Sequels in Hip Hop are much like those in Hollywood, they never live up to the original (save Godfather 2). More disappointing though, is that the sequels are rarely even good, let alone living up to anything. The worst culprits always seem to be veterans trying to reclaim their past glory when their career is in the wind critically or commercially. In honor of Snoop Dogg recently announcing his intentions to make Doggystyle 2, of which we’re quite skeptical, here are five follow ups that have no place alongside the original.
Mobb Deep – Infamy (2001)
2001 was the year for bad sequels and M-O-B-B was no exception, they were maybe even the rule. Murda Muzik was a disappointment after bootlegging and delays hurt the album amidst changing technologies and styles. Reeling from Jay-Z’s Summer Jam stage beating didn’t help either. So the QB went right after the charts, abandoning their grit for songs like “Bouce” and Hey Luv.” Imagine those songs in between “Survival of the Fittest” and “Eye For An Eye.” Little dunns cried worldwide.
Warren G – Return of the Regulator (2001)
The saddest thing about this album sequel is that the original wasn’t all that great either, and by comparison this was still awful. Don’t get it twisted, Regulate…G Funk Era was a good album, but it didn’t live up to the massive expectations created by the title track. Warren G did everything he could to capture his past glory with Return, right down to the album cover. Oh, except for the music. Return found Warren way outside of his lane, abandoning his trademark G-Funk for generic nonsense.
Fat Joe – J.O.S.E. (2001)
How do follow up one of the hardest albums of all-time? With Ja Rule and Ashanti of course! Joey does deserve some credit for employing production from Beatnuts’ Psycho Les, Buckwild and Alchemist, but the album was softer than Joe’s midsection. For whatever reason Joe decided to make a follow up to that; the abominable J.O.S.E. 2. This made the first Jealous Ones Envy sound like It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back by comparison. We’re glad Joe came back to the darkside.
Onyx – Bacdafucup Pt. II (2002)
In the midst of A Tribe Called Quest, Wu-Tang Clan, De La Soul, and Black Moon dropping east coast classics in 1993, Onyx snuck in with an excellent debut album. With Jam Master Jay at the helm and the young bald heads spitting fire and brimstone, the Queens trio quickly distinguished themselves from the pack. Fast forward nine years, several group and solo albums, Onyx found themselves on Koch with public interest waning. They reached back to the good ol’ days and made a part two to their debut, right down to a follow up to their hit single “Slam.” The album was littered with poppy, club joints, and no one wants to hear that from Onyx.
Twista – Adrenaline Rush 2007 (2007)
Twista earns some points here because he didn’t seem to have the same poor reasons for going back to the well as his counterparts. The Tung Twista had become a major player and was riding a wave of success, and it was the 10 year anniversary of his 1997 classic. Intentions aside, his result wasn’t much different than the others. The 2007 version seemed much more focused on living up to his recent success on the charts rather than living up to the quality of the original.
Sequels such as these should stand as a cautionary tale to rappers looking for ways to revive their careers. Only Fat Joe saw more commercial success with his follow up, while the others all lost critically and commercially.
Since I’m sure quite a few of you are going to point to Jay’s The Blueprint 2 (or 3 for that matter), I’ll speak to that. Part 2 certainly was a bloated album that had no business being a double disc, but it still had enough good material to save it from this list.
Stay tuned, next week we’ll be back with the sequels that did work.