Hip-hop history is littered with canceled albums; projects that were announced and teased but ultimately tossed away. In fact, some of them have been trapped on a hard drive for so long, they've become inside jokes (*cough cough* Detox *cough cough*.)
But what if all these albums were released?
For fun, and because we know people love lists and 'what if' scenarios, I present to you an alternative universe in which some of the best canceled rap albums of all time actually exist. Read with caution.
Eminem — Relapse 2
Synopsis: A sequel to Eminem’s horror-centric 2009 album where he raps from the perspective of a serial killer.
If the album were released: It would sell so many copies, Em would then make a Relapse 3... then 4... then 5... then 6... In total, the world would be gifted 27 Relapse albums. Eventually, Marshall would become his Relapse character, an actual serial killer, racking up 41 victims all across the state of Michigan. He’d get life in prison, something he should have earned either way for making Revival.
Kid Cudi — Man On the Moon III
Synopsis: The final chapter in Cudi’s dark, moody Man On the Moon trilogy.
If the album were released: In high school, the first two Man On the Moon albums helped me cope with my bipolar disorder. MOTM3 would have changed my life. It would have pushed me to get straight As. I would have applied for and been accepted to an Ivy League college and pursued a career in politics. I probably would have been elected president one day. You read that right. If Cudi released Man On the Moon III, I would have been the fucking president. Thanks a lot, Cudi.
Kanye West — Good Ass Job
Synopsis: The end of Kanye’s College series—College Dropout, Late Registration, Graduation—provides one last taste of that “Old Kanye” sound. Good Ass Job has since been resurrected as a Kanye/Chance collab album but I'm not gonna get excited yet; when it comes to releasing albums, Kanye is like a flaky girlfriend.
If the album were released: “Old Kanye” would have never morphed into “New Kanye” and we wouldn't be in this mess we’re in right now. Instead of hugging 45 in the Oval Office and rocking a MAGA hat, Kanye would be pooping on the White House lawn while using hairspray and a lighter to set Mike Pence on fire during a VMA performance.
Lil Wayne — Rebirth 2
Synopsis: A sequel to Lil Wayne’s polarizing rock album. Wayne publicly flirted with the idea of a sequel but ultimately scrapped the idea.
If the album were released: It would have been so obscenely successful that Weezy would have abandoned the rap game completely and reinvented himself as a rock artist. A prosperous pop-punk career would ultimately segway into him joining My Chemical Romance as their new lead singer, meaning the popular 2000s emo band would have never broken up in 2016. In case you can't tell, I'm describing a fucking utopia.
Lupe Fiasco — The Cool 2
Synopsis: A sequel to Lupe’s 2007 modern masterpiece, a confusing concept album oozing with vivid storytelling and insightful social commentary.
If the album were released: We would have peace in the Middle East. I don't know how, I don't know why, but trust me on this.
2Pac & MC Hammer — Too Tight
Synopsis: Yes, you read that right. 2Pac recorded an entire collab album with MC Hammer. Think of it like a '90s version of Watch the Throne but with way more parachute pants.
If the album were released: It would have singlehandedly destroyed Pac’s legacy. On the flip side, this would have saved MC Hammer’s legacy and he’d be a major player in the GOAT conversation. An MC Hammer biopic starring Denzel entitled Once Upon a HammerTime would sweep the 2019 Oscars.
Dr. Dre — Detox
Synopsis: You know damn well what it is. Delayed for centuries, Dre’s mythical Detox album is music’s most infamous example of an album stuck in purgatory.
If the album were released: We would realize that Dre was pulling an elaborate prank and that the album was a joke the whole damn time. It’s only one track and that one track is just five seconds of silence. Pitchfork would give an 11 out of 10, saying, “Dre’s innovative take on the medium of music itself is an idiosyncratic pièce de résistance and a resplendent magnum opus that requires multiple listens to digest all of its splendiferous emotional depth.”
Drew Landry — Untitled
Synopsis: In the seventh grade, I briefly considered pursuing a rap career and recording an amateur album—either entitled The Drew Landry LP 2 or The Drewprint. Luckily, I realized I can't rap.
If the album was released: It would have opened the gates of hell and brought upon the literal biblical apocalypse. I saved us all. You're welcome.
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