10 Best Hip Hop Albums Of All Time
Any respectable music fan should own the ten best hip hop albums of all time. These albums were groundbreaking and critically acclaimed, bringing fresh innovation to a constantly changing musical genre.
- “The Chronic” - Dr. Dre Ex-N.W.A. member Dr. Dre’s 1992 debut solo album was a continuation of the edgy subject matter he had pioneered with his former group. With innovative beats and effective guest performances from Snoop Doggy Dogg and Nate Dogg, this hip hop album was full of classic songs like “Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang” and “Let Me Ride.”
- “Licensed to Ill” - Beastie Boys This 1986 hip hop album proved once and for all that white guys could rap. Producer Rick Rubin injected a prominent party-vibe throughout the album, as evidenced by the songs “Fight For Your Right” and “No Sleep Til Brooklyn.”
- “Me Against the World” - 2Pac With an impending prison sentence looming before him, Tupac got introspective on this classic 1995 hip hop album. Songs like “So Many Tears” and “Dear Mama” are crammed with meaningful lyrics and haunting melodies.
- “Raising Hell” - Run DMC Quite possibly the most important of the ten best hip hop albums of all time, this 1986 release proved that rap music was more than just a fad. Stephen Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith appeared on the groundbreaking song “Walk This Way,” consummating the marriage of hip hop and rock.
- “Straight Outta Compton” - N.W.A. As the first “gangsta rap” album, 1988’s “Straight Outta Compton” scared the hell out of a lot of people. N.W.A. was the most unpolished and intimidating hip hop group of their generation, but songs like “Express Yourself” showed they possessed substance as well.
- “Fear of a Black Planet” - Public Enemy This 1990 hip hop album provided a soundtrack for discontented youth. Tracks like “911 is a Joke,” “Burn Hollywood Burn” and “Fight the Power” have become iconic protest anthems.
- “Paid in Full” - Eric B. and Rakim As the most inspiring of the ten best hip hop albums, this 1987 release stimulated the minds of countless future rappers. Rakim’s flawless style and Eric B’s iron-clad rhythms combine to form an unrivaled listening experience on songs like “Paid in Full.”
- “The Low End Theory” - A Tribe Called Quest Socially conscious and culturally relevant, Q-Tip and the gang released this hip hop masterpiece in 1991. Songs like “Check the Rhime” and “Scenario” show a rap ensemble just hitting their stride, using jazz-club influence to create alternative hip hop.
- “Ready to Die” - The Notorious B.I.G. This landmark 1994 hip hop album was the first official release on Bad Boy Records. The album tells the story of a gritty street existence, using nimble metaphors to illustrate detail in such songs as “Juicy” and “Big Poppa.”
- “Mama Said Knock You Out” - L.L. Cool J The fourth album from rap pioneer L. L. Cool J was released in 1990 to critical and commercial success. This hip hop album served as a return to rough edges, while still retaining his famous “soft side” in the songs “To da Break of Dawn” and “Around The Way Girl.”
Posted on: Nov. 23, 2010