Since it first rose to popularity during the 1980s, hip hop has developed into part of mainstream pop culture. Hit any dance floor across the world, and you’re bound to hear the latest chart-topping hit from a successful rapper. Legendary artists like The Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur, and Rakim still remain among the most popular and admired hip hop artists to ever pick up a mic. However, even high-profile stars deliver a misfire every once in a while.
Today we’re taking a look at some of the worst rap albums of all time, but rather than taking on the far-too-easy targets of underwhelming acts that tried and failed (looking at you, Kevin Federline!), we’re going after established artists who have seen chart success either with the albums listed below or elsewhere. Though some of our selections still went multi-platinum, we’re including them based on their failure to live up to hip hop’s potential greatness and/or the artist in question’s other work. Accordingly, expectations factor in as well. So don’t expect to see poor-to-mediocre artists like Master P and the rest of his No Limit squad making an appearance.
1. Vanilla Ice, To the Extreme (1990)
The world may still rock out to his so-bad-it’s-good “Ice Ice Baby,” but other than guilty pleasure, there’s little to like in this debut album, which remarkably sold more than 7 million copies in the United States. In retrospect, Vanilla Ice’s initial success feels like some sort of musical fever dream that collectively swept the nation, as none of his subsequent five studio albums have barely registered on the charts. That’s probably for the best.