The Best-Selling Rap Albums of All Time
Fri, December 3, 2021

The Best-Selling Rap Albums of All Time

The rap and hip-hop industry is alive and well. Sure there is a myriad of changes to the general sound, but as it is in music, tastes and sounds change with people / Photo by: Martin via Flickr

 

The rap and hip-hop industry is alive and well. Sure there is a myriad of changes to the general sound, but as it is in music, tastes and sounds change with people. Regardless, some albums and hits remain as popular when they were first released as they are now, owing to the fact that they are timeless. Here, we look back at some of the albums that defined the rich tapestry of sound and expression in rap music. 

 

“Speakerboxx/The Love Below” (2003), OutKast 

Copies Sold: 11.4 million 

A certified diamond album of the RIAA, “Speakerboxx/The Love Below” tops the list as the best-selling rap album of all time. The reason behind that, explains Worthly, a website delivering news on the endeavors of wealthy people, is because the album sold 11.4 million units. The album technically contains 39 songs—that’s almost over two hours of listening time! And it not only earned well, it even won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. 

“The Marshall Mathers LP” (2000), Eminem 

Copies Sold: 10.5 million

Of course, whenever you talk of rap music, Eminem will always likely to be in the mix. His “Marshall Mathers” album soared with a total amount of copies sold at 10.5 million and is still his best-selling album to date. According to LiveAbout, an entertainment, hobbies, and activities website, Eminem’s standing as the best-selling solo rapper of all time is something that also helped his career march ever forward. Though lately he’s gotten in a bit of a beef with Machine Gun Kelly, he’s still making his rounds as one of the greatest. 

“Marshall Mathers,” produced by Dr. Dre, “was Eminem’s third album and spawned his most-recognized songs like “The Real Slim Shady” and “The Way I Am.” It is also suggested by Worthly as the best album to start with if you want to get into Eminem’s music. 

Eminem is a force to reckon with in that he has managed to carve a place for himself in the hip-hop industry at the time that it was dominated by Black artists / Photo by: Mika-photography via Wikimedia Commons

 

“The Eminem Show” (2002), Eminem

Copies Sold: 10.3 million 

Eminem is a force to reckon with in that he has managed to carve a place for himself in the hip-hop industry at the time that it was dominated by Black artists. And it’s no more evident by having another one of his albums land in the list of the bestselling rap albums of all time. In addition to selling 10.3 million copies, “The Eminem Show” also won a Grammy for Best Rap Album in 2003. 

XXL Mag, your source for hip-hop news, rap videos, rap music reviews, and rap interviews, says that the explosive success of “The Eminem Show” also has something to do with how Eminem tackled political issues and his personal struggles.  

 

“Life After Death” (1997), The Notorious B.I.G. 

Copies Sold: 10.3 million

In the world of rap, Biggie will always be a household name. According to LiveAbout, “Life After Death” is considered one of the best hip-hop albums of all time. It was also slightly a tragic one as well, since the album was a posthumous tribute, almost, to Biggie; it was released two weeks after he died in a drive-by shooting. To this date, people still remember the success of this 1997 album and its contributions to the world of rap. 

On the project, Biggie even had amazing artists record alongside him, like Jay-Z, Diddy, and D.M.C. 

“Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em” (1990), MC Hammer 

Copies Sold: 10 million 

LiveAbout details that part of the popularity of this album is thanks to the toe-tapping single “U Can’t Touch This” that sampled the opening riff of Rick James’ “Super Freak.” It started there and it got people listening to Hammer’s work. As a result, “Please Hammer” also dominated the top of the Billboard 200 for 21 weeks. This was Hammer’s third album and what truly got his career going. 

 

“Greatest Hits” (1998), Tupac Shakur 

Copies Sold: 10 million 

Shakur’s death brought many people together in both outrage and support. But what gathered them together first was the appreciation for his work. This “Greatest Hits” album is a tribute to Tupac’s impact on the rap community and while the title gives no hit on what the album contains, Worthly reports that it was still a treat to fans who eventually found out that in the album was included four songs that have not been released before. The rapper’s death was such a tragic one that it brought “an even intense war within the rap community.”  

Shakur’s death brought many people together in both outrage and support. But what gathered them together first was the appreciation for his work / Photo by: InSapphoWeTrust via Flickr

 

“All Eyez on Me” (1996), Tupac Shakur 

Copies Sold: 9 million 

Tupac’s mark on the rap world is unparalleled; he is known by anyone who wants to be anyone in the rap game and is revered by many enthusiasts of the music genre. Created by one of the greatest rappers of all time, “All Eyez on Me” is a sure success that not much was surprised about it. LiveAbout adds that it also features some of Pac’s best-known songs, such as “California Love” and “I Ain’t Mad at Cha.”

All works of love, the rap albums on this list will surely affect even those who are not really into the genre.