How do you want them to feel when you walk offstage? What is the final impression you’d like to leave them with? How do you know when you’ve written the last sentence in the book?

Underrated and often overlooked, proper song sequencing can help bump a good rap album to great one. Executing the ideal closing track—much like the season finale of your favorite TV show—can play a critical role in how satisfied the audience feels about the package as a whole.

Whether it takes us listeners to a new place, eases us out, ties together a theme or amps us up for the artist’s next project, a dope outro will embed itself in our brains and tempt us to start right over at track one again.

Certified classics of the 1990s are filled with incredible outro records. Consider Biggie’s jaw-dropping “Suicidal Thoughts,” the rawness of Ice Cube’s “No Vaseline” or the joy of A Tribe Called Quest’s “Scenario.”

The 2000s have already delivered more than its fair share of banging outros. Here, XXL takes a dive into 25 of the best official final songs on the track list, excluding bonus or hidden tracks and outro skits.

Enjoy them. Because after the song’s done, it’s over. —Luke Fox

See 25 of the Best Hip-Hop Album Outros Since 2000


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