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Updated by Lerone Graham on Dec 13, 2017
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5 Hip Hop Albums To Listen To For Motivation

Add these albums to your playlist to motivate you when you're working, working out, or thinking of a master plan.


Nas - Life is Good

Nas - Life is Good

This album, released in 2012, cemented the legacy of one of the undisputed GOATs.

After a highly publicized divorce from Kelis, fans knew that Nas would have a lot to say. He drew inspiration from Marvin Gaye on this one, due to the fact that Gaye's "Here, My Dear," is rumored to be a response to his wife seeking spousal support in a divorce settlement.

However, Nas touches on life, love and parenthood on Life is Good in a way that few rappers had up to that point. From the opening track, "No Introduction", to the hauntingly melancholy "Bye Baby," Nas bleeds his heart into each track.

By the end of it you'll feel as though you've been taken on a journey, and that through the ups and downs that come with the territory, life is good.


Jay-Z - 4:44

Jay-Z - 4:44

The viral campaign on this album was monumental.

Out of nowhere, people in major city's began seeing the number 4:44 plastered everywhere. We didn't know what it was, but knew that Jay was cooking up something special.

When the project, both an album and documentary project with weekly releases came out, he didn't disappoint.

Jay-Z is forever linked with Nas due to their legendary fued. This album takes Nas' grown man hip hop album formula up a notch, as we get a Jay-Z more vulnerable than we've every heard.

Throughout this album, Jay touches on black consciousness, building wealth, his infidelity to Beyonce, relationship lessons, depression, fatherhood and the importance of family.

By the time you get through this one, you'll have pride and an entrepreneurial mindset.


Young Jeezy - Thug Motivation 101

Young Jeezy - Thug Motivation 101

This is the project that catapulted Jeezy onto the scene.

Similar to how DMX changed the game with his debut "It's Dark And Hell Is Hot", adding grittiness to the Puff Daddy lead shiny suit, champagne popping era, Jeezy provided a shot of rawness that disrupted the ringtone era in the mid-2000's.

With tracks like "Trap or Die" and "And Then What", you'll feel ready to take risks and earn some serious bread.


50 Cent - Get Rich Or Die Trying

50 Cent - Get Rich Or Die Trying

As soon as the coin drops on the very brief intro of this album, the listener is transported into the world of life, death and the pursuit of currency.

The album centers around the infamous story of 50 Cent getting shot nine times while parked outside of his grandmother's house in Jamaica, Queens, NY.

From there, you're taken on a real-life journey of a man who rose to super stardom from poverty. You'll get a first-hand account of the lessons he learned along the way and the trials and tribulations he faced in the name of the American Dream.


J. Cole - 2014 Forest Hills Drive

J. Cole - 2014 Forest Hills Drive

Do you wanna, do you wanna be ... happy? Do you wanna, do you wanna be ... free?

The intro says it all on this classic album.

J. Cole recounts his upbringing in Fayetteville, North Carolina on this album. He touches on themes of racism, poverty and overcoming self-imposed and societal pressures in order to achieve happiness.

From both a production and lyricism point of view, this one is a joy to listen to from start to finish.