The Best Classic Rap Album Reissues Of 2020
By Stereo Williams
Classic Hip-Hop albums saw major milestone anniversaries in 2020, and not only was it a year to reflect on the impact of long players like only Built For Cuban Linx... and AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, but there were some really great reissues and re-releases that saw iconic albums get a glossy reintroduction.
OutKast's seminal fourth album got the reissue treatment to mark the record’s 20th anniversary this fall. The full digital re-release came in 24-bit and 360 Reality Audio formats and includes previously unreleased remixes. Vinyl Me, Please will also released a black and white galaxy vinyl version for subscribers. After the spending the 1990s on a stellar run of critically-acclaimed releases, OutKast took over the pop charts with Stankonia. Singles like “Miss Jackson,” “So Fresh, So Clean,” and “B.O.B." turned the duo into chart-toppers and 'Kast would win the Grammy for Best Rap Album and Best Rap Performance By a Duo or Group in 2002. The anniversary reissue includes remixes of "So Fresh, So Clean" with Snoop Dogg and "B.O.B." with Zach de la Rocha.
'Kast's Dungeon Family brethren also had a major re-release in 2020. The classic debut album from Goodie Mob got the 25th anniversary treatment this year, with Soul Food seeing a streaming deluxe re-release that added several outtakes and bonus tracks to the beloved 1995 project from Cee-Lo, Khujo, T-Mo and Big Gipp. The re-release includes a 12” vinyl and a new digital streaming platform version. The anniversary album also features eight additional songs.
An independent classic, Fantastic Damage made its official streaming debut this year in conjunction with the 2002 album's 18th anniversary. .El-P's storied post-Company Flow career has been getting the official re-release treatment and this year saw the drop of his first solo effort, Fantastic Damage. Hailed as one of the most important indie rap releases of its era, the anniversary reissue marks the digital return of an album that has been largely unavailable since El-P put his Def Jux label on ice over a decade ago.
The Good Book, Vol. 1; The Good Book, Vol. 2
Legendary producer The Alchemist compiled tracks from his The Good Book collaborative albums with Budgie for vinyl release this year. The release was made early in 2020 via ALC Records. The Good Book was originally a two-part series of double albums released by the collaborators; Volume One dropped in 2014; Volume Two followed in 2017. Alchemist mixed in gospel and sermon snippets with tracks featuring luminaries like Action Bronson and Roc Marciano on The Good Book Volume 1: Joyful Noise and The Good Book Volume 2: God’s Work