Best Hip Hop Albums

The Top Ten

1 Illmatic - Nas

way the hell better than all eyez on me. Thats not even the best pac album other than fake mainstream fans everyone knows all eyez on me is well known not to be the best. Illmatic makes it look bad by comparison this is a master piece. Song by song its perfect. The production fits in very well with his complex lyrics its the perfect album...
Anyone who actually apreciates hip-hop and not hip-pop will like illmatic much better. Me against the world was the best 2pac album anyway not top 10 but his best maybe top 20 or 30. - ChrisHenry

This is really the greatest rap album ever made. The album was cut short because of bootlegging but even half finished, nobody will ever be able to top it. Also Eminem has been highly overrated on this list. I don't get how you can put the Eminem show over public enemy etc.

Critically, Mentally, Lyrically, Physically, and all kinds of 'ally' the greatest hip hop album in history. Albums which need to be kicked off this list. Fort minor, and kanye west, mmlp can stay but the Eminem show can not, some people need to get into their head that Eminem is not the greatest rapper ever, he is not even the top 5, although having said that he is one of my favourites. But everyone seems to be overating him, maybe because there is not many left in the rap game and younger kids can only hear em on the radio and not other greats. But I assure you every generation goes through this. 80's had run-d.M. C, grandmaster flash, N.W. A, a tribe called quest, rakim, ll cool j, ice-t, krs-1, public enemy etc. 90's snoop, dre, nas, Tupac, biggie, wu-tang, jay-z. 2000's a bit of nas and jay-z, but only other person around and growing and at their peak was Eminem so obviously he took the crown and subsequently is overrated and considered the best but unfortunately if you've heard ...more

Too Godly

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2 Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) - Wu-Tang Clan

How is that overrated 2pac album #1? 36 chambers is so much better than anything on this list so far other than illmatic. - ChrisHenry

No matter how much times I listen to this album, it never gets old. This is the only album where I can listen from the first to last song without cringing.

It's fun, it's dark, it's beautiful, it's inspiring, it's unapologetic and it's super-memorable.
While other hip-hop albums' lyrics may come across as clever, they will never stick as much as "Ghostface, catch the blast from a hype verse," "Raw like cocaine straight from Bolivia," "The hell-raiser, raising hell with the flavor," "I grew up on the crime side, the New York Times side," or even "Patty-cake, patty-cake, hey! I'm Method Man! "
I could go on and on.
Every beat is catchier than influenza, no MC in the Clan is wack, they all have distinct personalities, and the lyrics are witty when they want to be but also know when to be poignant and hard-hitting. It brims with personality and undoubtedly changed the game for the better.

The song Tearz might be my favourite hip hop song of all time.

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3 The Marshall Mathers LP - Eminem

All songs are just incredible.. Look at the track list..

The Way I Am..
The Real Slim Shady..
B**** Please 2..
Kill You..
I'm Back..
Under The Influence..

And of course one of his best songs: Stan!
This is definitely THIS is THE album!
This choose wasn't that hard!

Slim Shady, Eminem, Marshall Mathers

This is a great album but in my opinion Under The Influence is one of his worst songs. - MickJames

Eminem is the best rapper ever, and this is his
best album. I mean HELLO! The Way I Am, Stan, The Real Slim Shady, Kim and all of the tracks are incredible!

All of the songs on this are so good! This is what made eminems career: Way I Am, Stan, Real SLim Shady, Drug Ballad etc, this CD is dope!

This is not the second best album of all time, are you guys on CRACK?

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4 All Eyez on Me - Tupac

Greatest hip hop album. N some1 kick jay-z n fort minor outta this list. The illmatic album definitely deserves second place though, n he was only 16 when he made t. Nas is unreal! - spitpoetry

This album is the greatest rap album of all time. Here's why, it has over 20 tracks of pure Tupac, who is also the greatest rapper of all time. The album has everything from hardcore gangsta rap, to poetic masterpieces about how life is in the ghetto. This rap album will forever be the greatest rap album.

Hands Down Greatest Album of all time. In his short lived career due to him being shot, he went two times diamond on two of his albums, and this was one of them. It is rare to find an album that you like every single song in, but this album has many greats combined into one.

The first HipHop double C-D ever! 5 times platinum before he died.., Classic songs, California Love, Gangsta Party, How do u want it, ambitions as a rider, All about you, come on maN, the GoAT 🐐

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5 Ready to Die - Notorious B.I.G.

The greatest most influential album of all time! Biggie Smalls is the greatest rapper in history, this album was so successful and every song is amazing!

An album made by the Notorious BIG is always a great album! This album is "Highly Influential" acclaimed by many critics.

Top Songs

Big Poppa
Machine Gun Funk (biggie's first single)

Biggie Smalls is the greatest rapper of all time! Ready to Die, should be number 1!

Just pure CLASS! thousands of flows, each one better as the best flow of rappers nowadays! every track is amazing! and those beats will make your neck break! it never gets boring! for me its clearly one of the four best hip hop albums ever! together with doggystyle, 36 chambers and good kid maad city! MASTERPIECE!

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6 The Chronic - Dr. Dre

Possibly the best West Coast album produced ever! Snoop Dogg gets a full introduction in the world of hip hop and G-Funk is born.

How can you compare such an album to any other in the world. This is so unique and innovative work from Dr. Dre

Dr. Dre produced possibly the best album ever made and gave Snoop a preview of what its like in the business. - robertoantonioortuso

Apart from that track where he's rippin a hoe

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7 To Pimp a Butterfly - Kendrick Lamar

I know people are gonna say it's too soon to be considered, but I honestly think To Pimp A Butterfly is the greatest hip hop album of all time. No other rapper has been able to blend Funk and Jazz into hip-hop so magnificently before! On Avant-Garde and experimental beats Kendrick raps about the struggles of being black in the United States, and talks about issues such as police brutality, institutionalized racism, and suicidal deprssion. No other album in the history of music has been so personal, experimental, cunning, and riveting as To Pimp A Butterfly, and not only is it the greatest rap album of all time, it ranks among the greatest albums of all time in any genre. - sebastian_nazario

This is undoubtedly one of the best hip hop albums of all time. It perfectly fuses so many genres and each song has a personality and incredible message of its own. Impeccably crafted with fantastic lyrics and top-notch production. This needs to be higher up the list; just because it's new doesn't mean it can't be one of the greats!

To be this young of an album and be considered this greatly for greatest rap album of all time, in ten years this will be among one of the best albums of all time for all genres.

Onw of the greatest albums of all time, the best I've ever heard. Such a unique sound and captivating lyrics

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8 Reasonable Doubt - Jay-Z

Amazing album and a definite MUST OWN for any die hard, hardcore hip hop fans! This is the real Jay-Z not like the Blueprint 3 pop crap! This is what started his career!

Reasonable Doubt is a legend in the Music Industry, and has been by some critics known to be in the top 5 greatest hip hop albums of all time. Jay-Z has made a lyrical masterpiece!

Great album, perhaps not above 2001, The Eminem Show or The Infamous

My favorite hip hop album!

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9 Straight Outta Compton - N.W.A

The true gangsta album! Everyone always likes to be "Gangsta" THIS is where it started, that is why NWA is so influential because of this album that started it all! And it also has the two biggest gangsta songs and NWA songs, F The Police and straight Outta compton!

NWA are so influential and this album started it all! Straight Outta Compton, F The Police, Gangsta Gangsta & DOPEMAN (Remix) this album had made history! at least top 3!

Look at the list of songs, the top hits have to be:

Straight Outta Compton
F* The Police
Gangsta Gangsta
Express Yourself
Dopeman Remix

This album defined G Rap

Sick album

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10 My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy - Kanye West

This is one of the most critically acclaimed albums of all time, Kanye is considered of of the greatest artists ever, it was considered the best album of 2010 everywhere, and Runaway the greatest song of the year. Everyone who hated Kanye for the Taylor Swift thing changed their minds and admitted he was a genius when they heard this. One of the greatest albums of all time. OF ALL TIME.

"the luxurious soul of 2004's The College Dropout, the symphonic pomp of Late Registration, the gloss of 2007's Graduation, and the emotionally exhausted electro of 2008's 808s & Heartbreak" - Jannikins

Kanye West has made his best work and it deserves to be number 1. West has made a lot of singles on this album, and Rolling Stone named this album of the year 2010 and the song RUnaway was the greatest song of 2010 in Rolling stone!

He turned many into fans after the Taylor Swift incident with this masterpiece

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The Contenders

11 Me Against the World - 2Pac

Albums dope as hell. With songs like old school, it ain't easy and not to mention dear mama it's easily Pac's best

Top ten album better than all eyes on me

Great album, this album has "Dear Mama"

My favourite album, by my second favourite rapper, brilliantly moving, sad influential and flawless, in my opinion. Take a listen, you will enjoy!

Also listen to;

All eyez on me (2pac)
Ready to die(Notorious B.I.G)
illmatic (Nas)

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12 good kid, m.A.A.d. city - Kendrick Lamar

This album is already crowned as an "instant classic" by all the hip hop magazines... Listen to it yourself! It is a classic and is one of the greatest albums of all time! This album should be up there with ready to die, Illmatic, chronic, Doggystyle and so on... Aftermath always drop classics!

This is the bluepront for hip hop albums released in the next ten years. It combines current sounds with excellent lyricism and is one of the greatest concept albums of all time. It is a detailed character portrait of not just Kendrick, but many kids growing up in the ghetto or violent places. Must listen! - Themusicman

This album is just so great all around great lyrics, amazing flow and amazing beats. This should be higher up.

Today's Illmatic

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13 The Eminem Show - Eminem

The best Eminem album, it has all great songs and is a fast paced amazingly great party anthem! Till I Collapse and Without Me are two big HITS!

This beats Marshall MAthers LP and all his other works, in my opinion his only good work! Besides this his other work is not that BIG!

Screw Marshall Mathers LP! Just listen to this album, it is so much better than Marshall LP and a lot of Eminem fans know that! It has all of these amazing songs, and is the greatest, that's RIGHT I SAID IT AGAIN!

Em's best album.

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14 It Takes a Nation to Hold Us Back - Public Enemy

Not enough people realise the importance of this album, needs to be higher. Probably one of the hardest albums I've ever heard. - MouldyWalrus

Nothing sounded like this when it came out. Still mind blowing.

Should be number 1

Public enemy #1

15 2001 - Dr. Dre

Dr. Dre has done so much for the industry and is the greatest producer of all time! But when it comes to rapping, it's a whole new level!

This album stands out by its great build-up and constant high quality. Where most albums dip on at least a couple of tracks, 2001 by Dre never never drops in quality. Even the skits are classics!

Unbelievable performance by Dr Dre the greatest rapper of all time! A lot of amazing artists are in the album and a good skit as well!

Best Dre album

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16 Paid in Full - Eric B. and Rakim

No brainer here. Easily without a doubt one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time. Considering nearly all other greatest hip hop albums are influenced by this it deserves a top 5 spot at the very least.

The album that inspired others should be up there in the top 10 - robertoantonioortuso

Definitely should be top 10. Rakim is a god

It's. Not. Underrated

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17 The Low End Theory - A Tribe Called Quest

One of the best Hip Hop albums of all time, and also has some of Hip Hop's best tracks (Probably as good as Illmatic in my opinion)

Great album, midnight marauders is still better though. But not by much

The best album after illmatic

18 Doggystyle - Snoop Dogg

Snoop Doggy Dogg. Everyone was waiting for this album to come out, and when it finally did, every one loved it! It has all his best hits, Murder Was The Case, Who Am I etc!

Not a single bad song on the album, easily one of the best hip hop albums of the 90s let alone all time.

Cmon this deserves to be in the top ten! -

A better refined version of the Chronic

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19 Paul's Boutique - Beastie Boys

Shame that this is so low... Easily better and more consistent than any of Eminem's releases. This and It Takes A Nation of Millions should be at the top

20 The Infamous - Mobb Deep

Such an underrated album, had everything in one album just listen and see for yourself, power of lyricism

How is this only 18th? How is "good kid, m.A.A.d city" by Kendrick Lamar in front of this. Two of the very best rap songs I've heard are on this album. "The Shook Ones, Pt.2" and "Survival of the Fittest". Get this higher up.

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List Stats

2,000 votes
182 listings
10 years, 51 days old

Top Remixes (36)

1. Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) - Wu-Tang Clan
2. To Pimp a Butterfly - Kendrick Lamar
3. Paul's Boutique - Beastie Boys
1. It's on 187um Killa - Eazy-E
2. The Chronic - Dr. Dre
3. Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) - Wu-Tang Clan
1. Illmatic - Nas
2. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy - Kanye West
3. Reasonable Doubt - Jay-Z

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