The real King of the South. People forget Luda had the charts at his whim in the early to mid 2000s. Now that he’s focusing on movies and getting a reported $5 million per flick, he may be on a chart vacation.
Keep in mind he’s only had about three albums that mattered. As of now, DMX is a liability as he keeps going to jail and is battling substance abuse, so it’s unlikely he’ll get the major push to move major units again.
8. MC Hammer
Only five of this dudes albums sold and his third album Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em featuring the hit “U Can’t Touch This” went Diamond, that’s 10 million albums! How did this guy go broke? Actually Hammer isn’t broke anymore, he’s investing in tech start-ups.
7. Notorious B.I.G.
Really only 2 albums, since the third one was Diddy’s attempt to capitalize. What’s interesting is that even though Biggie is #7 on the list, he does have the highest album selling average, even beating out Eminem.
While many in the hardcore hip hop circles like to degrade Nelly’s rap skills, you have to give him credit for bringing sing-song style rap to the forefront inspiring countless rappers.
5. Beastie Boys
22 Million Albums Sold
9 albums released
Average: 2.4 million
The blueprint of cool white rap. Will the world see another white rap group takeover? Probably, but not on the scale that the Beastie Boys did it.
22 Million Albums Sold
6 albums released
Average: 2.7 million
The best Southern group ever. While Outkast we’re on a creative high for much of the 90′s and early 2000′s, they haven’t released an album since 2006′s Idlewild, which just squeaked by platinum. To put that number into perspective, Outkast’s previous album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below scanned 11 million units.
27 Million Albums Sold
11 solo albums, 4 collabo albums, 5 compliation albums
Average: 2.5 million
Jay-Z maybe worth half a billion dollars, married to the hottest chick in the game Beyonce, recognized as one of the greatest rappers of all time, but he still doesn’t have one accolade: the top sales slot. It’s okay, because aside from likely winning the world’s greatest dad in 2016, Jay-Z will probably lock in that number two spot by then.
35 Million Albums Sold
7 albums released
Average: 5 million
Eminem has had an amazing run over the last few years after almost quiting rap in 2006 after almost succumbing to a drug addiction to coming back to the forefront releasing chart topping albums in both 2010 and 2011. It is extremely likely that Eminem will surpass Tupac with his next three albums.
1. 2 Pac
38 Million Albums Sold
11 albums released
Average: 3.5 million
Having released 6 albums while alive, and 8 albums posthumous, Pac is the Elvis of Hip Hop. Considering Tupac hasn’t been alive since 1996, it is pretty remarkable and a testament to his music that in 2011 he’s still the #1 selling rapper of all time. All eyes on him.
*All numbers taken from RIAA and are only US sales.