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One Guy's Top Ten Hip Hop Albums

Updated on April 19, 2012

Let's Start by saying I don't listen to too much Hip Hop these days, especially the popular stuff. Maybe it's age, okay it's probably age, but I'm not going to ride around listening to any Young Jeezy or Wacka Flocka Flame (what?) That being said I think we will start with my Number 10

10. The Low End Theory - A Tribe Called Quest - The sophomore album was Tribe hitting on all cylinders. Check the Rhyme, Excursions, We got the Jazz...this is one of those albums you put in press play and listen to every track. Phife and Tip at their best.

9. Straight Outta Compton - NWA - My cousin and I bought this tape in the Seventh Grade. Scared us to death.

8. Aquemeni- Outkast - I could have gone with Atliens, Stankonia, or The Love Below/Speakerbox double disc, but in the end Aqueminiwas somenthing totally different than anything done before it. Rosa Parks is a great song today. Southern rap at it's best.

7. Doggystyle - Snoop Doggy Dogg - The Chronic was first, and featured the up and coming Snoop, but overall I felt this was a better album. With over 6 million copies sold to date, I think the popularity of this one is universal.

6. Long Live the Kane- Big Daddy Kane - A Classic from the golden era, Kane had the voice, technique, and let's not forget the dancing skills to establish himself as one of the greats. With Marley Marl producing, the influence kane had on many of today's emcees is unquestioned.

5. Mos Def & Talib Kweli are Black Star Black Star - Two of my favorite mc's together at their prime. This cd will never get old, although I could easily trade this pick out with Black on Both Sides.

4. The Marshall Mathers Lp - Eminem - Em's second release is full of the fire that has made him one of the most successful rapper of all times. With Dre's production and a few of his own beats, Slim let's the world know what he really thinks.

3. Deltron 3030 - Deltron 3030 - Hey, it is MY list. But seriously, anyone who has not heard this classic should definitely check it out. Dan the Automator lays down the perfect back drop to Del's clever and unique lyricism.

2. The Notorious B.I.G.- Life after Death - 2Pac or Biggie? I went with Big's second album because I felt it showed a more versatile rapper. For a double disc, there is hardly any filler. A few of the skits are dated but the songs are the work of a true master of his craft.

1. Me Against the World- 2Pac - This one had it all. 2Pac was a conflicted soul with many different sides to him. This album had a little bit of each, from the sensitive Pac on Can you get Away, and Dear Mama, to the thuggish Pac on F the world and Outlaw, to the fun Pac of Old School and Temptations, as always, it's never boring.

So there it is, one guy's list of favorite albums. I'm aware that Public Enemy or Eric B and Rakim are missing. No Nas, Jay-Z, or Wu-Tang? Any of those listed made albums worthy of this list, but these are the records that influenced me the most. I feel they cover many different styles and types of hip hop. Some eighties, lots of nineties and nothing new, yeah, I'm old.


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    • MCL profile image

      MCL 6 years ago from Indiana

      No Public Enemy records on your list. No Ice Cube solo records! KRS 1! Eric B and Rakim! EPMD! Wu Tang Clan! No Cypress Hill records! Pretty god list though.