Top Ten Greatest Rap Albums

The Top Ten
1 Illmatic - Nas

It isn't necessarily the message sent in the album, even though they 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 that no other album I've ever heard. It's been 20+ years and this album still has some of the lyrically colorful combination of bars in the history of rap, and 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 creating this piece along with intellectually stimulating lyrics that continuously throughout time make you keep wondering, who's world is this? 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? Naw, Nas killed it in 1994 and ...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 where hip-hop culture originates from. Not knocking M, he's brilliant, but illmatic captivates us because the stories their represent black culture before the major corporate take over of hip hop (rap is dead). Mainstream rap is much different now...(money, killing, drugs, ) Most eminem fans didn't even listen to rap until he became famous, which is like the kids today who think Justin Bieber is the king of pop. A white fan base can carry you along way (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...its 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 MC's, but 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. ✌️

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, which happens to be Nas at the top 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, and LES and Q-Tip had their moments as well. This album changed hip hop fundamentally, 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. But this album is a masterpiece, each song is shockingly brilliant and is just incredible. Stan is one of the greatest stories I have ever heard in a song and songs like Criminal, Who Knew and The Way I Am are classic songs that told all his critics and haters to shut up and listen to what he had to say. He made this album with no fear and that is what makes this album so special.

Everyone on here doesn't like a white guy being at the top of rap but that's just the way it is.

To the people who say that a majority of Eminem's success is because he's white, get your facts straight. Eminem entered the rap game in an era where you were often ridiculed and not taken seriously if you were white and a rapper. You had to be accepted by the black community to make it in the game. Eminem has always had fantastic skill and it showed, but people disregarded him because of the color of his skin. All it took was one man to accept him, and that man was Dr. Dre. He didn't care if your skin was rainbow, if you could kill the mic, he wanted to work with you. Hell, even Dre's associates underestimated Em. They clearly heard his skill on his demo tape that was sent to Dre, but they didn't want him because he was white. Fortunately for Em, Dre was there to give him that one chance to make it in the Hip Hop game. He looked past his skin color and gave him the opportunity to make it big and introduce the world to some real talent, and it worked. So no, Eminem is not famous ...more

A very good album. So good, that it sold 1.78M copies in its first week of release and debuted at #1 on Billboard 200. It stayed atop the charts for 8 weeks and sold 7.9M copies by the end of the year. MMLP has went on be certified 10x Platinum and has been cited as one of the greatest musical albums of all time. It is in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame at #28, and has won two Grammys for Best Rap Album and Best Rap Solo Performance for The Real Slim Shady. This album even produced the masterpiece single Stan, and the comedic The Real Slim Shady, both hitting #1 in the UK and are some of Eminem's most successful singles. This album is a true masterpiece and for that, it is the best selling album of the 21st century, with 10M copies sold in America and 35M copies sold worldwide.

This album has sold more copies than most artists have sold in their life. This album is pretty much the Thriller of rap albums. And Stan. Damn. Em totally takes the level of storytelling in that song to the next level to the point where it's basically more of a story than a song. I get chills every time I listen to that song. 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 about things. 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. This album changed east west beef. Long kiss goodnight. Pushed it to level in hip hop that will never be reached again. Puff outro took it to BEYOND beef. All the tracks came out on the radio. The only album that has done that to this level. Illmatic from nas is original greatest album. This isn't a album the is the gospel of hip hop. The murder no the killing of pac and big changed the game no changed the world. This album is forever the best album ever made. His storytelling his delivery his heart was on display. His life was in this and his death is in this. It's not a album it the man in words. It's a thin line between love and hate. Love It or hate it this debate is over. As the words of rick flair to be the you have 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. But honestly I love every song on this album! My favorite! Don't get me wrong, I ain't 'bout the West Coast-East Coast thang. I love 'Pac but I like this more than "All Eyez on Me". I'm still yet to listen to other 'Pac albums like "Makaveli - Killuminati: The 7Day Theory" and "Me Against the World" but I listen to TONS of music and this is my favorite album! Don't download songs. You need the whole thang.

Really a shame he only released two albums before his death. His flow is really easy, 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 grimey cuts like 'Machine Gun Funk' and 'Suicidal Thoughts', to classics like 'Juicy' and 'Big Poppa', and finally playa 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 technique 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 is on the level of depth, meaning and complexity as To Pimp A Butterfly. The several concepts and philosophies in the lyrics along with an intricate reason behind every single beat and rhythm withing the allbum, historic. This is not just a rap album, it is a sublime piece artwork, a masterful story and a movement all in one. Kendrick Lamar goes throught the depths of his own life, society, Lucifer and of the people around him. The several genres of sound used all with a meaningful reason. The number of concepts and messages he explores is unfathomable. Honestly, no album could come close to this legendary work. There is just far too much to talk about in this album, one can only go listen and learn for themselves. This 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 for the Rakim era in the 80s. I was alive for the golden age of Tupac, Nas, and Big in the 90s. I was alive for the Eminem era of in the 2000s. And 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 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 in 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 to the topics very heavily, you start to take notice how much care, passion, and emotion were put into this record to give us some amazing commentary on society, storytelling, and symbolism through intelligent lyricism and wordplay. You can tell a story and the summary of the album just by the titles of each track, as well.

To pimp a butterfly is the most complete 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 GOAT in track events, his run times are lesser than the top 10 in the track today. Drawing parallels, kdot is the perfect example of evolution in the rap game. Production quality is much better than other albums in this list, the vocals sound exquisite, the stories touch a cord, 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 track list front, it has songs that appeal to wide range of audiences, from the poppy/groovy King kunta, dance number 'I' complemented by 'u', to the raw and unadulterated emotion on Blacker the berry, it takes listeners on a ride keeping ...more

6 All Eyez on Me - 2Pac

This was the White Album of rap. Seminal. Angry. Just a pure faucet for Pac to spill all of his thoughts after being locked up for months. Some of the other of his albums may have been more like Bob Dylan. Poetic and succinct in its social commentary. But no other albums captures a Shakespearean moment more than this album. Yes California Love may be too overplayed but it is 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 ass political statement on it but you know what? Those concepts, of political and conscious hip hop are not what makes 2pac one of the greatest. He made an album that could vary in terms of mood track to track, but kept the same concept, 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, just the simple concept of having conscious songs, but 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 spent his career with lots of songs of that album that were 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 so much respect. This is why this ...more

Honestly I liked this album one 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. 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 1/7 rap albums that has sold over 10 million albums and is the first double-disc cd ever sold. With Singles like How Do You Want It and the smashing hit California Love makes it in the top 5. Other songs on this album are great just like : 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 make it a great success

7 The Chronic - Dr. Dre

To the west coast dude in the comments who said the east was judging. Shut up...fool. We played the hell out of this album, Doggystyle, and 2pac albums in NYC. Illmatic is just better. How are you going to judge an album you never heard? Stay out of your feelings...respectfully. The Chronic is a certified classic and is in my top five with Illmatic, 36 Chambers, Get Rich or Die Tryin', and Only Built 4 Cuban Linx. No bias here, Nas' lyrics and consistency on Illmatic are unmatched. There isn't a single filler track on the entire album.

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 stand point. 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 hard core hip hop. Nobody does it like Dre. This should be #1.

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.

First time I heard this album it blew my mind! Almost 30 years later it continues to destroy any competiotion! How this is not number one will always amaze me, even today you can hear the influence this album had on modern music.

I never heard this album when it was release. It is one of the most amazing album I ever heard.
From a fifty something white French speaking!
I bought it yesterday after hearing it with streaming site.

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

9 My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy - Kanye West

Here's 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 nice use ...more

One of the best Albums ever. Kanye West 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. 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 50 years from now.

Its not only a great rap album, but its music in its purest form. Elements of pop, rock, rnb, and vast experimentation and elegant orchestral moments to form this beautiful opus. Lyircally, the project is quotable from beginnign 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 gone. What was once deemed unmusical, hip-hop has gone from a genre developed in cults using creative ways of managing a low budget to becomming as big as it is on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Its bold, its elegant, its 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 the over the top production too the diversity of the songs to the listening experience from start to bottom. There's a reason Kanye West's ego exists and it's because he earned it from the start of his career. This is an album ahead of its time that almost nine years later it sounds like a brand new album. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is not 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, 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 done very well. Without Me is an awesome, classic, and funny yet impressive song at the same time. When the main verse comes on everyone who knows it or doesn't know it will move their head along with the music. Till I collapse has almost a freaking Billion streams on spotify, something that barely any to none classic rap songs have, and it is not only extremely popular but extremely good

Yes I am white and yes my favourite 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 and that is how it is and you won't change my mind. This is my fave Em album just behind The Marshall Mathers LP but Illmatic would go in between these 2 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. And Eminem makes it feel like a show, this album is bigger than his previous work and Em let's 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 so low. This is considered one of the greatest rap albums of all time. It is 1/7 albums of rap to be Certifed Diamond selling over 10 million albums and it can't even make the top 10. The Notorious B.I.G.'s 2nd and last studio album to be finished before his death. With singles like Hypnotize, Mo Money Mo Problems, and Sky's The Limit are top ten hits. Other songs on this album are great like Ten Crack Commandments, Kick In The Door, Going Back To Cali, and You're nobody till somebody kills you. Beating Puff Daddy's " No Way Out " album to nominated a Grammy. How can this not make the Top Ten.

How is the carter 3 bigger than this! Damn mo money mo problems and notorious thugs are the bomb! B.I. G should be 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 story telling, 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 shows some of the best story telling in hip hop within 12 tracks. Starting off the story with borrowing his moms van and going with him in a day living in Compton. He covers everything from having freestyle sessions with the homies to being pressured to smoking and drinking. The most powerful track being Sing About Me, I'm Dying of Thirst which has a long run time but is peak Hip Hop and contender for best rap song ever.

So consistent. This is the only album where every song is a hit. The lyrics flow so well and the story they tell us 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 2000's 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 story telling. 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 this 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 ATM 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 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 then 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. 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 2nd best album underneath Illmatic in my opinion. This is an album that changed the way people rapped about things with his political views and hate.
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 thinks its gotten out of hand. Chuck-D was brillant at gettin his message across without tryin to be contriversal. This might be thought of as a critism but its praise for not trying to stir up the media into givin them free promotion because 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 with Chuck D's booming vocals and Flava Flav's adlibs on top makes this a brilliant masterpiece.

15 Reasonable Doubt - Jay-Z

The best rap album period. From the production of the instrumentals, the connection between the songs and their fluidity together to make 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, the truthful element it contains about Jay's life and a drug dealer or hustler's life, and the fact that unlike most albums, its not just a collection of singles pieced together with no form of connection at all 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 evryone struggling and trying hard to make a living. What rap is all about, added to the guilt conscience that jay has because of his dealings in drugs.
D' Evils, Politics as Usual, Can I Live, Regrets, Dead Presidents definitely the top tracks

This album and illmatic are the best two rap albums ever made and it will always be that way. So many genius songs on this album its unbelievable. To name a few, can't knock the hustle, politics as usual, devils, cashmere thoughts and friend or foe

Jay-Z?! What?! That dude has no talent, he just steals lines. Don't belive 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 wont 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 front to back, amazing flow from tip and phife, 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 is 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 here 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, cuts everyone's head off, and he dropped megaton bombs more faster than you blink. A darker atmosphere created by RZA's infamous producing combined with THE GENIUS makes this album so legendary. Never forget guest appearances including Ghostface Killah dropping it on "4th Chamber".

YO, who can compare the 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 Killah, and Inspectah Deck dropped lyrics. You want preferences?
- Duel of the Iron Mic ft. Masta, Deck
- 4th Chamber ft. Ghost
- Liquid Swords
-Cold World
- I Gotcha Back
Well, watcha waiting for?

Probably my favorite hip hop album OAT. Every song is near-perfect, all the Wu members kill their verses, the production is innovative and amazing, GZA's lyricism is very intricate, and Duel of the Iron Mic is one of my favorite songs of all time.

Highlights on this album (other than Duel of the Iron Mic) are 4th Chamber, Shadowboxin' and B.I.B.L.E.

18 Paid in Full - Eric B. & Rakim

Without this album, we would have never 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. 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" lots of double entendres "whoever's outta hand imma give them handles, light em up blow em out like candles, or should I just let them melt? " Literal meanings to aspects you wouldn't normally think of like using the "rhyme can't be kept inside" breaking the word inside into different bars. Rhyming paragraphs with paragraphs conveying a logical message. Playing with syllables. Using math. He proves he ain't no joke to start off the album. "As the rhyme goe on" gets rougher ...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, Tupac and biggie were legends as is Eminem. the wu-tang clan is raw and rugged bringing their own style and Nas is my favourite rapper and illmatic is my favourite album. but this is the best album not our favourites. paid in full is a pure blood classic that every rapper that 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 its almost a crime this isn't at least in the top 5

I'm guessing a bunch of suburban teenage wiggers are voting since eminem, lil wayne, and 2pac are the top 3. 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 freakin wayne is ahead of him.

19 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. Could be #1 if it they were mainstream artists. 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.

20 2001 - Dr. Dre

This should be WAY higher. Maybe the most well produced albums of all time Along with the chronic, with each song from top to bottom having amazing features, rapping, and production. This is is especially impressive being that the song has over 20 songs and still manages to make every song enjoyable. 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 of all rap history, and was an amazing recovery by Dre, with awesome artists like Eminem and Snoop Dog also giving it their all. I loved Still Dre, which is one of the best rap songs in history, as well as Forgot Abotu Dre. Sad that 2001 isn't higher

Still Dre, 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, 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 like:
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 took early hip-hop to people who wouldn't have heard the genre otherwise.

Is a good album

22 The Slim Shady LP - Eminem

Of all of Eminem's mainstream albums, why is this last, why is Recovery, Encore and Relapse above this. This was Em 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 this "The Cater 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 0r 2 good albums where as Lil Wayne has like 10. Lil Wayne= Best rapper alive. Lil Wayne owns the show so everyone just sit down.

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

I can't believe this hasn't been mentioned, this is Em's 3rd best album. It ain't as good as MMLP and The Eminem Show but it is better than Recovery and Infinite and much better than Encore and Relapse. Rock Bottom is one of his best songs and just shows you how hard and how far it took him to get to the top and no one will have it harder and deserves to be named the G.O.A.T

Common 19 is to low for this album should be way higher, I get that it's not top 5 but common should easily be top 10 every track was 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 3 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 funny! The skits and some of the lyrics had me laughing out loud, something I didn't know I can expect from a rap album.
Not only is this one of Kanye's best works, but its definitely a memorable album period.

This could easily be top 5 all time. It is, by far, Kanye's best work. it is usually underrated only because of the lack of listeners. You can not 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 damn 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 showed us 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 it's length to near perfect use. 10/10 album.

Don't get me wrong, I love Eminem, but this album could've easily stolen the number 7 spot in which the Eminem Show sits. This album has 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 with his rhymes as slick as they get over those classic synths. Iconic album.

Amazing album front to back, most classic albums have at least one skippable song, this album HAS NONE. 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. But the lyrics are crap. This isn't aimed at the people who like good stories, good rhymes, a reasonable flow. This is aimed at the party people, people who like the productiob, the message, the chorusses. So maybe top 100, but not even top 50 for me.

Greatest album, either this or the marshal 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 track list 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 if not the best album of the 2000's. Who in the world hasn't heard In the club

Woah okay hold up. 1 is obviously illmatic yes. 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 and back down what up gangsta if I can't patiently waiting are all really good like nah this is def top 5

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