Will the double album survive the age of the hit single? A look back at 15 of the greatest double albums to bless hip-hop.
With Gemini season in full swing, it's only fitting to pay an homage to the art of the double album.
Such an increasingly elusive creative endeavor first rose to prominence in the mid to late 1990s, with artists releasing projects that spanned the confines of a single vinyl record or disc as a way to secure their prominence in hip-hop history.
While most double albums are considered to be one lengthy, cohesive collection of music, the trend also has shifted at times to package a studio album with a live recording. Additionally, in the classic example of OutKast's Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, the project was essentially two solo albums with one for each member of the duo.
Such an ambitious approach to releasing music helped certain artists solidify their legacies, with double albums once a surefire way to at least secure one's place in the conversation. However, other double albums fell short both critically and commercially, with the method proving doing the artists less favors than they may have hoped.
While there are some double albums that continue to hold their own in music history, many are curious if the trend will ever make a comeback to rival the beloved 90s, especially considering how the trends of today are packaged in the form of loosie singles and live on streaming services.
With the likes of Chris Brown recently announcing he is working on his most ambitious project to date, Heartbreak on a Full Moon, and others such as Future and Frank Ocean adapting to the contemporary landscape and releasing albums consecutively in their own unique ways, the double album does hold the potential to take on new forms. Most recently, all eyes were on Kendrick Lamar, with some speculating DAMN. was only half the story and others believing that the album is indeed a double album when you listen to it backward.
In the spirit of being hungry for longer works, something that is increasingly fleeting as the times change and attention spans shorten, we take a look at 15 essential double albums that are beyond worth running back.