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Michael Diaz (Designer)

12 Best Hip-Hop And R&B Multi-Disc Albums

Let's take a trip down memory lane, shall we?

After speculation from several corners of the Internet thanks to a series of cryptic billboards, Drake announced that his fifth-studio album Scorpion would be a double-disc album. In total, there will be 25 songs; one album will have R&B tracks, while the other will feature ditties with a hip-hop flair.

The “I’m Upset” rapper is hardly the first musician to release a handful of songs for one complete album. In fact, the hip-hop and R&B realms have seen a plethora of critically and commercially-acclaimed multi-disc albums. Not only has the music featured on these LPs stolen the hearts of millions, these albums also placed a stamp on the cultural conversation in regard to music videos, awards show moments and more.

Will Scorpion add Drake to the list? Only time will tell. For now and in no particular order, take a trip down memory lane for some of VIBE’s best multi-disc albums throughout the years.

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Tupac’s 'All Eyez On Me' (1996)

With production by Daz Dillinger, Dr. Dre, Johnny “J” and more, it’s no wonder why the LP is helmed as required listening in the hip-hop world. In 2014, the album was certified Diamond, 18 years after Shakur’s untimely death.

Essential Tracks: “California Love” “Ambitionz Az A Ridah” “How Do You Want It” “All Eyez On Me”

The Notorious B.I.G.’s ‘Life After Death’ (1997)

Biggie’s second and final album was released just a few weeks after his untimely death. Not only did it spawn a string of hits, three Grammy nominations, and a Diamond RIAA certification after its release, it also signaled a shift in how gangsta rap is consumed by mainstream audiences.

Essential Tracks: “What’s Beef?” “Mo Money, Mo Problems” “Hypnotize” “Ten Crack Commandments” “Sky’s The Limit” “Going Back To Cali”

Wu-Tang Clan’s ‘Wu-Tang Forever’ (1997)

Although there was limited radio airplay for the NYC group’s second studio-album, it debuted at number one with over 600,000 units sold in its first week. The Wu-Tang Clan earned the Grammy Award for “Best Rap Album” at the 1998 Grammys.

Essential Tracks: “Triumph” “Deadly Medley”

JAY-Z’s ‘The Blueprint 2: The Gift & the Curse’ (2002)

The Jigga Man’s seventh album debuted at number one in 2002 with half-a-million albums sold in the first week. Just Blaze and frenemy Kanye West handled much of the production, and Timbaland had a hand in tracks like “What They Gonna Do” and “2 Many H**s.” The Neptunes’ influence is also sprinkled sporadically through the LP.

Essential Tracks: “03’ Bonnie & Clyde” “Excuse Me Miss”

Outkast’s ‘Speakerboxxx/The Love Below’ (2003)

Much like Tupac’s All Eyez On Me and Biggie’s Life After Death, Outkast’s commercially and critically-successful double-disc LP was certified Diamond by the RIAA. It also broke ground as the first hip-hop album by male artists to win Album Of The Year at the Grammy Awards.

Essential Tracks: “Roses” “Flip Flop Rock” “A Life In The Day Of Benjamin Andre”

Nelly’s ‘Sweat/Suit’ (2004)

Sweat was intended to be the more energetic and vibrant of the two albums, while Nelly wanted Suit to be the more “grown-up and sexy.” It appears that Sweat was the more popular of the two; it was certified platinum while Suit is certified gold.

Essential Tracks: “My Place” “Grillz” “Nasty Girl”

Beyoncé’s ‘I Am...Sasha Fierce’ (2008)

In order to hone in on her softer side while also giving her magnetic stage personality “Sasha” some shine, Beyoncé released her radio-friendly third album. I Am...Sasha Fierce’s music videos made statements on their own, and the music keeps us coming back even ten years later.

Essential Tracks: “Halo” “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” “Sweet Dreams” “If I Were A Boy”

Vince Staples’ ‘Summertime ‘06’ (2015)

The Long Beach MC’s debut album was acclaimed by critics both for its music and smart double-disc packaging. Features on the album include Jhene Aiko, Snoh Alegra and Kilo Kish, and a heavy amount of tracks were produced by No I.D.

Essential Tracks: “Señorita” “Norf Norf”

Big K.R.I.T’s ‘4eva Is a Mighty Long Time’ (2017)

The Mississippi native gives props to his city on his first album since his departure from Def Jam. At 20 tracks, it's clear that K.R.I.T. had something to say, and people took notice.

Essential Tracks: “Confetti” "1999" "Aux Cord"

Chris Brown’s ‘Heartbreak On A Full Moon’ (2017)

Chris Brown made fans cringe when he first announced that he was releasing a 45-track album, but after listening to the new project, seemed to change their tune. Brown’s 2017 album is chock-full of club bangers, sexy ballads, and anthems.

Essential Tracks: “Tempo” “To My Bed” “So Far Away In My Mind” “Privacy”

Migos’ Culture II (2018)

While Culture II is still resonating with fans, a string of popular hits proves that the Atlanta trio and their legacy in the new wave of hip-hop will be here for years to come. Currently, the album sits at number 24 on the Billboard 200 Albums List in its 21st week on the chart.

Essential Tracks: “Narcos” “Walk It Talk It” “Motorsport” “Stir Fry”

Rae Sremmurd’s ‘SR3MM’ (2018)

SR3MM is compiled of the debut albums of The Brothers Sremmurd. Swaecation is by Swae Lee and Jxmtro is the LP by Slim Jxmmi; both showcase the talents of the siblings. SR3MM has been out for nearly two months, and debuted at number six on the Billboard 200 Albums chart.

Essential Tracks: “Guatemala” “Powerglide”

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20 Hip-Hop And R&B Albums That Went Platinum With No Features

Once upon a time, successful artists considered receiving a gold or platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) as a rite of passage to legendary status, especially if they did it on their own. Up until 2016, elite hip-hop and R&B artists were awarded plaques after one million units in album sales were sold. Now, any artist with music that goes viral overnight can join the platinum club.

After the RIAA modernized its rules for obtaining gold & platinum status in 2016, the music industry has been flooded with gold and platinum recipients, and it will only become more saturated over time. However, any rapper or R&B singer who sells over a million units without the help of outside artists should be heralded like the icons who came before them.

Since the 1980s, plenty of hip-hop and R&B artists have gone platinum with memorable music that will live on forever, but only a select few have made history by reaching platinum status without featured artists. Here are 19 albums (and mixtapes) that went platinum without other musical guests on the compilation.

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Genres Aside, Here Are Our 25 Favorite Songs Of 2018

Keeping up with all of the music from 2018 was a full-time job, with loads of songs releasing every week and not enough ears to keep track. But the volume of music comes with an advantage: there’s something for everybody. Fittingly, our list of the 25 Best Songs of 2018 represents the multi-genre mayhem that is in everyone’s playlists this year.

Some of the entries on our list, like cuts by Drake, Travis Scott and Childish Gambino, were at the forefront of the conversation in 2018, dominating streaming services and radio around the country. Indie darling Saba made waves, and he’s included here as well. Jazz wizard Kamasi Washington dropped some of the best protest music of the year. But there are also some songs on this year’s list that spoke to the VIBE Tribe in a different way. Cardi B had hits all year, but an album cut impressed us most; Usher and Zaytoven’s new album didn’t make a huge splash commercially, but one of its songs appears here. And Beyonce appears on one of the best songs of the year that never even saw an official release–but that didn’t stop us from including it here.

Music broke the rules this year, and so did we. Read below, and tell us what surprise choices are making your songs of the year list.

READ MORE: Debate Us: The 30 Best Albums Of 2018

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A look back at the collaborator's up and down relationship.
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Remember The Time: 10 Times Drake And Kanye West Were Stronger Together

Kanye West and Drake aren’t exactly in the best place at the moment. West’s Dec. 13 Twitter rant detailed their issues, in which he accuses Drake of “sneak dissing” and threatening him.

“You sneak dissing on [Travis Scott] records and texting Kris [Jenner] talking about how’s the family.” he wrote among many other tweets and allegations against the Scorpion MC.

While this is a bump in the road, the two haven’t always been enemies. Despite the shenanigans surrounding them, Kanye West and Drake have had a very fruitful relationship. All drama aside, the duo have created many memorable moments in hip-hop and pop culture. They’ve written and recorded some incredible songs and shared countless stages during concerts and tours.

To abstain from dwelling on the negativity, VIBE has collected a list of moments taking you through the high points in the rappers’ relationship. Check it out below.

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Drake's Freestyles Over Many Beats By 'Ye

Before he was one of the most sought-after rappers in the world, Drizzy has looked up to Kanye West and sampled his work. For “Say What’s Real,” a single off his mixtape So Far Gone, the “In My Feelings” MC sampled Yeezy’s “Say You Will” off of his 2008 album 808s & Heartbreak. The admiration continued throughout the years, resulting in more freestyles over songs like “Swagga Like Us” and “Barry Bonds.” Both tracks feature beats created by the Chi-town native. 

‘Thank Me Later’ Proves Their Shared Power 

After meeting in 2009, the duo came together to bring Drake's Thank Me Later album to the next level. They collaborated on two tracks- the futuristic love songs “Show Me A Good Time,” and “Find Your Love.” With West holding down production, deep-pocketed 808’s and table-top scratch sounds were highlighted. The accolades for the latter song resulted in the No. 5 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 charts as they created their own lane.

Drake Calls Kanye “The Most Influential Person”

In a 2009 interview, the then-industry rookie had some nice words for West. Speaking specifically about the 41-year-old’s 808’s and Heartbreak album, the Toronto rapper described ‘Ye as "the most influential person” who was important to young emcees in the game.

"Before I ever got the chance to meet him, Kanye West shaped a lot of what I do, as far as music goes," Drake said. He knows how to utilize great sounds and great music. So before I met him, I had the utmost respect for Kanye West. I'd even go as far as to say he's the most influential person as far as a musician that I'd ever had in my life."

Their Collaborations On Wax 

The pair has been making music together for nearly 10 years, with some standout tracks including “Forever,” the remix to “All Of The Lights,” and “Pop Style.” On their 2017 song “Glow” off of Drake’s playlist More Life, both rappers discuss their growing, limitless success. West was rumored to initially appear on Drizzy’s smash-hit “Nice For What.” He reportedly had a verse on the critically-acclaimed track until the beef between Drake and his G.O.O.D. Music cohort Pusha T became lethal.

The Joint Mixtape That Never Happened

Drake and Kanye are no strangers when it comes to making joint albums with other artists. Drake worked with Future on the platinum-selling album What A Time To Be Alive, while Kanye released Watch The Throne with JAY-Z to critical acclaim. However, it has been hinted for the longest time that the two were working on a full-length album of their own.

Kanye confirmed the plan to release an album with Drake to Vogue in 2016, shortly after hinting at a joint project during OVO Fest. The Take Care rapper co-signed the announcement, saying "What my brother was asking before was, are you ready if we make an album?"

Drake Writing For Kanye’s ‘The Life Of Pablo’

Drake wrote a song for Kanye’s 2016 effort, The Life of Pablo. The Canadian hip-hop star helped pen the Isaac Hayes and Nelly-sampled “30 Hours.” Drizzy was also reportedly on the original, unreleased version of Pablo’s “Wolves,” which featured Icelandic artist Bjork (the album version features Vic Mensa and Sia).

The Duo Become Friendly, Competitive Neighbors

By the time of their initial meeting in 2009, Kanye already clocked in nearly a decade of music industry knowledge, and Drake was making the transition from teen TV star to full-time rapper. But who would have thought the duo would have eventually become actual neighbors?

Drake eventually moved to Calabasas, Calif.- a neighborhood in Los Angeles many celebrities call home- around the same time West began publicly dating his now-wife, Kim Kardashian. In the 2016 bop “Summer Sixteen,” Drizzy jokes, “Now I got a house in LA, now I got a bigger pool than Ye / And look man, Ye’s pool is nice, mine's just bigger's what I’m saying.”

 

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There goes the neighborhood

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Kanye Supports OVO Fest

Drake created a hip-hop festival called OVO Fest in 2010. Not only does it feature notable acts in urban music, but it also gave a platform to upcoming artists from Canada who might not have gotten a platform back home. Kanye West was one of the first supports of the music event, performing at three of the festivals.

He also admitted that Drake inspired him and JAY-Z to record Watch The Throne during 2013’s OVO Fest, stating, "Me and Hov would've never made Watch the Throne if this ni**a wasn't putting pressure on us like that, so I just wanna pay my respects.”

Kanye Apologizes To Drake Over G.O.O.D. Music Album Rollouts

Earlier this fall, Kanye West apologized to Drake in a series of tweets for planning the rollout of albums by artists under his G.O.O.D music roster around the proposed release of Scorpion.

In one of the tweets, Kanye wrote “Let me start by apologizing for stepping on your release date in the first place. We were building a bond and working on music together including squashing the issues with Cudi at our office.” In another tweet, ‘Ye revealed that he never listened to the diss tracks between him and Pusha, and didn’t have conversations regarding Drake’s child with him.

Let me start by apologizing for stepping on your release date in the first place … We were building a bond and working on music together including squashing the issues with Cudi at our office.

— ye (@kanyewest) September 5, 2018

They Shared Laughs Over Meek Mill Memes

Drake and Meek Mill were in an infamous feud back in 2015. After performing his diss track aimed at Meek- "Back to Back”- at the 2015 OVO Fest, Drizzy, Kanye, and Will Smith enjoyed a laugh over the countless memes mocking the Philly MC.

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