The Top Five Post-Break-Up Rap Debuts

Big Boi
Big Boi

With the release this week of rapper Big Boi's sophomore album Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, we're reminded of how truly great his 2010 solo debut Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty truly was. It's rare that a rapper hits a home-run when making their first effort as a solo artist following their departure from a successful group, but the ones who've successfully pulled it off have made some of the most memorable solo statements in rap history. Here's our picks for the top five post-departure rap debuts.

For clarification, in order for an album to eligible it has to be an artist's first solo album following either their leaving a celebrated group, the group dissolving, or the group being inactive for a substantial period of time.

5. Big Boi, Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty (2010)

For as cherished as Outkast's contributions to the hip-hop canon are, it's doubtful many expected Big Boi's solo debut to be as outstanding as it was. After almost three years of record label red tape and legal issues preventing his partner Andre 3000 from appearing, the sheer amount of horror stories of the album's journey to stores seemed like a red flag. Fortunately, these hiccups were more of a red herring as Big Boi proved he's more than capable of carrying an album by himself. By continuing in the strong tradition of what made his Outkast verses so memorable and still forging a path into the future that cemented his own new fully-evolved style, Sir Lucious was everything a debut departure record should be.

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4. Busta Rhymes, The Coming (1996)

Leaders of the New School were a collection of New York MCs as charismatic as they were technically impressive. After recording two fun and multifaceted albums, the group seemingly imploded during a taping of "Yo! MTV Raps." Fortunately for member Busta Rhymes, a chance performance with A Tribe Called Quest on "Arsenio" lead to him inking a solo deal with Elektra. As a result, The Coming was forged. A wildly creative hyper-kinetic onslaught that captured everything that made his star-making cameo on Tribe's "Scenario" so great, its release shot Rhymes to rap superstardom for many years to come.

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