The cover to Jay-Z's album, The Blueprint.

Top Rap Albums

One of the most popular, and controversial, offshoots of hip-hop music, rap has grown to dominate the charts and become an indelible part of American pop culture. What began as an NYC subculture in the early ’70s, with pioneers Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five leading the charge, has steadily evolved into a global, multi-billion dollar industry in its own right. Spoken-word poetry, musical comedy acts and even disco have all variously influenced the genre, which continues to incorporate new elements – most recently, electronica and other features of digital production – as it stays in-step with the times.

Click here for our list of the Greatest Rap Albums

In honor of this distinctly national point of honor, we’ve decided to compile a list of the greatest/best rap albums ever produced. From Jay-Z’s Blueprint to Nas’ Illmatic to Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP (and, of course, some Biggie and 2pac action thrown in there as well), we’ve got the Greats covered. Of course, if you happen to disagree with our selections, or have a few lesser-known records you thought should have made the bill, feel free to let us know by voicing your opinion where it says “comments” below!

Greatest/Best Rap Albums of All Time

Raising Hell, Run DMC

Licensed to Ill, The Beastie Boys

The Blueprint, Jay-Z

The Marshall Mathers LP, Eminem

Illmatic, Nas

Ready To Die, The Notorious B.I.G.

The Chronic, Dr. Dre

The Infamous, Mobb Deep

Me Against The World, 2Pac

Straight Outta Compton, N.W.A.