40 Sophomore Rap Albums That Missed the Mark
For nearly 40 years, rap albums have been making the world a better place. Many of the earliest releases, such as The Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight," were singular recordings, but before long, full-length rap LPs began to emerge during the early 1980s, with the likes of Kurtis Blow, Nice & Smooth and Kool Moe Dee, among others putting out albums.
Before long, a genre that was once dominated by singles would begin to transfer its focus onto actual albums, with seminal works like Run-D.M.C.'s Raising Hell, LL Cool J's Radio and more fare helping to shift the landscape of rap and gear it more towards whole bodies of work. By the end of the decade, singles were very much still the main barometer for the popularity of an artist, but were also an advertisement of sorts for the album itself.
The 1990s and 2000s would also be powered by albums, but while the 1980s still featured many of its artists in the infantile stages of their career, this era saw many acts coming into their prime, releasing multiple albums to build upon the foundation set by their debut LP. Some artists may have been getting finer with the passage of time and trumping their previous offerings, however, there were also a number of rappers that would release noteworthy debuts, but would fail to outdo themselves on their second try at creating a long player. This became to be known as the sophomore jinx and has been a thorn in the side of some of the more renowned and respected rhymesayers to ever clutch the mic.
With this in mind, we've compiled a list of 40 of the more disappointing sophomore albums in rap to date. This includes projects by some of the more influential acts that failed to live up to the expectations set by their first, whether in the eyes of the public or the critics.
When Vanilla Ice dropped To the Extreme in 1990 he made major waves thanks to the project's lead single "Ice Ice Baby," but four years later when his follow-up Mind Blowin' arrived he failed to make as much noise as his first effort. Same goes for Ma$e, who was hot on the block when he came with Harlem World in 1997, which earned him a Grammy nomination. Two years later when Double Up followed, the effort didn't resonate as well as its predecessor had with fans. However, these artists and more may have dropped a project that didn't live up to the hype but they didn't let that knock their hustle. Check out 40 Sophomore Rap Albums That Missed the Mark in the gallery above.