Rest In Peace…Or Not: 9 Posthumous Albums We Loved, And Some We Could Have Lived Without

August 7, 2012  |  

Source: idolmag.co.uk

When it comes to posthumous albums, for recently deceased and iconic deceased artists, the release of one can bring in big dollars for their estate and more fans to their musical catalog. Over the years, some artists have had their unreleased tracks flipped and released posthumously, with good and bad results. With the news that Drake is hoping to produce a posthumous album for the late Aaliyah (his imaginary girlfriend), the release of the first single, “Enough Said,” and the recent news that Missy and Timbaland will contribute to the project, we’re wondering if the upcoming album will be a huge hit, or a hot mess of a miss. We’re also thinking about past posthumous projects and the marks they’ve made, or the missteps made in releasing them to the world. Shall we discuss? Let’s take a look at a few…

Source: headphonemonsta.com

Notorious BIG – Life After Death  (Loved)

To be clear up front, posthumous refers to a work published after someone’s death. Though BIG worked on this double album himself and it was actually supposed to be released on Halloween of ’96, it was released two weeks after his death in ’97. Not only was it a commercial success (diamond status) and considered one of the best selling hip-hop albums of all time, it was also a huge success with critics and fans alike. There was a little bit of something for everybody, including the mainstream cats (“Hypnotize”), the ladies (“F*** You Tonight”), the hardcore fans (“Notorious Thugs” and “What’s Beef?”), and…Diddy, of course (“Mo Money Mo Problems”).

Source: hiphop-blogs.com

Notorious BIG – Duets: The Final Chapter (Bad)

So yeah…what was the deal with the Biggie duets? Talk about having about 800 people on a album who brought nothing to it. “Nasty Girl” was good for club rotation purposes, but the production on the album was cheesy, as were the collaborations (it was like Diddy just sent an email out and asked if anybody had an interest in doing a song with BIG). As Method Man said, “They got n***as on that album Big would have never rocked with, for real.” And then throwing the legendary Bob Marley in the mix was wrong. This whole album was wrong actually. Let’s hope this really was the final chapter…

Source: njuskalo.hr

Aaliyah – I Care 4 U (Loved)

There has been a lot of confusion, but the album Aaliyah was released before the singer’s death, while I Care 4 U was her posthumous work. The latter featured unreleased gems like “Come Over,” “Miss You,” and classic hits as well, like “Are You That Somebody” and “Back & Forth.” If you really want to make a good posthumous album, a mix of “best of” joints and a few (not an entire album…) of new cuts no one knew about like this one will do the trick!

Source: rememberingthe90s.blog.com

TLC – 3D (Bad)

Man, I LOVE TLC (God knows I do *in Oprah voice*), and even went out to buy their greatest hits album (Now and Forever: The Hits). But I couldn’t get with this album. Before Left Eye’s death, she recorded her parts on four songs for the album before going solo and releasing the album, Supernova. So T-Boz and Chilli went off and put the rest of the album together, and what we got as a result was songs like “Girl Talk,” “Hands Up,” and “Damaged.” The album went platinum, but creatively, it wasn’t on par to albums like Crazy, S@xy, Cool and Fan Mail. Thanks for giving that to your fans and all, but naw…

Source: pitchfork.tumblr.com

Amy Winehouse – Lioness: Hidden Treasures (Loved)

For big Amy Winehouse fans who were waiting years for a comeback, news of her death in the summer of 2011 was a crushing blow. But by December of that same year, the folks at Island Records decided to drop Lioness: Hidden Treasures, which was a mix of unreleased efforts, as well as demos and re-workings of past album favorites. It performed commercially well and was able to showcase the songbird’s brilliant voice (and we even got to hear Nas!). My favorites include Half Time,” “Between The Cheats” and “A Song For You.”

Source: articles.nydailynews.com

Michael Jackson – Michael (Bad)

I ride with Michael Jackson’s music to the end, but this posthumous effort gets a hell-to-the-naw stamp. As Will.i.am stated, to release music that folks know Michael would have not given his full consent to was “disrespectful.” Not to mention that there was all this controversy over whether or not we were even hearing Michael’s voice on some of these songs (his own family wasn’t too sure…). And in the end, I’m sorry, but what producers came up with and released was just wack. “Hollywood Tonight” was dull, “Hold My Hand” was a bootleg version of “You Are Not Alone” and c’mon, did we really need to hear 50 Cent???

Source: hhv.de

Makaveli: The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory (Loved)

We know that Pac is pretty much the face of posthumous anything, as folks drop a new album from him every other year, but his first, was probably his best one. I’m assuming that was because he worked on it himself. Released under the new stage name, Makaveli, 7 Day Theory was a dark piece of work, but it still reached a lot of people, hence the end result being that it went four times platinum. With classic cuts like “Hail Mary,” club jams like “Toss It Up” and joints like “Me and My Girlfriend,” it was an album that worked for everyone.

Source: http://www.freecodesource.com

2Pac – Pac’s Life (Bad)

But this didn’t work for everyone. The singles alone that were dropped for Pac’s Life deserved a “WTF” face. The song “Pac’s Life” with Ashanti and T.I. was cheesy, and like with BIG’s Duets: The Final Chapter, it seemed they wanted to put anybody who was a nobody on a song with this man. “Playa Cardz Right” with Keyshia Cole was alright, but damn, did we need a feature from Papoose, Ludacris and Lil Scrappy of all people!? Critics were already mad at the basic production that didn’t fit the rapper’s sound, but I was mad the minute I heard about all these collaborations! Please let this man rest (or be wherever he is…).

Source: tomsnowmusic.com

Selena – Dreaming of You (Loved)

I know what you’re thinking…random! But don’t be like that, ya’ll know “If I Could Fall In Love” was your jam. Plus, my co-workers were very adamant that this album needed to be on the list. Dreaming of You was actually the second posthumous work for the Tejano singer, and of course it produced “Dreaming of You” and the aforementioned “If I Could Fall In Love.” For people who didn’t know much about the singer before her passing, they were treated to a mix of English pop jams as well as Spanish-language cuts. Clearly everyone liked it, because the album debuted at number one and went more than triple platinum. And a “biddi biddi bom bom” to you!

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  • CriticXtreme

    That Pac’s Life truly suxed and yes, you forget Selena!

  • Hello_Kitty81

    I have Aaliyah’s album, Amy Winehouse’s last album and Selena’s and all of them are great. I can agree with TLC’s it wasn’t no CrazySexyCool/Fanmail.

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  • sammi_lu

    I just knew Otis Redding was going to make this list..”Try A Little Tenderness” that is sampled on “Otis” was a hit and “Sitting On the Dock of the Bay”. Of course Pac and Biggie’s albums..and glad to see Amy Winehouse on the list her “Song for You” and “Will You Still Love Me” are my favs on that album.

    • Hecklers

      Otis redding was not on the list maybe you’re looking at something else

      • sammi_lu

        Was saying that meaning I would have thought he should’ve been on the list for sure.

  • KAHorton3787

    On the TLC album, there was only one or two songs that had verses that Left Eye actualy recorded for this actual album. The verse on Girl Talk and MAYBE the one for Give It To Me While It’s Hot. The rest were verses from her solo work. Her rap on “Get Over Me” was from her song “I Believe In Me”, the beginning of “Quickie” came from her song “Left Pimpin'” I can’t think of what other raps she had on the album.

    • QuitaB89

      The rap from Give It To Me While It’s Hot is from a song she wrote called Forever, which is on her Eye Legacy cd/dvd set

  • Jo7i7

    Michael album had a great success just when it was released gaining Platinum album in 14 countries around the world, so you are bad or not… someone we could have lived without.

  • Tagirl

    I never heard the Amy Winehouse album but the gems on this list are Aaliyah’s “I Care 4 U,” Pac’s “Makaveli,” and Selena.

    Though I really liked “Miss You,” “Come Over” and “Don’t Know What To Tell Ya,” were my fav unreleased songs on that album. Even “Erica Kane” was dope. That was a great mix of hits and new songs.

    “Makaveli” is a classic masterpiece. But I expected no less from the greatest rapper of all time, 2Pac. Loved it and played it out!

    Selena was an amazing artist. My Spanish friends put me onto her back then(middle school) and were crushed when she died. She was talented with an amazing voice and music.

    3 amazing artist who were taken at ages 22, 24 & 25.

  • Lady85

    that Selena Album puts joy in this moody soul of mine…. DEFINITELY should have been at the top of this list. (starts singing “Amor Prohibido”)

  • For the late MJ CD. This was a last effort to make money off MJ’s name. NO, not all those tracks were mike. There was an impersonator doing some of those tracks. Even MJ’s mom said not all the tracks on that album is MJ. Plus, if you’re a TRUE MJ fan you can/could clearly hear the difference in voice on which tracks were ACTUALLY MJ and others that were NOT. Never bought that last album. Is a shame how many people might have bought that thing, but if you really been hearing/listening to how MJ sings you can EASILY pick up the fake vocals on this last album.

  • Korea

    No… Selena deserved to be on the list… That is a good album.

  • realadulttalk

    Am I the only one who thought Life after Death was not a good effort? Not double disc worthy and sounded like exactly what it was reported to be-a harried effort to finalize his contract with Bad Boy (hence the double disc)???? There were a few good tracks–but those all could have been comprised into one hot cd…I recall being very disappointed when this came out.

    • Tagirl

      I think Puff made like $200mil off of Biggie, so I’m sure it made sense to him. Out the entire double disk, I really liked “Mo Money Mo Problems, “Hypnotize,” “Playa Hater,” “Notorious Thugs,” “Miss You” and “Sky Is The Limit.”