What Was the Last Great Rap Debut LP?

I have this one friend who’s as unapologetic as hip-hop fans come, the kind of listener who’ll decimate a song upon first spin and ignore any inkling to play Devil’s Advocate. In other words, he’s the type of cat I love talking rap business with; heated debates are guaranteed any time he mentions a new track or album, and he keeps me on my toes, so to speak. I’ve known the kid since 1996, when we both were freshmen at Paramus Catholic High School (Jersey, FTW), comparing notes on Ghostface’s Ironman album during basketball-team-required study hall.

Fourteen years later, not much has changed, other than our respective willingness to experiment with sounds. For example, he’s never heard of Black Milk, and probably would bypass all of BM’s work if not for my mission to put him on to the wonderful skills of that Detroit beast-on-the-boards. If it’s not on the radio, or bumping in the clubs, he has little time for it. Which I can respect, in ways; not everyone has the time to obsess over forms of entertainment such as rap music.

Of course, this means that he’s quite aware of Drake, and has been anticipating Thank Me Later for over a year now. I brought him to Summer Jam this past Sunday night, at Giants Stadium, and afterward I hit him off with a copy of Thank Me Later, and told him that I expected an in-depth analysis some time yesterday (Monday).

Truth be told, I expected him to love it; everything about the LP falls in line with his sensibilities. But, much to my surprise and genuine fascination, he’s not impressed. In fact, he’s aggressively disappointed. He’d hoped for an undeniable classic, a debut album that’d sit alongside Illmatic, Reasonable Doubt and their kind in the pantheon of “best ever first efforts.” Yet, to paraphrase my friend, “This won’t even be considered for my best albums of 2010, let alone best debut albums ever.”

Personal opinions on Thank Me Later aside… Okay, screw it—I like the album a good amount, but I also agree that it’s not a wholly triumphant “official debut” (I say “official” because we all consider So Far Gone to be a complete body of work at this point, right?). All of this had me thinking last night, though, and the question that kept playing Pong in my head was, “What was the last unquestionably great rap debut?” I know what my answer is, folks—Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor, which came out back in 2006 and has yet to be bested, IMHO.

Back in ’06, I found myself on the opposing side of several Clipse fans, who all swore that Hell Hath No Fury was that year’s crown jewel of hip-hop long-players; I, naturally, disagreed to the point of laughing in their faces as “The Cool” and “The Emperor’s Soundtrack” played on loop in the background. Clearly, I’m a Lupe fan, but I’ve long felt that, even if you’re not a Fiasco head such as myself, it’s virtually impossible to deny the greatness of Food & Liquor—well, it’s actually rather easy, according to damn near everyone I’ve debated with over the last four 365-counts.

So, yeah…Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor is, by my estimation, the last great debut LP in rap. I’ll admit that I’d been hoping that Thank Me Later would fall in line, but, alas, I can’t say it has. Drake’s premiere will certainly get tons of play this summer; I’m actually on Team “Shut It Down,” in terms of favorite-record-on-that-ish (reminds me of The-Dream’s epic “Right Side of My Brain,” and that’s a superb thing). But I don’t expect it to linger within my best-of lists for years to come. Besides, I’ve just started playing Eminem’s already-dynamite Recovery; meaning, Thank Me Later is slowly falling back, to make way for Mr. Mathers. (Sidenote, to bring this thing full circle: Imagine a Detroit connection between Eminem and Black Milk, with Shady ripping a BM beat to shreds, then tossing in an Elzhi guest verse for ear-pummeling measure…OMG).

I’ve said enough, though. How about you, commenter(s)? In your ears and mind, what was the last great debut LP in rap’s recent history? —Matt Barone

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  • Anonymous

    does slaughterhouse count as a debut/rookie rap release?

    • LEO


    • LEO


    • Beautiful

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  • http://Pierzy11@gmail.com Pierzy

    “The Salvation” by Skyzoo. Before that, yes, “Food & Liquor”

  • http://www.allthatsfresh.com PopeCatalyst

    That’s easy. Last year Skyzoo’s “The Salvation” was actually top 3 albums and the last great album debut.

    Before that in 2008, Elzhi’s solo debut “The Preface” was INSANE.

    • Jake D

      Great call man. You sound like a legit hip hop head. I would personally add Diabolic’s Liar and a Thief album that just dropped April 6, 2010. Production is def not up to par to make it a classic ALL AROUND, but bar for bar, multi to multi, CRAZY metaphors, 4 dope deeper tracks. Wow those who love raw amazing lyricist and enjoy pressing the rewind button PLEASE cop DIABOLIC LIAR AND A THIEF.

      He and Elzhi are both in my top 10 “undergroud” DOPE lyricists/REAL emcees:

      1. Elzhi (arguably top 10 breathing if not top 5…kills royce, little brother, and others on EVERY feature and Preface is GREAT)

      2. Diabolic (amazing lyricist who MURDERED Rhymefest in a $5000 prize money of a huge “superbowl battle in Ny” or something like that)

      3. Louis Logic (reminds of a young Em, amazing rhyme schemes, funny dude)

      4. Juice (Should of blew up WAY before Rhymefest, again not that fest blew up, but he’s worked with dope producers and they’ve tried to make him blow up. Juice’s multi’s and best battle rhyme freestyler ever along with underrated dope songs make this list…he is kinda a punchline amazing rhyme guy only, but lookup the track DANIELLE…amazing deep track)

      5. CROOKED I (amazing rewind button lyricist)

      6. Sean Price

      7. MF Doom

      8. ILL Bill

      9. Brother Ali

      10. ONE BE LO


  • bigherb

    ya i gotta go with food and liquor myself i still jam that till this day and everyday for the past 5 years punchline’s and metaphor’s hit you that been flying over my head for years

  • Deadly MIME

    I agree. Lupe’s first joint was the last great album debut. Since then, everyone has been trying to capture that vintage sound but they fail cause they are conforming to what radio wants and the fans want. Honestly, Food/Liquor, Graduation, Finding Forever, and The Cool were the last great albums that I heard that came out in the last few years. Everything else after has been decent or full of shit.

  • katt

    yall trippin, you dont wanna admit it but
    “get rich or die tryin’”, “doggystyle”, and “it’s dark and hell is hot” were the only CD’s that actually surpassed the hype

    • AZ40

      yeah people forget what “Its Dark and Hell is Hot” was b/c it wasn’t pop but that shit knocks, and lupe came after that…Like homey above said does Slaughterhouse count as a debut, that shit was hot as well as Joell’s first joint…What are the criteria hype as well as it being the artist first album?

  • Badboyz

    Hey guys I have to say that as far as debuts come this is a smash like seriously I know a lot of niggaz aren’t feeling the RnB tip that some of the tracks are on but if you look at it holistically where as some rappers need to feature RnB artists to get the slow jam effect Drizzy just does it on his own. If you have to be honest with yourself when was the last time we herd any rapper pull of singing and rapping successfully and conglomerate it into one album(I’m not counting Khanye’s 808′s and Heartbreak because there was a large amount of autotune…no disrespect I was feeling that album too) So maybe its not a classic but it comes damn near close!!!!! XL

    • this is who

      i would mos def has mastered the singing and emceeing thing and he is better than Drake imo

  • I.V. League Tommie

    I agree with the Lupe joint being one of the great albums. But I believe that Wale: Attention Deficit needs to be placed on that pedistal. I think people just slept on the dude. And that’s coming from The Lou.

    • RDS

      Honestly, I skip about the first half of the album. I was so pissed he left off “Fire & Ice” and I couldn’t figure out why “Nike Boots” wasn’t on it either. Not because I liked it, but because THAT was the song that got him noticed by masses.

      And I’m in the MD/D.C. area. lol


  • bronxontop

    gotta go back to ’98 Capital Punishmen…that album wasn’t great it was classic

  • TicNitty1

    Lupe is a good choice but its also a safe choice. But it’s mos def a top for this question.

    The 10 best debuts in the last 10-15 for me is:

    Lupe- Food & Liquor
    Blu & Exile- Below The Heavens
    Killer Mike- Monster
    Game- Documentary
    DMX- Its Dark And Hell Is Hot
    Jay-Z- Reasonable Doubt
    T-KASH- Turf War Syndrome
    Kanye West- College Dropout
    Goodie Mob-Soul Food

    I know its some i’m forgetting right now but those ten are top notch imo.

  • M. Baby!

    Here’s my list of the past great rap debut albums.

    NWA – Straight Outta Compton
    Nas – Illmatic
    Dr. Dre – The Chronic
    Snoop – Doggystyle
    Wu-Tang Clan – Enter The 36 Chambers
    Biggie – Ready 2 Die
    Jay-Z – Reasonable Doubt
    DMX – It’s Dark & Hell Is Hot
    Lil Wayne – Tha Block Is Hot
    50 Cent – Get Rich Or Die Trying
    Kanye West – College Dropout
    Young Jeezy – Thug Motivation 101
    B.o.B. – The Great Adventures of Bobby Ray

    • DoYaHomeWork

      you sleepin on Cudi’s Man on the Moon.n.Bone Thugs’ Creepin On Ah Come Up, other than that i agree with your list of past classics debuts

      • ill lil

        i agree wit do ya homework BTNH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!… cudi shit was the LAST CLAS-sick debut, I DONT CONSIDER HIM A ILL LYRISIST, BUT HE MAKES FUCKIN AWSOME MUSIK, LIKE WIZ KALIFA.. I PUT THEM IN THAT SAME KINDA CATERGORY OF NOT THE ILLEST LYRISIST BUT GREAT ARTIST AND VERY MUSICAL… but heres my list… of classic debut’s aside from cudi..

    • TMN =ThankMeNevuary

      NWA- Straight Outta Compton
      Dr. Dre – The Chronic
      Snoop Dogg- Doggystyle
      DPG- Dogg Food
      Game- The Documentary

      Notoruious B.I.G. – Ready 2 Die
      Nas – Illmatic
      Jay-z – Reasonable Doubt
      Wu-Tang – Clan 36 Chambers
      50 Cent – Get Rich Or Die Tryin

  • Fresh

    Thank Me Later was surprisingly disappointing, especially in comparison to So Far Gone. TOO much singing, and not just that but it sounded like he sung the same type of hook on every song, it was the same formula for the whole CD, sing through a song and then throw a verse on there, eh. I started out a huge Drake fan but in the immortal words of HOV “he’s alright but he’s not real”. There isn’t one song on TML that is better than any song on SFG, as a matter fact where is my Food & Liquor?!

  • adig

    Kid Cudi : Man on the Moon: End of Day.

  • Josh

    I don’t know why so many people hate on this album, but Kid Cudi (and I would think that ya’ll Lupe fans would appreciate Cudi).

    Slaughterhouse was a great album.

    And as much as I’m not a fan, the streets LOVED Jeezy’s debut.

    Before that, as much as I hate to admit it, it’s really Game, Kanye & 50. Clipse was somewhere in that Kanye/50 timeframe too.

  • The Decatur Dictator

    I would have to say in all honesty that “The Black Album” is the last classic-it was a universal bomb, That album was an ‘event’ and that is what make a classic album to me, when the buzz is incredible, then you had the making of the black album and the concert tour…it was a great push and a great album…Lupe? I agree, that was a great album too, but that had more of a cult following like “pulp fiction”, but it didn’t make that big cinematic splash like The Black Album or 2001…. But, Drakes CD? for the pub it got, you would have though it was going to be crazy, but it was more subpar than anything.

    • DoYaHomeWork

      the Black album was not a Debut

    • swype-matic

      I can agree w/ u that the Black Album had great buzz and and was an event w/n itself, but it was NOT a classic, and is actually a REALLY overrated album.

  • RDS

    I’m gonna go out on a limb here, but…

    …I’m in the 2% of the population that actually likes Thank Me Later. If you look at it as a “rap” album, then it’s an incredible disappointment.

    What I’m not understanding is how everyone can’t get passed the fact that it’s NOT a rap album. Yes, it’s leaked. Yes, pretty much everyone has had a chance to listen to it. And if you haven’t, you likely know someone that has. Now that everyone knows most of the album is sung (which should only come as a surprise to those that don’t follow blogs, since Drake and another source BOTH revealed most of the album would be sung several weeks ago), why is everyone surprised? So Far Gone had a fair amount of singing on it as well. In fact, TML sounds like a sequel to SFG. In the end, SFG really probably IS Drake’s debut, regardless of who tells you it’s a mixtape.

    Honestly, for what “Thank Me Later” is–Drake’s debut album, no category defined–it’s a pretty solid effort. It’s not Nas’s “Illmatic”, nor is it MJB’s “What’s the 411?”, but he managed to find a completely different lane not previously occupied by a billion and 1 wannabe’s. He’s not the first to rap/sing, nor is he the best, nor will he be the last or likely the worst, but he took something rare and gave it an international platform. He IS the biggest act in hip-hop right now. And this is all coming from somebody that HATED Drake, but thought his music after SFG was just “okay”. TML wasn’t bad. It wasn’t “classic”, but it does take some getting used to.

    That being said, my last great RAP debut would probably be Lupe’s Food & Liquor or Elzhi’s LP.

    • AZ40

      I think b/c they really push and market him as a rapper who can sing not a singer who can rap, I think they slighly push his raps more so than his singing IMO

  • http://twitter.com/Azrael_AES Azrael

    Blu & Exile – Below the Heavens

    Fashawn – Boy Meets World

    • Victor

      Finally, thought those were obvious shouts. Skyzoo’s the Salvation. So we had not one but two dope debuts last year. Furthermore, it is also clear that young artists have to dilute their music (Wale and BOB are examples). People forget Wale dropped 3 DOPE mixtapes prior to his underwhelming debut.

    • Victor

      Finally, thought those were obvious shouts. Skyzoo’s the Salvation. So we had not one but two dope debuts last year. Furthermore, it is also clear that young artists have to dilute their music (Wale and BOB are examples). People forget Wale dropped 3 DOPE mixtapes prior to his underwhelming debut. Oh and Elzhi’s preface.

  • New York

    all these songs on the radio from drake (featuring whoever) and XXL is giving him mixed reviews? LOL SHAME ON DRAKE FOR CALLING HIMSELF THE “GREATEST EVER” (“last name ever, first name greatest”)

    I looked on wikipedia and saw the track listing and he has more features than songs by himself. LIKE WTF. if you look at the list that M.BABY! did above ALL THOSE RAPPERS DIDN’T HAVE MORE THAN 5 features on the whole album!!! AND THOSE ARE REAL CLASSICS (-B.O.B., lil wayne, and Young Jeezy LOL, who also had really good debut albums too.) Drake is going to be out the game this time next year.

    • ILL LIL


  • Masonic

    Get rich Or Die Tryin. What an entrance!

    • DC

      And then came the Massacre and the rest of his wack ass albums. I have never seen such a good 1st album with such terrible albums to follow as 50 put out. Now, he’s garbage. What an Exit!

  • Harrryyyy

    Fashawn – Boy Meets World
    best album of last decade

  • epinz

    my favorite of the 2000 gotta b little brother- the listening. and as far as the most recent, fashawn- boy meets world

  • TwiceDown

    Lauryn Hill.

  • http://myspace.com/kidpistol Kid Pistol

    B.O.B. for sure.


    Thug Motivation 101: Lets Get It

  • http://petertran.tumblr.com Peter Tran

    College Dropout no doubt. WHERE ARE YOU, YEEZY!?

  • cam

    Kid Cudi : Man on the Moon: End of Day

  • Kingroy

    Kid Cudi’s debut to me was a classic. I never heard a WHOLE album that felt like my soundtrack. I can’t say B.o.B, but his was on point. So I’ll say Kid Cudi. But this year, don’t forget who else is debuting. J.Cole album might be in that list. I’ll hope, but you never truly know until it comes.

  • smitty757


  • frow

    A tie between nas and rae for first solo albums not a single song between the two that isnt a classic most recent debut that was awesome has to be kid cudi that cds in my car right now

  • hater

    TicNitty1_ the Game????? GTFOFH, that ish was written by 50, SMH the GAME, that ish was wack.

    Last great Debuts
    Kanye, 50, and Lupe; but 50 fell way off after that album, while both Lupe and Ye has evolved.

  • Young Mo Fo

    The last great debut album? “The Documentary” by The Game. That CD was in rotation for like two years straight. And went 5x Platinum

  • niggs

    for real its all about hell hath. this weak ass blogger hating on the raw uncut is outrageous. its that ish

  • M. Baby!

    I forgot about Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, straight classic!

  • Isee

    I would have to say Get Rich or Die Trying is the last great debut. Drake is force fed to the masses, he is machine produced, and hype manufactured. It is really terrible, not the love that he receives, but the undeserved praise for rapping the same verses over and over and over. Same with Rick Ross. Damn, where the Rebels at. Its almost like the machine wants a nation of sensitive softies, easily ran, and emotionally challenged. Wake up people.

    • ILL LIL

      AGREED Its almost like the machine wants a nation of sensitive softies, easily ran, and emotionally challenged. Wake up people.

  • Shay

    My top debut albums:

    eminem- slim shady lp
    50 cent- get rich or dye tryin
    b.o.b- adventures of bobby ray
    nas- illmatic
    jayz- reasonable doubt
    kanye- college dropout

  • hater

    Isee you gay (Riley Freeman voice)

  • capcobra

    grodt….that was the last time everybody was waiting on the same cd.

  • D. $cience

    I have to be honest…

    Lupe was probably the last new rapper I was so hyped up on, I copped all his mixtapes (as in actually bought them) and copped Food & Liquor when it first came out. I couldn’t stop playing that album, and I was instantly screaming “classic”! But, looking back now, since it’s 2010, I popped in Food & Liquor last week, and I don’t really like it no more. I bump the Touch The Sky mixtape and the Fahrenheit joints more than Food & Liquor. Looking back now, when you really dissect it, Food & Liquor is not a classic debut, but Lupe himself help push the “so-called-hipster” movement in it’s early stages along with Kanye and Pharrell.

    I know I’m going to probably catch a lot of flack for this, but I think the last great debut(s) was Get Rich or Die Tryin’ and College Dropout, because they got mainstream love, rave reviews, and 50 & Kanye to me changed the game with their personas and ushered in a new era. Jeezy had a great debut to me as well, and I don’t even like Southern hip hop like that (besides UGK, Scarface, Outkast, Goodie Mob…no disrespect to the South).

    But times change man…I’m seeing people say that Kid Cudi’s album is classic, B.O.B.’s album is classic. I think the game needs a true Hip Hop classic debut; something new, something fresh, no gimmicks…and actual rapping, because the Cudi’s, the Drake’s, and these other singer/rapper hybrids are getting on my nerves.

  • swype-matic

    Well since you said last great debut LP, meaning recent or pretty recent, I’m gonna choose 3 mainstream albums and 3 underground/slept on albums

    1) 50 Cent: GRoDT
    2) Kanye West: College Dropout
    3) Young Buck: Straight Outta Cashville (Yes, to a degree this is better than the Documentary)

    1) Skyzoo: Salvation
    2) Little Brother: The Listening
    3) Slaughterhouse Album

    Oh, and Anslem, if ur boy was excited about Drake’s album, he probably never actually listened to Ghostface’s Ironman

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

      I was waiting for that one. Straight Outta Cashville was hard as hell for Tennessee niggaz debut. But why people leaving out Hurricane Chris. All bullshit aside, it was a real tight album despite him being aligned (at the time) with Soulja Boy and Collipark, y’know?

      E7 up! youtube.com/federalranga

      • swype-matic

        I wasn’t gonna cosign anything of Hurricane Chris after XXL gave Chamillionaire & Bone Thugs an “L” and Trae and “M”. Those three would be XL just on name alone.

  • swype-matic

    Oh yea, Kid Cudi & B.O.B.’s albums are classics too…if you constantly have The Dream and Ciara on repeat all the time.

  • http://www.twitter.com/thiiaz Thias

    Kid Cudi’s Man on the Moon: The End of Day

    Probably my favourite album ever. Not saying that it’s the best ever, but it the only album I can remember that I’ve been listening to EVERY day since it dropped. There are some songs I can listen too for years, but it’s pretty rare that I appreciate a whole album from the begginning to the and as much as I did with Man on the Moon. Lyrics, flow, beats, EVERYTHING. Can’t wait to hear Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager.
    I’m hoping for another instant classic!

  • Role

    To me the last great rap debut LP is Kid Cudi’s Man on The Mon: End of Day. I remember i had the choice of listening to the blueprint III or man on the moon. I hesitated to listen to BIII idk why, but i took cudi’s lp instead. listened to in full no pause or nothing, I felt like that album was my album for maybe three months. always beeing played and everything. after that i fell kinda like a drought. nothing from ’08 or ’07 i could say matched Food & Liquor. I got food & liquor the scrapped leak version. i didn’t really listen to it allot, but when i got the retail version i fell in love. kick, push was great, but it can never match The Cool. i think one of the best tracks in the last ten years. got all of lupe’s Fahrenheit 1/15 mixtapes. still played in full in my ipod. Food and Liquor was i think the best thing to happen to hip hop that year. before that you have to go back to ’04. The college dropout. still remember watching 106 & Park and seeing through the wire. thats the song that i heard and felt like, i like this ALLOT. then slow jamz. listened to it in whole also. i still think its the 2000′s best hip/hop album. nothing can match the dropout.

    Now can we have a topic on Best Sophomore Albums? The one’s you felt were just as good as the debut and the ones that disappointed you.

  • alex

    does the roc marciano album count as a debut? it is his first SOLO debut so. i would say thats a classic and thats just came out so

    • http://www.bboycult.com $yk

      I’ma rolling with alex.

      ‘Marcberg’ is straight lava rox…

      Besides y’all done named all the other ones…Cudi? No-sign with that one chiefs.

      • http://www.emcdl.com EmCDL

        I tried to get that album off Amazon but they ran out! Anywhere else I can cop it at?

        By the way, as far as best debut, I co-sign with Pierzy with Skyzoo’s The Salvation. Album….goes….HARD. Ish still on repeat to this day.

        • http://www.bboycult.com $yk

          EmC what’s up?

          fatbeats.com is the exclusive distributor, but iTunes should have it.

  • brand-new

    completely co-sign with harryyyy way up top, fashawn’s boy meets world was excellent. besides that i would go with blu’s below the heavens and young jeezy’s thug motivation 101

  • hater

    cudi’s album is a great album to set around and talk about my feelings to my girl, in my extra tight pants

    SMF’nH!!!! Hip hop is dead if Cudi is a classic, nigga is more emo than

  • Devi Gargon







  • Anonymous

    Boy Meets World was a solid Debute. Below The Heavens was solid too. Black milks Popular Demand was solid too. in the post lupe era,But those are “underground” lps on a mainstream, I think Asher Roths cd was solid not great but solid. Before 06 there were alot.

    Drakes hype meant that any thing other than classic seems like a fail.

    Keep it 100 the album would be like a L. Its a good album but its not better than So Far Gone which I always said was overrated.

    Either way I think NONE of the songs on it are better than “best i ever had” or successful.

    All in all Drake doesn’t live up to the hype created for him his older stuff is better but im not saying he sucks just 08-09 drake >>> Thank Me Later Drake.

    I haven’t seen any progression.

  • Trin

    Boy Meets World was a solid Debute. Below The Heavens was solid too. Black milks Popular Demand was solid too. in the post lupe era,But those are “underground” lps on a mainstream, I think Asher Roths cd was solid not great but solid. Before 06 there were alot.

    Drakes hype meant that any thing other than classic seems like a fail.

    Keep it 100 the album would be like a L. Its a good album but its not better than So Far Gone which I always said was overrated.

    Either way I think NONE of the songs on it are better than “best i ever had” or successful.

    All in all Drake doesn’t live up to the hype created for him his older stuff is better but im not saying he sucks just 08-09 drake >>> Thank Me Later Drake.

    I haven’t seen any progression.

  • Brooklyn

    i’ll definitely say that i think slaughterhouse had the last great debut album. for me that shit was definitely on point.

  • F1R$T

    Game- The Documentary

  • SansBeach

    50 Cent get rich or die tryin for obvious reason like some said above everyone was waiting for that. People That didnt even like hip-hop got the album just to hear what the hype was about.

    Young Jeezy Thug Motivation 101. Never has a southern hip-hop debut had such impact outside the south. I live in Brooklyn and everybody was playin that shit like he was from New York. I visited Chi-town cats in the projects was playin it I can only imagine what it was like down bottom had to be crazy.

  • Anonymous

    J Cole debut album will be AND I Guarenteee you the best rap album of the year

  • jow

    nas nigger and distant relatives

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

    *Patiently waiting for Jay Elect to debut*

  • DV8

    I would have to got with 50 Cent. His debut was crazy. He lived up to all the hype around him and the fact that he was signed to Em and Dre put alot of expectation on him. Then look at the numbers he did. The last debut before him to be really good and sell like it did was Snoop Dogg if my mind serves me correct. True you cant base the quality of the music on the number of albums sold but those two albums are the .

  • Axeo

    Old School
    Nas- Illmatic
    Wu-tang clan- Enter the 36 chambers

    New school
    Fahsawn-Boy Meets World
    Skyzoo-The Salvation

  • styles is a ghost


  • http://xxl.com BZ

    How bout this is a dumb question/stupid argument cause there is so many classic debuts and so many diff opinions

  • ryanvcu

    Since he considered So Far Gone a complete body of work, then thats the last great debut.

  • http://www.myspace.com/slotchmusic ms_spittuh

    Redman – Time 4 Sum Aksun
    The Firm – The Firm Album
    Ghostface – Ironman
    Wu Tang – 36 Chambers (this cd will never get old!)
    Rah Digga – Dirty Harriet …

    …why does everyone who lists their top emcees always forget Redman? If it wasn’t for Reggie we wouldn’t even have Eminem… Just had to add my shit in…. :)

    • http://www.myspace.com/slotchmusic ms_spittuh

      My fault…!! I meant Whut? The Album lol

      • http://www.bboycult.com $yk

        troofis about Redman ma…

  • http://www.myspace.com/slotchmusic ms_spittuh

    I mean Whut? Thee Album y’all sorry lol

  • http://www.myspace.com/slotchmixtapes ms_spittuh

    I meant Whut? Thee Album…my fault lol

  • yoprince

    fuck it, i’ll say it, drake album is great. and i think it’s going to grow on people.

    i don’t know why it’s being labeled (cursed) as an R&B album. i feel like some of yall haven’t really heard it, you’re just repeating what you heard.

    he raps on 12 of the tracks. 13 if you include the bonus ’9 AM in Dallas’ track. he even raps a verse on ‘shut it down.’ there are only 2 songs where there’s absolutely no rapping and one of those is an interlude. i guess you could argue ‘karaoke’ and ‘shut it down’ are mostly singing, but even subtracting those two songs it’s still majority rapping.

    great debuts: Jeezy, 50, Lupe, Kid Cudi, Eminem, Jay-Z, Nas, Snoop, Dr. Dre, Ma$e, Mos Def, Drake, DMX… of course there’s more but i’m thinking mostly about albums with some hype surrounding their release.

  • pimping ken

    man yall slep on rick ross debut

  • Jhon da Analyst

    Common – Can I Borrow A Dollar?

  • Anonymous

    Lupe Food & Liqour was an instant classic… Wale had a hell of a debut his lyrics just go over ppls heads and the production was on point… Cudi & B.o.B debut was dope as fuck… Asher Roth couldve been better…

  • Scootie McB

    Lupe Food & Liqour was an instant classic… Wale had a hell of a debut his lyrics just go over ppls heads and the production was on point… Cudi & B.o.B debut was dope as fuck… Asher Roth couldve been better…

  • Young Mo Fo

    How does barely anyone remember the Game’s album. Like I know he isn’t as good anymore but tell me a guy who does that good with almost no buzz. He put the west coast back on the map, and I was in NYC at the time. His CD was gettin played all over NY like he was Jay Z. Dogs you cant tell me that he isnt on top ten debuts from 2000s

  • bbonesq

    game documentary and young jeezy tm101 i like better than lupe

  • DC

    Everybody’s on Kid CuDi’s album…man, I missed that one as I thought it was garbage. But B.o.B did surprise me as I really liked that. But last debut album for an artist our group that’s a clasic, hands down “Slaughterhouse”…even though some members have had albums before, this is the first album for the group.

  • Scientific

    All day…..Get Rich or Die Tryin. Or Furiii’s “If I Wasn’t Drunk”. Don’t front.

  • Amplified Sample

    Everyone is trippin’ not to mention Blu “Below The Heavens” with Exile on the production.

    Easily up there with Food & Liquor

    Elzhi – The Preface

    Kid Cudi – Man On The Moon

    B.O.B’s isn’t all that great. Isn’t a classic.

    I only put albums since Food & Liquor since that was the author’s anchor for the question.

  • MAga D

    Blu – Below The Heavens

  • js

    i agree with young mo fo
    the documentary was an incredible debut

  • Badboyz

    I don’t know if J.Cole is debut will be the best rap album of the year but In accordence with what somebody else has stated if SFG was relesed as an album that would have been an absolute classic because I haven’t seen a so-called “mixtape” get that much hype in a long time.

  • Badboyz

    Oh and the Documentary was a phenomenal album

  • http://www.justice.gov.za Chiliz

    Makaveli’s “7th Day Theory”…haha just fuccin’ with ya’ll.

    The list below may not necessary b classic but it was overall a best 1st offering effort.

    - Food & Liquor – could have been a classic if trimmed to 12 or 14 songs

    - Harlem World – this was bad boy’s era but still not a classic

    - The Documentary – a pretty good effort less name-dropping could ‘ve made it a classic

    - Its Dark & Hell is Hot – Man.. less barking & about 12 songs will do wonders

    - College Dropout – Too many skits & 2 much talking killed this supposedly classic.

  • RJ

    thank god for the people who said “below the heavens.”
    name any other debut and i will counter with blu and exiles CLASSIC.

  • that nigga

    Lupe all the way. Drakes’ album fuckin sucks, I am very disappointed.

  • I99vieks

    A lot of debuts have been great IMO.
    *Skyzoo – The Salvation
    *B.o.B. – The Adventures of Bobby Ray
    *Kid CuDi – Man On The Moon
    *Wale – Attention Deficit
    *The Game – The Documentary
    *Sly Boogy – Judgement Day

    List goes on, but I’m hoping to be able to add Nipsey Hussle, Donnis, Pill and J.Cole to the list.

  • Emperor Doom

    Sure as hell isn’t drake’s debut album. Shit was straight average at best. It really was not good. I know a bunch of people have already said it but to be honest the last debut album I heard was Documentary. You can put that CD in and not hit skip.

  • Big Marc

    Chef Raekwon-Only Built for Cuban Linx. Come on guys, which debut album goes harder than that?

  • DJ Postman

    “Lupe Fiasco’s Food and Liquor” and definitely Slaughterhouse’s debut. That was the best album of 2009 hands down. I don’t know why it only got a XL rating when Gucci Mane got the same rating. Vomit.

  • http://twitter.com/troylsmith T-Rizzle

    How can u say Food & Liquor. Good album, but really? Is that gonna last in hip-hop circles for time to come? Obviously no. It’s Kanye’s Late Registration. So yeah, it’s been a while. But compare Lupe’s album to that. Food & Liquor is by no means a classic or a great debut.

  • Keem

    Petey Pablo – Diary of a sinner
    Joe Budden – Joe Budden

    If you haven’t sat n listened to the whole petey album do it…forget “raise up” this was a legit classic

    • swype-matic

      I gotta tell you man, I’ve listened to Budden’s debut album 4 times since I had it, and it is TRASH! Which is why i never listened to him again until Mood Muzik 2 and 3, then Slaughterhouse. That album was terrible w/ like 3 good songs at best.

  • 11KAP

    diplomatic immunity, i guess.

  • ff1one@yahoo.com

    i thought he asked the last. great rap debut Lp. If thas the case i’ll say B.o.B. Besides that it prob would have to go to LUPE

  • Anonymous

    Slaughter House

  • BrownBoy1

    I say Bone Thugs-N-Harmony’s E.1999 Eternal.


    I thought so far gone was drakes debut? i guess it was few tracks short, but it was better than thank me later.

    greatest debut ever? ready to die

    greatest recent debut? gotta go with 50, he is what he is now, but when he finally dropped? EVERYBODY felt that shit, like “its dark and hell is hot”

    end of thread—

  • Marlon

    Get rich or die tryin
    where yall heads at
    album of the decade

  • Q!thaGreat!

    first off Thank Me Later really isn’t that bad, but when you think about all the material Drake put out on mixtape just to get on, he been producing good music for the past 3-4 years! TML may not surpass So Far Gone but it is solid, maybe not classic.

    … oh and reading is fundamental for some of you! I believe and agree that Slaughterhouse was an unbelieveable debut but it was extremely overlooked! as was Kid Cudi’s. so the most recent debut that was anticipated and lived up to the hype was Lupe Fiasco, and before that I really don’t know … Probably The Game with the Documentary

  • ill_lil


  • TheMfnMan

    Bun B Trill best debut besides maybe 50 Cent Get Rick or Die Tryin.

  • womack

    50 cent get rich or die tryin … hands down

  • http://thedoubletruth.blogspot.com Jonezy

    Blue & Exile, Below the Heavens was pretty solid, but slept on by the public at large.

    Fashawn’s debut is pretty good too, but again, slept on

    Evidence Weather Man LP was dope from start to finish

    Otherwise, not too many folks make a long-player worth buying or listening to at length.

  • megulito

    what are we defining as a debut album cuz i think im missing the def isnt it their 1st effort?

  • bigyo

    Gnarls Barkley+ St.Elsewhere