“Ready to Die” The Notorious B.I.G.
Those not old enough to remember 1993 or were not yet born, may have heard the single “Juicy” and thought that Biggie was the Brooklyn version of Nostradamus. How could Biggie have known that the World Trade Center was going to be attacked four years after his death? To make a long story short, Biggie was rapping about the 1993 World Trade Center bombing in which six people were killed. Biggie had recorded most of “Ready To Die” in 1993, and most likely had recorded Juicy just months or weeks after the attack. That’s it, the end. Biggie was not foreshadowing the events of 9/11/2001 and had no clue who Osama Bin Laden was. And Bin Laden most likely did not know who Biggie was either. Anyway, after the events of that day, many felt that “Juicy” should be censored during the World Trade Center bar or for the song to be completely pulled from the “Ready To Die” album. In the weeks after the terror attacks, many tracks (not just Juicy) were debated by radio executives and politicians on if songs with the word bomb or twin towers should be played on the air. There were a total of over 100 songs that were flagged in those weeks after 9/11. Many felt that Biggie’s Juicy should be censored even though he was only speaking of the 1993 attacks. Others felt, even after the attacks that the music should appear as it was created, and even with a World Trade Center reference should not be censored. The end result is you will find edited versions of the World Trade Center and non-censored versions. Former pal of Biggie Smalls DJ Enuff, had stated that if Biggie was still alive during 2001 and heard the critics of his World Trade Center line, he would have pulled the song or censored it instead of angering the people.
“Ghetto Fabolous” Fabolous
That other album that was released on September 11th, 2001. Well, actually, there were a total of five rap albums released on 9/11: Ghetto Fabolous by Fabolous, The Blueprint by Jay-Z, Fear, Love & War by Killarmy, Date of Birth by the Arsonists and The Word Became Flesh By Professor Griff. This one just happens to be the second most famous one that hit retail shelves that Tuesday. The album sold 143,000 copies in its first week, which unfortunately happened during a national emergency. Still, those were solid numbers for a brand new artist who otherwise only had radio freestyles and guest appearances on his resume. The first single “Can’t Deny It” featuring Nate Dogg was such a big hit that summer that fans still went and picked up this album during all the chaos.
“The Blueprint” Jay-Z
The best version of Jay-Z will we ever have. The album that Kanye West and Just Blaze made classic. The ushering in of the soul beats phase. There’s just so many great things to say about the album. Jay-Z and Eminem’s first time collaborating, an album that was almost Jay-Z completely carrying it himself, the beef with Nas becoming official, the fact that Michael Jackson is secretly on the album uncredited, the fact that almost every single track could be a single, the fact that Timbaland only had a single cut on the album and that song in itself is classic, the fact the album was finished in just a mere number of days, I mean we can just go on and on and on. However, one of the most interesting things about this timeless classic is, that the album was actually supposed to be released on Tuesday, September 18th, 2001. But due to the high demand of the album and to ward of potential bootlegging (an issue that was very bothersome to Jay-Z at the time) the album was bumped up to be released on 9/11. And yet, still even after the Twin Towers collapsed, and the Pentagon was struck with a plane, and a fourth plane crashed into the ground in Pennsylvania, 400,000+ fans went to the store to purchase this album.
“Sonic Jihad” Paris
This album was actually recorded post 9/11 and is the only album on the list not from 2001 or before. Technically, Paris started recording in 2002 and released his first song from the album later that year. The album “Sonic Jihad” was released on October 7th, 2003 a full five years since his last album. On the album, Paris was attacking then-President George Bush, the war in Iraq, police brutality and the new war on terror. In addition to that, Paris was also fed up the bling-bling state of rap. The album did receive many positive reviews and some Paris fans noted it was one of his best albums. The album however, will most be remembered for its cover work of a plane attacking the White House instead of its content.
“Party Music” The Coup
By far the most interesting and controversial of any of the albums on the list. The controversial cover artwork was shot in June of 2001 depicting Boots Riley and Pam The Funkstress destroying the Twin Towers with what appears to be a detonator (it is actually an electronic tuner). The album was first planned to be released in September (not on 9/11) but after the terror attacks, was pushed back to November and new cover artwork was created. Boots Riley however, still wanted to keep the original artwork even after the attacks stating that the media was telling lies to the people and those lies need to be disrupted. The second artwork that was created was a closeup of a drink at a bar, very different from the original. Some conspiracy theorists stated that The Coup was somehow involved or had secret knowledge of the attacks. There were just too many coincidences to not be: the Twin Towers exploding (and exploding in a very similar way to the actual attacks), the thing that appears to be a denotator and that the album was supposed to be released in September. Just think what would have happened if the album was released in the first week of September prior to the attacks. The FBI would have been at their door in minutes. Another interesting tidbit to the album: it received great reviews and was rated as one of the best rap albums of 2001.