Top Ten Important Albums in Hip-Hop History

The Top Ten

1 Illmatic - Nas

The most spoken of, and respected Hip-Hop album of today. Even 25 years after it's release. Nas' Illmatic changed the way Hip-Hop albums were produced. Every track is a 10/10. - ParasN2000

2 Straight Outta Compton - N.W.A.

This album started the rise of popularity for gangsta rap and the West Coast hip-hop scene.

The album that made N.W.A a household name.

Timeless classic!

Important for not only popularizing the West Coast hip-hop scene, but for featuring two rappers (Dr. Dre and Ice Cube) before they went on to become rap superstars.

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

One of the 90's East Coast hip-hop scene's claims to fame. Also introduced such rap singers as Ol' Dirty Bastard, The RZA, The GZA, Method Man, etc. to the world.

Dude, this list was completely stolen from WatchMojo's list.

4 Paid in Full - Eric B. and Rakim
5 The Chronic - Dr. Dre

This was the album that introduced Snoop Dogg, who at the time was known as Snoop Doggy Doggg.

One of the first G-funk albums to exist.

Not only was this Dr. Dre's first solo album since his split with N.W.A, but important for leading the West Coast gangsta rap scene of the 90's.

6 Ready to Die - The Notorious B.I.G.
7 The Slim Shady LP - Eminem
8 No One Can Do It Better - The D.O.C.

Better than any of the albums listed above.

Didn't expect this album to hit #1!

I love N.W.A, but this album is somewhat important in hip-hop history. The album is even best remembered for beginning with "y'all ready for this? " on the opening track "It's Funky Enough", which has been sampled on many rap songs and sports songs.

Great Dr. Dre production! Recommended for N.W.A fans.

9 Licensed to Ill - Beastie Boys

One of Rick Rubin's hip-hop productions before he went on to produce records by the likes of Slayer, Danzig, Red Hot Chili Peppers, System Of A Down, Metallica, Tom Petty, etc.

This was the first hip-hop album to hit #1 on the Billboard 200 chart.

10 The Marshall Mathers LP - Eminem

A rap album that came out in the early 2000's is definitely not more important than anything that came out before this one.

The Contenders

11 Eazy-Duz-It - Eazy-E
12 Me Against the World - Tupac

One of 2Pac's claims to fame.

2Pac's first #1 album. In fact, this made him the first artist to have an album debut at that position on Billboard 200 while serving time in prison.

R.I.P 2Pac

13 3 Feet High and Rising - De la Soul

Best album of the 80's!

Timeless classic!

14 Criminal Minded - Boogie Down Productions

Important for not only featuring KRS-One, but for providing a prototype for the East Coast gangsta rap scene.

15 Doggystyle - Snoop Dogg
16 O.G. Original Gangster - Ice-T

This is where the terminology O.G. (Original Gangster) came from!

One of Ice-T's breakthrough albums.

17 It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold us Back - Public Enemy

A breakthrough for Public Enemy.

18 Amerikka's Most Wanted - Ice Cube

This was Ice Cube's first album after he left N.W.A in '89.

19 Run-D.M.C. - Run-D.M.C

Without Run-D.M.C., hip hop wouldn't have existed.

20 Paul's Boutique - Beastie Boys

Underrated Beastie album!

21 Fear of a Black Planet - Public Enemy
22 Raising Hell - Run-DMC
23 Livin' Like Hustlers - Above the Law

Underrated group, underrated album! Also one of the first G-funk albums to exist, predating "The Chronic" by two years.

24 E. 1999 Eternal - Bone Thugs-N-harmony

Great album and tribute to Bone Thugs's friend and mentor Eazy-E!

25 Creepin' on Ah Come Up - Bone Thugs-N-Harmony

Great EP!

26 Radio - LL Cool J
27 The Low End Theory - A Tribe Called Quest
28 The Cactus Album - 3rd Bass
29 Efil4Zaggin - N.W.A.
30 Rhyme Pays - Ice-T
31 Power - Ice-T
32 The Iceberg/Freedom of Speech... Just Watch What You Say! - Ice-T
33 We Can't Be Stopped - The Geto Boys
34 Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version - Ol' Dirty Bastard

Mostly because of songs like "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" and "Brooklyn Zoo".

35 My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy - Kanye West
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