Records sales aren’t everything, but they are something. In fact, sometimes they’re something significant. While all of the albums on this list are in the multi-platinum and even diamond range, a few reflect some of the pivotal moments within hip-hop. The sales definitely reflect part of the impact an artist had.


In 1986, when Run-D.M.C.’s Raising Hell went multi-platinum within a year it proved that hip-hop was a truly a cultural force.

When Dr. Dre’s The Chronic moved major units in 1992 it signaled a shift in hip-hop from the East Coast to the West. Debut albums from rappers like Nas, Snoop Doggy Dogg, and 50 Cent became events unto themselves. When Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter III sold over a million copies his first week it truly marked the moment of his arrival as a rap superstar.

Even if numbers alone don’t always tell the whole story, they do tell some sort of story.

Here are the 50 Best Selling Rap Albums of All Time.

2. Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP (2000)
Copies Sold: 10.6 million

4. Eminem – The Eminem Show (2002)
Copies Sold: 10.1 million

10. 50 Cent – Get Rich or Die Tryin’ (2003)
Copies Sold: 8.1 million

11. Dr. Dre – 2001 (1999)
Copies Sold: 7.6 million

19. Eminem – The Slim Shady LP (1999)
Copies Sold: 5.4 million

20. Eminem – Encore (2004)
Copies Sold: 5.3 million

21. 50 Cent – The Massacre (2005)
Copies Sold: 5.3 million

27. Eminem and Various Artists 8 Mile soundtrack (2002)
Copies Sold: 4.9 million

30. Dr. Dre – The Chronic (1992)
Copies Sold: 4.6 million

31. Eminem – Recovery (2010)
Copies Sold: 4.3 million

41. Eminem – Curtain Call: The Hits (2005)
Copies Sold: 3.6 million