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list May 25 2023 Written by

5 Of The Most Overrated Albums In Hip Hop History

5 Of The Most Overrated Albums In Hip Hop History

Normally, we prioritize positivity on this site. On HHGA, you can discover numerous articles celebrating excellent Hip Hop releases from over the decades. It’s important to note that all lists on this site are subjective, as any list not based on hard facts and figures is inherently subjective. The diversity of opinions is what makes things interesting, enabling discussions about the music we all love. Recently, we published a list of what we consider to be the top 250 Hip Hop albums of all time. Naturally, no one will ever fully agree with such rankings, nor should they be expected to. However, what sometimes surprises us is the emotional or aggressive comments we receive when certain albums are not ranked as highly as expected. It’s astonishing that some individuals become upset over someone else’s opinion, isn’t it? Due to these extreme reactions, including suggestions like being “kicked in the neck” or “executed,” simply because certain albums are not ranked high enough on our OWN all-time best list, we have decided to shed light on some albums that we believe are underrated and explain why we consider them to be overrated.

For an album to be deemed overrated, it must receive constant and universal acclaim. It’s important to remember that we still regard all the projects on this list as solid, good, or in some cases, even great (three of the albums on this list are included in our 250 best of all time list, in fact). There is no bad album on this list. However, in our opinion, these albums do not live up to the overwhelming praise they often receive. This article is not intended to be churlish in any way; it is simply meant to provide an alternative perspective to the commonly held belief that these records are the greatest of all time when, in fact, there are dozens of superior ones out there. Sometimes, we can’t help but feel that people are echoing each other, providing rehearsed answers when asked about the best albums in Hip Hop, simply regurgitating what everyone else is saying. Of course, a widespread consensus could very well mean that the most frequently mentioned albums are indeed the best ever released, and we may be “wrong.” However, we respectfully disagree with the popular opinion regarding the albums on this list.

Furthermore, it’s essential to remember that there is no need to become angry. The opinions expressed in this article are just that—opinions. You may hold different views, and that’s perfectly fine. Feel free to let us know why you disagree, if possible, in a civilized manner. With all that being said, let’s dive into the list of what we believe to be five of the most overrated albums in Hip Hop history.

2Pac - All Eyez On Me (1996)

best hip hop albums 1996

2Pac stands as one of the most iconic figures in Hip Hop history, having achieved tremendous commercial success and crafting numerous monumental songs. His status as one of the greatest of all time stems from his captivating personality, charisma, star power, poetic flair, unique voice, and the strength of his singles, as well as the circumstances surrounding his untimely death. However, his lyrical skill and the overall quality of his albums play a lesser role in solidifying his GOAT status. None of the five albums completed during his lifetime can be deemed flawless, although Me Against The World (1995) comes closest. All Eyez On Me, his most acclaimed and commercially successful album, falls short of perfection.

Due to its impact and success, All Eyez On Me is often hailed as one of the greatest classics in Hip Hop. However, with its extensive tracklist of 27 songs and a duration of 2 hours and 12 minutes, the album simply becomes excessively long. Particularly in the second half, the album appears to repeat the same track over and over, inundated with an excessive amount of filler content. Additionally, 2Pac’s subject matter on this album becomes limited, emphasizing excessive thuggery over the soul and intelligence evident in his first three albums. The numerous guest vocalists, especially 2Pac’s Outlawz companions, who are mediocre rappers at best, contribute to the album feeling more like a compilation rather than a solo project by 2Pac.

While All Eyez On Me doesn’t contain any truly terrible songs except for “Whatz Ya Phone #” (though the remix of the classic “California Love” pales in comparison to the original), half of the tracklist feels generic and forgettable. Those tracks should have been left on the cutting room floor. All Eyez On Me could have been an excellent album if 2Pac had released the best half as a single album.

Retaining tracks like “Ambitionz As A Ridah,” “Got My Mind Made Up,” “How Do You Want It,” “2 Of Amerikaz Most Wanted,” “No More Pain,” “Heartz Of Men,” “Life Goes On,” “Only God Can Judge Me,” “I Ain’t Mad At Cha,” “Can’t C Me,” “Picture Me Rollin’,” “All Eyez On Me,” and perhaps one or two more would have resulted in a more cohesive album. As it stands, All Eyez On Me falls short of that mark.

Many individuals become overly sensitive when 2Pac isn’t blindly revered, as if failing to unquestioningly celebrate every aspect of his career is disrespectful. However, this notion is fallacious. In fact, one could argue that ignoring the fact that numerous artists in Hip Hop history have crafted superior albums to 2Pac’s is true disrespect. Make no mistake: we love 2Pac and his music. However, we assert that while All Eyez On Me is good and a genre classic if only for its impact, it doesn’t live up to the lofty praise it often receives.

The Notorious B.I.G. - Life After Death (1997)

The Notorious B.I.G.’s sophomore album, Life After Death, suffers from some of the same flaws as 2Pac’s All Eyez On Me. At a runtime of 1 hour and 47 minutes, Life After Death is excessively long, and it contains an abundance of filler material, including numerous Puff Daddy pop songs and a few bothersome skits. While Biggie’s lyrical skill and storytelling abilities are unmatched, the overall quality of the songs on this album is inconsistent.

Out of the 24 tracks, at least 5 should have been omitted to bring Life After Death on par with Biggie’s monumental debut, Ready To Die. Songs such as “Somebody’s Gotta Die,” “Hypnotize,” “Kick In The Door,” “What’s Beef?,” “N***s Bleed,” “I Got A Story To Tell,” “Ten Crack Commandments,” “Long Kiss Goodnight,” and “You’re Nobody (Till Somebody Kills You)” are all excellent. However, tracks like “Fk You Tonight,” “I Love The Dough,” “Another,” “Playa Hater,” and “Nasty Boy” are weak, dragging down the album’s overall quality. Additionally, the skits used to set the tone for tracks pose a problem. The skits on Life After Death are excessively long and placed at the beginning of most songs, greatly reducing the replay value of those tracks. For instance, “Kick In The Door” is a fantastic track, but it becomes almost necessary to skip because of the annoying one-minute skit preceding it.

As it stands, Life After Death remains an impressive album filled with classic tracks. However, due to the inclusion of a handful of throwaway tracks and useless skits, it falls short of being the masterpiece it could and should have been. Many label Life After Death as a top 5 album of all time, but it simply isn’t THAT exceptional.

50 Cent – Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ (2003)

50 cent get rich and dy trying 2003

Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ stands as one of the most influential albums of the 2000s, boasting impressive sales, substantial impact, and widespread popularity. These factors alone cement its status as a super classic. However, with its 19 tracks, the album is just a tad too long and lacks the necessary variety to be deemed a GOAT album. While initially captivating, 50 Cent’s gangsta-pop subject matter gets tiresome, and it’s worth noting that he has never been an exceptionally skilled rapper. Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ features a collection of classic cuts but also several mediocre ones.

J. Cole - 2014 Forest Hills Drive (2014)

5 Of The Most Overrated Albums In Hip Hop History

J. Cole is a figure who elicits polarizing opinions within the realm of modern-day Hip Hop. He has garnered a substantial stan base, but there is also a sizable contingent of individuals who perceive him as average and overrated. After releasing a series of fairly impressive mixtapes and two OK albums, he dropped 2014 Forest Hills Drive in 2014 – an album that stands as his best work to date, surpassing his previous projects and subsequent releases. J. Cole himself proclaimed this album as a classic, and that assertion has some validity. Commercially, 2014 Forest Hills Drive performed exceptionally well, firmly establishing J. Cole as one of the top players in the game. Nevertheless, the album falls short of perfection. While it boasts several compelling tracks such as “Fire Squad,” “Apparently,” “No Role Modelz,” “03′ Adolescence,” and “Love Yourz,” it also includes throwaway tracks like “G.O.M.D.” and “Note To Self,” which detract from the overall quality of the album. Overall, 2014 Forest Hills Drive is solid enough but it falls short of being the absolute classic that many claim it to be.

Kendrick Lamar - DAMN. (2017)

5 Of The Most Overrated Albums In Hip Hop History

For us, this album marked a noticeable decline for Kendrick Lamar following two consecutive classics, leading us to believe that DAMN is generally overrated. Kendrick Lamar can be likened to the 2010s version of 2Pac and Biggie, in the sense that criticizing him or expressing anything less than unconditional admiration for his work seems forbidden. Not fully praising Kendrick will inevitably summon a devoted army of fans to vehemently defend him (similar to the response when expressing any doubts about the brilliance of 2Pac or Biggie). Upon its release, DAMN was immediately hailed as an “instant classic” and a “masterpiece” by fans and critics alike, as if it were a Pavlovian response simply because it’s Kendrick and therefore must be the best ever. However, DAMN falls short of being the best ever; it’s just okay.

While TPAB was a conscious masterpiece that focused on political and social issues while incorporating 70 years of black music history, and GKMC was a brilliant concept album that depicted a compelling coming-of-age story, the thematic coherence of DAMN is less apparent. In fact, some songs on the album don’t seem to fit together. Additionally, Kendrick ventures into the unfortunate territory of mumble-trap-singing on certain tracks (such as “LOVE”). However, there are glimpses of Kendrick’s customary brilliance and emotionally resonant lyrical moments throughout, and the production shines in certain places (such as the excellent “DUCKWORTH” and the banging “DNA”).

Now, this may sound slightly more negative than intended—it’s merely meant to offer a counterbalance to the unquestioning praise Kendrick receives these days. Even the Pulitzer committee joined the “Kendrick is King” bandwagon, showcasing their ignorance of Hip Hop. There are countless Hip Hop albums that could and should have received a Pulitzer over DAMN. It’s clear they missed the significance of TPAB upon its release and chose to retrospectively honor it by awarding Kendrick’s follow-up.

Due to its limited scope and wavering sonic, lyrical, and thematic cohesiveness, DAMN cannot be placed on the same level as Kendrick’s two previous masterpieces. It’s not a bad album by any means, but it’s far from being a flawless classic. Kendrick’s die-hard fans may be inclined to throw a tantrum upon reading this opinion, and that’s perfectly fine. We simply believe that DAMN is far from Kendrick’s best work and doesn’t even rank among the top 10 Hip Hop albums released in 2017. DAMN is a decent album, neither more nor less.

Join The Twitter Discussions

Twitter may not be the most conducive platform for engaging in civilized discussions or expecting nuanced feedback. However, we believed it would be enlightening (and amusing) to share the Twitterverse’s take on other people’s opinions. Fortunately, there are numerous intelligent and well-thought-out responses—both in agreement and disagreement with the expressed unpopular opinions. However, the majority of the feedback is filled with vitriol, ironically reinforcing many of the points made in this article. It is evident that many people didn’t actually read the piece but still offered their own takes. It never ceases to amaze how individuals can become angry and upset when faced with differing opinions. Amidst the responses and quoted tweets here, some amusing content can be found.

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6 responses to “5 Of The Most Overrated Albums In Hip Hop History”

  1. nappie rash says:

    you guys nailed it !!!!!
    all overated allright !!

  2. Dylan j says:

    Lol, what a well thought out and cohesively put together list of nonsense you have there. Would love to see your top 5 albums 😂😂

  3. KDW says:

    Whoever wrote this Kill ya self!

  4. John Bush says:

    Obviously a bunch of meth induced fucktards wrote this

  5. Razor says:

    Truth be told this list is pretty on point except for All Eyez On Me. When it came out nobody was saying it had filler, and you could hear people playing either disc/tape almost anywhere you went. The only real filler song was Whatz Ya Phone #.

    You COULD argue the album is overrated relative to some of Pac’s other albums (I personally have Killuminati as his best album and the best rap album ever period) but there is no denying that Eyez is a hip hop milestone and the fact its sold more than 12 million in the US alone to date is a testament to that fact.

  6. Chiedozie Ogbene says:

    Bro thinks they the quirky one

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