Rap Album Comparisons by Rappers

Kid Cudi_Lead

Yesterday, via Twitter, Kid Cudi announced the title of his fourth album called Indicud, which was described as “my version of [2001]”—referencing Dr. Dre’s seminal sophomore album. It’s too early to tell if it’ll sound anything like 2001 (or have such a cultural impact), but if the Lonely Stoner believes so, who can knock him?

While XXL firmly believes rappers—like anyone else—are entitled to their opinions, oftentimes when they match their work to influential album titles, it rarely lives up to the hype—often built by the rapper and its cohorts. From Saigon claiming his long-delayed debut as “better” than Illmatic to Wale likening his work to Reasonable Doubt, there’s nothing wrong with comparing, as long as the work speaks for itself. With that said, here are eight other cases that XXL considers far-fetched rap album comparisons by rappers. —Christopher Minaya (@CM_3)

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Fabolous

Fabolous

"What Jay-Z did [with American Gangster]...he took that Frank Lucas character and put it in the frame of his Jay character," Loso said to MTV in March 2008. "That's what I wanna do. I don't wanna say I that I'm actually the character, but take some of his scenarios or some things I went through and tell it in my tone."

Album: Loso’s Way (2009)

Loso did not have his way in capturing as much essence of his film (1993’s Carlito’s Way) as Jay-Z did with (2007’s American Gangster).

Saigon - 620

"I will say that there's not been an album in the past 20 years that is going to better than mine,” Saigon told The Source in 2007. “My shit is better than Illmatic.”

Album: The Greatest Story Never Told (2011)

The Greatest Story Never Told almost never got told; it took four years to drop, and it is as close to Illmatic as oil is to water.

Wale

Wale - 620

“I’m just trying to make a classic album, something that you can put up there with Reasonable Doubt and all the stuff that’s blasphemous to compare your work to now,” Wale told XXL in August 2011. “Why can’t I say my album is just as good as Reasonable Doubt or I’m trying to beat Reasonable Doubt? That shit is blasphemous to say.”

Album: Ambition (2011)

It was an ambitious dream that was not realized.

Rick Ross

Ross - 620

Trilla!” Ross told DJ Booth. "Biggest album of the year! You know what I mean? I just remember bein’ a kid when Michael Jackson’s album Thriller came out. It was one of the first vinyl albums I bought, along with Run DMC’s Walk This Way. I just played it over and over for a year long. I just wanted to make my sophomore album that intense; just wanted to electrify everyone. Now the boss is gonna come up to the next level, not just to be as ‘good as the first time’—but at the next level!”

Album: Trilla (2008)

Rozay managed to dismiss the sophomore jinx and remained consistent, but Trilla was no Thriller.

Wiz Khalifa

Wiz Khalifa - 620

“It’s inspired by Prodigy’s H.N.I.C.,” Wiz explained to MTV in February. “When he dropped that, I felt like that sounded so strong.”

Album: O.N.I.F.C. (scheduled to release on 2012)

H.N.I.C. broke bread, ribs, and hundred dollar bills. O.N.F.I.C. is unlikely to mirror much, if any, of the content P rapped about on his solo LP.

Drake on Rick Ross

Ross & Drake - 620

"This guy right here," Drake said to MTV in September 2011 about Ross’s upcoming LP. "That God Forgives, I Don't; the only way I can describe it is like Doggystyle or Ready to Die or Clipse Lord Willin' or any of the albums that I collected and held on to as a kid—whether it was cassette or CD."

Album: God Forgives, I Don’t (scheduled to release on 2012)

Comparing Rozay’s upcoming LP to Ready to Die might be blasphemy; thankfully, God forgives.

T.I. - 620

Diggy

Diggy - 620

“It’s about growth,” Diggy told Karen Civil in March. “You look at a whole bunch of people. Look at [Jay-Z’s first album] Reasonable Doubt, when that first came out, that wasn’t anything. And look at Jay now. You could look at Bruno [Mars] recently. When Doo Wops & Hooligans came out, like 50,000 first week and ended up going double plat.”

Album: Unexpected Arrival (2012)

Diggy arrived at the conclusion that his low-selling album warranted comparison to Hova’s debut LP. The kid really has great expectations.