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The 50 Greatest Sophomore Albums in Hip-Hop History

8. The Notorious B.I.G., Life After Death (1997)

Label: Bad Boy

Having seized the throne as the King of New York with a killer run of singles from Ready To Die, B.I.G.'s second (and final) album allowed him to revel in his success and push himself to even greater heights.

While double albums are things of pure folly in the hands of lesser rap mortals, Biggie used the extended running time to experiment and diversify his portfolio. Embroiled in a series of real life dramas, and having to record the vocals for several tracks sitting down after his leg was broken in a car accident courtesy of his right-hand man Lil Cease, the Black Frank White battled through to deliver his crowning achievement.

Packed to the rim with subliminals for everyone from Jeru The Damaja, Raekwon, Nas, and Tupac, he rocked everything from hardcore ("Kick In The Door") to smooth ("Sky's The Limit") to double-time ("Notorious Thugs"), plus the club bangers such as "Hypnotize" and "Mo Money Mo Problems," proving that he was the undisputed master of the game.

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