It is a cold fact of life in the music industry that not every artist’s album is meant to see the light of day. While no artist deliberately sets out to make an album that will never be released, sometimes record label politics, bad timing, artistic perfectionism, or pure hubris keeps an LP from making its official street date. 

Over the course of hip-hop history, there have been countless albums that got shelved. In some cases, an artist's work might be deemed too controversial for a record label to touch at the moment while in others, heavy bootlegging is the cause of an album's permanent delay. Some get released years later on a different record label, while others never make it out alive. Here's a list of Rap Albums and Mixtapes That Got Shelved Into Oblivion. May they all one day be reclaimed from the industry abyss. 

B.J. Steiner is a writer living in New York. Follow him @doczeus.

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