About Me

Friday, December 22, 2006
Man this was a tough one for me as i am crazy about hip hop and was really a hard thing to select my top 10 albums in the hip hop history.

#1. Nas - Illmatic

Often heralded as the “hip-hop bible" by fans and critics alike, Illmatic is proof that you don’t need an hour long CD to create a classic album. Nas crammed into 39 minutes more potent material than most rappers could manufacture in twice that amount of time. With A-list producers - DJ Premier, Large Professor, Pete Rock and Q-Tip (from A Tribe Called Quest) supplying the beats, 19 year old Nasir Jones dispensed endless chains of multi-syllabic rhymes throughout the album, tossing vivid imageries and metaphors like confetti. Illmatic is the paradigm of exotic lyricism and stellar production. Not only is this the greatest hip-hop album of all time, it's the most essential hip-hop album. In fact, fans without at least one original copy of Illmatic in their collection should be written a ticket by the hip-hop police!
    Top Tracks

  • Halftime

  • It Ain't Hard To Tell

  • The World Is Yours

  • New York State of Mind

  • Memory Lane

#2. Public Enemy - It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back

Lacing up-tempo tracks with substantive social commentary, Chuck D, Professor Griff, Terminator X, Flavor Flav, and Bill Stephenney collectively known as Public Enemy helped introduce revolution-on-wax with their debut, Yo! Bum Rush The Show. But it wasn't until the explosive follow-up, It Takes A Nation of Millions... that hip-hop fans (myself inclusive) started to grasp the concept of a hardcore socially conscious sound. Chuck challenged everything that challenged the upliftment of black people: police brutality, racial profiling, stereotypes, negligence, etc. A definitive hip-hop essential by one of the greatest groups of all time.
    Top Tracks
  • Rebel Without A Pause

  • Don't Believe The Hype

  • Black Steel In The Hour of Chaos

  • Night of The Living Baseheads

#3. The Notorious B.I.G. - Ready To Die

With the aid of Puff Daddy, Biggie helped concoct the formula for 90’s rap albums by including club singles like “Big Poppa” and “One More Chance” on a street LP like Ready To Die. The shock-inducing, highly dramatic debut was mainly successful due to Biggie’s crisp, meticulously-structured flow, and distinct delivery. Serious tales about the harsh realities of street life, suicidal thoughts, and nightmarish death threats, many of which B.I.G. claimed were drawn from real experiences help make Ready To Die a stakeholder in east coast gangsta rap. 8 million people would agree. Although Ready To Die has enjoyed a tremendous amount of sales following Biggie's demise on March 9, 1997, the album suffered a setback on March 19, 2006. Following a copyrights infringement lawsuit, a judge recently ordered that sales on the album be halted, because the title track for Ready To Die sampled Ohio Players’ “Singing in The Morning” without permission.
    Top Tracks
  • Juicy

  • Big Poppa

  • Ready To Die

  • Unbelievable

#4. Wu-Tang - 36 Chambers (Enter The Wu-Tang)

This introductory Wu-Tang album was the career-defining platform for the proliferation of all 9 original clan members and their 1,047 affiliates. In fact the 12-track-long album didn't provide enough ventilation for RZA, Ghostface, GZA, Raekwon, the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Method Man, Masta Killah, Inspectah Deck, and U-God to stretch out their unique eccentricities. But, it was just enough to set the bar high for the several rap crews that have now attempted to re-write the Wu-Tang recipe.
    Top Tracks
  • C.R.E.A.M.

  • Protect Ya Neck

  • Can It Be All So Simple

#5. Jay-Z - Reasonable Doubt

Reasonable Doubt arrived in a year that churned out several other heavyweight rap albums including 2Pac’s Me Against The World, Fugees’ The Score, and Nas’ It Was Written to keep the list brief. Yet, it was Jay-Z’s self-proclaimed “unified steady flow,” witty lyricism, and confident (if not cocky) delivery that made him stand tall. Even when The Notorious B.I.G.’s cameo on “Brooklyn’s Finest” threatened to steal the show, Hov held his own, going pound for pound with the late legend. Sprinkling slick and memorable one-liners here and there, Reasonable Doubt established Jigga as a swagger-ful, charismatic rapper. His best work? Absolutely!

    Top Tracks
  • Dead Presidents II

  • Can't Knock The Hustle

  • Regrets

  • 22 Two's

#6. A Tribe Called Quest - The Low End Theory

The Native Tongues hypnotic grooves added a familiar element to hip-hop: jazzified rap. A Tribe Called Quest's Low End Theory spearheaded the soulful hip-hop that has garnered them discipleship from the likes of Kanye West, Slum Village, and Little Brother. Produced largely by the crew of boardsmen known as The Ummah (Q-Tip, Jay Dee and co), The Low End Theory is Tribe at its best. A performance that’s only rivaled by their Native Tongues brothers - De La Soul and The Jungle Brothers.
    Top Tracks
  • Scenario ft Busta Rhymes

  • Verses from The Abstract

  • Buggin' Out

  • Check The Rhime

7. Dr. Dre - The Chronic

Dre’s funky basslines and heavy synths coupled with the lyrical showcase changed the sound of hip-hop and made The Chronic a household name in the genre. But most importantly, The Chronic was instrumental in the commercialization of gangsta rap by introducing the G-Funk style of hip-hop to the mainstream. Dr. Dre’s groundbreaking debut album also served as a podium for bourgeoning west coast rappers including Lady of Rage, Kurupt, Daz, and Snoop Dogg. From the abrasive Eazy-E dis, "Dre Day", to the headphones favorite, "Nuthin' But A G Thang", Dre's chemistry with Snoop was as captivating as it was refreshing.
    Top Tracks
  • Stranded On Death Row

  • Nuthin' But A G Thang

#8. Scarface - The Fix

Brad Jordan (aka Scarface) has always been the elder statesman of rap. On this timeless release, he reached out to the avant garde in the genre: Beanie Sigel, Kanye West, The Neptunes, Jay-Z, and Nas. The Fix is colored by unparalleled artistry; from the head-scratching album cover to the shimmering production. Scarface’s heightened spiritual awareness and ominous street tales help make it a must-have for all hip-hop heads. Southern rap has not witnessed any other certified classic since The Fix.
    Top Tracks
  • In Cold Blood

  • My Block

  • Someday

  • In Between Us

#9. 2 Pac - Me Against The World

This essential hip-hop album etablished Tupac Shakur as the emotionally raw artist-turned-icon. A seamless amalgamation of his irreverent take on hip-hop and the black struggle. His multiple personalities permeate the album: occasionally vulnerable, occasionally cantankerous. Me Against The World is 2Pac at his best: no excessive thug braggart indulgence, no battle rap missiles aimed at east coast rappers, label execs, bartenders, lawn-mowers, etc (in fact he pays homage to the roots of rap on "Old School." This is simply ‘Pac and his poignant, albeit defiant, multi-faceted dispositions. And you wonder why he’s still the most imitated rapper of all time.
    Top Tracks
  • Dear Mama

  • Lord Knows

  • Me Against The World

  • So Many Tearz

#10. Snoop Dogg - Doggystyle

Carrying on the raw tradition of The Chronic, Snoop Dogg successfully crafted another G-Funk masterpiece with Dr. Dre providing the beats. From his semi-nasal tone to his erratic sense of humor, Snoop masterfully devised a way to make himself an unforgettable rapper. Witty and gritty at the same time, Snoop's vocal presence was unwavering and smooth from the jump off. Without a doubt, Doggystyle opened the door for several west coast emcees. Some would attribute the album's success to Dre's sonic finesse, but Snoop's piquant delivery, timely cadence, and haunting hooks were equally imperial. Gangsta rap never sounded so sweet.
    Top Tracks
  • Gin and Juice

  • Who Am I? (What's My Name)

  • Murder Was The Case

  • Doggy Dogg World


Bling Sity said...

Keep up the good work!

Ken said...


I am new to the world of Hip-Hop. Just started listing to artist like Akon, Rihana, Justin Timberlake, Timbaland and Jay Z.

Can you tell me how one defines hip-hop? Like Guitars are symbol of Hip-Hop, what defines this genre?

How important is rap for hip-hop? I want to know more about this genre and learn. If you have time please reply, I'll stop as when I get time.


Boombap said...

To the guy looking to learn about hip hop. Look further than just the shit thats in the charts. Look at RUN DMC, Gangstarr, EPMD, Nas, Common, KRS ONE, Erykah Badu, Jurassic 5... Production wise: Dj Premier,Jay Dee/Dilla, Ayatollah, Just Blaze etc. Check out mid nineties stuff and learn from it

Junior Jaramillo said...

I must agree with the person above me. Hip hop has everything to do with the message. If you are listening to something that doest really say anything to you then you might not appreciate Hip Hop for its art form. Boombap said many of the classics but even now there are many up and coming artist that have great talent. Listen to the music

Junior Jaramillo aka "J Ara"

Johnny Incorruptible said...

Listen to Walk In The Park by Giggs.

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Julian said...

lol this is copied and pasted from About.com's essential hip hop albums


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