THE HIGHEST SELLING RAP ARTISTS OF ALL TIME!
Any up coming rap artist out there who is not familiar with the golden age of hip hop needs to read up and learn the history of hip hop. A lot has happened since the dawn of hip hop and in 2011 you just can't pick up a mic and start rapping if you don't know what hip hop is really about. Well you could but you wouldn't be real now would you? Don’t believe me? Go look it up elsewhere. Just make sure you're not asking a cop about hip hop. Make sure your source is credible in the rap world. Wonder why guys are doing bad deals? Go compare your favorite Country, Pop or Rock N Roll artist to your favorite Rap artist and you will see that regardless of wealth and fame if your favorite artist is legitimate he or she will have a substantial street cred because of their lyrical respect. You might have been bred to desist the du-rag and bling look, the bandana and saggy pants look; hell, you probably force yourself to look away when a pimp pulls up in his fully loaded SUV, blasting his favorite rap song. But when you check the stats you will find that the hip hop genre consists of a batch of respectable artists who has amassed their credibility/respect from following the code of hip hop conduct regardless of criticism. And this is regardless of all negative stereotypes. Needless to say that some may be more successful than others.
This hip hop shit is not a joke or a game. People have died for this shit. Many legitimate rap artists have came and did their thing and some of them turned out to be the most heard artists of all time. I said legitimate because there are some fake ones out there too. And those fake artists have no business with a microphone. A typical fake artist covets fame and fortune but is too pliable to identify with the actual culture. These wannabe artists ruin the game because they are easily swayed to dress like fags, rap about whack shit and promote agendas that contradicts with hip hop norm. They fail to see that with all the criticisms against hip hop, it remains one of the most influential and popular genres with a very impressive roster of successful artists. A legitimate rap artist amasses street credibility, lyrical respect and wealth from his or her art but wealth should never a requirement for success and fame.
Don’t believe me? Go look it up elsewhere. Just make sure you're not asking a cop about hip hop. Make sure your source is credible in the rap world. Wonder why guys are doing bad deals? Go compare your favorite Country, Pop or Rock N Roll artist to your favorite Rap artist and you will see that regardless of wealth and fame if your favorite artist is legitimate he or she will have a substantial street cred because of their lyrical respect. You might have been bred to desist the du-rag and bling look, the bandana and saggy pants look; hell, you probably force yourself to look away when a pimp pulls up in his fully loaded SUV, blasting his favorite rap song. But when you check the stats you will find that the hip hop genre consists of a batch of respectable artists who has amassed their credibility/respect from following the code of hip hop conduct regardless of criticism. And this is regardless of all negative stereotypes. Needless to say that some may be more successful than others.
What are the most common stereotypes that rap artists have to endure? For one, our association with violence and sex comes to question. Many people are subconsciously hypocrite and do not recognize the immorality in their self justified lifestyles. When a rap artist releases a song about drug war or sexual escapades with beautiful women, these people deliberately misinterpret it. Another common stereotype that rap artists endure is their accusation with drug trafficking. Yep you heard me, a rap song comprises of three lyrical verses which are usually concocted by the rapper. You will not hear the haters praise the rap artist for being brilliant as to have written an enjoyable and educative album of 16 to 20 songs containing three intelligently worded verses each. Instead, you will find those who associate this with drug trafficking, lucid behaviors and violence; why, because in their minds they cannot perceive how the rapper affords the spoils of life from his talents. To make matters worse, when the rap artist does a song about his or her wealth he or she is immediately termed as being materialistic. This criticism is ten times worst for rap artists who work independently having had stints in the criminal world but in actuality rap music has been a social, behavioral and financial rehabilitator for many artist who would otherwise have languished in poverty or be dead by now.
MY LIST OF BEST SELLING RAP ALBUMS OF ALL TIME!
LUDACRIS - Luda has concentrated most of his efforts into acting in the last few years but he has also released seven (7) very successful studio albums in the last ten (10) years (2000 to 2010). It is approximated that he has sold over 12 million albums worldwide. Luda's lyrics may contain some explicit material but he is not known to be openly affiliated with any Blood or Crip gangs of America. He is a multi-talented music mogul who uses music as a way to educate the world about what is really going on.
WILL SMITH - Will Smith might be known as one of the most accomplished actor today but before his big screen successes he started out as a rap artist with DJ Jazzy Jeff in Philadelphia and horned his acting skills on the 90's TV show "Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air." Between 1987 and 2005 Will Smith released nine (9) successful studio albums, one of which (Big Willie Style) sold over 10 million units and garnered him diamond status. It is estimated that Will Smith has sold over 12.5 million albums during his music career. Will Smith prides himself in a squeaky clean rap image desisting from profanities in all his albums.
SNOOP DOGG - Snoop D. O double G is probably the most unique solo rap artist of all time. I will go out on a limb and say the only other very unique solo rap artists out there right now would have to be Twista, DMX, Bone Thug N' Harmony, Slick Rick, E40 and Eminem (excluding myself lol) but even at that Snoop Dogg tops the list. This multi-platinum blue carpet Crip gang representor is another accomplished actor who has become a household name all over the world. Snoop is loved so much, even Prince Charles didn't mind inviting the profanity rapping, chronic promoting, pimp style D. O double G over to his palace in England just to hear the Dogg Father rip the stage during his bachelors party. Snoop has released eleven (11) successful studio albums since 1993 selling an approximated amount of 13 million albums worldwide. He has also been featured in a slew of rap songs by other accomplished artists and has acted in a long string of classic movies.
BONE THUGS 'N HARMONY - Bone Thugs N' Harmony is a legendary rap group that was first introduced to the hip hop scene by the late NWA founding father and rapper Easy E. Since then, they have released nine (9) albums selling a whopping 13 million albums worldwide. Bone Thugs N' Harmony helped carry a heavy touch for hip hop during a time when the industry's obsession for gangsta rap was fierce. Their tongue twisting rap style is one of the most respected and admired style of rap even till this day.
L. L COOL J - Uncle L, short for Ladies Love Cool James is another multi-talented hip hop legend who made a smooth transition into acting and saw immense successes in the box office. L L Cool J stormed the music scene as a captivating rap artist in 1985. Since then, through to the year 2008 he has released twelve (12) very successful albums including a few classics like "Walking With A Panther", Mama Said Knock You Out" and "Phenomenon". Over the years L L Cool J registered an estimated 13.5 million albums sold worldwide.
50 CENT - One thing I always admired about 50 is his business instincts. He might come in wearing a leather jacket with bling and du-rags but the industry knows not to underestimate his 'Piggy Bank' strategies. After many setbacks and even a near death experience, he stumbled onto the hip hop scene when Eminem took a chance with him, Within a short period of time, he rose to the ranks of Jay Z and Diddy where even the Forbes had to take notice of the Jamaica Queens, New York rap artist. His gangsta image and beef persona did not hurt his brand right away as he still has some street credibility from his lyrical respect.
Say what you want but 50 made this list because of fair stats. Since 2003 50 Cent has merely released four (4) albums but with those four albums he amassed an estimated total of 14 million records sold worldwide. His first album is arguably a classic. 50 has also amassed wealth from endorsing Vitamin Water and starring in a few box office movies.
DMX - For DMX the story gets even more extra ordinary. Hip hop had gone through the G-funk era and the east coast/west coast beef. Everyone was looking for a breath of fresh air. Tupac, the undisputed king of the west coast had been assassinated for being too influential to the young generation. This power vacuum left behind by 2PAC would have gone to Biggie Smalls but it was immediately snatched away from Frank White, the king of New York when his own assassination dealt hip hop influence yet another throbbing blow. Since lost Tupac's followers were prone to follow a new leader. Murda Ma$e was next up for the throne but after he tasted the industry's illuminati he ran for the hills, hiding behind a bible which in his own words was a calling to follow "God." The question was not only who would be that next king of hip hop but also who would bring an end to the Bad Boy shinny suits and R&B/dance like a sucker era.
That's when DMX, which stands for Dark Man X, eased into the scene with his raspy rap and dog barks. A hand full of new rap artists emerged; among them, new artists that would have easily blown up; Canibus, Ja Rule, Joe Budden and 50 Cent. However, after all the industry politics was all said and done and the dust settled DMX and his Ruff Ryders crew pull the most weight landing at the top of the shuffle. He was followed by Ja Rule leaving Canibus, Joe Budden, 50 Cent and the rest to wish for a brighter day.
To date DMX aka Earl Simmons has released six (6) platinum selling albums worldwide selling 14.5 million records and starring in more than eleven (11) box office thrillers with another four (4) to five (5) television programs including his own realty show called "DMX - Soul Of A Man. Since his remarkable success as expected the Dark Man X soon faced media and police hounding in a desperate effort to destroy his well respected image but this time the public refused to be fooled. It is assumed that some influential authority figures wish to ruin the chance for hip hop to become as dominant as it was in the days of Tupac and Biggie.
MC HAMMER - When it was Hammer Time, almost everyone in the whole world was snapping their fingers and stumping their feet to 'Please Hammer Don't Hurt Em." If they were not stumping their feet they were humming and whistling to "You Can't Touch This" and if not that then they were sweating it out on the dance floor mimicking the superstar's very difficult yet flashy dance moves.
It wasn't until his third release that the "Too Legit To Quit" dance legend would sell a whopping 10, million albums off of one album. As fame brought success and money, hundreds of groupies flocked in, so also did the blood sucking entourage. The rapper/dancer did himself no favors when he entrusted his entire bank account to lawyers and accountants while living a lavish life in his 20 million dollar mansion, 30 luxury cars and partying with the notorious 367 bitches. It is rumored that Hammer was also very generous with his money often dishing large sums out to extended family members, friend and even strangers who streamed to his gates with their troubles.
Before long the richest rapper alive was filing for bankruptcy, watching his cars being repossessed and his 20 million dollar mansion foreclosed. To date Hammer has not given up his attempt for a glorious comeback. He has released a whopping twelve (12) studio albums selling an astounding sixteen (16) million records worldwide. MC Hammer remains a hip hop legend and is yet to make that strong comeback.
THE NOTORIOUS B.I.G. - The west coast was booming! NWA had given birth to Ice Cube and Dr. Dre. This ushered in the dawn of best selling African American gangster movies such as Boyz N Tha Hood and Trespass for example. Suge Knight had already figured out a way to enrich himself by allegedly dangling the unappreciated white rapper and dancer, Vanilla Ice over a penthouse balcony from the top of a skyscraper. This petrified the Ice man into fully endorsing Suge's new record label, Death Row Records. Suge also bullied Easy E and pried super producer Dr. Dre away from the wretched claws of Easy's Ruthless Records. Nineteen (19) year old rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg was ready to sell his soul for a chance at fame. Dr. Dre's Chronic album went on to tear through the charts, Snoop Dogg, Kurupt, The Lady of Rage, RBX, Warren G and Nate Dogg were also breaking many records and setting new trends with their new sound in the industry.
It was at this same time period when Harlem's New Yorker, Sean Puffy Combs got fired from his internship job at Uptown Records. New York was hungry for their own super producer and legendary rap representor. That was perfect timing for an enticing new 6ft 3in" tall, 380 pound, Black Frank White rapper, a quick-wit lyrical genius by the name of Christopher Wallace aka The Notorious B.I.G to trade in his days of selling crack on the streets of Brooklyn for a dream at hip hop stardom. With the right introduction, Diddy's establishing of Bad Boy Records and a heavy endorsement from Clive Davis, Biggie was on his way to greatness. From a Mister Cee promoted mixtape, to a destined meeting with Diddy, to chart topping guest appearace with Heavy D and the Boyz and Mary J Blidge, sadly the extremely charismatic MC was only went to release two (2) classic studio albums.
"Ready To Die," Biggie's first album sold four (4) million copies worldwide and made its way to the top of hip hop's classic list. The Notorious BIG would soon be pulled into an east coast/west coast beef with 2PAC of Death Row Records and that ultimately led to an excuse to assassinate the greatly loved and highly influential rapper. Biggie also led his childhood friends to commercial success by forming them into a rap group called JUNIOR M. A. F. I. A. that saw chart success with their debut group album. His second album "Life After Death" went on to become one of the only instant success albums that did not only become an immediate classic but also went on to sell ten (10) million copies worldwide. This earned the assassinated rapper a rare and coveted diamond status. To date it is estimated that The Notorious BIG has sold over 18 million records worldwide.
NELLY - You won't find too many solo artists who's debut album has sold nine (9) times platinum. Yes many have debuted at number one on the charts but it is uncommon for their records to sell this well. He went solo in the year 2000 when his high school rap group The Lunatics, after gaining local popularity with their late 90's hit song "Gimmie What U Got," they failed to secure a record deal. After his nine (9) time platinum selling album "Country Grammar," Nelly followed up with "Nellyville" which went on to become a six (6) time platinum album. Although his third album a double CD album called "Sweat/Suit" sold 3.5 million albums for Nelly standard this high success will not measure up to his previous success. None the less, it garnered him yet another Grammy win. "Brass Knuckles" his fifth (5th) album would only sell at gold status and his sixth (6th) "5.0" barely sold 246,000 copies. However, the 5.0 man has two very successful clothing line, Vokal and Apple Bottoms and has appeared in several big box office movies. To date it is estimated that Nelly as sold over twenty one (21) million records worldwide.
TOP 5 BEST SELLING HIP HOP ARTISTS OF ALL TIMES.
BEASTIE BOYS -
JAY Z -