Though many albums achieve success, not all records manage to top the illustrious Billboard 200, a chart that ranks albums of all genres. Historically, it’s taken some of the game’s elite a few cracks at it to capture the top spot.
Here at HipHopDX, we’ve compiled a list of 10 albums that once held the No. 1 position — some of which you may have all but forgotten.
Scarface – The Untouchable
Weeks On The Top: March 29, 1997
The follow-up to The Diary (his first platinum solo LP), Scarface’s fourth album included the hit single “Smile” featuring the late Tupac Shakur, which stands as his most successful, earning gold certification and peaking at No. 12 on the Hot 100.
2Pac – Loyal To The Game
Weeks On The Top: January 1, 2005
After writing a letter to Afeni Shakur, Eminem was permitted to produce the entirety of this project, which was comprised of remixes made from outtakes and non-album cuts off Pac’s first three albums.
JAY-Z – Kingdom Come
Weeks On The Top: December 9, 2006
Though it’s often regarded as one of Hov’s lowest-ranked albums, his post-retirement “comeback” earned itself two platinum plaques — amid a pile of lukewarm reviews.
Ludacris – Chicken-N-Beer
Weeks On The Top: October 25, 2003
Master P – MP Da Last Don
Weeks On The Top: June 20-27, 1998
Younger listeners may not understand the grandeur, but Master P was red-hot in 1998 when he announced that this would be his final album. Of course, it wasn’t — Only God Can Judge Me dropped the following year. MP da Last Don remains his best selling release.
B.o.B – B.o.B Presents: The Adventures Of Bobby Ray
Weeks On The Top: May 15, 2010
Lupe Fiasco’s lazy version of “Nothin’ on You” being scrapped and given to B.o.B was a blessing that (along with the Eminem-featured “Airplanes”) propelled this charming, well-aged body of music to commercial success. It also introduced Bruno Mars to the world.
A Tribe Called Quest – Beats, Rhymes and Life
Weeks On The Top: August 17, 1996
In hindsight, many regard this as one of their weakest albums. However, this Grammy-nominated gem introduced the world to Consequence and the late-great J. Dilla — who, along with The Ummah, gave this album a slightly darker edge than its three predecessors.
2 Chainz – Based On A T.R.U. Story
Weeks On The Top: September 1, 2012
Following massive appearances on some of the biggest singles of the day — most notably Kanye West’s “Mercy” (along with Big Sean) — 2 Chainz dropped his official debut, led by the Drake-assisted “No Lie.”
Wale – The Album About Nothing
Weeks On The Top: April 18, 2015
The apex of his Seinfeld-themed mixtape series, this album helped the DC-native score his second number No. 1 album following the success of The Gifted. Sidebar: the album is aging beautifully.
Tha Dogg Pound – Dogg Food
Weeks On The Top: November 18, 1995
Considered to be the last hurrah of both the often imitated (never duplicated) G-Funk era and Death Row’s original run, the first independent album to top Billboard put the spotlight on Daz Dillinger as a producer – and further fanned the flames of the East Coast vs. West Coast beef with the video for the single ”New York, New York.”