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