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What are the best-selling rap albums of all time?

Rap is a musical and cultural movement. It has its origins in hip-hop. Rap appeared in the early 1970s in the ghettos of the United States.

In the early 80s, rap took off and gave birth to stars like Run DMC or Afrika bambaataa. It was also during these years that it arrived in France. At the end of the 80s, French rap made its debut with notably NTM, Iam, Assassin or Solaar.

In the early 90s, rap evolved and became more assertive. This is the birth of rap superstars like the NWA group.

In 95-96, American rap took a turn led by 2Pac, Notorious BIG or Coolio to name but a few.

In 2000, rap was booming, hundreds of labels were set up, rappers were more and more independent and rap became the most popular music among young people. This is also when it becomes more popular around the world.

Album sales figures aren’t everything, but sometimes they show the magnitude of the phenomenon that now surpasses Rock or Pop. While all of the rap albums on this list are multi-platinum or even diamond records, some reflect pivotal moments in hip-hop. Sales reflect in all cases, the impact of an artist on his time.

In 1986, when Raising Hell by Run-DMC went multi-platinum within a year, it proved that hip-hop was a real cultural force. When The Chronicby Dr. Dre, sold several hundred thousand copies in 1992, it marked a shift in hip-hop from the East Coast to the West Coast.

Early albums by rappers like Nas, Snoop Dogg and 50 Cent became events in their own right. When Tha Carter III by Lil Wayne sold over a million copies in its first week, it truly marked the moment of his arrival as a rap superstar.

If you want to expand your collection of rap classics on the cheap, there’s the second-hand sector. Savings, reduction of its environmental impact, you can find rap and hip-hop albums at very affordable prices.

In stores, between individuals, at flea markets or on specialized re-commerce sites such as the momox shop site, you will find the rap album(s) that are missing from your collection.

Top 10 best-selling rap albums in the world

  1. 50 Cent – Get Rich or Die Tryin’ released in 2003.

50 Cent’s debut album, Get Rich or Die Tryin’, burst onto the charts in 2003. It sold 872,000 copies in its first week, thanks to the unforgettable single “In da Club” .

The album sold 8.3 million copies.

  1. Nelly- Country Grammar released in 2000

Nelly’s first album, Country Grammar, entered the charts at 235,000 copies sold in its first week. The album was certified nine times platinum. It produced hits including “Ride wit Me”, “EI” and “Batter Up”.

The album sold 8.6 million copies

  1. Beastie Boys – Licensed to III released in 1986

Licensed to Ill is the only 1980s album on this list. Def Jam released the Beastie Boys’ debut album on November 15, 1986, and it became the first rap album to top the Billboard 200. It features some of the band’s most memorable hits: “Fight for Your Right” and “No Sleep Till Brooklyn”.

The album sold 9 million copies.

  1. 2Pac- All Eyes on Me released in 1996

Aside from Eminem, no other rapper has sold as many records as Tupac Shakur. The double album All Eyes on Me contains some of 2Pac’s best-known songs, including: “California Love” and “I Ain’t Mad at Cha”.

The album sold 9 million copies.

  1. 2Pac- Greatest Hits released in 1998

Greatest Hits by Tupac Shakur has outsold all of his original albums to date. The 1998 compilation is also the best-selling greatest hits compilation in hip-hop history.

The album sold 10 million copies.

  1. MC Hammer- Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em released in 1990

Thanks to the popularity of “U Can’t Touch This”, Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em stayed at the top of the Billboard 200 for 21 weeks.

The album sold 10 million copies.

  1. The Notorious BIG – Life After Death released in 1997

Biggie’s second album, released just two weeks after his death in a drive-by shooting, is considered one of the best hip-hop albums of all time.

The album sold 10.2 million copies.

  1. Eminem- The Eminem Show released in 2002

Eminem is the only rapper to have recorded at least two Diamond albums (over 10 million units sold) since the RIAA instituted the Diamond Award in 1999. The Eminem Show is one of two Eminem albums to earn the coveted Diamond certification.

The album sold 10.3 million copies.

  1. Eminem- The Marshall Mathers LP released in 2000

Eminem’s second album, The Marshall Mathers LP, sold nearly 11 million units in the United States, making it the best-selling album by a solo rapper. Eminem is also the best-selling solo rapper of all time.

The album sold 10.6 million copies.

  1. OutKast – Speakerboxx/The Love Below released in 2003

Speakerboxx/The Love Below from OutKast is a double album. The RIAA double counts double albums. Which means: one copy = two units. According to RIAA calculations, 5.5 million = 11 million units.

The album sold 11.4 million copies.

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