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20 Classic Hip Hop Records To Start Your Collection

Updated on July 16, 2014

Hip-Hop has been going strong since 1979. In recent decades it has become a money-making mega cash cow. However as each decade passes and each generation comes along, many try to reach the essence of the soul of the music. To do this, they look back to what is called "Old School" Hip-Hop. Unfortunately many classic gems get ommitted in their search and findings. To this current generation, old school may be Tupac, Biggie, and Jay-Z. I have compiled a sure fire list of Hip-Hop albums that will span the different generations. If you are someone who is starting your old school collection, here is where your meat will begin. As a disclaimer, this is not the end all be all. There have been many great records that have moved the masses. Here are twenty time tested classics that have helped to move Hip Hop in a fresh/new direction in their respective time periods.

Dr. Dre - The Chronic (courtesy of
Dr. Dre - The Chronic (courtesy of

The 20 Records

1. Wu-Tang Clan - Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)

2. Notorius B.I.G. - Ready to Die

3. Various Artists - Juice Sountrack

4. Dr. Dre. - The Cronic

5. Puff Daddy and the Family - No Way Out

6. Naughty By Nature - Naughty By Nature

7. Queen Lateefah - Black Reign

8. Public Enemy - Fear of a Black Planet

9. Fugees - The Score

10. De La Soul - De La Soul is Dead

11. MC Hammer - Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em

12. Ice Cube - Death Certificate

13. EPMD - Business as Usual

14. DMX - It's Dark and Hell is Hot

15. A Tribe Called Quest - Midnight Mauraders

16. DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince - He's the DJ, I'm the Rapper

17. Run D.M.C. - Raising Hell

18. Gang Starr - Daily Operation

19. - Boogie Down Productions - By Any Means Necessary

20. - Nas - Illmatic

Tell Me What You Think!

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    • mosaicman profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Tampa Bay, Fl

      I respect your opinion. MC Hammer brought to the light the profitability of Rap and Hip Hop as an art form for Record Companies can be. Many people around my way (including myself) wore the Hammer Parachute Pants. I respect what he did to push Hip Hop along.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      MC Hammer is pop

    • mosaicman profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Tampa Bay, Fl

      Izettl, Snoop Dogg could definitely be on the list. His first album, Doggystyle was a classic. I also loved the artwork on the front of the album. Thanks for the luv, and keep listening to old school hip hop and rap, it's timeless!

    • izettl profile image

      Laura Izett 

      8 years ago from The Great Northwest

      a tribe called quest. I thought I've heard of them all, but I never heard of this group. I'll have to check it out. I grew up with this kind of music. Acutally it started as a kid listening to what my dad called "doo-wop"- The Platters, The Four Tops, Smokey Robinson, then in my generation came rap. Love it all. Great hub! What about Snoop Doggy Dogg?

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Good list. Possibly add and old school album that marks the turn that hip hop made towards southern rap i.e Outcast.


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