It’s often said that Hollywood loves a sequel, and with good reason — 29 of the top 30 highest-grossing movies of all time are either part of a film series or have sequels on the way in the next few years. (The only holdout? Titanic — not much material left once the ship was gone.) But the movie biz isn’t the only industry that benefits from double- or triple-dipping (or more!) with the same theme or title; hip-hop has long been a receptive genre for the practice, with some of the greatest rap albums of all time coming as part of a series of releases.


Whether cementing a brand or calling on nostalgia to build a buzz, there are several ways to spin a hip-hop album series, to varying degrees of success. With all that said, Billboard looks at the top 10 highest-selling hip-hop album series of all time:


10. Jadakiss, Kiss series

Years: 2001-2009
Albums: 3 (Kiss the Game Goodbye, Kiss of Death, The Last Kiss)
Total Combined Sales: 2.434 million


9. Nicki Minaj, Pink Friday

Albums: 2 (Pink Friday, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded)
Total Combined Sales: 2.884 million


8. The Game, The Documentary

Years: 2005-2015
Albums: 3 (The Documentary, The Documentary 2, The Documentary 2.5)
Total Combined Sales: 2.89 million


7. Ja Rule, Pain Is Love

Years: 2001-2012
Albums: 2 (Pain Is Love 1-2)
Total Combined Sales: 3.69 million
Note: Ja Rule’s Pain Is Love series qualifies almost entirely based on the 3.672 million copies that the original sold; Pain Is Love 2, released independently 11 years later in 2012, has sold just 18,000 copies since its release.


6. Method Man, Tical

Years: 1994-2004
Albums: 3 (Tical, Tical 2000: Judgement Day, Tical 0: The Prequel)
Total Combined Sales: 3.813 million


5. Jeezy, Thug Motivation

Years: 2005-2011
Albums: 3 (Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101, The Inspiration: Thug Motivation 102,TM:103 Hustlerz Ambition)
Total Combined Sales: 4.365 million


4. Jay Z, Blueprint trilogy

Years: 2001-2009
Albums: 3 (The Blueprint, Blueprint 2: The Gift and the Curse, The Blueprint 3)
Total Combined Sales: 7.01 million


3. Lil Wayne, Tha Carter

Years: 2004-2011
Albums: 4 (Tha Carter 1-4)
Total Combined Sales: 9.547 million


2. Jay Z, Volumes

Albums: 3 (In My Lifetime Vol. 1, Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life, Vol. 3… Life and Times of S. Carter)
Total Combined Sales: 10.062 million


1. Eminem, Marshall Mathers LPs

Years: 2000-2013
Albums: 2 (The Marshall Mathers LP 1-2)
Total Combined Sales: 13.427 million
Note: At more than 11 million sales, the original Marshall Mathers LP alone has outsold every other collection on this list. On its own, MMLP 2‘s 2.4 million sales would have just missed the top 10 mark.


[Via Billboard]