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Chance the Rapper names his favourite hip hop albums

Chance The Rapper rose to fame at a similar time to the likes of Tyler The Creator, A$AP Rocky and Yung Lean during the early 2010s. Coming out of Chicago, Chance The Rapper is often cited as the best Rapper of recent times to come out of the city.

Chance the Rapper (real name Chancellor Bennett) came up like most rappers through mixtapes. Bennett had an organic come-up in his hometown and was quick to appear on Chicago’s hip hop radar. In 2011 he released his debut mixtape entitled 10 Day. The project made a lot of noise locally, as Bennett had tirelessly networked in and around Chicago in order to reach producers and fellow underground rappers prior to its release.

Following its local success, with over half a million downloads on DatPiff, he was named on Complex magazine’s ’10 New Chicago Rappers to Watch Out For’ list. Following this exposure and the success of his first mixtape, he was asked by Childish Gambino not only to appear on his sixth mixtape but also to tour with him.

Following the 2012 tour with Gambino, the following year, Chance The Rapper released his iconic Acid Rap mixtape to vast amounts of critical acclaim. The project was nominated for ‘Best Mixtape’ at the 2013 BET hip hop awards. However, it did not go on to win.

Bennett’s debut album came in the form of The Big Day in 2019. It was self-released. Bennett’s status as an independent artist is one of the things that has allowed him to cultivate such a loyal following, and his fans admire it. Independently, he has managed to reach the mainstream, receive three Grammys and more. Bennett is cited as one of the only rappers of his generation to achieve mainstream success independently. 

As well as an impressive discography, Chance The Rapper also has an extensive filmography and has been featured in several films, including Slice and The Lion King. Prior to the release of his album, in an interview with Complex, Chance once named his favourite hip hop albums of all time.

Chance the Rapper’s favourite hip hop albums of all time:

5. Jay-Z – Reasonable Doubt, (1996)

Jay-Z’s debut album, often overlooked by many, made the list as one of Chance The Rapper’s favourites. Released on Roc-A-Fella and distributed by Priority, when asked why he loves the album, the rapper responded it’s “The most hungry Jay-Z I’ve ever heard.”

4. Lauryn Hill – The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill, (1998)

This 1998 was Lauryn Hill’s first and last solo album release. Considered a classic The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill sees Hill telling stories from a human perspective and shows her deep understanding of society. Leaving a profound impact on hip hop, the album explores issues surrounding vanity, European beauty standards, alcoholism, excessive promiscuity and effective prostitution in the African-American community as well as, issues surrounding gun possession, negligence of paternal duties, sexual exploitation and the domestic abuse of women.

Explaining why it’s one of his favourites of all time Bennett detailed, “For obvious reasons, but specifically because of ‘Zion.’ It was basically like the most beautiful resignation letter I’ve ever read, ya know?”

3. Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP, (2000)

The Marshall Mathers LP was Eminem’s second album, and it was just as good as his The Slim Shady LP, if not better and cemented his place in hip hop. The album was a smash, and sold 1.78 million copies in its first week in the US alone and won Eminem a Grammy for ‘Best Rap Album’. Furthermore, its lead single, ‘The Real Slim Shady’, is one of the most legendary songs in hip hop.

When questioned about how the album impacted him, Chance the rapper explained that the album helped him develop his cadence in rap, stating it’s, “Where [he] got [his] flow from.”

2. Jay-Z – The Blueprint, (2001)

The album that saw Jay-Z firing at Nas, Mobb Deep and more, The Blueprint, really saw Jay-Z primed for hip hop’s number-one spot. Produced primarily by Kanye West, the album saw Jay-Z debut at number one, going two times platinum. The song ‘Take Over’ prompted Nas to release the legendary diss track Ether, and this only fuelled sales of both The Blueprint and Stillmatic.

Jay-Z had only been out for six years when this was released. However, it was his sixth studio album, as Jay-Z had put out an album every year since his debut. When asked what about the album appealed to him, Chance answered it was “The most tactical Jay Z.”

1. 50 Cent – Get Rich or Die Tryin’, (2003)

50 Cent’s debut album, executively produced by Dr Dre and with the backing of major label Interscope, Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ went straight to number one on the Billboard 200, selling 12 million copies worldwide by the end of the year. The album’s lead single, ‘In Da Club’, was certified Gold by the RIAA but went three times platinum in the UK.

After this album, 50 Cent effectively ruled the airwaves in the 2000s, so it’s no surprise to see this album on Chance The Rapper’s list of favourite albums of all time. Speaking on his love for 50 Cent and his music Bennett told Complex, “He only had hits, 50 owned the 200s!”

Bennett also cited Outkast’s The Love Below and Kanye West’s Graduation as other albums that he would consider his among his favourites, see the full list below.

Chance the Rapper’s favourite hip hop albums of all time:

  • Jay-Z – Reasonable Doubt, (1995)
  • Lauryn Hill – The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill, (1998)
  • Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP, (2000)
  • Jay-Z – The Blueprint, (2001)
  • 50 Cent – Get Rich Or Die Tryin’, (2003)
  • Outkast – The Love Below, (2003)
  • Kanye West – The College Dropout,(2004)
  • Kanye West – Late Registration, (2005)
  • Kanye West – Graduation, (2007)
  • Lil Wayne – The Carter Meets The Cartel, (2007)
  • Jay-Z – The Blueprint 3, (2009)
  • Rick Ross – Teflon Don, (2009)
  • Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, (2010)