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Traditionally, an album would receive a lot of promotions well in advance of its release in hopes that a buzz would boost album sales. But these artists bucked the system and did the exact opposite by releasing an album with little to no warning.

J. Cole

J. Cole’s “Born Sinner” album was well received by his fans as well as critically acclaimed. Since dropping his sophomore album in 2013, the Fayetteville native has been busy touring but little did his fans know Cole was secretly working on the follow up. The “Crooked Smile” rapper released a video announcing the release of “2014 Forest Hills Drive,” named after the address of his childhood home. Intent on dropping a project with no lead singles and little promotion, the album was available for purchase on iTunes ahead of its release date. “2014 Forest Hills Drive” immediately shot to the top of the Billboard charts making Cole just one of six rappers to reach to the number one spot with their first three albums.

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