These 12 Iconic Hip-Hop Albums Were Nearly Named Differently
What’s in a name? Well, a lot, actually.
Rappers (and record labels) spend more time mulling over album titles than you may think. While not as pressing as the book and cover analogy—let’s be honest, ultimately, it’s the musical product people care about—a fire name can do wonders for an album’s marketability.
It can add intrigue and backstory; see Lil Uzi Vert’s Eternal Atake. Some well-thought-out titles can even make for perfect branding and business opportunities like Travis Scott’s Astroworld, which he has turned into a clothing line, accessories and a huge festival. Others have been so engrained into the culture, they’ve helped brand entire megapolitans, i.e. OutKast’s ATLiens.
Not every rapper gets it right the first time. There have been a number of instances in hip-hop history where rappers have dubbed their album one name in the production phase only to have to change it to something similar or something totally different upon the release date. Some didn’t jive with the market, others were tastefully unacceptable and a few were just downright strange. Case in point: the Beastie Boys’ 2007 album, The Mix Up, was initially titled Thick Like Beyonce’s Legs.
Some of hip-hop’s most beloved rap albums, including the debuts from Jay-Z and Raekwon, and major releases from Eminem, Kendrick Lamar and Drake, started off as something different before becoming the titles we all know and love.
XXL compiles a list of albums that were initially named something totally different.
See 12 Classic Hip-Hop Albums That Were Nearly Named Differently