Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg lookin' young and fres

Top Hip-Hop Albums

A good hip-hop album is like a beautifully crafted novel – it tells a story. There’s a build-up, a come-down, a journey, a struggle, victories and failures. A good hip-hop album leaves you feeling inspired, tired, and understanding the weight of the world in a new way. Though many of these albums can out in the early ’90s, all are still relevant in 2013. So without any more pontificating is a list of some great hip-hop albums (in no order).

Ready to Die – Notorious B.I.G.

Biggie’s debut album loosely tells the story of his life, and includes some inspiring singles, as well as darker flows.

Illmatic – Nas

Another NY rapper’s early ’90s debut, Nas’ Illmatic covers themes of poverty, violence and crime, all based around his home in the Queensbridge projects. He made it out though, and is still with us. In fact, if you wanna see him, he’s playin gThe Governors Ball Music Festival in NY in June.

The Score – The Fugees

Their first successful album, but sadly their last studio release – The Score had an undeniable influence on the hip-hop we know and love today. Its use of samples, live instruments and DJing, as well as its stellar production make it a diverse, enigmatic album.

The Chronic – Dr. Dre

To people who hate on LA or West Coast Rap, I say, “Have you ever driven through LA, smoking a blunt, listening to The Chronic?”

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill – Lauryn Hill

Though she’s a member of the aforementioned Fugees, Lauryn Hill‘s solo debut is a masterpiece and should be respected as such.

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy – Kanye West

Haters gonna hate, but if you’re an open minded progressive individual, you have to respect what Kanye did on this album. He’s continually pushing the boundaries of hip-hop and the themes of America, freedom and senselessness he deals with in his album are truly impressive. Also, the video, “Runaway,” he directed to accompany the album is beautiful. Check it out below.

Nas Concert Tickets