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Sometimes, a debut album shows an artist's sound in full bloom. Sometimes, it merely offers a glimpse of brilliance, a capacity to blossom into greatness. It's no surprise, then, that several artists have recorded follow-up albums that manage to rival their first for greatness. Here are 10 sophomore albums that turned out better than their predecessors.


March 29, 2010 at 7:30 pm
(1) Julian says:

what about straight outta compton?

isn’t that the eighth best rap album ever, according to you?

March 29, 2010 at 9:52 pm
(2) Patrick L says:

I would’ve put Tribes album at number one because The Low End Theory is the best album on there.

March 29, 2010 at 10:00 pm
(3) Chris Bizzle says:

Lupe anyone?

(“I know it’s fun playing devil’s advocate, but would you really bump off albums like It Takes A Nation, Death Certificate, Paul’s Boutique, De La Soul Is Dead for The Cool? Seriously?” – Henry)

March 30, 2010 at 12:09 am
(4) Sleepy Wonder says:

Great List, I Always Forget “Blunted On Reality”, “Words From The Genius” & “Juvenile Hell” Exist No Matter How Many Times I Listen To Them (Not Often) Or Have Someone Remind Me.

I Was Bumping “DLSID” Earlier Today, That Was My First Introduction To De La Soul Back In ’04 When I Quit Listening To Radio.

March 30, 2010 at 4:16 am
(5) Pratik says:

My opinion is that “Three Feet High And Rising” is better than “De La Soul Is Dead”

March 30, 2010 at 9:29 am
(6) Renan says:

What about Late Registration?

March 30, 2010 at 5:02 pm
(7) Adsy says:

I see you have reconsidered your list from what you originally had down, but still you have overlooked many classic second albums…………

Slim Shady LP (Eminem’s first album was infinite, i thought you would know this Henry),Cypress Hill- Black Sunday, The Roots- Illadelph Halflife, Jurassic 5- Quality Control, Outkast- ATliens……….

The list goes on man

(I really like your list. Maybe we should trade lists. I’ll give you It Takes A Nation for Quality Control. Deal? – Henry)

March 30, 2010 at 5:14 pm
(8) Def says:

Agreed on Lupe

March 30, 2010 at 9:25 pm
(9) Chris S says:

can somebody please explain to me why It Takes A Nation… is such a good album. they just scream the whole time. i guess they’re “political”, but Eminem is extremely political, and he says it in a much more creative way than Chuck D. same goes for Immortal Technique, Talib, and even dead prez. they were “political”, but they could actually rap good.

and in my opinion, Kanye and Lupe should easily be on the list. and definitely Word of Mouf from Luda

March 31, 2010 at 12:48 am
(10) Patrick L says:

I kinda agree with Christ S.

March 31, 2010 at 2:37 am
(11) Elton says:

I would have push that infamous Mobb album all the way to the top.
But of course, thats just my personal opinion. I must have worn my first CD out, i had it on loop in the motor back in the day.
Get that album and others here wyzthreadz

March 31, 2010 at 6:40 am
(12) Adsy says:

Fair enough henry ure probly right on that one although I’ve never really enjoyed public enemy that much, don’t think it shud be number one neways when the difference between the fugees albums is massive and the infamous and low end theory are such good albums……….

Also I don’t understand people saying Lupe and kanyes second albums were better than their first??? I much prefer college dropout/ food and liqour but I guess that’s just my opinion

March 31, 2010 at 11:31 pm
(13) Chris S says:

@ Adsy

not saying they were better (although The Cool was in my opinion), just saying they were two of the best sophomore releases by anyone

April 1, 2010 at 5:15 am
(14) LamarMatic says:

How about Me Against the World or All Eyez on Me? They both are better than Pac’s debut, IMHO one of these classics (the one, which you consider the best) deserves to be on the list.

April 1, 2010 at 5:11 pm
(15) Mateo says:

I would move Eminem up a few spots but I tend to agree with Chris S. And although neither one of the above mention Pac albums was his sophomore album; his sophomore album, Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z., was a pretty good album (especially the 2nd half of the CD) but I don’t know about one of the greatest. However, I will throw this one out there, Notorious BIG “Born Again”. And hell as long as I am throwing stuff out there, T.I. “Trap Muzik”.

April 1, 2010 at 5:17 pm
(16) Mateo says:

Wow, I meant “Life After Death”. Brain fart there.

April 2, 2010 at 7:40 am
(17) Adsy says:

@ chris s

I thought the whole point of this blog was albums ‘better’ than their predecessors

April 4, 2010 at 10:16 pm
(18) Chris S says:

@ Adsy

touche’. another classic case of me not reading much past the title. althought i think it would be less opinionated if it was just best sophomore albums.

@ Mateo

nice catch. i was gonna have to call you out on that haha. but that would definitely be towards the top of my list in my opinion

April 8, 2010 at 12:01 am
(19) mrjsiah1 says:

i know the south other than atlanta dont get much props but my man scarface has had a few albums that could be added to the list

February 11, 2013 at 9:51 am
(20) Dan says:

nothing worse than Lupe stans…

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