Friday, April 20, 2007

25 Greatest Hip Hop Albums Of All Time (At Least In My Personal Opinion)

Jeff Weiss of Passion Of The Weiss, in association with Joey from Straight Bangin' asked me for my opinion on the 25 greatest albums in Hip Hop history. Being that this is a tough question and several deserving albums are going to get unfairly fronted on (something that I'm painfully aware of). It took me 2 hours of arguing with my brother and going through my tape, vinyl and CD collection (and several books...were talking about ME here, after all!) just to compile my list and 30 more minutes of me switching positions on said list. After much soul searching and agonizing deliberation, here are my picks for the 25 greatest Hip Hop albums of all times (at least in my opinion) with a disclaimer at the end:

1. It Takes A Nation Of Millions...-Public Enemy
2. Paid In Full- Eric B. & Rakim
3. Criminal Minded- Boogie Down Productions
4. Long Live The Kane- Big Daddy Kane
5. Mecca & The Soul Brother- Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth
6. Illmatic- Nas
7. The Great Adventures Of Slick Rick- Slick Rick
8. Raising Hell- Run DMC
9. Critical Beatdown- Ultramagnetic MC's
10. Bigger And Deffer ( B.A.D.)- LL Cool J
11. In Full Gear- Stetsasonic
12. Strictly Business- EPMD
13. 3 Feet High & Rising- De La Soul
14. Rhyme Pays- Ice T
15. Death Certificate- Ice Cube
16. Daily Operation- Gangstarr
17. The Low End Theory- A Tribe Called Quest
18. Liquid Swords- GZA
19. Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...-Raekwon The Chef
20. Illadelph Halflife- The Roots
21. Capital Punishment- Big Punisher
22. Ready To Die- Notorious B.I.G.
23. Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)- Wu-Tang Clan
24. No One Can Do It Better- The D.O.C.
25. Reasonable Doubt- Jay-Z

While I feel that some of these groups made better albums than the ones I posted (i.e. EPMD 's Business As Usual, De La Soul's Stakes Is High, Wu-Tang Clan's Wu Tang Forever, Ice T's Original Gangsta, The Roots, Things Fall Apart, Eric B. & Rakim's Follow The Leader, etc.) it was the creation of the seminal classics that I included in this list that helped spark quantum leaps in the Hip Hop field once they were released, paving the way for future great albums (including their own catalogs).Here's a collection of all of the joints that just missed the above list for those of you that wanna choke me unconsious for not including some of your favorite joints (Honorable Mention/Certified Classics):

Brand Nubian- One For All
Ghostface Killah- Ironman
Kool G Rap & DJ Polo- Road To The Riches
N.W.A- Straight Outta Compton
Dr. Dre- The Chronic LP
Redman-Whut? Thee Album
X Clan- To The East, Blackwards
Geto Boys- We Can't Be Stopped
MC Lyte- Lyte As A Rock
Queen Latifah- Hail To The Queen
Whodini- Back In Black
Beastie Boys- Licensed To Ill
Fat Boys- Crushin'
Lauryn Hill- The Miseducation Of...
OutKast- Aquemini
Poor Righteous Teachers- Holy Intellect
Del- I Wish My Brother George Was Here
3rd Bass- The Cactus Album
Jungle Brothers- Straight Out The Jungle
Mobb Deep- The Infamous
Ol' Dirty Bastard- Return To The 36 Chambers (The Dirty Version)
Main Source- Breakin' Atoms
Beatnuts- The Beatnuts AKA Street Level
Company Flow- Funcrusher Plus
Cypress Hill-Cypress Hill
King T- Act A Fool
Fugees- The Score
Mos Def- Black On Both Sides
Pharcyde-Bizarre Ride II Tha Pharcyde
2Pac- Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.
Above The Law- Livin' Like Hustlers
Snoop Doggy Dogg-Doggystyle
Common (Sense)- Resurrection
DJ Quik- Quik Is The Name
Special Ed- Youngest In Charge
Scarface- Mr. Scarface Is Back
Showbiz & A.G.- Runaway Slaves
Super Lover Cee & Casanova Rud- Girls, I Got 'Em Locked
Biz Markie- Goin' Off
Heavy D- Big Time
Freestyle Fellowship- To Whom It May Concern...
Cannibal Ox- The Cold Vein
Das Efx- Dead Serious
O.C.-Word...Life
Digital Underground- Sex Packets

And the list goes on and on and on and on to the break of dawn. Feel free to critique mine or post your own. Good looks to Jeff Weiss, Joey and the heads at Straight Bangin'. One.

12 comments:

c0dec said...

being an 80s baby, i relate more to your honour list. that'd being said, i think masta ace's "disposable arts" was dope! but then again there are lots of dope albums out there.

c0dec said...

yeah forgot...nice blog!

Jerry Parsons said...

I liked most of your picks. I would have put Boogie Down Productions By All Means Necessary as thats one of my fav albums. I like reading your blog as im a 37 year old hip hop head also whos also who has over 44,000 records and im also from Bmore.

alley al said...

i gotta get some balls and get my own list, but i deleted my "iffy" ones from your lists..

2. Paid In Full- Eric B. & Rakim
3. Criminal Minded- Boogie Down Productions

6. Illmatic- Nas

13. 3 Feet High & Rising- De La Soul

19. Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...-Raekwon The Chef
20. Illadelph Halflife- The Roots

22. Ready To Die- Notorious B.I.G.
23. Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)- Wu-Tang Clan



Brand Nubian- One For All

Dr. Dre- The Chronic LP

X Clan- To The East, Blackwards

Beastie Boys- Licensed To Ill

Lauryn Hill- The Miseducation Of...

Poor Righteous Teachers- Holy Intellect
Del- I Wish My Brother George Was Here
Jungle Brothers- Straight Out The Jungle
Mobb Deep- The Infamous

Cypress Hill-Cypress Hill

Fugees- The Score

Pharcyde-Bizarre Ride II Tha Pharcyde

Snoop Doggy Dogg-Doggystyle

Special Ed- Youngest In Charge

Freestyle Fellowship- To Whom It May Concern...

Das Efx- Dead Serious

Digital Underground- Sex Packets


yeah there's too many great albums. it's a bitch to make thses lists..
i know atcq and rundmc and outkast and more shit should be on the lists but i can't decide which ones..

Etnas Griffen said...

I dunno if you check your older posts, so I'm writing here.

La Haine came out in DVD by Criterion Collection

http://www.criterion.com/asp/release.asp?id=381

vincentlopez said...

I believe it's much more difficult (and thought provoking) to pick your top albums than it is to pick your top MC's. The best MC's sometimes can't make a song to save their life much less a whole album. I'm sure you can name a few. Anyway, here's my top 15 (in order):

1. Public Enemy – “It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back”
2. Eric B & Rakim – “Paid In Full”
3. A Tribe Called Quest – “The Low End Theory”
4. Nas – “Illmatic”
5. The Roots – “Illadelph Halflife”
6. Boogie Down Productions – “By All Means Necessary”
7. Run –DMC – “Raising Hell”
8. Slick Rick – “The Great Adventures of Slick Rick”
9. De La Soul – “Three Feet High and Rising”
10. Pharcyde – “Bizarre Ride 2 the Pharcyde”
11. Brand Nubian – “One For All”
12. Three Times Dope – “Original Stylin’”
13. A Tribe Called Quest – “Midnight Marauders”
14. Gangstarr – “Daily Operation”
15. Digable Planets – “Blowout Comb”

travis said...

you can always tell the 80's kids, we all have albums ranked ahead of "Illmatic". Can't really argue with anything in there, except Big Pun, never was too keen on that album for some reason.

Commish CH said...

great list,

Good looking out for including "Rhyme Pays." That was a classic album. Many of us who were raised on the East Coast sound were first exposed to the LA scene and topics associated with it on that joint

k. said...

dope list. i cant argue with any of the picks here.

Dart Adams said...

I left off Kool Moe Dee's Knowledge Is King and How Ya Like Me Now from the Honorable Mentions...that was a classic top 40 album most def. One.

keith said...

What about Aceyalone's A Book of Human Language? It's got to be one of the most underrated hip-hop albums ever.

public school whitey said...

Top hip-hop records
1. Main Source – Breaking Atoms
2. Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique
3. De La Soul – De La Soul Is Dead
4. Diamond D - Stunts, Blunts & Hip Hop
5. MF Doom/ Madlib– Madvilliany
6. MF Doom– Operation: Doomsday
7. A Tribe Called Quest - People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm
8. Outkast - Aquemini
9. Gangstarr - Step in the Arena
10. Wu-Tang Clan – Enter the 36 Chambers
11. EPMD – Strictly Business
12. Black Moon - Enta Da Stage
13. Gang Starr – Daily Operation
14. Dr. Dre - The Chronic
15. Quasimoto - The Unseen
16. Goodie Mob – Soul Food
17. Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth - Mecca & the Soul Brother
18. Notorious B.I.G. - Ready to Die
19. Mobb Deep - The Infamous
20. A Tribe Called Quest – Midnight Marauders
21. Public Enemy - It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
22. De La Soul - 3 Feet High and Rising
23. Nas – Illmatic
24. The Pharcyde–Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde
25. The Jungle Bros.- Straight out the Jungle
26. Ghostface–Supreme Clientele