Top Ten Greatest Rap Albums

The Top Ten
1 Illmatic - Nas

It isn't necessarily the message in the album, even though the messages are deeply inspiring. It's the flows that Nas brings when he speaks in this album. Each cut seems to always bring a lyrical synchronism unlike any other album I've ever heard. It's been 20+ years, and this album still has some of the most lyrically colorful combinations of bars in the history of rap. The craziest part is that he did this in 1994 when nobody had ever heard of this kind of synchronizing of words and melody in the history of music.

Not to mention, Nas was 19 years old when he created this piece, along with intellectually stimulating lyrics that continue to make you wonder, Whose world is this? throughout time. This is the craziest rap album of all time because it's simple, not over the top, yet it grows on you and never, ever gets old because it's straight, 100% real. And, at the end of the day, isn't that how the rap game is supposed to be exemplified? How real things can be? No, Nas killed ...more

The big difference between Illmatic and MMLP is this: lyrical content that defines what real hip-hop is, was, and should be. Illmatic is highly intelligent, creative, down-to-earth, and uplifting to the struggles from which hip-hop culture originates. I'm not knocking Eminem. He's brilliant. However, Illmatic captivates us because the stories there represent Black culture before the major corporate takeover of hip-hop. Rap is much different now - focused on money, killing, and drugs.

Most Eminem fans didn't even listen to rap until he became famous. This is similar to kids today who think Justin Bieber is the king of pop. A white fan base can carry you a long way (like Bieber), with or without talent. So I don't think it's the fact that people have a problem seeing Eminem as the best because he's white. It's just the fact that his mainstream message - I've had a pretty hard life, I'm angry, so I should act out and think crazy - isn't really what hip-hop/rap is about.

People are always raving about 'Pac and Biggie, but Nas blows them both out of the water with this album. Don't get me wrong, Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G. were extremely skilled MCs. However, the fact that Nas was already on their level when he released Illmatic, his debut album, puts him above them both in my opinion. I know I'll offend a bunch of people with this, but because they died young, Tupac and Biggie are remembered as better than they really were. If 'Pac, Biggie, and Nas were all still making music, it would be pretty clear who was the best. And this album is proof enough that Nas is one of the greats.

Peace. ✌️

The best hip-hop album ever, bar none. While Eminem is skilled, there has never been, and there never will be, a better album than Illmatic. This album showcases Nas at the peak of his lyrical game, which is considerable to say the least. The production was near perfect, with DJ Premier on the boards for some of the tracks. LES and Q-Tip also had their moments. This album fundamentally changed hip-hop, and that is why there is no better album.

2 The Marshall Mathers LP - Eminem

Everyone can say what they want about Eminem just because he is white. However, this album is a masterpiece. Each song is shockingly brilliant and simply incredible. Stan is one of the greatest stories I have ever heard in a song. Songs like Criminal, Who Knew, and The Way I Am are classics that tell all his critics and haters to shut up and listen to what he has to say. He made this album with no fear, and that is what makes it so special.

It seems that people don't like a white guy being at the top of rap, but that's just the way it is.

To the people who claim that a majority of Eminem's success is because he's white, you need to get your facts straight. Eminem entered the rap game at a time when white rappers were often ridiculed and not taken seriously. To succeed, you had to be accepted by the Black community. Eminem's skill was evident from the start, but many disregarded him due to his skin color. Dr. Dre was the man who gave him a chance. Dre didn't care about skin color. If you had talent, he wanted to work with you.

Even Dre's associates underestimated Eminem initially. They had heard his skill on the demo tape sent to Dre, but they were reluctant to work with him because he was white. Fortunately for Eminem, Dre looked past that and gave him an opportunity to succeed. And it worked.

Eminem is not famous because he's white. He's famous because he's talented and was given a chance. There are many other extremely talented artists who faced challenges being accepted. Teena Marie, one of the most ...more

A very good album indeed. It sold 1.78 million copies in its first week of release and debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200. The album stayed atop the charts for eight weeks and sold 7.9 million copies by the end of the year. MMLP has gone on to be certified 10x Platinum and has been cited as one of the greatest musical albums of all time. It holds the #28 spot in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and has won two Grammys: one for Best Rap Album and another for Best Rap Solo Performance for The Real Slim Shady. This album produced the masterpiece single Stan, as well as the comedic The Real Slim Shady. Both songs hit #1 in the UK and are among Eminem's most successful singles. This album is a true masterpiece. It is the best-selling album of the 21st century, with 10 million copies sold in America and 35 million copies sold worldwide.

This album has sold more copies than most artists have sold in their lifetime. It is pretty much the Thriller of rap albums. Stan is a standout track. Eminem takes storytelling to the next level in that song, to the point where it is more of a story than a song. I get chills every time I listen to it. Even songs like The Way I Am and Marshall Mathers show us an angry side of Shady, where he gets real about the negatives of fame and his blunt, unfiltered point of view. This album is pure perfection. Nothing gets better than this.

3 Ready to Die - The Notorious B.I.G.

This is what hip-hop rap is all about. All the songs are just over the top. This album changed the game and the East-West beef. Long Kiss Goodnight pushed it to a level in hip-hop that will never be reached again. Puff's outro took it beyond beef. All the tracks came out on the radio. This is the only album that has done that to this level. Illmatic from Nas is the original greatest album. This isn't just an album. It's the gospel of hip-hop.

The murders of 'Pac and Biggie changed not just the game, but the world. This album is forever the best album ever made. His storytelling, his delivery, his heart was on display. His life and his death are in this album. It's not just an album. It's the man in words. It's a thin line between love and hate. Love it or hate it, this debate is over. As Rick Flair said, To be the man, you have to beat the man. The man is dead and took the title with him.

Although I haven't listened to every rap masterpiece yet, I have listened to all the ones mentioned above. Honestly, I love every song on this album. It's my favorite! Don't get me wrong. I'm not about the West Coast-East Coast thing. I love 'Pac, but I like this album more than "All Eyez on Me." I have yet to listen to other 'Pac albums like "Makaveli - Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory" and "Me Against the World," but I listen to tons of music, and this is my favorite album! Don't just download songs. You need the whole thing.

It's really a shame he only released two albums before his death. His flow is really smooth, with great songs like "Things Done Changed," "Juicy," and "Gimme the Loot" talking about the struggles of growing up, his rise to fame and luxury, and his life of crime.

As someone who's more of a rock fan, this album convinced me that hip-hop can be excellent when done by a master like Biggie.

This album is honestly one huge story. From the more grimy cuts like Machine Gun Funk and Suicidal Thoughts, to classics like Juicy and Big Poppa, and finally player songs like One More Chance. This album has a lot of versatility and perfectly paints a picture of a young and poor person entrenched in crime from all aspects. Biggie at his most lyrical. My favorite album of all time.

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

I go back and forth between this, Illmatic, and Ready To Die for that top hip-hop album. After at least 25 listens of each, I'm convinced this is it. Illmatic might've had the bigger impact, but this was the blueprint for unique production techniques and posses that would later form. Plus, just about every MC here went on to have big solo success, so yeah.

This album is exhilarating beginning to end. I've heard Ready To Die and Illmatic multiple times, and the same can't be said for them.

Amazing group of rappers. All did an amazing job on this album, making it one of the greatest rap albums of all time!

Every track is amazing. They just stick in your head. C.R.E.A.M. has to be one of the best rap songs ever.

5 To Pimp a Butterfly - Kendrick Lamar

Nothing compares to the depth, meaning, and complexity of To Pimp A Butterfly. The album is filled with various concepts and philosophies in its lyrics, and there is an intricate reason behind every single beat and rhythm. This is not just a rap album. It is a sublime piece of artwork, a masterful story, and a movement all in one. Kendrick Lamar delves into the depths of his own life, society, Lucifer, and the people around him. The multiple genres of sound are all used for meaningful reasons. The number of concepts and messages he explores is unfathomable. Honestly, no other album can come close to this legendary work. There is just far too much to discuss regarding this album. One can only go, listen, and learn for themselves. This is the greatest album of all time. No question.

I am the definition of a hip-hop head. I've been a fan since I was a kid. I was alive during the Rakim era in the 80s. I was also alive for the golden age of Tupac, Nas, and Biggie in the 90s. I lived through the Eminem era in the 2000s. Now, I am honored to consider myself a witness to the Kendrick Lamar era in the 2010s. I've heard every legend in hip-hop history. This is the best album I have ever heard.

I am 44 years old, and this album, made by a kid in his 20s, completely changed my life. He takes a stand against racial inequality and changes the world through this album. I am just blessed to have heard it.

To Pimp a Butterfly hits you in a completely different way when you analyze and break it down piece by piece. This is a masterpiece and easily the greatest rap album of all time. When you can relate heavily to the topics, you start to notice the care, passion, and emotion that were poured into this record. It offers amazing commentary on society, storytelling, and symbolism through intelligent lyricism and wordplay. You can even tell a story and summarize the album just by looking at the titles of each track.

To Pimp a Butterfly is as complete an album as it can get. The production quality, the bars that KDot chooses to lay, the stories, and the visuals are all stunning. As it is in all fields of competitiveness, as time goes on, people get better at the sport. Jesse Owens, considered to be the GOAT in track events, has run times that are lesser than the top 10 in the track today. Drawing parallels, KDot is the perfect example of evolution in the rap game.

The production quality is much better than other albums on this list. The vocals sound exquisite, the stories touch a chord, but most of all, the visuals (which were not a priority in the erstwhile generation) are all solid. This album also has the longevity of Illmatic and will live on for years to come.

On the tracklist front, it has songs that appeal to a wide range of audiences. From the poppy/groovy King Kunta and dance number I, complemented by u, to the raw and unadulterated emotion on Blacker the Berry, it takes ...more

6 All Eyez on Me - 2Pac

This was the White Album of rap: seminal, angry, and just a pure faucet for Pac to spill all of his thoughts after being locked up for months. Some of his other albums may have been more like Bob Dylan - poetic and succinct in their social commentary. But no other album captures a Shakespearean moment more than this one.

Yes, California Love may be too overplayed, but it's played for a reason. All the influences from Snoop to George Clinton on this make it the top rap album of all time. And it's not even close, in my humble opinion.

People call this trash because Pac didn't have some huge political statement on it, but you know what? Those concepts of political and conscious hip-hop are not what make 2Pac one of the greatest. He made an album that could vary in terms of mood from track to track but kept the same concept. It had great production, and 2Pac demonstrates his rapping skills, not his skill at choosing a genre.

Now, don't get me wrong; Dear Mama, Changes, etc. - I have nothing wrong with those. It's just not what makes him the best. It's not simply the concept of having conscious songs that makes people act like those are automatically his best. 2Pacalypse wasn't an amazing album. Sure, it had good lyricism at times and certainly bright spots. But if he had spent his career with lots of songs from that album highlighted in his albums, never changed production quality, never improved technically in terms of rapping, and never honed his lyrical skills any more, he wouldn't have garnered so much ...more

Honestly, I liked this album a thousand times better than 2Pacalypse. Yes, I know 2Pacalypse had some great messages, but Pac had not fully developed his great flow, his very descriptive lyricism, and it had weak production. Pac just wasn't fully Pac yet.

But on this one, boy, Pac goes hard on so many tracks. It just goes to show how much he improved from his first album to his last (when he was alive). By the way, Can't C Me never gets its due.

This is by far one of the best rap albums in rap history. It is one of seven rap albums that has sold over 10 million copies and is the first double-disc CD ever sold. With singles like How Do You Want It and the smashing hit California Love, it ranks in the top 5. Other songs on this album are great too, such as Ambitionz Az a Ridah, All About U, 2 of Amerikas Most Wanted, Picture Me Rollin', All Eyez On Me, Ratha Be Ya N.I.G.G.A, and Only God Can Judge Me, making it a great success.

7 The Chronic - Dr. Dre

I can't stand the so called experts that make these lists! Everyone of them puts a bunch of east coast artists on top. Truth is I've never heard one song off of Illmatic the so-called greatest album. I guarantee all you east coast judgmental, arrogant holy than though asses, know about all of dre's albums! Kiss my WEST COAST ASS

The Chronic changed everything in the rap game from a musical and production standpoint. Most rappers today were probably not born at the time this album dropped. It's a true classic album that should be number 1.

It is literally the smoothest, yet hardest album I've ever heard. It's just funk mixed with classic hardcore hip-hop. Nobody does it like Dre. This should be number 1.

This one, in my opinion, should be in the top 3. From track 1 to the last, it's all good. Everybody I know likes this album. I don't know why it's ranked so low.

8 Straight Outta Compton - N.W.A.

This Is An Album That Changed history. One of the only albums that had a parental advisory sticker at the time. And the first group to ever say the Police. Many people can agree that this is one of the greatest rap albums of all time. With songs like Straight Outta Compton, the Police, Gangsta Gangsta, Express yourself, And 8-Ball are great, These are some of the best rappers of all time. Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, and Eazy-E are a great example.

The first time I heard this album, it blew my mind! Almost 30 years later, it continues to outshine any competition. How this is not number one will always amaze me. Even today, you can hear the influence this album has had on modern music.

I never heard this album when it was released. It is one of the most amazing albums I've ever heard, and this is coming from a fifty-something, white, French-speaking individual. I bought it yesterday after hearing it on a streaming site.

I remember when I was little, I was just getting into rap. I listened to this album because my dad had it. When I saw the Parental Advisory label, I knew right off the bat that I would enjoy it!

9 My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy - Kanye West

Here are my thoughts on all the songs:
Dark Fantasy - An underrated song that introduces the themes of the album and perfectly illustrates the mix of previous Ye albums.
Gorgeous - The second most underrated song on here. It's beautiful and very smooth.
POWER - Two words: King Crimson.
All of the Lights - Rare opinion: I hate this song. It's way too pretentious in my opinion, and way too poppy.
Monster - I hate Nicki's music, but her verse on this is possibly the best verse on the album.
So Appalled - A very haunting track with nice use of samples.
Devil in a New Dress - The best song on the album. Not "Runaway." Similar to the last song, but on steroids.
Runaway - I don't even need to explain this one.
Hell of a Life - Nice song, but the synths sound like farts. Also, auto-tuned Black Sabbath? Really?
Blame Game - A song that makes me cry (at the beginning), but goes on a bit too long.
Lost in the World - A super depressing dance track that features ...more

One of the best albums ever. Kanye West is at his magnificent best. The production is perfect. All the songs are amazing. There is not one bad song on this album. Kanye steps up his lyrical game, his flow is great, and the features all shine, whether it be Nicki's verse on Monster or Rick Ross's verse on Devil in a New Dress. Kanye uses My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy as a platform to show that, after the Taylor Swift incident, he is not just one of the most creative rappers of all time but one of the best artists of all time. This is the best album of the decade so far and truly a masterpiece from start to end. Thank you, Kanye Omari West, for blessing us with a truly timeless album which, just like Illmatic, Ready to Die, and other classic albums, we will be telling our grandchildren about 50 years from now.

It's not only a great rap album, but it's music in its purest form. Elements of pop, rock, R&B, and vast experimentation combine with elegant orchestral moments to form this beautiful opus. Lyrically, the project is quotable from beginning to end and houses both Nicki Minaj and Rick Ross's finest verses to date. Without a dull moment on this album, it was this perfect moment that brought us into the new decade, showing how far the genre has come. What was once deemed unmusical, hip-hop has gone from a genre developed in cults using creative ways of managing a low budget to becoming as big as it is on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. It's bold, it's elegant, it's creative, but above all, it is Kanye's beautiful, dark, twisted fantasy that showed how far not only hip-hop, but music can go.

A masterpiece of an album, this completely changed rap as a whole. With its over-the-top production, the diversity of the songs, and the listening experience from start to finish, there's a reason Kanye West's ego exists: he earned it from the start of his career. This is an album ahead of its time. Almost nine years later, it sounds like a brand-new album. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is not just an amazing rap album. It's an amazing, game-changing piece of art.

10 The Eminem Show - Eminem

Not only is this Eminem's best, but this is the greatest rap album ever. The five singles from this album are the following: Without Me, Cleanin' Out My Closet, Superman, Sing for the Moment, and Business. All are among his best songs and have countless outstanding lines, especially Without Me and Superman, which are filled with poetic genius. The album also features notable songs not released as singles, including Square Dance, Say Goodbye Hollywood, and Hailie's Song. Another song not released as a single on this album is Till I Collapse, which I believe is the greatest song of all time to never have been released as a single. Eminem was at his best on this album.

The Eminem Show is easily the best album by Eminem and possibly the best album ever. He has so many amazing songs on this album, composed greatly and executed very well. Without Me is an awesome, classic, and simultaneously funny yet impressive song. When the main verse comes on, everyone, whether they know it or not, will move their head along with the music. Till I Collapse has almost a billion streams on Spotify, something that barely any classic rap songs have achieved. It is not only extremely popular but also extremely good.

Yes, I am white, and yes, my favorite rapper is Eminem, but there is no need to moan at me because of it. I listen to other artists such as Nas, Pac, Dre, and Biggie, but I prefer Eminem. That is how it is, and you won't change my mind. This is my favorite Em album, just behind The Marshall Mathers LP. Illmatic would go in between these two, then 2001 would go next. This album doesn't have a bad song, and it was Em at his prime.

From Slim Shady LP to Marshall Mathers LP to Eminem Show, he named it The Eminem Show because he realized this is what he wants to say as an artist, not as a persona. Eminem makes it feel like a show. This album is bigger than his previous work, and Em lets no one get away unharmed. This record feels honest and raw, and the tracklist nowadays reads pretty much like a list of classic songs.

The Contenders
11 Life After Death - The Notorious B.I.G.

Why is this ranked so low? This is considered one of the greatest rap albums of all time. It is one of only seven rap albums to be certified Diamond, selling over 10 million copies, yet it can't even make the top 10. The Notorious B.I.G.'s second and final studio album was completed before his death. With singles like "Hypnotize," "Mo Money Mo Problems," and "Sky's The Limit," this album features top-ten hits. Other great songs on this album include "Ten Crack Commandments," "Kick in the Door," "Going Back to Cali," and "You're Nobody Till Somebody Kills You." It even beat Puff Daddy's "No Way Out" album to get a Grammy nomination. How can this not make the Top Ten?

How is The Carter 3 bigger than this? Mo Money Mo Problems and Notorious Thugs are fantastic! Notorious B.I.G. should be right there next to:

1. Ready to Die - Notorious B.I.G.
2. Illmatic - Nas
3. Life After Death - Notorious B.I.G.

It is a very long album, but definitely worth the listen. Fantastic storytelling, subliminal messaging, and imagery. Iconic...

The answer to All Eyes on Me, Mo Money Mo Problems has to be one of the greatest songs of all time.

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

Kendrick Lamar showcases some of the best storytelling in hip-hop within 12 tracks. The story starts with him borrowing his mom's van and takes us through a day in his life in Compton. He covers everything from having freestyle sessions with his friends to being pressured into smoking and drinking. The most powerful track is Sing About Me, I'm Dying of Thirst, which has a long runtime but is peak hip-hop and a contender for the best rap song ever.

This album is so consistent. It's the only album where every song is a hit. The lyrics flow so well, and the story they tell is a masterpiece mix of memories, struggles, and goals. This album has a bonus track that also includes all amazing songs. From Backseat Freestyle, to Poetic Justice, to Real, this is hands down the best album of the 2000s and one of the greatest albums of all time.

There is not one song on this album that I do not enjoy. The production was amazing, and the way the songs were put together was fantastic. Kendrick Lamar displays his lyricism and flow, as well as his storytelling. Out of the bonus songs, Black Boy Fly is by far the best. If you haven't heard this album, then you're about to be obsessed with it for the next month.

Along with great beats, this album really tells a clear story, unlike most other albums. The skits really help the listener understand Kendrick's story and show high emotion - especially at the end of Swimming Pools, where shots are fired and his friend Dave is killed. Overall, this is my favorite album at the moment, and I can't wait for Kendrick's next one.

13 Me Against the World - Tupac

All Eyez On Me over Me Against The World? That's a lie. I beg to differ because Me Against The World is lyrically consistent, unlike All Eyez On Me. This album shows Tupac at his prime and wasn't rushed like All Eyez On Me. In one of the most controversial years of his life, he still dropped one of the greatest albums hip-hop has to offer, and that's saying something.

Come on all eyes on me over this? Please. No disrespect to all eyes on me because it is a great album but has more filler than my Mothers stomach. Me against the world is pax at his best. He is also in one of the worst places in his life but that gave way to amazing music. The only track that I would consider even slightly mediocre is outlaws

This is better than All Eyez On Me, in my opinion. Really good album, great lyrics in all of his songs, intricate storytelling, plenty of assonance, alliteration, good rhymes, etc. This album is truly a masterpiece.

Most lyrical tracks on this album:

- If I Die Tonight
- Me Against The World
- It Ain't Easy

Best Tupac album, hands down. The storytelling, lyrics, and so many other things about the album make it one of the best rap albums of all time. The only rap album better than this is To Pimp A Butterfly, in my opinion.

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

Probably the second-best album underneath Illmatic, in my opinion. This is an album that changed the way people rapped about things with its political views and themes. Here's my list, in my opinion:

1. Illmatic
2. Takes a Nation of Millions
3. Ready to Die
4. All Eyez on Me
5. Straight Outta Compton
6. Paid in Full
7. Criminal Minded
8. Marshall Mathers
9. Enter the 36 Chambers
10. The Chronic

This was back before political rap went off track. Personally, I think it's gotten out of hand. Chuck D was brilliant at getting his message across without trying to be controversial. This might be thought of as criticism, but it's praise for not trying to stir up the media into giving them free promotion. The quality of this album speaks for itself.

This is it, people. I know there's a separation between fans of old rap and modern rap, but give this a listen. It's good to know where your music came from.

The use of samples and sound effects to create musical tracks, along with Chuck D's booming vocals and Flavor Flav's ad-libs, makes this a brilliant masterpiece.

15 Reasonable Doubt - Jay-Z

The best rap album period. From the production of the instrumentals to the connection between the songs and their fluidity together, it makes up one whole "movie". The sincerity and emotion in the lyrics, intelligence of the rapper and featured artists, elegance of the delivery on every song on the album, and the truthful element it contains about Jay's life as a drug dealer or hustler. Unlike most albums, it's not just a collection of singles pieced together with no connection or flow from one song to the next. This album will make you feel like you are from Brooklyn, no matter where you are from. It speaks for everyone struggling and trying hard to make a living. This is what rap is all about, added to the guilty conscience that Jay has because of his dealings in drugs.

D' Evils, Politics as Usual, Can I Live, Regrets, and Dead Presidents are definitely the top tracks.

This album and Illmatic are the best two rap albums ever made, and it will always be that way. There are so many genius songs on this album. It's unbelievable. To name a few: Can't Knock the Hustle, Politics as Usual, D'Evils, Cashmere Thoughts, and Friend or Foe.

Jay-Z?! What?! That dude has no talent. He just steals lines. Don't believe me? Go check on YouTube - Greatest Bitter Jay-Z. Nas said enough on Ether, and you can clearly hear that Eminem murdered him on Renegade.

This is a really good album, especially for Jay-Z's first album. It is still his best album. There are great songs like Dead Presidents, D'Evils, and Brooklyn's Finest with Biggie Smalls.

16 The Low End Theory - A Tribe Called Quest

This definitely should be high up on this list. Tribe were the pioneers of making positive and socially conscious rap, and so many countless rappers were influenced by this album. Not to mention, this album introduced the world to the legendary Busta Rhymes!

I won't say any particular album is the greatest of all time, but you're telling me any Biggie or Tupac record is greater than The Low End Theory? Are you crazy? Amazing album from front to back, amazing flow from Tip and Phife, and priceless beats by A.S. Muhammad. Top 5 of all time in my book!

Listen to this in your cozy chill time, and you'll be amazed. Their lyricism, smoothness, and combination of jazz and rap are out of this world, really.

I'm sorry, but Kendrick's albums really haven't been subjected to the test of time like other classic albums.

17 Liquid Swords - GZA

Lyrically, this is one of the greatest albums ever made. I'd go so far as to say it's as good (if not better) than Illmatic, lyrically, of course. However, the Wu-Tang style is not for everyone, and it definitely took me a while to begin appreciating Liquid Swords. This is what turns people off about this album. It's not like anything you usually hear out of a rap song (unless you've listened to Wu-Tang). That being said, if you give this album, say, three or four complete listens, then you will realize why this needs to be at the top. Is it the greatest album of all time? No, it's too stylistic for people's taste and very different from any genre of rap/hip-hop. However, I'd take this over big albums like The Chronic or Me Against the World.

This is probably the most lyrical album I have. GZA The Genius obliterates everything, stomps on everything, and cuts everyone's head off. He dropped megaton bombs faster than you can blink. A darker atmosphere, created by RZA's infamous producing, combined with The Genius, makes this album so legendary. Never forget the guest appearances, including Ghostface Killah dropping it on "4th Chamber."

Yo, who can compare to GZA's megaton bomb-dropping, head-cutting, brain-twisting metaphors combined with RZA's legendary producing skills? Nobody! Even guests such as Ghostface Killah, Masta Killa, and Inspectah Deck dropped lyrics. You want preferences?

- Duel of the Iron Mic ft. Masta, Deck
- 4th Chamber ft. Ghost
- Liquid Swords
- Swordsman
- Cold World
- I Gotcha Back

Well, what are you waiting for?

Probably my favorite hip-hop album of all time. Every song is near-perfect. All the Wu members kill their verses. The production is innovative and amazing. GZA's lyricism is very intricate. Highlights on this album (other than Duel of the Iron Mic) are 4th Chamber, Shadowboxin', and B.I.B.L.E.

18 Madvillainy - Madvillain

There is no hip-hop album that has ever been released quite like this one. MF Doom has a totally unique flow and is easily one of the greatest wordsmiths not only in hip-hop history but in music history. You could read any verse of his at all, and it will blow your mind. Then there's Madlib, who, thanks to his incredibly vast knowledge of music, makes some of the most beautifully abstract instrumentals ever. I could go into great detail about every individual track because they're all fantastic, but I can't. You just have to experience it for yourself.

This is the best experimental hip-hop album ever recorded. It puts me in an almost dreamlike state every time I listen to it. The composition by Madlib is haunting and fluid, and M.F. Doom is an absolute wordsmith. It's a pure masterpiece. If you haven't heard this album, I implore you to check it out.

MF Doom is the most underrated rapper of all time, hands down. His flow is butter-smooth. I mean, he says it himself. Madlib's beats are insane and sampled to perfection. They could be #1 if they were mainstream artists. This is the best underground album of all time!

Greatest hip-hop album of all time. Madlib crafts some of the most creative and beautiful beats in history, and MF DOOM spits the most complex, abstract lyrics I've ever heard. Definitely give this a listen.

19 Paid in Full - Eric B. & Rakim

Without this album, we would never have had most of the albums listed above. Eric B is one of the best DJs of all time, combined with one of the best rappers of all time. Every song on the album is incredible, from start to finish.

Some people might not like the beats anymore because they are used to the way music is produced now. The imagery Rakim uses in every song on this album is unparalleled to anything I've ever heard. "Dance with the speaker till you hear it blow, then plug in the headphones because here it goes," has lots of double entendres. "Whoever's out of hand, I'm gonna give them handles, light them up, blow them out like candles, or should I just let them melt?"

He gives literal meanings to aspects you wouldn't normally think of, like breaking the word "inside" into different bars. Rhyming paragraphs with paragraphs, conveying a logical message, playing with syllables, and using math. He proves he "ain't no joke" to start off the album. "As the Rhyme Goes ...more

I'm one of those suburban wiggas one of the above comments refers to. All I gotta say is F.U., I totally agree, this is top 5 at least, at I've heard the ones before it. These guys are rap royalty, guys like biggie, m/m, kanye, are a total joke compared to these guys. So take your generalization comments off! These albums rank higher because people are no longer aware of great non sell out hip hop artists. No gimmicks, just great rap

Yes, I do love most of the albums above this one. Tupac and Biggie were legends, as is Eminem. The Wu-Tang Clan is raw and rugged, bringing their own style, and Nas is my favorite rapper with Illmatic as my favorite album.

However, this is about the best album, not our favorites. Paid in Full is a pure-blood classic that every rapper who came after these two (all of the above) owes a large chunk of their success to. This album inspired so much talent in the rap scene that it's almost a crime this isn't at least in the top 5.

I'm guessing a bunch of suburban teenagers who appropriate Black culture are voting, since Eminem, Lil Wayne, and 2Pac are the top three. Em and Pac are good. I will show them some respect. But Lil Wayne is garbage. Rakim set the standard for hip-hop, and this is the thanks he gets? Lil freaking Wayne is ahead of him.

20 2001 - Dr. Dre

This should be way higher. Maybe it's one of the most well-produced albums of all time, along with The Chronic. Each song from top to bottom features amazing contributions, rapping, and production. This is especially impressive given that the album has over 20 songs and still manages to make every song enjoyable. It's a classic indeed.

It's ridiculous that this isn't at least in the top ten. 2001 contains some of the best and most popular songs in all of rap history and was an amazing recovery by Dre. With awesome artists like Eminem and Snoop Dogg also giving it their all, I loved Still D.R.E, which is one of the best rap songs in history, as well as Forgot About Dre. It's sad that 2001 isn't higher.

Still D.R.E, Forgot About Dre, The Watcher - man, this album is just amazing. It has the best beats of all time and some of the best lyrics of all time. Well-produced, the pace and instrumentals differ with each song but don't lose their edge. Just download it.

So many great songs. In my opinion, this is better than The Chronic. Great songs include:
Still D.R.E (feat. Snoop Dogg),
Forgot About Dre (feat. Eminem),
Big Egos (feat. Hittman),
What's the Difference (feat. Xzibit, Eminem),
The Next Episode (feat. Snoop Dogg, Kurupt, Nate Dogg),
and so many other songs.

21 Raising Hell - Run DMC

This disc was far too influential to be left out of the top 25. It introduced early hip-hop to people who wouldn't have heard the genre otherwise.

It's a good album.

22 The Slim Shady LP - Eminem

Of all of Eminem's mainstream albums, why is this last? Why are Recovery, Encore, and Relapse above this? This was Eminem at his most shocking and very funny. This is easily his most underrated album. Also, that guy who voted for The Carter I and said, "The Carter 3 should be #1 easily. Because Eminem never got a good album like this. This album goes hard just like the rest of Lil Wayne's. Eminem only has like 1 or 2 good albums, whereas Lil Wayne has like 10. Lil Wayne= Best rapper alive," needs to sit down.

Are people crazy? This album is the #1 of all time! How can you possibly think Encore is better than this? People have to have more respect for Slim Shady. He's the best lyricist ever, has a great flow, and The Slim Shady LP has so many good songs. This album is even better than albums like "All Eyez On Me," "Marshall Mathers LP," "Illmatic," and "Ready to Die." Those albums are awesome, but this one is even better!

I can't believe this hasn't been mentioned. This is Eminem's third-best album. It's not as good as MMLP and The Eminem Show, but it's better than Recovery and Infinite, and much better than Encore and Relapse. Rock Bottom is one of his best songs and just shows how hard it was and how far he had to go to get to the top. No one has had it harder and deserves to be named the G.O.A.T.

Come on, 19 is too low for this album. It should be way higher. I get that it's not top 5, but it should easily be in the top 10. Every track is fire.

23 The College Dropout - Kanye West

Superb album from start to finish. There's no dip in quality. The songs and skits are brilliant. The best part is probably the last three songs, and Last Call is a great ending.

This is probably the best list overall on this site, even if there's too much love for Eminem, as always.

Not only was this a good album, but it was also funny! The skits and some of the lyrics had me laughing out loud, something I didn't know I could expect from a rap album. Not only is this one of Kanye's best works, but it's definitely a memorable album, period.

This could easily be in the top 5 of all time. It is, by far, Kanye's best work. It is usually underrated simply because of the lack of listeners. You cannot call yourself a Kanye fan if you have not listened to this entire masterpiece of an album.

I definitely agree when it comes to how much school sucks, and it seemed like Kanye was happier.

24 Doggystyle - Snoop Doggy Dogg

Possibly the best hip-hop album ever made. Near-perfect lyrics and nearly perfect production. All around, a perfect album. This album also introduced and perfected the G-Funk sound that was created on Dr. Dre's The Chronic. This album showcased Snoop Doggy Dogg, Daz Dillinger, Nate Dogg (Rest in Peace, Nathaniel Hale), Lady of Rage, Kurupt, and Warren G all at their best. This album graced us with tracks such as Ain't No Fun (If the Homies Can't Have None) (my favorite song ever), Gin and Juice, Pump Pump, Gz and Hustlaz, Doggy Dogg World, The Shiznit, Murder Was the Case, and Snoop's magnum opus, What's My Name? (Who Am I?). All of which are near-perfect songs. This album is a near-perfect experience and uses every minute of its length to near-perfect use. 10/10 album.

Don't get me wrong, I love Eminem, but this album could've easily taken the number 7 spot where The Eminem Show sits. This album features some of the best songs of all time and is a true classic.

A G-funk classic. This is about as West Coast as it gets. Snoop delivers rhymes as slick as they come, set against those classic synths. It's an iconic album.

Amazing album from front to back. Most classic albums have at least one skippable song, but this album has none. It's so good from start to finish.

25 Get Rich or Die Tryin - 50 Cent

Good production and good executive production. I understand that without 50 Cent, this album wouldn't be like this. However, the lyrics are crap. This isn't aimed at people who like good stories, good rhymes, or a reasonable flow. This is aimed at the party people, people who like the production, the message, the choruses. So maybe top 100, but not even top 50 for me.

Greatest album, either this or The Marshall Mathers LP. Listen to the whole album front to back. In the Club, If I Can't, 21 Questions, Like My Style, Pimp, Blood Hound, Patiently Waiting, Wanksta, to name a few. The whole tracklist had songs that would've been singles for any other rapper. But this list needs to update and be real with the truth...

There's a reason this album sold over 10 million copies. It is amazing. 50 Cent raps like he is already on top of the rap game. This, combined with Dr. Dre's beautiful production, makes for one of the best, if not the best, albums of the 2000s. Who in the world hasn't heard In the Club?

Whoa, okay, hold up. Number 1 is obviously Illmatic, yes. For the top 10, the rest is fine. Just move down MMLP. But this, to me, is definitely top 5. In the Club, 21 Questions, Pimp, and Many Men are all classics. Back Down, What Up Gangsta, If I Can't, and Patiently Waiting are all really good. Like, nah, this is definitely top 5.

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