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MC Shan

MC Shan

Atlantic (2) / Universal
Atlantic (2) / Universal
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40 Sophomore Rap Albums That Missed the Mark

These albums failed to live up to the expectations set by their first release, whether in the eyes of the public or the critics.

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DJ Premier favorite beats
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DJ Premier’s Five Favorite Beats Of All Time

You guys loved our One-Producer Albums feature so much, that we decided to flip things on their heads and dive into some of the best albums of all time that only feature one rapper. Turns out, this one was a lot trickier; not only do most rappers feature at least one rapper as a guest—Biggie's Ready To Die only incorporated Method Man for "The What," while Nas' Illmatic grabbed AZ to help out on "Life's A Bitch"—but the remaining well skewed so deeply toward the earliest hip-hop albums that we had to modify our criteria to include albums that had some guests, as long as they weren't rapping alongside the primary artist.  What we found was, typically, skewed toward the early side of hip-hop—the Bridge Wars projects, early installments from Rakim and Scarface—but there has been a bit of a resurgence in the past few years of rappers aiming to tackle entire projects completely on their own, with Skyzoo, Brother Ali and Childish Gambino all jumping on board. We've also carried over one other piece of the criteria from our One-Producer Albums list—only one album per rapper could make the list.  So, without further ado, XXL presents 20 of the greatest albums of all time that feature one—and only one—rapper throughout the entire project. Let the words begin to fly. —Dan Rys and Layne Weiss
You guys loved our One-Producer Albums feature so much, that we decided to flip things on their heads and dive into some of the best albums of all time that only feature one rapper. Turns out, this one was a lot trickier; not only do most rappers feature at least one rapper as a guest—Biggie's Ready To Die only incorporated Method Man for "The What," while Nas' Illmatic grabbed AZ to help out on "Life's A Bitch"—but the remaining well skewed so deeply toward the earliest hip-hop albums that we had to modify our criteria to include albums that had some guests, as long as they weren't rapping alongside the primary artist.

What we found was, typically, skewed toward the early side of hip-hop—the Bridge Wars projects, early installments from Rakim and Scarface—but there has been a bit of a resurgence in the past few years of rappers aiming to tackle entire projects completely on their own, with Skyzoo, Brother Ali and Childish Gambino all jumping on board. We've also carried over one other piece of the criteria from our One-Producer Albums list—only one album per rapper could make the list.

So, without further ado, XXL presents 20 of the greatest albums of all time that feature one—and only one—rapper throughout the entire project. Let the words begin to fly. Dan Rys and Layne Weiss
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20 Of The Best One-Rapper Albums In Hip-Hop History

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XXL Breaks Down 50 Battle-Tested MCs

In the wake of Drake and Common's feud, XXL looks back at 50 MCs who have battled...

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Kanye holding up his red Louis Vuitton's
Kanye holding up his red Louis Vuitton's
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50 Times Rappers Have Had Their Own Kicks [Gallery]

From full lines, like S. Carters and Air Yeezys, to special limited releases and one offs, rappers love to stick their feet in the shoe game. With Snoop's adidas dropping next month, we decided to take a look back...

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Nas-featured
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Nas Mini-Doc on Mixtapes to Debut Later This Month [Trailer]

The film features Nasty discussing hip upbringing, cassette tapes and more...

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10 of QB’s Finest Tracks – The Bridge Ain’t Over

What's the hottest track to come out of Queensbridge...

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R.I.P. Scott La Rock – Remembering the BDP Legend 23 Years Later

From the XXL archives, a detailed account of the BDP legend's life and death...

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In the Can – The Best Sprite Raps Before Drake’s

XXLMag.com lists all of Sprite's rap commercials. Now it's time to pick your favorite...

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FEATURE: Big Daddy Kane:I Am Legend

BDK talks on hip-hop's new boundaries and working alongside Busta and Weezy...

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