Top 10 Best-Selling Rap Albums Of The Last 10 Years

Rappers, either you love ’em or you hate ’em. But one thing is for certain: they’re not going anywhere. Because rap music is a state of mind. It identifies with highly driven individuals, rebellious teenagers, in-your-face type of personalities, and people who just question life generally. Most rappers are never satisfied with the cards they were given, so they turn their hustle for greatness into an autobiographical quest. Which usually ends up chronicled in their albums, music videos, and freestyles. Now let’s take a moment to celebrate the best-selling rap hustlers of the 2010s.

10. Invasion of Privacy, Cardi B

Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy Artwork

Released: April 6th, 2018;
Copies Sold: over 3 million;
Awards: Grammy Award for Best Rap Album (2019), BET Award for Album of the Year (2019);
Broken Records:  Longest-charting debut album by a female rapper on the Billboard 200, and the most-streamed album by a female rapper on Spotify;

Cardi and her team picked the best songs possible for her after the viral Bodak Yellow. The pressure was enormous on Cardi prior to the release of ‘Invasion of Privacy’, especially when the world found out she was pregnant at the time of recording the album. Safe to say, she pulled it off flawlessly and did not disappoint. Our rating: 4/5.

9. Pink Friday, Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday Artwork

Released:  November 22nd, 2010;
Copies Sold: over 3 million;
Awards: American Music Award for Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album, 2011;
Broken Records: Most weeks in the top ten on the Billboard 200 chart by a female rap album, having spent fourteen consecutive weeks in the top ten since its release;

The records that Nicki Minaj had broken, are mostly now broken again by Cardi B. Yet, Nicki was the first to show the world, since Lauryn Hill in 1998, that female rap CAN and WILL be commercially successful. Nicki has single-handedly forced the music industry to take women more seriously in a male-dominated genre. Our rating: 3.5/5.

8. DAMN., Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. Artwork

Released:  April 14th, 2017;
Copies Sold: over 3 million;
Awards: BET Hip Hop Award for Album of the Year (2017), Danish Music Award for International Album of the Year (2017), American Music Award for Favorite Rap/Hip Hop Album (2017), NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Album (2018), Grammy Award for Best Rap Album (2018), Fonogram Award for Best Foreign Rap or Hip-Hop Album of the Year (2018), iHeartRadio Music Award for Hip Hop Album of the Year (2018), Juno Award for International Album of the Year (2018), Pulitzer Prize for Music (2018);
Broken Records: 7th best selling album of 2017 of all genres;

No wonder Mackelmore apologized to Kendrick for having snubbed him. But hey, with that many awards for 2 years consecutively, Kendrick will be just fine. He is respected by everyone outside the music industry and inside the business. Fans and peers admire his talent and he does an incredible job delivering his messages to the masses. Also very creative in promoting his material, like free live concerts from the back of a truck turned into a mobile stage. Our rating: 4/5.

7. Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar’s Good Kid, M.a.a.d. City Artwork

Released:  October 22nd, 2012;
Copies Sold: over 3 million;
Awards: BET Hip Hop Award for Album of the Year (2013); 
Broken Records:  The 141st most acclaimed album of all time.

Good Kid, M.A.A.D City is Kendrick’s 2nd studio album and it birthed the ever-lasting hit song ‘Swimming Pools‘ that catapulted him to stardom and mainstream consumers. With production A-list names like Dr. Dre and Pharrell Williams, Kendrick made a huge impact on the music industry and raised the bar for lyrical rappers. Our rating: 5/5.

6. Nothing Was the Same, Drake

Drake’s Nothing Was the Same Artwork

Released:  September 24th, 2013;
Copies Sold: over 4 million;
Awards: BET Hip Hop Award for Album of the Year (2014); Juno Award for Rap Recording of the Year (2014);
Broken Records: The highest first week sales for a hip hop album since Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter IV (2011);

This was Drake’s 3rd studio album and spawned the behemoth meme ‘Started From the Bottom‘. You may not know the songs, but you darn sure have seen tons of memes quoting Drake or his funny faces. We also have to give props where props deserved, for the incredibly beautiful song ‘Hold On, We’re Going Home‘. The memories… Our rating: 3/5.

5. The Marshall Mathers LP 2, Eminem

Eminem’s Marshall Mathers LP 2 Artwork

Released: November 5th, 2013;
Copies Sold: over 4 million;
Awards: Billboard Music Award for Top Rap Album (2014), Grammy Award for Best Rap Album (2015);
Broken Records: The first American act to score seven consecutive UK Number 1 albums, bringing him on par with The Beatles in 2nd place for the most chart-topping UK albums in a row;

If you’re in the dark about this album just as we were, here’s a couple of titles that will freshen up your memory: Berzerk, Survival, Rap God, The Monster. 4 massive hit songs from a 16 track list. Not bad but definitely not as popular as previous releases. Can we say that making a song with Rihanna was the smartest move for promoting this album? Our rating: 3.5/5.

4. Scorpion, Drake

Drake’s Scorpion Artwork

Released: June 29th, 2018;
Copies Sold: over 5 million;
Awards: Billboard Music Award for Top Billboard 200 Album (2019);
Broken Records: In its first day of release, Scorpion broke Spotify’s one-day global record for album streams with 132.45 million streams, also broke Apple Music’s single-day record with 170 million streams.

In one line: good but not great. We were used to Drake putting out hit after hit and he kinda missed the mark with ‘Scorpion’. Probably the only memorable song from the double-sided CD is ‘God’s Plan‘, which stands at over 1.1 BILLION VIEWS on YouTube. The album still did exceptionally well commercially and it was a delight for long-time stans. Our rating: 2/5.

3. Take Care, Drake

Drake’s Take Care Artwork

Released: November 15th, 2011;
Copies Sold: over 6 million;
Awards: Grammy Award for Best Rap Album (2013);
Broken Records: none, probably due to being leaked a whole 9 days prior to the release.

Marvins Room‘ made so many other artists make remakes of their own that it is honestly insane: Jojo, Chris Brown, Lil Wayne, Guyana, Allegra, Sammy, Teyana Taylor etc.
Make Me Proud‘ was a nice bop song at the time and takes us back to the times when Drake was making more of a singing effort than his present body of work.
Remember ‘Take Care‘ with Rihanna? holy smokes how good that song was. It still is an incredible song and a nice reminder of Rihanna’s peak days as a musical artist. Our rating: 3.5/5.

2. Views, Drake

Released: April 29th, 2016;
Copies Sold: over 7 million;
Awards: American Music Award for the Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album (2016);
Broken Records: Most songs on the Billboard 100 simultaneously.

Drake is probably the only artist to have started so many memes lol. Besides the Started From The Bottom memes, he also got still the Hotline Bling memes going strong TO THIS DAY. We also had the ‘One Dance‘ (ft. Kyla) earworm invading all the clubs and parties the summer of 2016 and 2017 consecutively. It was an epic album and still is a legendary body of work that is a strong influence on pop culture as well to this day. Our rating: 4/5.

1. Recovery, Eminem

Eminem’s Recovery Artwork

Released: June 18th, 2010;
Copies Sold: over 8 million;
Awards: American Music Award for Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album (2010), Billboard Music Award for Top Billboard 200 Album (2011), Billboard Music Award for Top Rap Album (2011), Detroit Music Award for Outstanding National Major Label Recording (2011), Grammy Award for Best Rap Album (2011);
Broken Records: By July 2011, Eminem’s ‘Recovery‘ broke the digital record and became the first album to sell one million digital copies at the time; Since its United States release, the album spent a total of 27 weeks in the top 10 of the Billboard 200, which is more than any other hip-hop album since 2003.

THE RAP ALBUM OF THE 2010 DECADE. This album was so monumental in the music business as it was the 1st to cross from physical to digital and successfully doing so. It gifted us hit songs like ‘Not Afraid‘, ‘Love The Way You Lie‘, ‘No Love‘, ‘Space Bound‘. We all rejoiced in this album celebrating Eminem’s return to music after his long-time absence cause by overdoses, overeating, mental health issues. When time comes, ‘Recovery‘ will most definitelly be considered a Rap staple album and will most likely be studied in sound-engineering schools and universities. Our rating: 5/5.

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