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It’s completely understandable that the rap stars of today have carved their lane with classic mixtapes opposed to the groundbreaking retail releases. One-hit wonders still show up and now and then but if an entire collection of material catches on with fans, a real career is inevitably born.

In lieu of Drake breaking all sorts of records with his new project, take a trip down memory lane to peep the freebies that made the current relevant rappers household names. Starting with the current torchbearer of the Roc.

J. Cole – The Warm Up (2009)

Best Songs: “Dollar and a Dream”, “Lights Please”, “Til’ Infinity”

Photo: WENN

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