Top 10 Hip Hop Albums for People Who Don't Like Hip Hop

Hip hop is a great and widely divisive genre. On one side, you have universally accepted classics such as Illmatic and The Chronic. On the other side... you have So yeah, even though you may not like it, I'm here to recommend you some albums that might change your mind about hip hop. These are not only essentials if you want to get into hip-hop, but these are some of the greatest hip-hop albums and albums in general ever made.

The Top Ten

1 The Low End Theory - A Tribe Called Quest

Hip Hop albums for people who don't like Hip Hop? That's like making a list of Meats for Vegans.- Nik - BoredBrusk02

I guess I understand. I'm also not a fan of lists like these for metal. - Nik - BoredBrusk02

Honestly, as much as I loved this album, I'd say one should get familiar with hip hop before going into this - ProPanda

I'd honestly start with like an Nas album or something before a Tribe Called Quest. - ProPanda

Topping the list, we have what many consider to be A Tribe Called Quest's magnum opus. And for good reason, because this is a masterpiece in terms of jazz rap and just having a good time. Phife Dawg and Q-Tip have insanely good chemistry when it comes to sharing the mic, as most evident on Check The Rhime. The features on this album are also great, with the pinnacle being Scenario with Leaders of The New School. This was one of the first albums to fuse jazz with hip-hop, and boy, did they do it well.

Seriously, check this album out if you have time. You will not regret it. - SwagFlicks

2 Midnight Marauders - A Tribe Called Quest

This is the more profane version of The Low End Theory, but that doesn't stop it from being awesome. You get serious stuff, humor, and laid-back rhymes on this track that are rapped by the much-improved Phife Dawg and Q-Tip. The jazzy beats are also a step-up from The Low End Theory, with Electric Relaxation being a prime example of that. This is the better album, but it's harder to get into than The Low End Theory, due to it being more profane. - SwagFlicks

Hip hop isn't hip hop without ATCQ. Hands down

3 Illmatic - Nas

Now this is considered by people who aren't rap fans to be one of the greatest albums, period. And it makes sense. Nas' intricate rhymes inspired by him growing up in the ghettos of Queensbridge are some of the best of all time, using many internal, multisyllabic, and compounded rhymes. The production is solid as well, utilizing funk, soul, and jazz samples into the beats, and doing it very well. In short, this album is nothing short of perfect, and a must-listen for any music fan.

And to think he only made this when he was 20. - SwagFlicks

4 Deltron 3030 - Deltron 3030

Some people would consider this to be the greatest hip-hop concept album of all time. While I think To Pimp A Butterfly's concept is miles ahead of this ones, this one has a huge concept: a rapping computer prodigy battles a series of foes to become Galactic Rhyme Federation Champion. While the production is solid and the rhymes, while redundant at times, are great, the concept shines out above all. A must-listen. - SwagFlicks

Wow, this was one of the last albums I'd expect to see on a Top Ten list, but it is true. Anyone who's a hard fan of Gorillaz would probably know about this. Del the Funkee Homosapien is a fantastic rapper. He has great flow and his wordplay is progressive. - Mcgillacuddy

5 Donuts - J Dilla

This album is a fun listen, I'll say that. Like Endtroducing..., this album has samples as well, but since J Dilla was a renowned producer, he made beats to go in with the samples. And boy, are they good to listen to. - SwagFlicks

6 My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy - Kanye West

I know most of you don't like Kanye as a person. Go ahead, he pretty much deserves most of the hate. But he does not deserve to be hated as an artist when this masterpiece exists. I'll say it here, this is one of the most well-produced albums, period. Nothing falls short in this album. The manic tribal beat on Monster, the piano on Runaway, the guitar on Gorgeous, the triumphant feel on All Of The Lights; it's just all so perfect. The lyrics, guest verses (especially Nicki Minaj's), and Kanye's performance are great, but like Deltron 3030, the production is the centerpiece of the album. And boy, is it phenomenal. - SwagFlicks

7 Endtroducing... - DJ Shadow

This is my favorite album of all time. Let that say something, because this album is entirely made of samples. And somehow, DJ Shadow managed to work those samples into cohesive, atmospheric masterpieces. - SwagFlicks

8 Paul's Boutique - Beastie Boys

This album sampled 105 songs for 15 tracks, 24 which appear on the last track. That's insane. The follow-up to the commercially successful Licensed to Ill was a commercial failure, but it was eventually recognized as one of the greatest albums, period. And for good reason, as it's arguably a more serious and sonically pleasing Beastie Boys album. - SwagFlicks

9 Graduation - Kanye West

This is poppy Kanye West. He managed to make a good pop album, after years of making songs with soul samples on them. This is just him at his goofiest and most introspective, with tracks such as the ode-to-Chicago themed Homecoming; the braggadocious Daft Punk-sampled Stronger; and the lush Good Morning. This is Kanye at his most accessible, but probably at his weakest following The College Dropout, therefore why this isn't above MBDTF. - SwagFlicks

The is fun and poppy. More of a Pop Rap album and can get a Kanye hater yo listen and enjoy this beautiful work. - AlphaQ

This was the first album that actually got me into rap music - Mcgillacuddy

This is better than MBDTF in my opinion - venomouskillingmachine

V 1 Comment
10 People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm - A Tribe Called Quest

The Contenders

11 Me Against the World - 2pac
12 Paid in Full - Eric B and Rakim
13 Speakerboxxx/the Love Below - Outkast
14 The Marshall Mathers LP - Eminem
15 Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) - Wu-Tang Clan
16 To Pimp a Butterfly - Kendrick Lamar

If you listen to the whole album. This masterpiece is excellent. - AlphaQ

17 The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill - Lauryn Hill
18 Resurrection - Common
19 Good Kid, M.A.A. D City - Kendrick Lamar

This is a great sophomore album if I've ever seen one. In this album, Kendrick's telling a story about meeting up with his girlfriend, spitting freestyles in the backseat, and the death of his friend's brother. If that's not enough to reel you into this album, this album has incredible production, with tracks like Money Trees working a sample of Silver Soul by Beach House into it; Swimming Pools with its trap-oriented, yet atmospheric beat; and m.A.A.d city's G-Funk breakdown all contributing to it. One of the best albums of 2012, and one of the best albums, period. - SwagFlicks

20 All Eyez on Me - 2pac
21 Stankonia - Outkast
22 The Chronic - Dr. Dre
23 2001 - Dr. Dre
24 Ready to Die - The Notorious B.I.G.
25 The Eminem Show - Eminem
26 The Slim Shady LP - Eminem
27 Infinite - Eminem
28 A Piece of Strange - Cunninlynguists
29 Madvilliany - Madvillian
30 Aura - Kool Savas
31 The Heist - Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
32 Aggro Berlin - Sido
33 Take Care - Drake
34 Thank Me Later - Drake
35 Cyclone - Baby Bash
36 Lasers - Lupe Fiasco
37 Tha Carter III - Lil Wayne
38 The Infamous - Mobb Deep
BAdd New Item

Related Lists

Top 10 People Who Killed Hip Hop Top Ten Hip Hop Songs Named After Actual People Best Hip Hop Albums Top Ten Classic Hip-Hop Albums Greatest Rap / Hip-Hop Albums

List Stats

38 listings
1 year, 333 days old

Top Remixes

1. The Low End Theory - A Tribe Called Quest
2. Midnight Marauders - A Tribe Called Quest
3. Deltron 3030 - Deltron 3030
1. Donuts - J Dilla
2. People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm - A Tribe Called Quest
3. The Low End Theory - A Tribe Called Quest
1. Illmatic - Nas
2. Me Against the World - 2pac
3. Paid in Full - Eric B and Rakim


Error Reporting

See a factual error in these listings? Report it here.