Friday, 30 September 2011

Macufe Thrives Towards Greater Celebrations

The Free State province is about to come alive with the annaual Macufe feastival. The the 10-day Mangaung African Cultural Festival will kick off on Saturday, 01 October 2011 and end with a bang on Sunday, 09 October 2011.

Join a ten day feast of jazz, gospel, kwaito, hip-hop, R&B, rock and classical music, as well as dance, drama, cabaret, musical theatre, poetry, fine art and traditional arts and crafts. The incredibly popular Mangaung African Cultural Festival showcases the cream of African and international talent.

Featuring US R&B greats Bebe Winans and Johnny Gill, Zimbabwean superstars Thomas Mapfumo and Oliver Mtukudzi, and some of South Africa's most popular performers, this year's Macufe Festival won't fall short of expectations.

Adding to the local razzmatazz at the fest will be stars Thandiswa Mazwai, Selaelo Selota, Zakes Bantwini, HHP, Kaya, Bhudaza, Peter Nthwane and Fossils.

Tickets are available from Computicket and Shoprite Checkers countrywide.

Full line-up

•    Thandiswa Mazwai
•    Selaelo Selota
•    Zakes Bantwini
•    HHP
•    Kaya
•    Bhudaza
•    Peter Nthwane
•    Fossils
•    Thomas Mapfumo (Zimbabwe)
•    Oliver Mtukudzi (Zimbabwe)
•    Johnny Gill (USA)
•    Bebe Winans (USA)

With the goal to be the biggest, most culturally balanced showcase of African Arts and Culture in the world, this year's event proves that that goal is not far off. The week's event will start with the Macufe Carnival and followed with the Macufe gospel festival on the the 2nd featuring Solly Mahlangu, Kgotso Makgalema, Connie Lamola, Winnie Mashaba, Teboho & Friends, Paul Lechalaba, Primrose, Msingizane, Shakers,Kgosi, Manase, Ebenezer, TAC 5, Manthatisi, SelloMalete.

MACUFE is one of the events that make us proud as Free Stater’s. Since its inception in 1997, it has been growing in leaps and bounds. For more information, please visit

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Tip's Home

To borrow the word of the good Reverend Dr Martin Luther King - Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, T.I is free at last! That's how he must be feeling right now.

Tip is once again a free man after serving an 11-month sentence for violating his parole on a gun conviction.

According to CNN, Tip was released from his halfway house in Atlanta, Georgia earlier this morning. He was initially sent to the house on August 31st, but briefly returned to jail for a short while after prison officials suspected he was conducting business on his bus to the home.

Tip now more jail time and more music if you can please.

Game To Ether 50 Cent

The love and hate relationship of Game and 50 is back again this after 50's lines in "Love, Hate, Love,".

The Campton born rapper promised that Fif' will not go unanswered and promises his own record once he hits a studio.

50 Cent's latest track "Love, Hate, Love" made its first rounds over the Web, stirring up sentiments because of its provocative content and intent. Fif spit more hate than he did love though, taking overt shots at both Lil Wayne and full-time adversary, Game.

While Fif questioned Weezy's un-Hip Hop-like style ("Actin' like a white boy bored/ Now you wanna jump a flight of stairs on a skateboard") and mocked the rapper's clothing ("Why the fuck your pants so tight?/ You trying to show niggas your ass, your alternative life"), his aims at Game struck more personal:

"You said you was gonna see me when your homie got shot/ It's been a while so I'm guessing you must've forgot/ Once again you forget ain't this some shit/ You forgot about me bitch I wrote your hits."

While Wayne has not responded to the track, Game addressed it in a tweet.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Common's Book Lands On New York Times Bestselling

And they say brothers can't read, well Common proves not only can we read but write as well - and I don't mean write songs here.

Common's memoir, One Day It’ll All Make Sense, made its debut on the New York Times Best Seller List, bowing at No. 20 on the prestigious chart.

Showing his gratitude, Com Sense released a video thanking those who contributed to and supported the book.

“I just want to thank everybody for supporting. Y’all made my book be on the New York Times Best Seller List. So now, I’m a New York Times bestselling author,” he said. “Y’all don’t know how much of a blessing that is to me. I feel just grateful to all of those who supported the book, all those who talked about the book. Just thank you. Thank you for those who contributed to the book and all who’ve been a part of this. I just want to let y’all know I’m geeked, I’m on 30, I’m on 100 right now.”

J. Cole's "Cole World: The Sideline Story" Projected To Sell 250,000 In First Week

All he's armed with is a dollar and a dream - and the dream is set to be a reality.

J Cole's set to make a big splash on the charts with his debut album Cole World: The Sideline Story.

Word has it that not only is Cole projected to sell 240,000 to 250,000 copies of Cole World: The Sideline Story, but that the rapper's debut project will land at No. 1 on the Billboard charts.

According to Billboard, the first week numbers would be the biggest debut album for a solo act since Nicki Minaj's Pink Friday.

The album would also be the first time a solo act's debut album as come it at No. 1 since B.o.B's The Adventures of Bobby Ray.

The Roc Nation artist's album leaked, but is still poised to beat out Blink-182's Neighborhoods, and Tony Bennett's Duets II.

Beauty Of The Day

Rappers's Comeback That Will Never Be

There's nothing people hate as being rated a has been. Yeah you had your one minute for a minute and not to sound like a hater but it was that - just one minute of fame. Bare in mind we are not saying they will never drop albums - just that they wont burn the charts like before.

Only a few entertainers have managed longevity and staying relevant over the years but some no matter how hard they try will NEVER be on top again

Thanks to smokingsection for bring this to our attention - here is a list:

1. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony — You can’t blame these guys for continually trying. But a lack of quality control, good defense lawyers and adequate psychiatric care have doomed Cleveland’s finest to Hip-Hop obscurity. They get some bonus points for having a rabid fanbase, but then again so do ICP and Glenn Beck.

2. Ja Rule — Sometime in 2002, there was a staff meeting at the Murder Inc. offices. In the ensuing minutes, the motion to ignore 50 Cent was passed. The result? The label would go on to die a slow painful death with Jeffery Atkins serving as the poster child for defamation of character in Hip-Hop. Selling a LeBron jersey in Cleveland is more feasible than this guy ever returning to prominence.

3. Lil Flip — It was only a matter of time before people actually caught on to the fact Flip was referring to himself as a gangsta leprechaun. In hindsight, he’s probably the inspiration for Chuck Hamilton’s Sonic The Hedgehog infatuation. Add in a lyrical barrage and being called out -plus allegedly beaten – in his own hood (both by T.I.). What hurt even worse? Scarface even disowned the guy.

4. GZA — The former genius of the illustrious Wu-Tang Clan has seen his rap IQ dwindle in the ensuing years following his classic album, Liquid Swords. Forced to pay his bills by performing the aforementioned album in full at the annual Rock The Bells festival, the once prolific writer has seen disses to soft target 50 Cent fall on deaf ears and his numerous projects fail to make a blip on the critical rap radar. Makes you want to sing along with Gladys Knight and reminisce when becoming a Hip-Hop legend was all so simple.

5. Outkast — As much as it kills any TSS member to say this, the Atlanta duo is now a decade removed from their last collaborative album. 3 Stacks appears to have lost the attention span to rap, sing or act more than two or three times a year while Big Boi has tried to keep the hope alive with random hints of imminent return mentioned in interviews. Sadly, the writing on the wall has long been there for us to see. If Big’s content to fly solo, we’ll just have to follow.

6. Ma$e — Ha! Ma$e! This friggin’ guy. Is he a preacher or a rapper who murders people? Actually, he’s neither. He’s an idiot. The second this completely un-Bad Boy tried to act like he was too good for the lifestyle that made him successful, then tried to come back to open arms is the second he forfeited any prior fans he may have had. Resentment, much? Yes.

7. Nelly — He’s one of the top-selling Hip-Hop acts of the 21st century, but banging Ashanti into oblivion has been Nelly’s only musical contribution of note in the last few years. His last album was horrible and an utter failure, putting a comeback out of reach. We’re pretty sure Nelly realizes this too, which is why he’s content hosting radio shows and interviewing people that still have careers.

8. Dr. Dre — If you think Detox is still coming out, we at TSS have wonderful Idaho beachfront property to sell you. Face it. Detox is never happening. Oh, it had a chance until the Internet diarrhea dumped over that chicken scratch “Under Pressure” song that sounded like Banana Republic house music. Did we crush your dreams, here? Sorry. We take it back. Detox is coming out. Right after your dad comes back from the trip to the store for cigarettes and milk that he took when you were seven.

9. DMX — Dark Man X and his coke habit have kept the former major star away from the music scene for a while. True story: by the time you read this post, Earl will have been released from jail and arrested again three times. Arf Arf!

10. D’Angelo — Sorry. But it’s true. Stop kidding yourself, because the longer you hold out hope, the longer this Voodoo wound will fester and ooze. D’Angelo has always struck at love with a raw, unadulterated wallop to the heart he dissects with scalpel-like precision. But with that grasp of the human condition comes the unending sting of heartbreak. In this case, the sting comes in the form of mugshots and the stranglehold of ze coke-aye-een-ah. With rumors that D’s working on something new that will come out soon, we recommend you hold your breath for about as long as you hold it for Detox. Enjoy instead what the man has given you already; an album in 2000 that redefined harmony, from the instrument in the case to the instrument of voice.

Honorable Mention:

Young Jeezy - we ride with the trap king but we just dont see his album doing well.
Yung Joc - Young who?
Young Buck - 50 kileed your flame boy
Soulja Boy - ah its a shame cos he mastered the ringtone thing
Papoose - career never took off besides the mixtapes...wasted talent.
Lil Jon - what?
Franchize Boys - please
Mike Jones - Mike who?
Foxy Brown - I liked you ma but lets face it - the throne is on Nicki's head
Lil Flip -

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Eye Candy of The Day

Stressed as your grinding isn't going so smoothly...take a breather to re-look at things and admire beauty.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Forbes Predicts Who Will Hip-Hop's First Billionaire Be

We at Hustle On Your Grind homey, we salute hustlers of all kinds - make that paper.

Forbes magazine predicts five artists to watch  that are way on their way to being billionaires: Sean “Diddy” Combs, Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, Andre “Dr. Dre” Young, Bryan “Birdman” Williams, and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. All five already boast nine-figure fortunes.

“I think Young Money Cash Money would be the first billion-dollar brand in hip-hop,” said Birdman referring to his record label. “We strong and growing every day as a brand and fast. Within the next few years we will be billionaires.”

But Forbes states that Diddy is the closest, with an estimated net worth of $500 million. He’s taken to calling himself “Ciroc Obama,” and with good reason: his vodka deal with beverage giant Diageo could soon land him in some very exclusive company. Diddy receives an annual cut of profits and a big chunk of cash if Ciroc is ever sold. With the spirit’s value speeding toward $1 billion—on top of stakes in clothing lines Sean John and Enyce, marketing firm Blue Flame and record label Bad Boy—Diddy may be beat buddy Jay-Z to the Forbes 400.

Jay-Z, however, is close behind with an estimated fortune of $450 million. BeyoncĂ©’s husband sold his Rocawear clothing label for $204 million in 2007 and signed 10-year $150 million Live Nation deal in 2008.

He still holds stakes in a wide range of businesses including the soon-t0-be Brooklyn Nets, the 40/40 Club chain, ad firm Translation, cosmetics company Carol’s Daughter and other ventures. His lyrical boasts (“I’m like really half a billie”) appear accurate, at least if you round up.

Perhaps more than any other hip-hop artist, Dr. Dre’s financial star has been on the rise this year. The bulk of his $250 million fortune comes from Beats Electronics, the headphone maker Dr. Dre founded with Interscope chief Jimmy Iovine in 2008.

In early August, handset maker HTC paid $300 million to buy a 51% stake in Beats. Sources say Iovine and Dre each owned a third of the company before the deal; FORBES estimates that Dre will take home $85 million after taxes. The agreement also values his remaining stake at $100 million, which could increase rapidly as the company continues to expand.

Unlike the somewhat reclusive Dr. Dre, Birdman makes no secret about his billion dollar dreams. The New Orleans-born rapper-turned-mogul co-founded Cash Money Records with brother Ronald two decades ago and inked a very favorable $30 million distribution deal with Universal in 1998.

The label’s value has soared with the success of rappers Drake, Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne, all of whom made this year’s Hip-Hop Cash Kings list, bringing his total net worth to an estimated $110 million (he insists he’s worth more).

50 Cent rounds out the “Forbes Five” at $100 million. After receiving nine figures for his Vitaminwater stake in 2007, 50 spent freely on cars and renovations to mansion formerly owned by Mike Tyson.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Ray J Apologizes

So Ray J and Fabolous got into it after the Mayweather fight, guess they were feeling the energy.

Ray J called into Power 105’s The Breakfast Club to discuss a recent altercation with Fabolous that took place in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The beef originated with Loso making some jokes on Twitter (“Nigga Ray J doin a concert in his living room,” “Nah but Floyd Mayweather saying we havin a concert in my living room & the camera cuts to Ray J singing ‘One Wish’ on the piano had me in tears!!”).

Ray apologized to his fans for the altercation with fabolous on Twitter to tell fans he's sorry for yesterday's outburst.

J. Cole's Debut Leaks & He Addresses It

Unlike Watch the Throne, J Cole couldn't keep it all locked up. The Sideline's Story rapper acknowledges that there have been worse leaks than his own.

J. Cole’s debut album Cole World: The Sideline Story is slated to hit stores on September 27th, but an advance leak has already hit the Internet. Speaking with’s Mikey Fresh at his NYC listening party last week, the Roc Nation rapper explained that it’s all part of the game and doesn’t worry him.

“I feel blessed. There’s been worse leaks than that so I understand it’s a part of the game, I always understood that. As long as people hear it together, it’s cool,” he said. “And I just know that the people who are going to buy it were going to buy it anyways. The people who weren’t probably weren’t, anyways. If anything, the leak will reach out to more people who might be like ‘ah man, let’s go get this.' So you know, it's kind of like promotion these days—if you got a good album. If you don't have a good album—they'll just trash you.”

Cole, whose album goes on pre-sale on iTunes today, is more excited about the fact that his debut will finally hit stores.

“I’m just excited. Of course I’ve got some nerves. It’s only natural to have nerves, but I’m really more excited and proud. I can’t believe I’m actually going to have a CD that’s in stores. I got a long way to go in the game, but that’s definitely a day where I’ll be able to pat myself on the back - which I don’t do often.”

50 Cent Says New Album To Drop In November

50 Cent has been missing for a minute in the music industry in terms of his own albums. The Get Rich or Die Tryin' rapper says his next album is nearly complete, and fans can count on a few appearances from Dr Dre.

Although 50 Cent's souring relationship with his record label Interscope may have seemingly railroaded the release of his latest album, 50 says that hasn't kept him from recording. Now, Fiddy says that his next as-of-yet untitled project is nearly completed and features production from his mentor Dr. Dre. caught up with the G-Unit general at the 10th anniversary issue release party of Smooth Magazine to discuss the status of his long-awaited release. The Queens rapper says that he's nearly finished recording the project and that fans can expect to see his latest effort on shelves this November, complete with two beats from Dr. Dre.

“It’s good man, I’m done, actually - I just got to go through the mixing process,” he said. “It’s just the system and everybody being on deck at the same time to move at the same pace. When I have a conversation about something I expect it to happen like right after we talk about it.”

As previously reported, 50 Cent was involved in a heated dispute with his long-time label Interscope Records over the handling of the album's promotion.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Beauty Of The Day

What's the world without a bit of candy for the eye... um we wonder to.

Tyler Perry Tops Forbes List With $130 Million

We salute hustlers and today's hustler making serious major moves in Hollywood is Tyler Perry. The man behind Madea's movies has topped the Hollywood cash kings' list - yes even beating guys like Steven Spielberg, Michael Bay - you name them.

Perry joins Leonardo DiCaprio, Elton John, and Spielberg as part of an elite group who make jaw-dropping amounts of money every year.  But he just skipped everyone and went all the way to #1 on Forbes' "Highest Entertainment Earners" list that just came out.

And having turned 42-years-old, Tyler has many years ahead to make even more than the $130 million he made between May 2010 and May 2011. 

How did Perry make it to the top with $130 million over the past year? Thanks to fat checks from his TV shows, "Meet the Browns" and "House of Payne," as well as his hit series of movies based around his drag character Madea and his upcoming rare acting role as the titular detective in I, Alex Cross.

Make that money playa.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

We Remember Tupac

To salute Tupac Shakur's 15th death anniversary we bring you a bit of his poems courtesy of the Foundation.

The Rose That Grew From Concrete by Tupac

Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete?
Proving nature's law is wrong it learned to walk with out having feet.
Funny it seems, but by keeping it's dreams, it learned to breathe fresh air.
Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else ever cared.

In the event of my Demise
when my heart can beat no more
I Hope I Die For A Principle
or A Belief that I had Lived 4
I will die Before My Time
Because I feel the shadow's Depth
so much I wanted 2 accomplish
before I reached my Death
I have come 2 grips with the possibility
and wiped the last tear from My eyes
I Loved All who were Positive
In the event of my Demise

I Cry by Tupac

Sometimes when I'm alone
I Cry,
Cause I am on my own.
The tears I cry are bitter and warm.
They flow with life but take no form
I Cry because my heart is torn.
I find it difficult to carry on.
If I had an ear to confiding,
I would cry among my treasured friend,
but who do you know that stops that long,
to help another carry on.
The world moves fast and it would rather pass by.
Then to stop and see what makes one cry,
so painful and sad.
And sometimes...
I Cry
and no one cares about why.

Game Names Album

Not only has Game Revealed his last Interscope album title but the Campton rapper has also confirmed that there will be no features or name-drops on the album.

Game's album with be called Soundtrack to Chao, but what's a Game album without name dropping? Well lets wait and see.

Jayceon provides significant details about his last album for Interscope.

"Next album called Soundtrack to Chaos," said Game in the midst of a studio session with production/writing team 1500 Or Nothin'.

"No features," he added, confirming 1500 Or Nothin' member Mars' earlier statements. "None. Zero. No Weezy, Jeezy, Drake, singers, nothing. Just us. That's it. That's it. Album five. Soundtrack to Chaos."

The album is Game's last obligation to Interscope Records. Will he join Cash Money...lets watch this space.

50 Cent Sued Over Movie Title

Almost everyone knows the book Things Fall Apart by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe.

It looks like things are falling apart rather quickly for 50 Cent's upcoming football flick Things Fall Apart. After being sued for $200,000 for unpaid services on the film, the Queens rapper recently lost a major legal battle against famed Nigerian author Chinua Achebe over the movie's title.

According to, 50 Cent was recently forced to change the name of his upcoming film Things Falls Apart over a copyright dispute involving the title. Upon learning of the film's title, Chinua Achebe, who wrote the iconic 1958 novel of the same name, threatened to sue Fiddy and the film's backers over a violation his celebrated book's copyright.

50 and company attempted settle out of court with the African author's foundation, offering them $1 million to use the title. Ultimately, the Chinua Achebe Foundation refused the offer, and the film's producers persuaded the G-Unit general to change the title to All Things Fall Apart to avoid a more serious legal battle.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

50 Rap Worst Albums

Complex has compiled a list of 50 worst rap albums and stated why, brace yourselves for a shock with some albums on the list. 

50. Jay-Z, Kingdom Come (2006)

Label: Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam Records
Worst Song: "Hollywood" f/ Beyoncé

We knew Jay wasn't really going to retire after 2003's The Black Album. Mostly because he never really went away. Despite getting a job as the President of Def Jam he still manged to put out an album with R. Kelly, an album with Linkin Park, and did a gang of guest spots for other artists. So it was clear that, at some point, Jay was going to make a comeback. We just wish he hadn't done it like this.

There were some gems on Kingdom Come—including the Just Blaze-produced title track or "Oh My God"—but there were also a whole bunch of duds that made Hov sound old (which is bad) and content (which is much worse). Jay seemingly gave up on actively seeking new producers (something he did so masterfully on previous efforts) and instead relied on familiar sounds from past collaborators.

The songs themselves were a bad mix of forgettable (“Anything,” “I Made It”), weak (“Show Me What You Got,” “Dig A Hole”), and downright embarrassing (“30 Something,” “Hollywood”). So, yeah, he was back. But he definitely wasn't better than ever.

49. Eric B. & Rakim, Don't Sweat The Technique (1992)

Label: MCA Records
Worst Song: "What's On Your Mind"

We know, we know. How can we include an album that produced tracks like "Know The Ledge" and "Don't Sweat The Technique" on this list? Well, first of all "Know The Ledge" was on the Juice Soundtrack and then tacked on to this LP. Second, call us crazy—or maybe just spoiled—but after 1987's Paid In Full, 1988's Follow The Leader, and 1990's Let The Rhythm Hit 'Em, this album fell just short of living up to the duo's usual standard. For the first time in his career, Rakim sounded like he was struggling to keep up with the crowd and the album's subject matter—the War in Iraq on "Casualties of War"?—wasn't on par with what we'd come to expect. No surprise that shortly after the release of this album, the duo split up.

48. Lil Jon, Crunk Rock (2010)

Label: BME/Universal Republic
Worst Song: "Killas" f/ Game, Elephant Man & Whole Wheat Bread

By 2004, Lil Jon was riding high. He and the East Side Boyz dropped the wildly successful Crunk Juice, his sound became dominant on commercial radio as he produced smash singles for Usher (“Yeah”), Ciara (“Goodies”), and Petey Pablo ("Freek-A-Leek"), and he became a cultural phenomenon thanks to the hilarious “A Moment in the Life of Lil Jon” skits on Chappelle's Show.

When Lil Jon announced that he was recording his first official solo album—sans the East Side Boyz—all the way back in 2005, we were excited. Sure, we were skeptical of another rock/rap hybird album but adding rock to Jon's brand of crunk made sense. Five years and five promotional singles later, it finally dropped. By that time, the absolute last thing anyone wanted to hear was anything with the word "crunk" attached to it. Half a decade is a long time for anything, but in rap it's basically a million years.

47. LL Cool J, Walking With A Panther (1989)

Label: Def Jam/Columbia/CBS Records
Worst Song: "You're My Heart"

In 1989, times were changing and Afrocentrism and Black Power were the prevailing themes in rap. It looked like LL was adapting to the times by putting a black panther (get it?) on the cover of his third album but none of the songs on the actual album followed that pattern. LL was left looking super out of touch in hip-hop's new conscious climate. The album did have a few minor hits, but there's a reason why the lead single of his following album, Mama Said Knock You Out, opened with the line, "Don't call it a comeback," even though it was.

46. Leaders Of The New School, T.I.M.E. (The Inner Mind's Eye) (1993)

Label: Elektra Records
Worst Song: "The Difference"

Behind the scenes, LONS members Charlie Brown and Busta Rhymes were bickering over who was the real leader of the Leaders. And that didn't bode particularly well for their sophomore album, T.I.M.E. After enjoying modest success with their 1991 debut, A Future Without A Past..., T.I.M.E. was a bizarre, self-produced effort that eventually caused so much tension amongst the group that they broke up on camera during a Yo! MTV Raps interview in 1993.

45. Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony, BTNHResurrection (2000)

Label: Ruthless Records
Worst Song: "Change The World"

Despite going pop with "The Crossroads," Bone Thugs were actually best known as the kings of smoked-out murder rap during their mid-'90s heyday. But after taking three years off to pursue a number of underwhelming solo projects, the Cleveland crew reunited in 2000 to rekindle their melodic magic.

The reunion album, BTNHResurrection, certainly has its moments, but it also showed a softer, gentler Bone who was intent on recapturing its "Crossroads" success. Instead of straight gangster music, the focus fell on R&B-flavored tracks, an ecstasy anthem, and introspective "Crossroads" imitations like "Change The World." Sadly, the disappointment turned Bone from one of the most dominant crews in the rap game to a forgotten "I Love The '90s" punchline.

Brand Nubian, Everything Is Everything (1994)

Label: Elektra Records
Worst Song: "Hold On"

Brand Nubian scored gold in 1990 with their conscious rap classic, All For One. The duo of Sadat X and Lord Jamar then shocked the world when they stepped up after lead rapper Grand Puba departed from the group and slapped fans in the face with cold brick of 5 Percenter knowledge that was their incredible and rugged sophomore LP, In God We Trust. But when they returned in 1994 with Everything Is Everything, everything was everything...except all good.

The barely mediocre disc had a few passable moments, but nothing could hide the fact that the album was a bizarre attempt by the duo to reinvent themselves as gangster rappers and adopt a West Coast sound that was popular at the time. And the Nubs blatant jack of Simply Red's soft "I Keep Holding Back The Years" on "Hold On" was deemed an unforgivable move by fans. The Godz must've been crazy, indeed.

43. Mystikal, Tarantula (2001)

Label: Jive Records
Worst Song: "Pussy Crook"

Although he was always No Limit's most talented spitter, no one expected Mystikal to become a crossover star when he left the label. But 2000's "Let's Get Ready" was a surprise smash, debuting at #1 on the pop charts and spawning two massive singles ("Shake Ya Ass" and "Danger (Been So Long)") that put the Neptunes on the map and had hyperbolic journalists calling him hip-hop's James Brown.

With all eyes on the rapid-fire spitter, Mystikal seriously dropped the ball with Tarantula, his phoned-in follow-up that dropped only one year later. Even with reliable collaborators like The Neptunes, Scott Storch, and KLC, every song on the LP felt like a half-baked imitation of his previous work. Tarantula debuted at #25, his worst showing since his pre-No Limit days. Oh, and in light of his career-killing sexual assault conviction in 2003, the song "Pussy Crook" is seriously creepy.

42. Das EFX, Straight Up Sewaside (1993)

Label: EastWest Records
Worst Song: "It'z Lik Dat"

By the time people caught up to DAS EFX's lightning-fast delivery on their 1992 debut, Dead Serious, Skoob and Dray were already switching up their flow for their sophomore album and toning down the "iggedy" style that they'd perfected on their first offering. So while Sewaside still spawned several hits, including "Freakit" and "Baknaffek," it didn't have as big of an impact as Dead Serious and ultimately left them on the outside looking in by the time they dropped their third album, Hold It Down, in 1995. Career Sewaside, indeed.

41. Lil B, I'm Gay (I'm Happy) (2011)

Label: Amalgam Digital
Worst Song: "Trapped In Prison"

THIS ALBUM IS NOT ON THIS LIST BECAUSE OF ITS TITLE. In fact, when Lil B first announced his album would be titled I'm Gay, we thought it was a bold statement and a genius marketing plan. The part that disappointed us was actually the “I'm Happy” subtitle, which was the biggest sellout since the time Nas changed his album.

Initially, we wholeheartedly supported Lil B's music because even if his songs were nonsensical, they were bizarrely entertaining. But on the album, Lil B abandoned his schtick and instead tried to rap about serious social issues. We applaud his effort but his execution was awful because he sucks at rapping (and if we wanted to hear someone rap about social issues and do it well, there's always Lupe Fiasco, Talib Kweli, and a gang of other).

Finally, without ever announcing a release date, Lil B released his album on iTunes on June 29. He then went and tweeted a free download link to the album. Although both moves garnered considerable buzz, they didn't garner considerable sales. The album only sold a meager 1,700 copies in its first week, an embarrassing total even in this day and age.

40. Juvenile, Project English (2001)

Label: Cash Money/UTP Records
Worst Song: "HB Headbusta"

There's no denying that Juvenile and Cash Money both played a huge part in helping put Southern rap on the map. But by 2001, the writing was on the wall for Juvie, who had clearly overstayed his welcome on The Label That The Williams Brothers Built. He released one more album—and landed one the charts one more time with the club hit, "Mamma Got Ass"—but the rest of Project English was a phoned-in, forgettable affair that signaled the end of Cash Money's Midas Touch and the end of the Hot Boys era. It would be years before the label got their footing back, thanks to Lil Wayne's eventual artistic awakening.

39. Kris Kross, Da Bomb (1993)

Label: Ruffhouse/Columbia/SME Records
Worst Song: "Sound Of My Hood"

Switching up your whole style on your second album is just about never a good idea. Yet, that's exactly what Jermaine Dupri tried to do to Kris Kross just a year after they dropped their debut, Totally Krossed Over. The guys turned their clothes around, took on a more hardcore image, and promptly blew up their careers with this dud. The album did sell a million copies, but back in 1993, that really wasn't anything to brag about.

38. Mobb Deep, Blood Money (2006)

Label: G-Unit/Interscope/Universal Records
Worst Song: "Have A Party" f/ 50 Cent & Nate Dogg

It was a little surprising to see Havoc and Prodigy sign a deal with G-Unit Records in 2005, especially after 50 Cent had thrown a shot in their direction on his diss track, "Piggy Bank." But most Mobb fans were glad to see the group land on a label that would promote their music properly. Unfortunately, that feeling was short-lived. Outside of "Pearly Gates" and "Put'em In They Place"—Blood Money was a little too polished for a Mobb record—a clear indication that Fif had pushed Hav and P in the wrong direction, at least as far as Mobb fans were concerned. Not surprisingly, the album was Mobb's first and last G-Unit release.

37. MC Serch, Return Of The Product (1992) / Prime Minster Pete Nice, Dust To Dust (1993)

Label: Def Jam Records/Def Jam Records
Worst Song: "Can You Dig It?"

"3 Blind Mice" f/ Kurious Jorge & Benz

36. Hammer, The Funky Headhunter (1994)

Label: Reprise/Warner Bros. Records
Worst Song: "Pumps And A Bump"

In 1994, Hammer was four years removed from the biggest song of his career and three years removed from releasing any new material. So he needed to reinvent himself on his fifth album. The problem: He chose to do that by hanging up his Hammer pants and going gangsta. And even with Teddy Riley handling a bunch of production and Suge Knight lending his support to the project, it didn't work. Just one year later, the old Hammer with the squeaky-clean image was back.

35. Master P, Only God Can Judge Me (1999)

Label: No Limit Records
Worst Song: "Ghetto In The Sky"

A year after "retiring" from the rap game in the wake of his 1998 album MP Da Lost Don—the most commercially successful album of his career—P decided to make a comeback. Which would have been all well and good if he hadn't decided to switch up his whole style in the process. Rather than assume the grimy gangster persona that had made him so popular throughout the '90s, P had a change of heart.

Instead of minimalist dope boy anthems, Only God Can Judge Me was filled with an endless slew of corny, overblown introspective tracks that took P's 2Pac nut-hugging to an absurd level. This album is widely regarded as the beginning of the end for No Limit's dominance—even God gave it two thumbs down!

34. Main Source, Fuck What You Think (1994)

Label: Wild Pitch/EMI Records
Worst Song: "What You Need"

You know what you don't do when the guy that wrote and performed all the raps and made all the beats for your group leaves? Especially if you're two Canadian DJs with no discernible talent? Release another album. Yet, that's exactly what Sir Scratch and K-Cut tried to do. Large Professor left the group after he single-handedly made their entire classic debut, Breaking Atoms, but they still decided to try and release a sophomore album under the Main Source name with New Music Seminar battle champ Mikey D. 'Bout the best thing you could say about the album was that it featured a guest spot from The Lox (then the Warlocks). Fuck what you think, guys. That was not a smart move.

33. Three 6 Mafia, Last 2 Walk (2008)

Label: Hypnotize Minds/Columbia/Sony BMG Records
Worst Song: "Lolli Lolli (Pop That Body)" f/ Project Pat, Young D & Superpower

Thanks to the success of their 2005 album, Most Known Unknown, their MTV reality show, Adventures in Hollyhood, and, of course, their Oscar Award-winning 2005 track, "It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp," Last 2 Walk was supposed to be a long-awaited "We finally made it!" celebration for the Memphis rappers. Instead, they produced a big-budget effort that got pushed back (and back and back!) a number of times before Sony finally decided to just put the project out. It was uneven, a little too polished for a Three 6 album, and ultimately, a commercial disappointment. Not surprisingly, they haven't released anything since.

32. Boogie Down Productions, Sex and Violence (1992)

Label: Jive/BMG Records
Worst Song: "13 and Good"

From their classic 1987 debut, Criminally Minded, to their fifth and final album, Sex and Violence, KRS-One and BDP always had a message in their music. Unfortunately, that message eventually got more and more diluted to the point that a lot of the songs on Sex and Violence sounded like they'd already been done—and, frankly, done better—by the group in the past. As a result, KRS-One eventually parted ways with BDP and launched his own successful solo career shortly after this album dropped.

31. DMX, Year Of The Dog...Again (2006)

Label: Ruff Ryders/Sony Urban/Columbia Records
Worst Song: "Walk These Dogs"

By the time X released his sixth solo album, his bark was much worse than his bite. He tried to deliver the same brand of aggressive lyrics on Year of the Dog as he had on his previous efforts but it was clear that he wasn't the same artist when he first came into the game. Maybe it was the BET reality TV show he was starring in at the time or the label change from Def Jam to Sony or simply fatigue, but for the first time in his career, X sounded more like a caricature of himself than the real thing. You can't teach an old dog new tricks—and this proved it.

30. Public Enemy, Muse Sick-n-Hour Mess Age (1994)

Label: Def Jam/Columbia Records
Worst Song: "Aintnuttin Buttersong"

Old. That's how Chuck D & Co. were starting to sound by the time they put their fifth album out into the world. It didn't pack the same punch that 1988's It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, 1990's Fear of a Black Planet, or even 1991's Apocalypse 91...The Enemy Strikes Back did. For the first time, PE's message got lost somewhere in the music with an album that was just as the poorly-constructed as the title seemed to suggest.

29. Mase, Welcome Back (2004)

Label: Bad Boy Records
Worst Song: "My Harlem Lullaby"

Truth be told, Ma$e quit rapping long before he actually took his talents to the pulpit. His 1999 sophomore album, Double Up, very nearly earned a spot on this list. But it was his "comeback" album, the squeaky-clean Welcome Back, that proved to us that Ma$e had caught lightning in a bottle back when he struck platinum with 1997's Harlem World. His career took another bizarre turn years later when he would hook up with 50 Cent and G-Unit and try and bring back his Murda Ma$e persona. Thankfully, that deal never worked out because this album was all the proof we needed to know Ma$e was never coming back—no matter how much he prayed for it.

28. Eazy-E, It's On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa (1993)

Label: Ruthless/Relativity/Epic Records
Worst Song: "Down 2 The Last Roach"

At the time it was released, Eazy-E's EP was a project intended to show his disdain for former collaborator Dr. Dre, who had taken shot after shot (after motherfuckin' shot!) at Eazy on his debut, The Chronic. Unfortunately, given Eazy's relatively limited discography—and the fact he never really released a proper sophomore album after his impressive 1988 debut, Eazy-Duz-It—this album didn't even come close to measuring up to the ether Dre was dishing up on his project. We don't want to disrespect the dead or anything, but...yeah, this most definitely wasn't the right move for your career, Eazy.

27. Shyne, Godfather Buried Alive (2004)

Label: Gangland/Def Jam Records
Worst Song: "Jimmy Choo" f/ Ashanti

Shyne was serving a 10-year prison sentence when Def Jam decided to sign him to a seven-figure recording contract in 2004. Honestly, Shyne should have gotten another five years for highway robbery after he signed that deal. GBA was a publicity stunt that worked for a minute—it peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart—but was ultimately a record made up of leftover songs recorded prior to Shyne's jail stint.

At the time we figured Shyne's deal was the worst million dollars that Def Jam had ever spent. That is, until last year when Shyne got out of prison, released some of the worst music we've ever heard, and then signed another multi-million dollar deal with Def Jam. Yo L.A. Reid, WTF?!

26. Erick Sermon, No Pressure (1993) / Parrish Smith, Shade Business (1994)

Label: Def Jam Records/RCA Records
Worst Song: "Female Species"

"I'll Wait" f/ Zone 7

Business was definitely not "as usual" when they two split up in January 1993. After going their separate ways after Parrish accused Erick of sending men to rob his house and Erick accused Parrish of stealing money from him, EPMD decided to put out solo albums and, not surprisingly, neither of them was as good as anything that they'd put out as a group. Sermon tried too hard to prove he didn't need Parrish to be successful, and Parrish tried to prove that the end of EPMD wouldn't be the end of his career. In the end, neither Erick or Parish continued Making Dollars.

25. Mos Def, The New Danger (2004)

Label: Rawkus/Geffen Records
Worst Song: "Zimzallabim"

So, this is what we waited five years to get our hands on? Mos Def's 1999 debut, Black On Both Sides, was a cohesive album that featured production from 88-Keys, Ayatollah, DJ Premier and more. But his follow-up was basically a clusterfuck of alllllll the different things Mos wanted to try. Mos also let his rock ambitions get the best of him as songs featured him just wailing commands ("Let's go!") rather than his introspective lyrics. So it should come as no surprise that it sounded so scattershot that we still have trouble listening to it from start to finish without wondering why Mos didn't see the danger in taking that approach.

24. Black Sheep, Non-Fiction (1994)

Label: Mercury/PolyGram Records
Worst Song: "Let's Get Cozy"

It'd be easy to label Dres and Mista Lawnge one-hit wonders since "The Choice Is Yours" is still bringing in checks for the duo (word to those dancing hamsters!). But the truth is that their debut, A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing, was a classic album in 1991 thanks to their impeccable beat selection and their playful chemistry on the mic. But Black Sheep decided to take three years off before releasing their follow-up in December 1994.

And during that hiatus two things happened. Hip-hop went through a complete reinvention headlined by Dr. Dre's The Chronic and Snoop Doggy Dogg's Doggystle and then Nas' Illmatic and The Notorious B.I.G.'s Ready To Die, signaling a changed tenor and completely changed production techniques, as chopped samples replaced simple loops. On top of that the once whimsical Dres and Mista Lawnge's became self-consciously mature and disillusioned from their teenaged success. When it dropped their lifeless, self-serious sophomore release disappointed their few remaining fans, and sidelined the group for nearly a decade.

23. Ice Cube, Lethal Injection (1993)

Label: Priority Records
Worst Song: "When I Get To Heaven"

After shocking the shit out of the world with 1990's AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, 1990's Kill At Will, 1991's Death Certificate, and even 1992's The Predator, Cube's fourth album was a bit of an unwelcome departure for the former N.W.A. rapper. Cube seemed more focused on catering to the growing gangsta rap trend and recording hit singles than dealing with social issues like he had in the past. It's kinda hard to blame the guy for putting his career on cruise control and toning things down a bit, especially since he was trying to jump-start an acting career, but it doesn't excuse him for putting out a project that was D.O.A. for many of his loyal fans.

22. Run-DMC, Back From Hell (1990)

Label: Profile Records
Worst Song: "Faces"

We understand just how important the first few Run-DMC albums were to rap. Without them, hip-hop music as a whole wouldn't have had the opportunity to grow into what it was in the early '90s. However, Run-DMC was actually one of the first casualties of the changing sound of the genre. By 1990, their rock 'n roll-infused brand of hip-hop was starting to sound dated. So they tried to make Back From Hell a little less rock-tinged and, predictably, it just didn't sound right. Fortunately, they got back to business on their 1993 album, Down with the King, but Back From Hell was the beginning of the end of their reign as one of the most respected hip-hop groups out.

21. Souls of Mischief, No Man's Land (1995)

Label: Jive Records
Worst Song: "Secret Service"

Souls of Mischief's 1993 debut, 93 'til Infinity, was a fun, lighthearted effort from rappers A-Plus, Opio, Phesto, and Tajai that was quickly embraced by underground hip-hop heads who appreciated the youthfulness in SOM's beats and lyrics. So you can imagine their surprise where they picked up No Man's Land and heard the exact opposite. From SOM's jaded perspective to the darker themes and accompanying production efforts, it definitely wasn't what SOM fans were expecting from the group. Should've stuck to the script, fellas.

20. Noreaga, Melvin Flynt—Da Hustler (1999)

Label: Penalty Records
Worst Song: "Wethuggedout" f/ Missy Elliott

After CNN's classic 1997 debut, The War Report, and Noreaga's solid debut solo album, N.O.R.E., Victor Santiago dropped this dud that featured cheap in-house producers (save for a couple of contributions from The Neptunes) and Nore adopting a super lazy flow that made him sound like he wasn't into the idea of recording an album in the first place. On Capone-N-Noreaga's second album, The Reunion, in 2000, Nore confirmed his disinterest in the album by rhyming: "Melvin Flynt drop, my whole collasso stop/I can't believe I fucked up and made a half-ass album/My excuse is, my pops just died/And I ain't wanna make music, my pops just died." Yeah, that sounds about right.

19. Goodie Mob, World Party (1999)

Label: LaFace Records
Worst Song: "What It Ain't (Ghetto Enuff)" f/ TLC

Unlike Goodie Mob's 1995 debut, Soul Food, and their 1998 sophomore album, Still Standing, World Party was curiously devoid of any social messages or conscious undertones. Rather, it was—as the title suggests—one big party at the height of the jiggy era. The problem? That's not what their fans wanted them to do and, ultimately, they ended up upsetting their core fan base. Eventually, Goodie Mob got dropped by their label and split up shortly after dropping the album. Sounds like one shitty party, eh?

18. Boot Camp Clik, For The People (1997)

Label: Duck Down Records
Worst Song: "Last Time" f/ BJ Swan & F.L.O.W.

Where the fuck are Da Beatminerz? That's what just about every BCC fan wondered when they pressed play on the Clik's first collective album back in '97. Rather than utilize their production crew, the BCC instead chose to mess up their winning formula by using a ton of live instrumentation. So while the gritty lyrics of the NYC-based clique were still intact, the production was a bit of a mess. And it definitely wasn't for the people who'd come to love what the BCC had brought to the table in the past on their other projects.

17. LL Cool J, 14 Shots To The Dome (1993)

Label: Def Jam/Columbia/Sony Records
Worst Song: "Pink Cookies In a Plastic Bag Getting Crushed by Buildings"

LL Cool J is many things. One thing he never was? A gangsta. Tough guy, maybe. But gangsta? Never that. So when Cool James tried to remain relevant in a post-Chronic world by adopting a faux West Coast sound and a faux gangsta personality on his fifth album, 14 Shots To The Dome, the shit was....*RZA voice* fuckin' ridiculous. Compound that with absolutely silly titled single "Pink Cookies In A Plastic Bag (Getting Crushed By Buildings)" and you had LL's second (but not final) fall from grace. Don't call it a comeback, indeed.

16. Common, Electric Circus (2002)

Label: MCA Records
Worst Song: "Jimi Was A Rock Star" f/ Erykah Badu

It was recently revealed that after Common's debut album Can I Borrow A Dollar? sold a mere 2,000 copies, Com actually considered quitting rap altogether. Thankfully, he didn't quit and instead went on to make his masterpiece Resurrection and the excellent One Day It'll All Make Sense and Like Water For Chocolate. But he threw away all of his momentum with his fifth album, Electric Circus.

There are a lot of words you could use to describe Electric Circus. Ambitious, brave, adventurous, and risky are just a few that come to mind. But there's one word that most definitely doesn't come to mind: Good. We're not sure if Common just got tired of conventional rap or if he spent too much time kicking it with Erykah Badu, but an album that features multiple production efforts from ?uestlove, J Dilla, and The Neptunes should not sound like this. It just shouldn't. To make matters worse, this album was released only a month after The Roots had dropped Phrenology which was a bolder, fully realized vision of what experimental hip-hop could be.

15. Big Daddy Kane, A Taste of Chocolate (1990)

Label: Cold Chillin'/Reprise/Warner Bros. Records
Worst Song: "All Of Me" f/ Barry White

Aside from having one of the most pauseworthy album titles and covers in hip-hop history—seriously, WTF?—Kane's third album was far removed from anything we'd come to expect from him at this point in his career. Instead of gritty and grimy, Kane gave us grown and sexy and completely alienated his male fanbase in the process. It's also worth noting that it was around this time that he jumped on the cover of Playgirl and made an appearance in Madonna's coffee table book, Sex—both fails in their own right. Just a taste of this album was more than enough.

14. T.I., No Mercy (2010)

Label: Grand Hustle/Atlantic Records
Worst Song: "Castle Walls" f/ Christina Aguilera

At one time, Tip was running around telling folks that No Mercy—then titled King Uncaged—was an album that was going to be recognized as being just as important as 2Pac's post-prison opus, All Eyez On Me. Like Pac, T.I. was coming off a highly-publicized jail stint and looking to regain his place at the top of the game. But, of course, he ran into more legal troubles shortly before the album was set to be released, forcing Atlantic Records to piece together an album filled with awkward collaborations that wasn't cohesive at all. The only thing that album succeeded in doing was having absolutely no mercy on our ears.

13. A Tribe Called Quest, Beats, Rhymes, & Life (1996)

Label: Jive/BMG Records
Worst Song: "Stressed Out" f/ Faith Evans

We gotta start by saying, hindsight being 20/20, this album is actually pretty good. However, that doesn't negate the fact that at the time of it's release B, R, & L was a massive let down for fans of ATCQ. After dropping three classic albums—1990's People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm, 1991's The Low End Theory, and 1993's Midnight Marauders—the stakes were at an all-time high. Could they continue to outdo themselves? Unfortunately, no. It seems that internal tensions that had been brewing for years boiled over, and the cracks became evident to the public as Q-Tip appeared, from the outside, to almost have replaced Phife and Ali with his cousin Consequence and the then up and coming Detroit producer Jay Dee.

The result was a complete departure, sonically, as the three moved from infectious sample collages that defined their first three efforts to the spacey and sublime sound of the Ummah (the name of Tip & Jay's collective productions). Combine that with more R&B hooks than on any previous Tribe album, and a third MC in Cons who jockeyed for attention while Phife passive-aggressively phoned in his verses, and you had the record that signaled, although we didn't know it yet, the end of ATCQ

12. Jay-Z & R. Kelly, The Best Of Both Worlds (2002)

Label: Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam Records
Worst Song: N/A

After two successful collaborations, “Guilty Until Proven Innocent“ and “Fiesta (Remix),” and a hot streak in both their careers (Jay-Z had just released The Blueprint and R. Kelly was coming off this album seemed like a great idea. The album was basically 14 tracks that were guaranteed to become staples at the club, on the radio, and, most importantly, on your chick's iPod. Sounds good right?

But everything about the roll-out of this album was a fail. First, the record leaked months prior. More importantly, just before the record's release, controversy rose after a video of Kellz allegedly having sex with an under-aged female surfaced. Due to his legal troubles, Jigga refused to appear anywhere with Kelly so no videos were shot in promotion for the album and a planned tour was cancelled.

The worst part? For whatever reason someone thought it would be a good idea to release Unfinished Business, a second album by the duo that was basically a bunch of leftovers from their original studio sessions. The record felt like nothing more than a cheap cash-in by all parties involved. Although Kelly's career recovered from the sex scandal, when Jay and Kellz tried their tour again in 2004 tensions between the two rose. During the tour, the partnership came to a permanent end after Hov's close friend Tyran "Ty Ty" Smith allegedly pepper-sprayed R. Kelly backstage at Madison Square Garden.

11. Wyclef Jean, The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II A Book (2000)

Label: Sony Music/Columbia Records
Worst Song: "Kenny Rogers - Pharoah Monch Dub Plate"

After dropping a respectable debut album in 1994, Blunted On Reality, The Fugees returned in with their classic The Score—arguably the best rap album of 1996. When Wyclef Jean went solo we wondered if he could survive without Pras and the insanely talented Lauryn Hill but he surprised us all with his 1997 debut, The Carnival—a surprisingly solid record that was ambitious and genre bending. We were excited to see what he'd do next until we got wind of what he'd cooked up on his second album.

Outside of the Mary J. Blige featuring hit, "911," The Ecleftic (horrible title, BTW) was a helter-skelter effort that featured 'Clef trying to save the world, dance the night away, fall in love, AND give Kenny Rogers some shine (WTF?) all at the same time. Did we mention that the first single featured the motherfucking Rock and his signature catchphrase “It Doesn't Matter!”?!?!!? Although Clef went on to release many more albums and have a successful international career, he was never taken seriously in rap again after this album.

10. Raekwon, Immobilarity (1999)

Label: Loud/Columbia/SME Records
Worst Song: "All I Got Is You Pt. 2" f/ Big Bub

For whatever reason, Raekwon The Chef decided to cook up his sophomore album using a recipe for disaster. His 1995 debut Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... still stands as one of the greatest rap recordings ever released so of course his sophomore album was highly anticipated. He waited four years to release it but Immobilarity simply wasn't worth the wait and it didn't spawn the kind of classic material we were so accustomed to hearing from him.

The main problem was Rae failed to ask his partner-in-rhyme Ghostface Killah to spits a single verse on the album and, even worse, he got production efforts from everyone but RZA—both of whom contributed heavily to the success of OB4CL. Besides the failure of the music, the album also marked the decline of the entire Wu-Tang Clan as many of the members dealt with commercial and artistic struggles throughout the 2000s. Rae's third album didn't fare much better than his second and he didn't return to prominence until 2009 when he released a worthy sequel to his debut, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2...

9. Snoop Dogg, Tha Doggfather (1996)

Label: Death Row/Interscope Records
Worst Song: "Freestyle Conversation"

2Pac was dead. Dr. Dre had left Death Row. And gangsta rap—and the West Coast as a whole—was on the decline. The only thing keeping it afloat? The idea that Snoop could somehow manage to match the energy of his 1993 debut, Doggystyle, without the help of the good Doctor. Wishful thinking. Snoop could clearly still rap his ass off, but Doggfather was a complete mess soncially and didn't even come close to matching the success of Doggystyle. Snoop eventually bounced from his label Death Row and ended up at No Limit and eventually, years later, he was able to bounce back.

8. Ja Rule, Blood In My Eye (2003)

Label: Murda Inc./Def Jam Records
Worst Song: "The I.N.C. Is Back" f/ Black Child & Shadow

In 2001, Ja Rule was essentially hip-hop's version of the King of Pop. From "I'm Real" to "Always On Time" to "Livin' It Up," just about every song he released that year soared to the top of the charts. That is, until 50 Cent started gunning for his spot and called him out for singing on records, Ja tried to ignore 50 at first. Eventually, Ja played right into 50's hands and started creating songs that were the exact opposite of what he'd come to expect from him. The result: This glorified mixtape that ultimately led to Ja Rule's self-destruction. You fell for the trap, son!

7. The Firm, The Album (1997)

Label: Aftermath/Interscope Records
Worst Song: "Fuck Somebody Else"

After the success of the posse cut “Affirmative Action” off Nas' It Was Written, the idea of forming the The Firm crew made a lot of sense. On paper, it was a win. Nas, Foxy Brown, AZ, and Cormega would rhyme over beats provided by Dr. Dre and the Trackmasters and create a classic collaborative album that would highlight some of the best rappers that New York had to offer at the time. But it only worked on paper.

In reality, this thing was a train wreck from the start. Cormega was replaced by Nature shortly after the group began recording because of creative differences between him and Nas. Furthermore, the album eventually took on a pop-oriented sound that did not fit the mafioso theme the group was going for. Finally, Nas and Foxy Brown (both beloved New York rappers at that time) were in short order here—each appearing on only six of the 18 tracks. What a fucking fiasco.

6. Puff Daddy, Forever (1999)

Label: Bad Boy Entertainment
Worst Song: "Best Friend"

Even though his ghostwriters and The Hitmen deserve most of the credit, Puff's 1997 debut, No Way Out, was filled with hits. His sophomore effort? Not so much. Even the songs that did take over the charts were mostly trash ("Satisy You"? Ugh!) and while the guest list was plentiful just like it was on No Way Out, most of the featured artists sounded like they had decided to collect their check and run rather than contribute a solid verse for Puff.

Chris Rock would later crack wise about Puff during his monologue at the 1999 MTV VMAs saying, “Puffy got a new album called Forever. Forever? What you trying to say Puff? Forever? You know if the album don't sell the next one gonna be called, How about three more months? Come on!” Seven years later, Puff released another solo project.

5. Lauryn Hill, MTV Unplugged No. 2.0 (2002)

Label: Columbia Records
Worst Song: "Mystery of Iniquity"

Traditionally, artists appear on Unplugged to perform tracks that fans are familiar with. Not so with Lauryn. In her case, she chose to perform a handful of half-baked songs that didn't even have proper titles at the time, which resulted in a very uneven sophomore project that was fucking awful. On the record she even uttered the words, "I used to be a performer but I don't really consider myself a performer any more," but the whole album was a live performance!

Lauryn wasn't even in top shape when she performed the songs (her voice was noticeably raspy). The album was needlessly a double disk. Every song had seemingly endless skits in-between them where Ms. Hill ranted about everything from God to God knows what. Or as 50 Cent once put it, "I used to listen to Lauryn Hill and tap my feet/Then the bitch put out a CD, it didn't have no beats!" Truer words were never spoken.

4. Lil Wayne, Rebirth (2010)

Label: Young Money/Cash Money/Universal Motown
Worst Song: "American Star"

"Hey, Lil Wayne: You just released the biggest album of your life, you're widely considered the best rapper alive, and you could literally sell a million blank CDs if you put your name on them and put them into stores next week. So, what are you going to do next? Hold're going to do WHAT!?!?!" That had to be the conversation that went down in the Cash Money offices when Weezy decided he was going to put together a rock album—something no one wanted to hear and he had no business making.

It sounded like a bad idea then, it sounded like a bad idea when it leaked months ahead of time thanks to an Amazon shipping error, and it sounded like a bad idea when we actually heard it. We're just glad Wayne's done with that phase in his life...wait, you are done with that phase, right, Wayne?

3. Dr. Dre, Dr. Dre Presents the Aftermath (1996)

Label: Aftermath/Interscope Records
Worst Song: "No Second Chance" f/ Whoz Who

The title of this album was deceiving. Though Dr. Dre was "presenting" a number of artists from his label, he didn't actually appear on most of the album to do it. Aside from the lead single, "Been There, Done That," he lent his voice to just one other song and he co-produced less than half of the album as a whole. And as the cover art suggests, it blew up in his face and resulted in a shitty album featuring a bunch of artists we never heard from again.

2. Canibus, Can-I-Bus (1998)

Label: Universal Records
Worst Song: "Rip Rock"

Back in '98, Canibus was hip-hop's answer to the shiny suit era—a spitfire MC who made a name for himself by releasing one of the most scatching diss records of all-time ("2nd Round Knockout") and taking shots at LL Cool J. Bottom line: Dude could rap.

Unfortunately, he couldn't make a song to save his life and that became apparent on his debut—a poorly-produced project that made him look more like a first-round bust than rap's Rookie of the Year. On his second album, Canibus would later place the blame squarely on the album's producer, Wyclef Jean, by rhyming, "You mad at the last album, I apologise for it/Yo I can't call it, motherfucking Wyclef spoiled it."

1. Nas, Nastradamus (1999)

Label: Ill Will/Columbia Records
Worst Song: "Big Girl"

In 1994, Nas released one of the most revered rap albums in the genre's history, Illmatic. In 1996, Nas did the impossible—he actually made a worthy sequel to his landmark debut, It Was Written. By 1999, some of Nas' reverence in rap circles had wavered but no matter—the shortcomings of his third album I Am... could be blamed on a notorious leak which forced Nas' to reformat the album on the fly. However, the wheels fell off when he dropped his fourth album, Nastradamus.

What can we say about this album that hasn't already been said in the past? Nastradamus is the epitome of what a rap album fail is. From the piss-poor beat selection to the scatter-brained concepts to the obvious commercial attempts to straight up terrible rhyming, Nastradamus was Nas at his worst. We're willing to bet if Nas had never made Nastradamus, Jay-Z would have never had the balls to diss him on “Takeover.” It's just too bad Nas couldn't have predicted this album would suck—and live as an ugly stain on his track record—before he put it out.

8 Ways Jigga Topped Forbes Hip-Hop Cash Kings

Hov topped Forbes' cash kings and the folks over at liveagl compiled a list as to how and why.

Jigga topped the list with earnings of 63 million dollars over the past 12 months, an impressive amount with the runner-up, Diddy, making less than half of that gross. With this news liveag put up a list of possible ways he generated this income.

Live Nation Deal

Around April of 2008, news broke of Jay-Z closing a deal with Live Nation for a cool $150 Million. The deal included financing for his own entertainment ventures, album releases and touring for the next decade. This would of made Live Nation the home for his music and his music group Roc Nation and with Def Jam having only one album left at the time, it was the next likely move for Hov. There has been no news of this deal being finalized or if there was an advance/signing bonus involved, but it’s a possible source of income.


Jay-Z has been on numerous tours as of late, with the Blueprint 3 tour being the last which grossed a reported 22.3 million. The earnings made that the biggest hip hop tour of 2009. The previous tour, Heart of City featuring the talented Mary J Blige, was also extremely successful for all partners.

40/40 Clubs

The 40/40 club is one of the more popular spots in Manhattan. Though there has been hiccups with the brand also some issues and ultimately closing of Vegas location, Jay plans to open new locations in Chicago, Tokyo, and Macau this year and the next.

Blue Print 3

Jay-Z’s album is definitely a major note and a significant source to his earnings. The album did a decent 476,000 in the first week, but today it has sold over 1.75 million, and with sonority level as high as his, he is earning more back than any other artist on record sales.

Real Estate

Real estate seems to be the necessity for most investors and Jay is no different. He has investments in many places with his last major purchase being land in New York’s ritzy Chelsea district for 6.6 million dollars. The purpose was to start a chain of luxury hotels but there is now rumours of Jay selling that land for profit, but that’s speculation at this point.


Jay-Z sold the Rocawear line to Iconix brand group in 2007 for a cool 204 million but he still overseas and has stake in the company (so he is still being paid when revenue is generated). Another interesting note, if the brand meets the 5 year goals that Inconix has set, Jay-Z and his partners will be payed another 34 million.

New Jersey Nets

It's yet to be known how strong this source of income is, and it doesn’t help that the Nets had a poor season, but it is a reported earning so we count it.

Translation Ad Agency

Yes Jay-Z owns an ad agency and it’s called Translation. The agency launched in 2008 with Jay-Z as co-chairman along with Steve Stoute and it was eventually sold to interpublic, but the two still oversee operations.

Other investments + Projects

- DJ Hero promotional partnership

- Possible Book Deal With Spiegel & Grau

- Investor for the famous Spotted Pig restaurant And Other Services

- Stake in Broadway Hit “Fela”

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Tha Carter 4 De-thrones Jay-Z & Kanye West's First Week iTunes Sales Record

Less than three weeks after the U.S. iTunes Store's single-week album sales record was broken by Jay-Z & Kanye West's "Watch the Throne," it's been smashed again and this time by Lil Wayne's new "Tha Carter 4."

According to Rolling Stone, C4 has sold over 300,000 downloads via iTunes in only its first four days of release, according to Cash Money/Universal Republic Records. That outpaces the 290,000 that "Throne" moved through iTunes in its entire first week.

C4's achievement is all the more impressive because it's available through all digital and physical retailers, not just iTunes. Comparatively, "Throne" was sold exclusively through iTunes for its first four days of release.

Further, "Carter IV" is on its way to an overall first-week start of more than 850,000 copies digital and physical sales combined - according to industry prognosticators.

If "Carter IV" shifts 850,000 or more, it will instantly mark the biggest sales week for a hip-hop album since his own "Carter III" bowed with 1.01 million on the June 28, 2008 chart according to Nielsen SoundScan.