100 Rappers and their Age When They Dropped a Classic Album

The 25 Greatest Years in Hip Hop History

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There’s an ongoing myth that hip hop is a young man’s game. While that may have been true in the earlier days, where it seemed like every rapper was barely in the 20s dropping straight classics, things have changed.

As hip hop has evolved and matured over the past few decades – with ’90s rappers like Hov, Nas, Common, Busta Rhymes leading the way on how to age gracefully in a fast-moving culture – we’re starting to see a lot more rappers drop incredible music into their 30s, 40s, and even 50s. For example – Busta Rhymes dropped his tenth album, Extinction Level Event 2: The Wrath of God, last year at 48 years old.

On this list, we take a look at 100 rappers and how old they were when they dropped a classic album.

Radio

LL Cool J was 17 years old when Radio dropped

Release date: November 18, 1985

Lyte as a Rock

MC Lyte was 18 years old when Lyte as a Rock dropped

Release date: September 13, 1988

Run-D.M.C.

Run and DMC were both 19 years old when Run-D.M.C. dropped

Release date: March 27, 1984

Rakim was 19 years old when Paid in Full dropped

Release date: July 7, 1987

Strictly Business

Erick Sermon and PMD were both 19 years old when Strictly Business dropped

Release date: June 7, 1988

Long Live the Kane

Big Daddy Kane was 19 years old when Long Live the Kane dropped

Release date: June 21, 1988

He’s the DJ, I’m the Rapper

Will Smith was 19 years old when He’s the DJ, I’m the Rapper dropped

Release date: March 29, 1988

Funky Technician

Lord Finesse was 19 years old when Funky Technician dropped

Release date: February 6, 1990

3 Feet High and Rising

Pos was 19 years old, Trugoy the Dove was 20 years old and Maseo was 18 years old when 3 Feet High and Rising dropped

Release date: March 3, 1989

All Hail the Queen

Queen Latifah was 19 years old when All Hail the Queen dropped

Release date: November 28, 1989

People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm

Q-Tip was 20 years old (the album dropped on his birthday) and Phife Dawg was 19 years old when People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm dropped

Release date: April 10, 1990

Illmatic

Nas was 20 years old when Illmatic dropped

Release date: April 19, 1994

Road to the Riches

Kool G Rap was 20 years old when Road to the Riches dropped

Release date: March 14, 1989

AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted

Ice Cube was 20 years old when AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted dropped

Release date: May 16, 1990

Naughty by Nature

Treach and Vin Rock were both 20 years old when Naughty by Nature dropped

Release date: September 3, 1991

The Infamous

Prodigy was 20 years old and Havoc was 21 years old when The Infamous dropped

Release date: April 25, 1995

Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous

Big L was 20 years old when Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous dropped

Release date: March 28, 1995

The Score

Lauryn Hill was 20 years old, Wyclef Jean was 26 years old and Pras was 23 years old when The Score dropped

Release date: February 13, 1996

Licensed to Ill

Mike D was 20 years old, MCA was 22 years old and Ad-Rock was 20 years old when Licensed to Ill dropped

Release date: November 15, 1986

The War Report

Capone was 20 years old and N.O.R.E. was 19 years old when The War Report dropped

Release date: June 17, 1997

Acid Rap

Chance the Rapper was 20 years old when Acid Rap dropped

Release date: April 30, 2013

Resurrection

Common was 21 years old when Resurrection dropped

Release date: October 4, 1994

No One Can Do It Better

The D.O.C. was 21 years old when No One Can Do It Better dropped

Release date: August 1, 1989

Quik Is the Name

DJ Quik was 21 years old when Quik Is the Name dropped

Release date: January 15, 1991

Doggystyle

Snoop Dogg was 22 years old when Doggystyle dropped

Release date: November 23, 1993

Whut? Thee Album

Redman was 22 years old when Whut? Thee Album dropped

Release date: September 22, 1992

Ready to Die

The Notorious B.I.G. was 22 years old when Ready to Die dropped

Release date: September 13, 1994

Criminal Minded

KRS-One was 22 years old when Criminal Minded dropped

Release date: March 3, 1987

Harlem World

Mase was 22 years old when Harlem World dropped

Release date: October 28, 1997

Dogg Food

Kurupt and Daz Dillinger were both 22 years old when Dogg Food dropped

Release date: October 31, 1995

The Great Adventures of Slick Rick

Slick Rick was 22 years old when The Great Adventures of Slick Rick dropped

Release date: November 1, 1988

The Sun Rises in the East

Jeru the Damaja was 22 years old when The Sun Rises in the East dropped

Release date: May 24, 1994

Doe or Die

AZ was 23 years old when Doe or Die dropped

Release date: October 10, 1995

Aquemini

Big Boi and Andre 3000 were both 23 years old when Aquemini dropped

Release date: September 29, 1998

Tical

Method Man was 23 years old when Tical dropped

Release date: November 15, 1994

Word…Life

O.C. was 23 years old when Word…Life dropped

Release date: October 18, 1994

The Diary

Scarface was 23 years old when The Diary dropped

Release date: October 18, 1994

Regulate… G Funk Era

Warren G was 23 years old when Regulate… G Funk Era dropped

Release date: June 7, 1994

Do You Want More?!!!??!

Black Thought was 23 years old when Do You Want More?!!!??! dropped

Release date: January 17, 1995

Mecca and the Soul Brother

CL Smooth was 23 years old when Mecca and the Soul Brother dropped

Release date: June 9, 1992

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

Lauryn Hill was 23 years old when The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill dropped

Release date: August 25, 1998

Eazy-Duz-It

Eazy-E was 24 years old when Eazy-Duz-It dropped

Release date: November 23, 1988

All Eyez on Me

Tupac was 24 years old when All Eyez on Me dropped

Release date: February 13, 1996

How Ya Like Me Now

Kool Moe Dee was 25 years old when How Ya Like Me Now dropped

Release date: November 3, 1987

When Disaster Strikes…

Busta Rhymes was 25 years old when When Disaster Strikes… dropped

Release date: September 16, 1997

Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…

Raekwon was 25 years old when Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… dropped

Release date: August 1, 1995

Tha Carter III

Lil Wayne was 25 years old when Tha Carter III dropped

Release date: June 10, 2008

King

T.I. was 25 years old when King dropped

Released: March 28, 2006

Lupe Fiasco’s The Cool

Lupe Fiasco was 25 years old when The Cool dropped

Release date: December 18, 2007

The Documentary

The Game was 25 years old when The Documentary dropped

Release date: January 18, 2005

Man on the Moon: The End of Day

Kid Cudi was 25 years old when Man on the Moon: The End of Day dropped

Release date: September 15, 2009

good kid, m.A.A.d city

Kendrick Lamar was 25 years old when good kid, m.A.A.d city dropped

Release date: October 22, 2012

Take Care

Drake was 25 years old when Take Care dropped

Release date: November 15, 2011

Culture

Quavo and Offset were 25 years old, Takeoff was 22 years old when Culture dropped

Release date: January 27, 2017

Black on Both Sides

Mos Def was 25 years old when Black on Both Sides dropped

Release date: October 12, 1999

Train of Thought

Talib Kweli was 25 years old when Train of Thought dropped

Release date: October 17, 2000

Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version

Ol’ Dirty Bastard was 26 years old when Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version dropped

Release date: March 28, 1995

Reasonable Doubt

Jay-Z was 26 years old when Reasonable Doubt dropped

Release date: June 25, 1996

Capital Punishment

Big Pun was 26 years old when Capital Punishment dropped

Release date: April 28, 1998

The College Dropout

Kanye West was 26 years old when The College Dropout dropped

Release date: February 10, 2004

The Slim Shady LP

Eminem was 26 years old when The Slim Shady LP dropped

Release date: February 23, 1999

Kiss tha Game Goodbye

Jadakiss was 26 years old when Kiss tha Game Goodbye dropped

Release date: August 7, 2001

Chicken-n-Beer

Ludacris was 26 years old when Chicken-n-Beer dropped

Release date: October 7, 2003

AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP

A$AP Rocky was 26 years old when AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP dropped

Release date: May 26, 2015

In a Major Way

E-40 was 27 years old when In a Major Way dropped

Release date: March 14, 1995

Get Rich or Die Tryin’

50 Cent was 27 years old when Get Rich or Die Tryin’ dropped

Release date: February 6, 2003

It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back

Chuck D was 27 years old when It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back dropped

Release date: June 24, 1988

It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot

DMX was 27 years old when It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot dropped

Release date: May 19, 1998

Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101

Young Jeezy was 27 years old when Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101 dropped

Release date: July 26, 2005

Operation: Doomsday

MF Doom was 28 years old when Operation: Doomsday dropped

Release date: October 19, 1999

Purple Haze

Cam’ron was 28 years old when Purple Haze dropped

Release date: December 7, 2004

Igor

Tyler, the Creator was 28 years old when Igor dropped

Release date: May 17, 2019

Rhyme Pays

Ice-T was 29 years old when Rhyme Pays dropped

Release date: July 28, 1987

Blank Face LP

Schoolboy Q was 29 years old when Blank Face LP dropped

Release date: July 8, 2016

Liquid Swords

GZA was 29 years old when Liquid Swords dropped

Release date: November 7, 1995

Supreme Clientele

Ghostface Killah was 29 years old when Supreme Clientele dropped

Release date: February 8, 2000

The State vs. Radric Davis

Gucci Mane was 29 years old when The State vs. Radric Davis dropped

Release date: December 8, 2009

2014 Forest Hills Drive

J. Cole was 29 years old when 2014 Forest Hills Drive dropped

Release date: December 9, 2014

Lord Willin’

Malice was 30 years old and Pusha T was 25 years old when Lord Willin’ dropped

Release date: August 20, 2002

Piñata

Freddie Gibbs was 31 years old when Piñata dropped

Release date: March 18, 2014

DS2

Future was 31 years old when DS2 dropped

Release date: July 17, 2015

Old

Danny Brown was 32 years old when Old dropped

Release date: October 8, 2013

Hard to Earn

Guru was 32 years old when Hard to Earn dropped

Release date: March 8, 1994

Victory Lap

Nipsey Hussle was 32 years old when Victory Lap dropped

Release date: February 16, 2018

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Kanye was 33 years old when My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy dropped

Release date: November 22, 2010

FLYGOD

Westside Gunn was 33 years old when FLYGOD dropped

Release date: March 11, 2016

Tana Talk 3

Benny the Butcher was 33 years old when Tana Talk 3 dropped

Release date: November 23, 2018

Reloaded

Roc Marciano was 34 years old when Reloaded dropped

Release date: November 13, 2012

Teflon Don

Rick Ross was 34 years old when Teflon Don dropped

Release date: July 20, 2010

Underground Kingz

Bun B was 34 years old and Pimp C was 33 years old when Underground Kingz dropped

Release date: August 7, 2007

Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty

Big Boi was 35 years old when Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty dropped

Release date: July 5, 2010

PRhyme

Royce da 5’9″ was 37 years old when PRhyme dropped

Release date: December 9, 2014

Run the Jewels

Kille Mike and El-P were both 38 years old when Run the Jewels dropped

Release date: June 26, 2013

Life Is Good

Nas was 38 years old when Life Is Good dropped

Release date: July 13, 2012

How I Got Over

Black Thought was 38 years old when How I Got Over dropped

Release date: June 22, 2010

The Renaissance

Q-Tip was 38 years old when The Renaissance dropped

Release date: November 4, 2008

The Dreamer/The Believer

Common was 39 years old when The Dreamer/The Believer dropped

Release date: December 19, 2011

Pretty Girls Like Trap Music

2 Chainz was 39 years old when Pretty Girls Like Trap Music dropped

Release date: June 16, 2017

The Night’s Gambit

Ka was 40 years old when The Night’s Gambit dropped

Release date: July 13, 2013

Daytona

Pusha T was 41 years old when Daytona dropped

Release date: May 25, 2018

4:44

Jay-Z was 47 years old when 4:44 dropped

Release date: June 30, 2017

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