Rappers have always had a bad habit of talking a big game and not following through. Whether it’s the amount of skill they possess, their hand skills, their movie plans or the next album they’re making, it is best to take it all with a grain or two of salt.
That said, here are 10 albums that artists talked about that will never be recorded and/or will never see the light of day. More importantly, 10 long-players that we would love to hear. In nine of 10 cases, they’re no longer even being mentioned. One, is just a prediction. And no, we’re not writing off Dr. Dre’s Detox, just yet. The joke’s on you.
1. Helter Skelter by Dr. Dre & Ice Cube
Shortly after Dr. Dre and Ice Cube reunited in 1994 to record “Natural Born Killaz” for the Murder Was The Case soundtrack, they announced they were making an entire album together. Bootleg t-shirts were everywhere, as was the hype. Dre soon left Death Row Records and became focused on Aftermath while Cube got deeper into his movie career, and began another super-group of sorts – Westside Connection with WC and Mack 10. Last year Cube couldn’t even get a Dre beat on his latest album, I Am The West.
2. Not Those Niggaz Again by N.W.A.
At the turn of the century there was a lot of talk about an N.W.A. reunion with Snoop Dogg replacing the deceased Eazy-E (DJ Yella was never mentioned in reunion plans). Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, MC Ren and Snoop hit the studio and recorded “Chin Check” for the Next Friday soundtrack in 1999. They followed it up the next year with Ice Cube’s “Hello” (without Snoop) and Snoop’s “Set It Off” (without Dre). By early 2002, after no progress, they conceded the album would not happen due to scheduling conflicts and endless red tape from all the labels involved.
3. 10 The Hard Way (produced entirely by Organized Noize) by Outkast
With the ATLiens’ careers drifting further apart in 2005, Big Boi and Andre 3000 planned to record their first album together in five years. The plan was to do a back-to-basics 10 songs album completely produced by Organized Noize. The album was still being mentioned with Idlewild dropped the following year, but all talks of an Outkast reunion these days makes no mention of this concept. Maybe they meant 10 years?
4. Make Up To Break Up by Snoop Dogg & Dr. Dre
In the spring of 1998 when Snoop Dogg was in the midst of leaving Death Row Records, he stated a lot of plans for the future – none of which were signing with No Limit Records, which is what he did months later (in fairness, he did eventually make that mediocre 213 album with Nate Dogg and Warren G in 2004). After recently collaborating with Dr. Dre again on “Zoom Zoom,”* Snoop had plans to reunite with the good Doctor for another LP together, called Make Up To Break Up. Not only has this not happened in the 12 years since, but Snoop has released eight solo albums with just nine Dre beats. Speaking of Snoop projects that never happened…
* Snoop was replaced by LL Cool J when Death Row Records wouldn’t clear him, and the song ended up on the Bullworth soundtrack
5. Three The Hard Way by Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube & Kurupt
Another album Snoop Dogg was planning on making at that time was a group effort with Ice Cube and Kurupt. It was unclear whether the group would be called Three The Hard Way, or that would be the title of the album. In fact, the project never got past it being mentioned a few times. In fact, all three emcees have never even appeared on a song together. Coincidentally or not, the 213 album six years later was called The Hard Way
6. Likwit Crew Album by The Alkaholiks, King Tee, Xzibit, Defari, Lootpack, Phil Da Agony
If ABB Records had their way, you would believe that Defari and DJ Babu’s 2005 Likwit Junkies album was the long-awaited crew album. Shady label moves aside, we’ve never come very close to having King Tee, Tha ‘Liks, Xzibit, Lootpack, Phil Da Agony and Defari come together for a full length effort. In the spring of 2001 King Tipsy announced plans to release Likwit Crew compilation, but as details emerged it was going to be as much a vehicle to introduce new affiliates as it was to get the whole crew together.
7. The Coast Is Clear by Golden State Warriors (Ras Kass, Xzibit, Saafir)
The blame for this one lands squarely on Priority Records, who refused to clear Ras Kass as they made a hobby out of ruining his career. After multiple songs together (“Plastic Surgery,” “3 Card Molly,” “Harder,” “Bouce, Rock, Golden State,” “N.B.A.,” “Back Up Off Me”), Xzibit, Ras Kass and Saafir were ready to drop their debut on X’s Open Bar Entertainment in 2001. Ras was still in a legal battle trying to get his release from Priority, and they cock-blocked him again to leave the album dead in the water.
8. Chairmen of the Boards by Dr. Dre & Timbaland
In 2001 both Dr. Dre and Timbaland said they were going to make a joint album called Chairmen of the Boards (still a great title). It would feature artists from both Dre’s Aftermath and Timbo’s now defunct Beat Club label, both Interscope Records subsidiaries. Erick Sermon’s name was also mentioned (only by Erick) as was Jermaine Dupri’s (before the dust-up). After three years or so and no progress the album was officially scrapped so Dre could concentrate on Detox
9. The Standard by Q-Tip & Common
In the summer of 2007 Q-Tip said that he had formed a group with Common called The Standard. At the time they hadn’t recorded any songs together, but planned to on their upcoming tour. Aside from some Kanye West production, Tip would handle the beats. In the three years since the album, the two emcees have not appeared on a song together, though they’re still claiming this is happening.
10. Nas & DJ Premier album
In 2006, DJ Premier said Nas approached him a year prior about doing a full album together. Premo’s response was basically, “I’m ready when you are.” Since that time, Nas has released three albums with exactly zero Premier beats and both have petitioned the other at concerts to make the album happen (Premier did it as recently as two weeks ago). While there is a bit more hope to this one than the others on this list, we’re ready and willing to write it off as “never gonna happen.”