Rare US Promo Hip Hop Albums (No Retail Releases Available)

updated over 2 years ago

Some of the best albums of the early 90s, predominantly of the years 91-92, have never seen a regular release on vinyl due to two developments:

1. Hip Hop music caught attention by major labels in the late 80s.

2. The CD has been introduced in the 80s. It was cheaper to produce, but could be sold for a higher price. Hence the labels tried to force the customer to buy the CD release with CD only bonus tracks or by even not releasing commercial vinyl versions. Some of those records have at least been released as very limited vinyl promo pressings (usually next to the european retail release) or even just test pressings.

Those promo items have been hard to get back then (nowaydays even more) and are highly collectable!

Usually they came with a hype sticker directly attached to a plain die-cut sleeve as promotional albums have been shipped unsealed/without a shrink wrap, which makes them even more hard to get in a pristine condition.

Be aware that some (or maybe even most) of those records have been bootlegged. Some have been made to look similar to the original pressing to scam collectors. Don't buy this shit or at least get it cheap!

  1. 2Pac - 2Pacalypse Now

    1991, Interscope, Promo

  2. A.D.O.R. - The Concrete (The Album)

    13 For Sale from $22.80

    1994, Atlantic, Promo

    Original promo on single vinyl. A double vinyl scam exists!

  3. A Tribe Called Quest - The Low End Theory

    2 For Sale from $275.00

    1992, Jive, Promo

    Sadly this album has just been released as a single vinyl promo record in the USA, which some of the CD tracks have been left off. Thanks to a large amount of obstinatly remaining vinyl collectors who refused to buy those tiny silver discs that you can't play on your MKII it has finally been made available as a double vinyl retail pressing in 1996.

    Easily their be(a)st album along with the A Tribe Called Quest - Midnight Marauders.

  4. Big L - Lifestylez Ov Da Poor And Dangerous

    This promo tape includes some rare Big L tracks that have been deleted on the vinyl release: "School Dayz", "Devil's Son," "I Shoulda Used A Rubba" and "Times Iz Hard.

  5. Boogie Down Productions - Sex And Violence

    7 For Sale from $22.94

    KRS-One's return to raw and uncut street poetry, a year before he claimed his return to the early mid-80s sound of his first album with just a boom bapping drum machine and no frills.

  6. Da Bush-Babees* - Ambushed

    1 For Sale from $165.26

    This is the real deal! You will recognize the SRC-stamps of the pressing plant Specialty Records Corporation pressed into the runout grooves. It was really rare back then. Nowadays poor look-a-likes exist that ain't worth a cent.

    Another bootleg (Da Bush Babees - Ambushed) that has obviously been copied from a CD includes the otherwise unavailable track "clear my throat". This one is from back in the days and many collectors who have spent much loot for this will tell you that it is a legit pressing. Well, it's not!

  7. Bush Babees* - Gravity

    3 For Sale from $9.99

    Contains the exclusive track "The Ruler"

  8. D.I.T.C. - D.I.T.C.

    8 For Sale from $30.00

    Originally released on Tommy Boy. Several versions seem to exist. This is one of them.

  9. Das EFX - Dead Serious

    2 For Sale from $79.00

    Check out the promo 12"es to the first two albums as well. For one reason or another EastWest has put the dirty versions on the promo pressings and the clean versions on the retail releases!

  10. De La Soul - De La Soul Is Dead

    8 For Sale from $58.93

    The retail pressing is on single vinyl. Because of the high playtime the sound is kind of poor. This promo on the other hand has been released on double vinyl.

    Unfortunately the images show a bootleg pressing at the day of this list being made. The original is numbered with a golden stamp on the front and it says printed in canada on the back.

  11. Diamond* And The Psychotic Neurotics - Stunts, Blunts, & Hip Hop

    16 For Sale from $21.43

    1992, Chemistry, 2LP Promo

    The 2LP unforunately omits some of the best tracks of his album. I never thought I would say this: Better get the CD!