What's in a name? For rap albums, it could mean a lot. Through the years, rappers have created hip-hop album titles to either convey a message, a political thought or even an alter ego.
On the latter, Tyler, The Creator's 2018 effort Igor is based on a character he created that he describes is timid and likes to hide behind the back of his master but has a variety of other skills—often quite vile.
Some rappers create an album title based around an acronym with a deep meaning. J. Cole's brilliant 2018 album KOD is an acronym of three different meanings: Kids on Drugs, King Overdosed and Kill Our Demons. Interestingly, each acronym has a bit of nuance associated with them.
Other rappers combine a bunch of words to create their own unique mashup of a title for their project. RZA's love for kung-fu films helped him create The Wu-Tang Clan and name their classic 1993 debut album, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers).
Over the years, there have been plenty of album titles shrouded in mystery and mythology. The title of Tupac Shakur's 1996 album, The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, is steeped in conspiracy theories generated by his devoted fans.
So XXL wanted to recognize those rappers who decided to take a creative risk on naming their projects and give the fans an understanding of where the titles came from. From Kendrick Lamar to A Tribe Called Quest to Jay-Z and more, here are 16 Hip-Hop Album Titles Defined.
See Hip-Hop Album Titles You Always Wondered the Meanings of Defined