Best Hip Hop Albums

The Top Ten

1 Illmatic - Nas

Far and away deserves number 1 its easily, despite not being a hip hop fan myself, this album is a masterpiece of the genre, every song is a classic hip hop track and it's not overly long either, only 40 minutes,this is how Hip Hop albums SHOULD be made. - christangrant

The defining hip hop album - DaWyteNight

Very few hip hop albums come close to the influence, mastery, and lyrical storytelling of illmatic. I can honestly say this album gets better every time you listen to it! From the first track, your transported right in the middle of queens bridge New York. I won't spoil it for you, but this is truely a masterpiece and a prime example of how great hip hop can be!

11/10 Great!

Truly a masterpiece

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

A mu├čte habe and a revolution of hip hop!

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.

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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..
Criminal..

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

Best of all time

legendary

Should be #1

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

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

Top Songs

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

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!

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

Notorious BIG is the most lyrical rapper of all time! Flow wise is the best there can be! Don't forget Juicy, BIg Poppa, What ft. Method Man and One More Chance! All on this CD OH AND EVERYDAY STRUGGLE OF COURSE!

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5 All Eyez on Me - Tupac

2. Ready To Die
3. Nas
4. Marshall Mathers E.P. - DavidHayes

my ASS!

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.

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6 To Pimp a Butterfly - Kendrick Lamar

Better than all the Eminem, 2Pac, Nas, Wu-Tang Clan, Biggie Smalls, NWA and other albums that I've listened to.

This is one of the best (if not the best) hip hop album I've ever heard. The production is so perfect! the mix of Jazz, funk and soul! Wonderful! And the message is really important for the time period. Definitely in my top ten list.

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!

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7 The Chronic - Dr. Dre

MY PARENTS let me buy this album when I was THIRTEEN...HM

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

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8 My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy - Kanye West

Most overrated hip hop album of all time. Definitely should not be in the top 10 or even top 30, there are so many better hip hop albums that most people who think this is good have probably never heard. I don't care how experimental the production is, Kanye is just not a good rapper. - DaWyteNight

Beautiful

Objectively this probably is #1, regardless of personal taste.

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.

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9 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!

The best Eminem album, with songs like 'Till I Collapse, Sing for the Moment, and Without me

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10 Me Against the World - 2Pac

Should be #2 - jameshoward

A lot of the albums on this list may hit the ears but this album hits the heart - Mosaveli

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

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The Newcomers

? Sinista Funk - Al Kapone
? Pure Ghetto Anger - Al Kapone

The Contenders

11 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

Number 10 should be much higher! This is not only one of the most influential albums ever made its also one of the best. Way better than any so called Gangster rap that's been released in the last 10 years

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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.

This album changed my musical direction from the radio crap to the rap that actually mean something

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

Even Kurt Cobain liked this album. - JCHOW

No way there are 13 rap albums better than this. Should be no lower than 2. Absolutely incredible, it came out 30 years ago and still sounds revolutionary. Nothing like it. - JPS

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.

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14 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

One of the best by one of the greats, classic back to back.

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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!

All the songs on this CD are amazing, Forgot About Dre, Still DRE and The Next Episode which was a great hit!

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16 Paid in Full - Eric B. and Rakim

Every single song and instrumental cuts by B a pure original

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

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17 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.

Such a sick album. Needs to be top twn

I love this album! Why?
1. Great beats! So dark and powerful
2. Hollywood-movie-like gangster narratives. I don't even care if the storys are real, they give me goosebumps. I'm a white suburban German, I don't even have to try to be a thug.
3. Some really good hit singles. Survival of the Fittest and Shook Ones Pt. 2 come to mind
4. This is a real album! The whole record is coherent, no filler tracks
I highly recommend this!

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.

A better refined version of the Chronic

Cmon this deserves to be in the top ten! -

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19 The Low End Theory - A Tribe Called Quest

The best album after illmatic

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

One of the most well produced albums,( in any genre), ever... The flows are super-smooth on every track. Sorry, but ill take Q-Tip over almost every other MC on this list.
R.I.P. - Fife

20 Liquid Swords - GZA

GZA was always the most intellectual member of the Wu Tang, and this is regarded as the greatest solo project ever created by a Wu Tang member! The Genius is a lyrical machine in this! Spitting rhymes and story telling in every song he pulls off in this! Duel of the Iron Mic had to be the best of all the tracks, with great appearances by Inspectah Deck and Ol Dirty.

Genius is a true genius! Liquid Swords goes off and it deserves to be in the top ten! It totally pawns all other pop albums and so called "Rap" albums. A masterpiece into the master mind of GZA, one of the two greatest Wu Tang members of all time.

GZA was always the most intellectual of the Wu Tang. This album received a lot of attention as the best piece of work done solo by a Wu Tang member. Upon its release, the critical response of Liquid Swords was almost universally positive.

The greatest album of all time! It is definitely better than Enter the Wu Tang, and the songs are even better, this comical-like album, impresses all hip Hop fans and is a professional hallmark in GZA's career and in Hip Hop history!

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21 Paul's Boutique - Beastie Boys

This album gives you the impression that it's extraordinary so it is!

This album gave birth to Eminem - Sabbath

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

22 Midnight Marauders - A Tribe Called Quest

Linden boulevard represent represent

23 Madvillainy - Madvillain

One of the greatest rap albums with illmatic & MMLP & Ready To Die & enter the wu-tang 36 chambers

Tell me that bass line from "Meat Grinder" isn't stick in your head - GrusGirls

Entertaining from beginning to end.

The best hip-hop album ever created, without question.

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24 Graduation - Kanye West
25 Only Built 4 Cuban Linx - Raekwon

Absolute masterpiece, the mafioso themes linked with street life told through vivid storytelling by Raekwon and Ghostface Killah is utterly compelling. RZA's production here is as on point as the groundbreaking Wu debut - Enter the Wu-Tang 36 Chambers.

The hell? Only Built 4 Cuban Linx is easily top 10. You guys have no idea what you are talking about. Listen to it again have at it.

This shoul be in the top 5

26 Raising Hell - Run DMC

RUN DMC are the greatest Hip Hop artists of all time! This has to be the best hip hop album ever produced! No swearing, no offensive language, just pure good old fashion HIP HOP

Run DMC are the pioneers of Hip Hop. This is the first REAL rap album! Listen to every single song on this list, its one of those albums!

It is better than all the so called good rap, and it is a classic, and should be number1! The first REAL rap album! It is definitely a top contender!

Run DMC are the greatest hip hop stars of all time and this album has everything, Peter Piper and Its Tricky run all!

27 Atliens - Outkast

Not even OutKast's best album - DaWyteNight

28 The Slim Shady LP - Eminem

This album is amazing. Easily deserves a top 10 spot. It has a great "don't give a care" attitude that slim shady embodies. Which I'd what Eminem was aiming for when he created the alter ego slim shady while with his rap group D12.

Classic shady style love it

29 East 1999 - Bone Thugs n Harmony

BOOST THIS UP! - DavidHayes

These guys must have really stood out from everybody else in the rap game because their style was distinctive, melodic yet still hard as nails. This album has a dark Gothic feel to it, along with their melodic vocal style. Well worth a listen.

Amazing! That's the only thing I have to say about this album, because there is nothing else to add! All their greatest songs from their early days into a CD!

I love this album! It has all their good songs like, Crossroads, Me Killa etc! Every1 knows that this album is their greatest and it has a nice flow in every song it has! Th

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30 The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory - Makaveli

Hail mary, come with me, Hail mary, Run quick see So GOOD! - LegitGames12

31 Get Rich or Die Tryin - 50 Cent

I can understand why this album doesn't get its due though. Because virtually EVERY ALBUM HE RELEASED AFTER WAS crap. Seriously the only 50 song I liked after this album was irregular heartbeat

Good album, his only good album

The best lyrical songs in this album: Many Men, 21 Questions, Don't Push Me, Wanksta

This just may be the best rap album ever, fiddy goes hard & every song is dope. Also give Dre credit for helping with the album. Really some sick beats such as Wanksta, In The Club, Many Men, & What Up Gangsta. Seriously y'all this should be a lot higher.

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32 Moment of Truth - Gang Starr

This is pure hip hop, not like kanye west... - DaWyteNight

One of the best albums ever, JFK 2 LAX has been stuck in my head since like 2005

One of the best ever Hip Hop albums Period.

This has to be one of the best hip hop albums I ever bought. Great tracks such as 'Royalty', 'Work', 'Moment of truth' 'The Militia' and the title track make this a deep album yet still very in tune with the underground hip hop culture of that era. A mature album with intellect and heart in its creation.

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33 Aquemini - OutKast

Should be #1

34 The Cold Vein - Cannibal Ox

Did I seriously have to add this? - cjWriter1997

35 Below the Heavens - Blu & Exile
36 Soul Food - Goodie Mob

The Illmatic of southern hip hop? Probably. - DaWyteNight

37 Late Registration - Kanye West

Kanye West best album ever made! It had a lot of amazing hits like Gold Digger and Touch The Sky, along with Hey Mama which is definitely a heart warming song! Features such artists like The Game, Nas, Jay-Z, Lupe Fiasco and Jamie Foxx!

The greatest hip hop album ever made! It has all of Kanye's massive hits on here, Gold Digger, Touch the Sky and Diamonds from Sierra Leone ft. Jay-Z!

The greatest hip hop album ever made! Hip Hop is definitely dead now, but Kanye is one of the very few! Who have kept it breathing!

It certainly beats previous work done by most rappers, and itself has made a name in the hip hop industry!

38 Doubt Me Now - Lil Wyte
39 Endtroducing..... - DJ Shadow

The best instrumental Hip Hop album of all time. - Rambles

40 Because the Internet - Childish Gambino
41 The Money Store - Death Grips

goat

42 The Lost Tapes - Nas

Great compilation album, didn't think it would be this high

43 Amerikkka's Most Wanted - Ice Cube

This album is intense - Sabbath

44 Mos Def and Talib Kweli are Black Star - Black Star
45 2014 Forest Hills Drive - J. Cole

Should be on top 20 masterpiece

Average

46 The Blueprint - Jay-Z

I cannot not believe this! This is ridiculous. At first sight this doesn't look that good. But stick with it. A few listens and you'll be hooked.

28? You people must live under a rock. Top 3 album of all time

Good album, not this high though

Why is this so low

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47 Stankonia - Outkast

How is this not higher?

48 Illadelph Halflife - The Roots
49 Rodeo - Travi$ Scott

What? What is this doing here? This isn't even real hip hop it's like listening to a computer. - DaWyteNight

50 Greatest Hits - 2Pac

This album should not be on this list because it is a compilation. - Rambles

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List Stats

3,000 votes
278 listings
11 years, 206 days old

Top Remixes (41)

1. Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) - Wu-Tang Clan
2. To Pimp a Butterfly - Kendrick Lamar
3. Ready to Die - Notorious B.I.G.
sebastian_nazario
1. Ready to Die - Notorious B.I.G.
2. Dreams Worth More Than Money - Meek Mill
3. Life After Death - Notorious B.I.G.
miguelmam
1. It's on 187um Killa - Eazy-E
2. The Chronic - Dr. Dre
3. Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) - Wu-Tang Clan
rafi18

WRemix
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