In the second half of the 1990s, some of the genre’s most prominent rappers began releasing double albums. It’s a trend that worked for some and failed for others, and soon faded away, especially as singles and ringtones began to dominate the sales charts. These days, thanks to a combination, most likely, of listeners’ inadequate attention spans, labels’ disinterest in paying increased publishing for more tracks, and other factors, double albums are a rarity—or at least they'd seemed to be. The first few months of 2014 have seen three rappers announce upcoming double albums: Wu-Tang Clan's "secret" LP
that they'll be auctioning off for millions; Blu's followup to last year's No York!
, to be titled Good To Be Home
; and Lil Boosie's comeback LP since his release from prison, Touchdown 2 Cause Hell
, which he boasted yesterday would be the best double album since Tupac's All Eyez On Me
It's incredibly tough to make it through two entire discs from any artist without having a fan's attention waver, which is why there are so few truly great ones in the canon. But with double albums seeming like they may make a comeback, XXL
has compiled 20 essential hip-hop double albums, from 'Pac to Biggie to Nas. Double up. —XXL Staff