Arie Eric De Jong – Rappers Who Could Never Repeat Their First Album

On the podcast with Arie Eric de Jong this week we have been discussing the curse of a killer debut album, and how it can impact an artist or a rapper’s ability to continue their successful career. Whilst the album itself will always leave an indelible mark on music, their career may very well be cut short as a result. In particular this week we have been discussing rappers who have fallen for this curse, whose first albums were just so incredibly good that they were never able to recreate anything like it again, and these are the worst, or best, offenders.

Nas – Illmatic

There is absolutely no doubt about the fact that Nas will go down as one of the greatest rappers to have ever lifted the mic. There is also no doubt about the fact that if you drop one of the greatest rap albums of all time as your debut, you will spend the rest of your career trying to reach those goals again. This is exactly what happened with Illmatic and whilst Nas has been incredible since, he has never completed an album that gets close to what he did on his debut.

Snoop Dogg – Doggystyle

Snoop’s voice is unique and he has certainly left his mark on the rap game. Much like Nas, Snoop will be remembered as one of the greatest to have ever done it but he is yet to produce an album that even gets close to the G-funk diamond that was Doggystyle. That album was a young, hungry rapper spitting fine, laid back grooves over the beats laid down by Dr. Dre in his absolute prime.

50 Cent – Get Rich or Die Trying

50 Cent was another to come off the Dr. Dre production line and when he dropped ‘In Da Club’ it became an instant smash hit. When the album dropped it sold 9 million in the first couple of weeks, an incredible way to introduce yourself. While Fiddy’s sophomore album ‘The Massacre’ actually sold more units, there is no doubt about the fact that musically, the debut was so much better and the lyrics and hooks on that album were a thing of beauty.

Slick Rick – The Great Adventures of Slick Rick

This last choice is a real tragedy for so many hip-hop fans because Slick Rick was just like no other. Slick Rick was one of those MCs who perfectly bridged the gap between the old party MC, where he used to hype with the likes of Doug E. Fresh, and the thoughtful, smooth lyricist which we see on this album. The art of storytelling is something which Slick Rick excelled at and whilst his future albums were full of tall tales and great songs, as albums they were never able to achieve what Rick did on this album.

Who else would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below.