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First impressions are crucial, especially in Hip-Hop. If you drop a dud your first time out, your rap career could be finished as quickly as it started. But not every Hip-Hop act hits a home run their first time up. Some barely made it on base before becoming solid players in the rap world.

Nas made MCs go back to the lab and rethink their motivation after he dropped Illmatic. But on the flip, many a Hip-Hop fan didn’t realize that Mobb Deep’s The Infamous, a Hip-Hop classic which housed “Shook Ones, Pt. II,” was actually their sophomore album (keep any “Juvenile Hell was a sleeper” talk to yourself).

Here are 10 such examples of acts that dropped subpar (relatively speaking) debut albums, only to smash the game with their sophomore re-ups.

Photo 4th & B’Way

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