We guess if you title your album Tashaan Dorsett, you really don’t run the risk of having another rapper copy your album title. But asking artists to be original in hip-hop these days seems like a lot, especially when today’s generation is quick to borrow album titles as if their forefathers never existed. We take a look at some of these moments over the years and decide whether they were homages, copies, or coincidences. Listed in no particular order.
1. T-Pain – “RevolveR” (2010) vs. The Beatles – “Revolver” (1966) – Pain’s yet to be released LP not so subtly borrows a title from what many call “the best album from the best band of all time”. Was Teddy Pin-Her-Ass-Down aware of the similarities? Given the single art’s western theme, we’re going to guess not. Not to mention, we seriously doubt T’s trying to put himself in the same space as the Fab Four. Although if he tries to pull some pencil drawn art for the actual album cover, then we’ll reconsider. Verdict: Coincidence
2. General Steele – “Amerikkka’s Nightmare Part 2″ (2010) vs Spice 1 – “Amerikkka’s Nightmare” (1994) – This one is kinda suspect – while Spice’s CD is a good sixteen years old, we’re going to guess that the Smif ‘N Wessun frontman is aware that it exists – maybe he just forgot about it. Verdict: Coincidence
3. Jay-z – “The Blueprint” (2001) vs. Boogie Down Productions – “Ghetto Music: The Blueprint Of Hip-Hop” (1989) – We’re pretty confident that Shawn Carter – growing up in Marcy Projects, Brooklyn – listened to KRS’s original blueprint when he was coming up himself. How could he escape it? It was in the air. But he had plans to rewrite the whole thing – three times. Verdict: Bite
4. Prodigy of Mobb Deep – “Return of The Mac” (2007) vs. Mark Morrison – “Return of The Mack” (1996) – Given the spelling of the word “mac” – more like a gun, less like a pimp – and the fact of how much Prodigy raps about guns and ammo on this record, it’s pretty clear this was a tongue-in-cheek play on Morrison’s 1996 R&B release. Verdict: Homage
5. Cypress Hill – “Rise Up” (2010) vs. Yves La Rock – “Rise Up” (2009) - What are the chances that Cypress Hill were performing at some outdoor music fest alongside house music hippy Yves La Rock over the last year? Slim, considering they have been on hiatus for the last couple of years. Given the fact that Cypress takes the meaning to revolt against the man, and LaRock takes it to rejoice with your hands in the air while you dance to the music high on acid, there’s no foul play here. Verdict: Coincidence
6. Lil Tweety – “All Eyes On Me” (2004) vs. 2Pac – “All Eyez On Me” (1996) - There are eyes on him? Does somebody want to tell the “hi-powered solider” there that there’s already a rap album called “All Eyez On Me”? He must not know because we know he isn’t trying to put himself in the same space as ‘Pac. Verdict: Bite
7. Marco Polo – “The Stupendous Adventures Of….” (2010) vs. Slick Rick – “The Great Adventures Of…” (1988) - Given Polo’s track record, it’s obvious that MC Ricky D’s debut was influential to the music he makes today. Probably why he tweaked the title a bit – Marco’s adventures are “stupendous”, Rick’s are “great”. There’s a difference there. Verdict: Homage
8. Jay-Z – “Kingdom Come” (2006) vs. King Tee – “Thy Kingdom Come” (1998) – This one is pretty suspect because of the fact that Dr. Dre produced on both albums, one of them not ever officially making it to store shelves. Did Dre call up Jay and say, “Hey Jay-Z. Why don’t you call it “Kingdom Come”? Because I ain’t never putting that King Tee album out anyway! Bahahahahahahaha.” Nah, nothing like that. This was Jay’s return to the game after “retiring”, and it was named after the DC Comics graphic novel in which Superman came back to earth to save his peers. Don’t get it twisted, jive turkeys. Verdict: Coincidence
9. Geto Boys – “The Resurrection” (1996) vs. Common – “Resurrection” (1994) – While things may have changed at this point, we’re going to go out on a limb and say that Willie D and Bushwick Bill weren’t bumping second Common’s album two years earlier. Verdict: Coincidence
10. “Suge Knight Represents The Chronic 2000″ (1999) vs. Dr. Dre – “2001″ (1999) – Talk about one of the biggest cock-blocking moves in hip-hop history. When Suge heard Dr. Dre would continue his legacy with “The Chronic 2000″, Suge took advantage of the fact that Dre takes forever to put albums out and released an album by the same name months before, in order to create consumer confusion. Dr. Dre found a way around this by taking it to the next level with 2001. Verdict: Bite
11. Magic Mike & The Royal Posse – “Represent” (1994) vs. Fat Joe – “Represent” (1993) – “Represent” was a buzz word in 93-94, overused and beaten to death by rappers, much like “swag” was last year. Everyone was beating this word into the ground at the time, except us out west. We signified. Verdict: Coincidence
12. Young Buck – “Straight Outta Ca$hville” (2004) vs. N.W.A. – “Straight Outta Compton” (1988) – Given the fact that Young Buck was signed to G-Unit Records, under Shady / Aftermath, it’s pretty obvious he was paying tribute to the good Doctor here. Verdict: Homage
13. Murs & 9th Wonder – “Fornever” (2010) vs. Hoobastank – “For(n)ever” (2009) – Clever title isn’t it? But did Murs snatch it from Hoobastank? We doubt Murs or 9th Wonder listen to Hoobastank. We doubt anyone listens to Hoobastank. Verdict: Coincidence
14. The Luniz – “Bootlegs & B-Sides” (1997) vs. Ice Cube – “Bootlegs & B-Sides” (1994) - No doubt about here, from L.A. to the Bay. Verdict: Bite
15. Reflection Eternal – “Revolutions Per Minute” (2010) vs. Rise Against – “Revolutions Per Minute” (2003) – Close call since Rise Against is a fairly well known punk outfit, but given Kweli’s sense of honesty and originality throughout the years, it’s highly unlikely they stole this album title. Although we definitely think System of A Down copied The Coup with “Steal This Album”. Verdict: Coincidence
16. Jay-Z – “The Black Album” (2003) vs. Prince – “The Black Album” (1994) - While we’re sure Jay-Z’s a Prince fan (isn’t everyone), we think the actual inspiration for his Black Album title was to be the antithesis of The Beatles White Album. Danger Mouse would agree. Either way… Verdict: Bite
17. Snoop Dogg – “Malice N Wonderland” (2010) vs. Nazareth – “Malice In Wonderland” (1992) – Snoop’s got a long track record of craptacular album titles, which leads us to believe this was all his idea. The “N” replacing the word “in”, in the title, clues us in that Priority Records’ legal department advised him that Nazareth had beat him to the punch on a title he thought he probably thought he came up with himself. Verdict: Coincidence
18. Puff Daddy “Forever” (1999) vs. Wu-Tang “Forever” (1997) – Oh come on. That’s all Puff did back then was copy. “P.E. 2000″? Puffy is good, but Wu-Tang is for the children. Verdict: Bite
19. Slaughterhouse – “Slaughterhouse” (2009) vs. Masta Ace Inc – “Slaughtahouse” (1993) – This many 30-something super-rappers in a group, one of them from Brooklyn, and nobody was pumpin’ The I.N.C. in the Jeep in ’93? Great LP, nonetheless. Verdict: Bite.
20. Young Jeezy & Don Cannon – “Trap Or Die 2: By Any Means Necessary” (2010) vs. Boogie Down Productions (1990) - “By All Means Necessary” – Yeah, we get the Malcom X theme on both records, even if we’re not sure how it applies to Jeezy selling crack in the trap. But surely Jeezy – or at least Don Cannon – knew Kris used this title years before. Verdict: Bite.
Disagree? Did we miss any? Sound off in the comments section below.
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