[Editor's note: Haterade Monday continues! Earlier in the day we told brought you the five dopiest Beach Boys songs (including one where Brian Wilson raps). And now, on the heels of our top 20 greatest L.A. rap albums of all time here's some more drivel from classic artists.]
Hip-hop doesn't respect its elders. At least, that's what the elders are always saying. But there's truth there: while rock music continually informs itself with stylistic elements of decades prior, when was the last time you heard some rapper trying to tongue-flip like Das EFX or use that fake record scratch sample a la Swizz Beatz circa '99?
All in all, a rapper's reward for making a single classic LP is the ability to coast on it for decades if they so choose. And, sad to say, some of the artists in our top 20 greatest L.A. rap albums list have done exactly that. And so, while it's fun to rhapsodize about greatness, let's not forget that these artists have also produced their share of clunkers. Here, then, is our by-no-means-complete list of the worst albums from our best artists.
Best Album: Eazy-Duz-It (1988), #17 on our list
Worst Album: It's On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa (1993)
Somehow, a work with “Gimme That Nutt” managed to tarnish Eazy-E's legacy. It's On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa can't be described as anything other than a vengeful stopgap release from a time when the video for “Dre Day” was ubiquitous. This was a moment when Eazy-E was about as credible as Tim Dog. We don't need to remember him this way.
Artist: The Game
Best Album: Doctor's Advocate (2006) #12 on our list
Worst Album: The R.E.D. Album (2011)
No one in their right mind would've expected much from Game after L.A.X. proved as soul-deadening as its namesake, but the more The R.E.D. Album got delayed, the more you could talk yourself into believing it might morph into something palatable. But instead our boy Jayceon somehow regressed to having even less of a personality than he did on The Documentary, shapeshifting into a guy who gets murdered on his own shit by Wale and Drake. While I guess it somewhat redeems itself by confirming that Nelly Furtado is still alive, it's the rare rap record that makes you actually feel sympathy for the label. I really hope no kids have their Christmas ruined because of The R.E.D. Album.
Best Album: O.G. – Original Gangster (1991) #11 on our list
Worst Album: Body Count (1992)
With Body Count, Ice-T fancied himself a groundbreaking innovator by serving as a hip-hop fan's ambassador to a far lower form of music, hardcore. And while it's nowhere near as soberly serious as follow-up Born Dead, thanks to the “Cop Killer” controversy, people actually bought this album, subjecting themselves to tracks like “Evil Dick” and “KKK Bitch.” It was the sort of entry-level bid for shock value would have even Willie D shaking his head in disgust. To make matters worse, the censored versions of the album (sans “Cop Killer”) contained a remake of “The Iceberg,” featuring Jello Biafra, which somehow made it worse.
Artist: Cypress Hill (1991)
Best Album: Cypress HIll (1991) #8 on our list
Worst Album: Cypress Hill IV (1998)
By now Cypress Hill had long been courting rock weedhead crossover fans – easily the most loyal of all music fans. But like several other albums on this list, Cypress Hill IV represents the beginning of the end for the group. In this case Cypress Hill was so desperate for a new direction that they actually tried to have you empathize with the cops on “Through The Eye Of The Pig.”
Artist: Ice Cube
Best Album: Death Certificate (1991) #7 on our list
Worst Album: Lethal Injection (1993)
What was Lethal Injection's excuse? Sure, it has its moments, like a 10-minute version of “Bop Gun” that is sublimely weird. And “Cave Bitch” was a delightful treat for people who found “Horny Lil' Devil” restrained. But otherwise, “You Know How We Do It” could pass for a particularly weak Domino single — and that was the most popular joint on the album. At least, that is, before “Down For Whatever” was resurrected by Office Space, leaving Lethal Injection as the one Ice Cube album many own but no one remembers.
Best Album: All Eyez On Me (1996) #4 on our list
Worst Album: Still I Rise (1999)
Look, there wasn't a question if a posthumous Tupac record was making this list, but rather which one. And, considering that the Outlawz are co-credited with Still I Rise, let's just say it's nice that none of the group members' offspring will ever have to spend a day in public school.
Artist: Snoop Doggy Dogg
Best Album: Doggystyle (1993) #2 on our list
Worst Album:Tha Doggfather (1996)
Sure, Da Game Is To Be Sold, Not To Be Told rivals R.E.M.'s Monster in terms of utterly saturating used CD stores. And there's a good chance even Lil' Half Dead hasn't made it through anything Snoop's released since 1996. But Doggfather is a particularly noteworthy transmission, as it shows him stuck in Death Row without any of Dr. Dre's beats or guidance.
Artist: Dr. Dre
Best Album: The Chronic (1992) #1 on our list
Worst Album: Presents…The Aftermath
Because this one doesn't have “Phone Tap” on it.