Friday's Top Ten: Best Rap Albums

My Top Ten Worst Rappers has brought much grief to the lovers of west coast and southern rap. So with that in mind, I know that this list will irk the new school cats because some of their most popular albums will not make the list. The most glaring omission from the list will be Tupac. There is a reason for that. Tupac was a great MC but his albums moved only the most die hard fans. He had great singles, for sure, but I couldn't label any of his albums a classic. UPDATE: I have to mention All Eyez on Me. That album is a classic.

For you west coast cats, you will note that Dre and NWA are representing with Ice T making it on the notables list. Please refrain from mentioning E40, DJ Quick or MC Eight in you comments. It will only render your opinion meaningless.

I was going to divide the list by a timeline like I did the Top Ten Best Black Movies. Knowing the history of hip hop, I could have create a divide at 1994. That is the year Biggie and Nas dropped their debut albums. It would have marked a distinguishable period in hip hop with two rising stars. That would have made room for Whodini, Blackstar, Snoop Dog, The Roots and others to make it in the top ten on their perspective list. However, I didn't feel like doing all of that so you get the compact version. Maybe one day I will break it down.

Next week, I'm doing the pinnacle of rap list. The Top Ten Greatest MC's of all time. In the meantime, check the list.


#10 -The Chronic - Dr. Dre: Dre really surprised me with this one. I didn't expect it to be as hard as it was but it became an instant classic. Teaming up with Snoop was pure genius if you ask me. It could rank higher than 10 but I probably couldn't move it higher than 7.

#9 - Bigger and Deffer - LL Cool J: This is a personal favorite. It probably wouldn't make the list on with a lot of other rap fans but I think it is one of the best rap albums ever made. No one was sure what LL would do after "Radio" went platinum, but he came hard with "I'm Bad" and "I Need Love" was the bomb. But my favorite track is ".357 Breakdown".

#8 - A Tribe Called Quest - The Low End Theory: Ya'll know the Tribe had to make the list. Again, probably would rank lower on other folks list, but I bump this album too often for it not to make the list.

#7 - Illmatic - Nas: Nas has yet to surpass this classic. I hadn't heard anything about him until this album dropped. But when it did, he instantly became one of the greatest MC's ever. Over the years he has proven himself to be a great MC but until recently, his albums have been suspect.

#6 - Reasonable Doubt - Jay Z: I have to admit, I was behind the curve ball when it came to Jay Z. It wasn't until he dropped Vol II that I even got around to listening to this album. After I did, I found out what the hype was all about. Jay put it down and we know what the results of his effort to change the game are.

#5 - Fear of a Black Planet - Public Enemy: What more could be said about this album. "Black Steal in the Hour of Chaos", "Welcome to the Terrordome" and "Fight the Power" made a brother want to pull out his African medallion and march on the White House.

#4 - Ready to Die - Notorious B.I.G: His first single, "Juicy" did nothing for me but my guy played the entire album for me and it was da bomb. I still had no idea who the guy was but I thought the music was great. Biggie went on to become one of the greatest MC's ever and it is sad that he was taken down in his prime.

#3 - Strait Outta Compton - NWA: The creme de la creme of gangsta music. This album siphoned 400 years of black angst, packed it into 17 tracks and pounded America in the face with it. It ushered in a new genre of rap and no rap group as come close to matching its fire and creativity while immersing us into the pit of black rage. Classic.

#2 - Paid In Full - Eric B & Rakim: Definitely one of the greatest albums ever. Rakim came with a new style of rap that enabled him to claim the crown as the greatest MC ever. It is one of the few albums that you can drop the needle on and let it ride. There are no flaws on this album and I am sure there will be some that say that this is the number one album of all time.

#1 - Raising Hell - Run DMC: But I'm giving the number 1 spot to Run DMC. Rap is what it is today because of what Run DMC accomplished with this album. The album went triple platinum but its influence on mainstream music dwarfed its sells. Oh, and ever song on the album is great.

Notable Albums: Outkast - Aquemini, Gang Starr - Daily Operation, Ice Cube - Death Certificate, Wu Tang Clan - Enter the 36 Chambers, LL Cool J - Mama Said Knock You Out, De La Soul - 3 Feet High and Rising, Jay Z - The Blueprint, Boogie Down Production - By All Means Necessary, Ice T - Power, Kenya West - College Dropout, Common - Be, Ghetto Boys - We Can't Be Stopped, Redman - Whut? Thee Album. Tupac - All Eyez on Me, D.O.C. - No One Can Do It Better.

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8 Responses to Friday's Top Ten: Best Rap Albums

  1. Naro% Says:
    Ohhhh Shit you had me diggin in the crates on this one! First off you should not be allowed to vote unless you have (personal collection) at least 80% of the albums you listed: wax, tapes or cds... Now for the top ten: In no particular order I just went with ten that if shit went down I'd be content with these till my days are done...

    BDP- Edutainment- KRS ONE this is a friggin Blackumentary on wax (you like that ;0) I rock loves gonna get cha bout 100 times a week still...

    De La Soul- 3 feet high and rising
    These cats started the whole skit genre "a little bit of soap"

    PE- Fear of a Black Planet
    Burn Hollywood Burn hell I'm still screamin that shit today, No Doubt if i had to pick a #1 This is it. Black though, black voice, tight ass black beats, hype man... PE NO.1

    GangStarr- Hard to Earn
    This joint is just too damn smooth F.A.L.A., Suckas Need Body guards, MASS APPEAL, they crushed all the new jacks befo they even came out with this joint!

    Tribe Called Quest-Low end theory
    This was the album that made me (and everyone else) wanna be a rapper, they flipped it so crazy, you was like damn they can make anything rhyme...and they did

    Jay-Z - Reasonable Doubt
    Jigga was way tighter than Biggie hands down, and cooler too. Put it in press play, and get yo hustle on...

    Snoop Doggy Dogg- DoggyStyle
    You couldnt even buy a bootleg copy of this one with out some connections. This record was saying "ok you wanna play, ok meet my little friend"

    DR DRE - The Chronic
    This joint still bangs that hot cali shit to this day. Dre dropped it for the west coast so hard, niggas from new york started buying low riders!

    Tupac- All eyes on me- Double hip hop CD is you crazy! Fresh outta jail, instant party in a box, how you gonna drop a greatest hits album with all new songs?

    Nas - Illmatic
    You betta be tight with a cover like that, I was like this cat is HEAT!!!
    It aint hard to tell...

    Ok I know there some off the list joints, Like Run DMC, OutKast (southern...), EPMD, Black sheep (who?), Eric B and Rakim allah, Talib Kweli and Mos def (Blackstarr)#12,Wu Tang was #11 but I went for the best WHOLE album pound for pound, cut for cut, whatcha think?
  2. James Manning Says:
    I can't argue with you Naro% - A top ten is a hard thing to do and I know my LL Cool J is the only one on the list that is suspect.

    Man, I could even throw in Rhyme Pays by Ice T. I'm going to divide my greatest MC's into five year spans. That should be fun.
  3. Naro% Says:
    yeah i was like you could do this by group, MC, location, and era!!!
  4. Rashid Muhammad Says:
    Deltron 3030

    Greatest Hip Hop Album Ever

    IMHO of course ;-)
  5. chance Says:
    Chance: Jay (James),

    Chance: As I have always noticed you are a man of information your knowledge of music, sports, famous people, hip hop, intellectuality etc.
    Is impressive on that I congrat you man. You are deep in your knowledge take care Bruh!


  6. chance Says:
    To Jay (James)

    Chance: Merry Christmas to you and your family and friends man be safe and be happy.

  7. Tif Says:
    I dig your top 10 but would of definitely had "The Great Adventures of Slick Rick" in there somewhere
  8. nosthegametoo Says:
    Alright, you had me with everything but the Jay-Z. My opinion on him is that the man bites WAY too much to be among the legends.

    Other than that, you brought back some memories. I think I'm gonna throw on that tribe in a minute.

    Peace, Love and Merry Christmas