BLOG: Part Deux

Those of you who follow Termanology probably know that he’s readying to drop the sixth installment of his Hood Politics mixtape series. That’s a little excessive if you ask me. I actually interviewed Term last week and asked him why he persisted in continuing that series rather than move on to new titles. He gave me some generic ass answer about his fans appreciating the first offering or something like that. It’s not like the first one was a classic, though, so I don’t really think that answer works in his case.

On the flip side, more established artists seemingly create sequels to trick their fans into thinking it’s their return to form. In many instances, the sequel doesn’t immediately follow the first installment, but a few underwhelming efforts. Take Nas for instance. Stillmatic dropped after two consecutive artistic duds, I Am and Nastradamus and seven years after Illmatic first dropped. As for Raekwon, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II, his fourth solo album, comes two albums (Immobilarity and The Lex Diamond Story) and 14 years after the Purple Tape hit stores back in ’95. I remember first hearing about OB4CU2 a few years back and being annoyed that Rae would dare attempt to follow up his classic. He appeared to have lost a step or two at the time, so to follow up Cuban Linx with what could have been a dud, just felt like a horrible idea to me. Well, let me sincerely apologize to Rae, because the entire XXL staff heard the album a few years back, and I must say, it’s just about the most worthy sequel possible, one of the best albums of the year hands down. Rae pulled it off, but not everybody can.

Jay-Z is another MC who has a sequel dropping soon. Now, I’ve only heard the album once in its entirety, so I won’t give a verdict until I give it a few thorough headphone listens. But we remember Blueprint 2 and let’s just say it didn’t live up to the first one.  I mean, there are actually good sequels out there. Dr. Dre’s Chronic 2001 was stellar, Fat Joe’s J.O.S.E. (Jealous Ones Still Envy) was the biggest look of his career, Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter series is pretty solid. The thing is, the rap sequels usually don’t pick up where the last installment left off. They typically have little to do with their predecessors. It’s more so a reference to a previous title, so why not go with something new, especially if there’s a chance of you tainting a classic’s legacy with sub par efforts.

What do you guys think? Should rappers bother making sequels?—Jackpot

  • Silly Chilly Willy

    I don’t see why not. Most of the time, it’s just the title, because pretty much everything has changed. And if it’s fire, then it was worth it. If it ain’t, it ain’t. Simple as that.

  • Jericho

    A sequel is (almost) never a good idea. It’s a lazy artist’s way of cashing in without the effort.

  • Curtis75Black

    I agree with Jericho !! It’s like watching Bad Boys 2 without the exposiveness of the 1st. All it has is the characters and same actors. It is a trick to make fans believe it’s a return to classic form !! Why do you think peeps already deem BP3 classic already.

  • General

    I wish artists wouldn’t make sequels. Its almost a reminder that few artists have creativity. Not to mention that when you dub something a sequel, people expect it to have similar elements as the predecessor…

    Take for example Jay’s BP3. I’ve read people goin out of their minds tryin to defend this cd by sayin its not supposed to be like the first Blueprint…What the hell? Then why put it in the Blueprint series??? If you are not gonna stay true to the ones that came before it then name it something else? It was the same way with BP2…

    To me it is just more of a marketing trick used by the artists to sucker people into thinking that it is on that same quality level as the one before…

    Your right though that Rae’s OBFCL2 is the exception to that as that CD is potentially a classic like the first one…

    It would be like 50 deciding to name his next project GRODT2…Its stupid.

    • Detroit P

      Marketing isn’t a trick only the feeble minded view it as such….and the “Blueprint” title is more of a signifier of a brand, than a signifier of a certain sound or type of subject matter…you first have to define what the title “Blueprint” represents…Jay-Z explained recently what it represented, I forgot tho.

      • General

        “Marketing isn’t a trick only the feeble minded view it as such”

        Funny because I see the feeble minded as the ones who don’t see the trick in the marketing…

        Also hilarious that your next post below only goes to prove this

        • Detroit P

          Also hilarious that your next post below only goes to prove this
          ^^^^^^

          How So?…Where was I tricked at?…I’ve listened to the Blueprint and the Blueprint 2 many times..there are songs I like and skip past on each, I like both albums tho. I’ve listened to the Carter and the Carter 2 extensively, again there are songs I do and don’t like, I like both albums tho…Again how was I tricked? I have access to the internet and know where to go to download any album when it leaks..how can I ever be tricked?

          Marketing is only a trick when there is False advertisement involved, but in music that’s not a problem because I can listen to the shit before I buy anything…Again, where’s the trick?

        • General

          “Marketing is only a trick when there is False advertisement involved, but in music that’s not a problem because I can listen to the shit before I buy anything…Again, where’s the trick?”

          You have to remember who they are marketing towards. They aren’t marketing towards me or you or anyone who has heard it already. They are marketing towards the average buyer who doesn’t spend a lot of time downloading or listening to tracks on line before they buy it. I agree with the access to music that there is, it is mistake to buy it before you have sampled it, but that is not your average buyer. And a lot of people who see Blueprint or Carter in the title of the CD, just assume that it is along the same lines as the last one.

  • Detroit P

    The blueprint 2 wasn’t a fail….the general consensus can suck a dick…The Carter 2 was a very worthy update from Tha Carter…but sequels are part of marketing…even XXL does sequels to certain special issues, it’s about marketing and recapturing the audience that liked the last one.

    • Silly Chilly Willy

      “The blueprint 2 wasn’t a fail….the general consensus can suck a dick…”
      ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
      Co-fuckin-sign!

      Now don’t get it twisted. It’s not THE masterpiece, but it’s not as bad as people make it out to be. Trimmed down a little, it would have been a decent, if not great album.

      People need to stop seeing everything all the time from a marketing angle. Of course there’s a marketing scheme behind a sequel. But it doesn’t end there.

      There is a connexion, a relationship, a bond between the artist and the fans that was built with the first part. And the sequel is made with the idea that at this point we know the artist, we don’t have to wonder what he’s trying to do, we don’t need to let it sink in anymore, we just have to enjoy the whole story.

      Sometimes, there is more to talk about on the same topic as the first part. Like how I figure Relapse 2 will be, but I might be wrong. For me, the real OB4CL2 was Ironman, although it didn’t start with the Return of the North Star. The Blueprint 3 looks more like a victory lap, the only real link to the first is the overall cohesion.

      What’s weird is, most of the time, the same people who think sequels are a lazy attempt to reproduce the same formula are the very same who hate it when the artist is changing too much.

      Take Common for example: he always switched style every album. Then along came Be. People loved it and fell back in love with the artist. And immediately hate him for Finding Forever because it sounded like Be 2.1. And finally totally dismiss him for Universal Mind Control because he changed too much, once again.

      • $ykotic/Don McCaine

        “For me, the real OB4CL2 was Ironman,”

        Great minds think alike.

        • http://www.myspace.com/pharris27610 P. Harris

          co-sign!

          ^^^^^^

          so fucking true…

      • DetroitDraper

        Be and Finding Forever were great in my opinion classic disk and if he would’ve stayed with that same general formula he woulda continued to make good music that was at the same time marketable. Universal Mind Control was straight trash. I believe in creativity and growth but an artist needs to find their niche, their lane, their fan base and create music for them i.e NAS. The greatest mistake Common made was to have Pharell handle most of the production. Pharells the reason why alot of people dont know how great the Clipse are…because they cant get past those horrible beats.

        MAYN HOL’UP

  • http://Pierzy11@gmail.com Pierzy

    Let’s be real – it’s a sequel in name only unless you have (almost) the exact same set of artists and producers making a similar sound.

    Blueprint 2 was awful. It sounds like Cuban Linx 2 will be a resurgence, but you have to ask yourself why Rae hasn’t been able to make a good/very good album in between the two. And I didn’t think I Am… was that bad…

    • DetroitDraper

      Rae’s been so on point recently that It does make you wonder why he has’nt been able to craft music like this in the past but I agree I am was a good album to me.

      MAYN HOL’UP

  • $ykotic/Don McCaine

    It’s all marketing.

    Personally if it’s a sequel, it should be released in succession of it’s predecessor.

    IMO, OBFCL2 was already done. It’s called IRONMAN.

    But I agree Jackpot. These rap cats don’t maintain the same caliber of work when they do sequels, so they should just give the project another name and hope for the best.

    • BIGNAT

      samething i was thinking if they not coming back to back you trying to fool me for my paper. also keeping the classic material coming is hard. what rapper has dropped classic albums back to back. many have done good but never classic

  • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com Tony Grands

    I’m never made @ a company’s attempt to re-capture whatever lightinging in a bottle they had on a previous effort. It’s relative to a good marketing strategy.

    To those newer fans, who have no connection with it’s predecessor(s), the sequel(s) is something they can go back & check out. So, I would categorize it as a smart choice. As long as the brand doesn’t pull a “Beverly Hill Cop 3″, I don’t see a problem. OB4CL2 should open up a whole next audience to the Purple Tape. The same effect that trickled down to the original Carter from C3.

    When it’s all said & done, very rarely do people even say an albums name anyhow. It’s always, “such & such’s new shit”.

  • capcobra

    artists should do like epmd and come up with an ongoing theme and song..the same way they used business in every album title and had a jane song for each album…bp3 and d.o.a made me think jay was gon bring back soul samples and have a hot takeover joint..then you hear reminder/offthat/venusmars and see it’s nothing like the original blueprint..some people call it progress but i call it false hope…same for 0b4cl2.

  • http://globalcountess.blogspot.com Dade Countess

    I think that if there is a story line or some sort of conceptual blueprint, then a sequel works. For example, you mentioned that the Chronic and The Chronic 2001 are both good. I think that it worked because Dre made sure that there were some references to the original other than the album title. “Da Next Episode” is an awesome song, and it takes its title from the chorus in “Nuttin But A G Thang.” The video for “Still D.R.E” is quite nostalgic, as its Dr. Dre and Snoop in the hood, in a low rider, doing what they do. The praise of marijuana is a given on both albums. The song “Forgot About Dre” is Dre basically explaining that the Dre from the Chronic is the same Dre from the Chronic 2001, but “he been low key.” He’s also got hilarious skits on both albums.

    Sequels work if you give the fans exactly what you gave them on an album’s predecessor, presented in an updated fashion. The production on the two albums is clearly different, but the content isn’t. The key to making a sequel is to try and expand on and advance the previous material without completely condoning it.

  • avon

    i dont think jay’s bp2 was whack nor do i think nas i am was whack. sequels are always a good idea it gets the fans exited everyone loves a part two and a good comeback story i still wish nas would do a it was written 2

  • P. Harris

    co-sign cabcobra…

    I generally look at part 2′s of anything with bleak intentions. Album part 2′s, movie part 2′s, hell… a short on a cigarette… but with all that being said I still want to hear to hear, see, or smoke that short.

    It get’s ridiculous though…

    Please no more SAW movies… and Final Destination is joke…

    • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com Tony Grands

      “I generally look at part 2’s of anything with bleak intentions. Album part 2’s, movie part 2’s, hell… a short on a cigarette…”

      ^^^Rofle Mayo!

  • latino heat

    BP2 was not wack. as others said it was way too long though. and had a HORRIBLE 1st single. ’03 Bonnie & Clyde. trim it to about 15 songs and it was another classic.

    i really hope OBFCL2 is as good as everybody is saying, i haven’t heard one track yet. i want to hear the whole thing front to back and then give an opinion.

    • 313Dawg

      It is..Straight Crack!! Front to Back!!

  • Detroit P

    trim it to about 15 songs and it was another classic.
    ^^^
    Exactly….it was just bloated, but it has alot of Classic songs on there…Maybe they just mad cus Jay ripped Rakim on “the Watcher 2″

    • supersupreme

      jay didnt get close to rakim on “Watcher 2″

  • ErvGotti85

    Ok I read everything everyone has posted, and there were alot of good points brought up. But while every artform has been oversaturated with sequels and followups, for every handful of terrible to mediocre ones you have ones that surpass or at least stand toe to toe with the original. In movies The Godfather two is a worthy continuation of the godfather series and is every bit as good as the first one. Godfather three, I cosign all the hate for a sequel. In music or particularly rap music Life After Death picks up almost effortlessly from the end of Ready To Die even including the previously on RTD, so through all the trash you can still find the jewels when sequels are concerned. Also while it wasn’t a classic I enjoyed Blueprint 2 as well.

  • http://Twitter.com/choice09 Choice

    In defense to blueprint it can b more than one type of blueprint – so wit that name i dont think u would have to keep followin tha same sound as tha first one – music changes so much that it can be a diff blueprint for diff time periods

  • DV8

    rap sequel albums generally suck. I cant think of any part 2′s that really where as ill or iller as the 1st.

    sequels is basically a way for artist to piggy back off the success/critical acclaim of the original. Basically they are being to lazy to create, just stay in that one box.

    By the way do you realize OB4CL2 is like 9 years late? The original was supposed to come out in 2000 (look in your Immobilarity liner notes).

    Does ODB’s Return to the 36 chambers count? If so that is one example where a sequel went well.

  • http://-- gaddic

    this fag blogger has the nerve to call “I am.” artistic dud?
    please Nas is better than your favourite rapper asshole!
    regarding classic albums
    Same name as before doesn’t matter as long as the album is quality
    “don’t jude a book by it’s cover”
    thus DON’T JUDGE AN ALBUM BY IT’S NAME

    Blueprint=Classic
    Bp2=utter garbage
    BP3= let’s wait and see

    Chronic=classic
    chronic 2001=classic
    it swings either way which proves my point

  • http://xxlmag johnny rodriquez

    I never believed in sequels. Especially in Raekwon’s case. why put extra pressure on yourself? Just make a banging ass album.

  • http://xxlmag.com Ben

    I agree smh at rappers thinking thier albums are cohesive enough to drop sequels.

  • DV8

    Dr. Dre is the only person to ever put out a sequel just as good as the original.

  • http://www.jamal7mile.blogspot.com Jamal7Mile

    Just wanted to shout out some dope sequels to SINGLES…

    Jane – EPMD
    Sooperman Lover – Redman
    Quik’s Groove/The Bombudd – DJ Quik
    Just Don’t Bite It – MC Ren
    Duck Sick/Def Wish – MC Eiht
    Public Service Announcement – Eminem
    Gangsta’s Fairytales – Ice Cube
    Shook Ones – Mobb Deep
    How High – Red/Meth
    I Ain’t Bullshittin’ – 2 Live Crew
    Fuck Tha Police (Saprize) – N.W.A.

    It’s gotta be a million more out there. Anticipation for the sequels to the above songs helped in my decision to buy the follow-up albums. It’s not a bad ideal to focus sequels on classic singles instead of entire albums. That’ll take away from unnecessarily high anticipation for an album.

  • http://myspace.com/federalranga Federal Ranga

    Well, we’ll just have to wait until Relapse 2 comes out to see if you are right. Chuuuch

    E8 up!!! youtube.com/federalranga
    New Freestyles up!!! myspace.com/federalranga

    Commission!!!

  • avon

    what about return to the 36 chambers the dirty version i know it was not really a sequel but when dealing with the wu every album is really a group effort and im sure we can all agree that the dirty version is a classic as well enter the wu tang

  • dj2morrow

    I think people get the marketing aspect but i dont see anyone talking about branding which is the word everyone uses now alot. All the names are brands on themselves and alot of the time its them trying to get the point across of them making something either with the standard of the original or just the quality. I think on an artistic standpoint it might be alittle or just plain not creative but sometimes people have a type of formula that works best for them.

    Also alot of people still want to hear things like the original like Nas having a line where he says that people are still asking him to spit like on Illmatic hence the title Stillmatic. It was also to show people he didnt change from that but of course that comes from people not liking whatever came out after that.

    I think sequels are good if they actually add something to the original or continue with the concept. Its just alot of people see that it makes it easier to cash in on the success of the original so its gets to become old after awhile. I guess as long as its good music it should be fine but I wouldnt like it if someone just made trash and people bought it because of the brand. Thats also a risk they take for themselves because they can end up messing up whatever good they had with that brand.

  • BeerGangsta

    i like sequels. sequels are good. i like talking jibberish. jibberish i good. i like sitting on my hand untill its numb and then wacking off too good housekeeping mag’s. jay-z is a good rapper.

  • http://www.xxlmag.com crisis

    fantastic 1 and 2
    equally dope

  • k

    Disc is banging!!!

  • Ace

    I think they should make sequels if the hunger and drive is there but I think they should take awhile like 2001, Stillmatic, and now Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II… Blueprint 2 came out too fast and so did Tha Carter II. Plus there were things in the way of those albums. Jay-Z was too worried about the Nas beef, and Wayne had to make an album without Mannie Fresh’s production. The formula has to be the same and the sequel can be good

  • Brooklyn

    well, an artist’s second album is never as good as their first, whether it’s a sequel or not. “life after death” was no where near as great as “ready to die” and i haven’t heard many subsequent albums that can fuck with the original. anyway, if it’s a hot album, i’ll buy it.