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15 Favourite Rap Albums

People who are more into hip-hop often give me shit for my taste in the genre, but I'm not really concerned with it. I didn't listen to it at all until 3 years ago, so I tend to enjoy the newer stuff more than the "classics", much to the chagrin of certain purists, and I don't see the problem with that. Anyway, here's my favourite (emphasis here) 15 rap albums, ranked cause I'm just that OCD.

A mixtape made by youtube-sensation-turned-signed-rap-star Wax (I kinda went overboard with the hyphens there.). It contains a lot of gimmicky songs, some straight up radio pop, but a handful of the tracks are absolute monsters and helped me to start enjoying rap. 2010 til Infinity is a great track, thanks in part to the sampled beat from 93 til infinity. Other highlights include New Crack, Wax Goes Bananas..., and Red.
14Souls of Mischief
93 'til Infinity

the beat on the title track is classic, but the rest of the album also delivers the goods. Plenty of super influential stuff on this album, and a lot of timeless songs.
Cancer 4 Cure

Terrible album title but I fell in love with this shit last summer. Most non-white white rapper ever, this is a true fact.
12Mobb Deep
The Infamous

The infamous guitar sample
11Goodie Mob
Soul Food

Food [italics don't work in lists] for the soul [/i]
10Killer Mike
R.A.P. Music

"I don't make dance music this is R-A-P, opposite of that sucka shit you see on TV" album straight up bangs. Dirty South rap fucking rules.

So a friend of mine knows this guy from Toronto who raps and is pretty damn excellent. He's a great rapper and lyricist, but his true strength lies in his producing -- some of the beats on this album are absolutely astonishingly beautiful. I'd expect him to have gotten more exposure with this album, which I thought was magnificent, but what are you gonna do? Share a youtube link I guess

ohhhhh high school. Whenever I hang out with my old high-school buds, two songs are always played: 1) Clint Eastwood, which we all still know ALL the words to. for four minutes each time we party, these white boys bust out the whitest of white boy raps 2) Knights of Cydonia by Good Muse (RIP)
Modal Soul

Why there aren't hundreds of Nujabes wannabes popping up everywhere is beyond me. This guy was onto something truly magnificent and unique in the world of hip- hop, why aren't more people taking his lead. This album is glorious, damn glorious. RIP to a bonafide genius.

cause yah never know when you're gonna go
5Kendrick Lamar

Now that the dust of that ridiculous (but oh so fun) hype train has finally settled, I come back to this album 9 times out of 10 for my Kendrick fix.
4Big Boi
Sir Lucious Left Foot

Even back in my blink-182/Red Hot Chili Peppers Days (nvr frgt), I was still known to rock some Outkast. When I finally started liking rap, Big Boi's first solo effort was an easy sell. I love his flow, the album is produced magnificently from front to back, and some of the guest spots are just perfect (RIP Yelawolf's good rapping). I was so into this CD back in 2010 that I made my dad listen to Daddy Fat Sacks three times on a drive back from Tofino trying to convince him that rap didn't unanimously suck. I feel like he's a lost cause, but he still jams Rush and 54-40 and like fukin Queens of the Stone Age so m/
3Danny Brown

Words cannot begin to describe how intensely I have become obsessed with this album over the past couple of months. Some of the songs are so ridiculous and grotesque, something I would have absolutely despised only a few years ago, but the way that Danny Brown contextualizes it all through an overarching concept relating to his fears of failure, addictions, suicidal thoughts, and the like. It is a humbling listen, especially at the beginning and the end, but still allows the listener to get completely amped up on all the supposed perks of the rapper lifestyle. The closing track, 30, is my favourite rap song. After all of the craziness of the previous 18 tracks, Danny Brown brings it all back by completely exposing his anxiety to us all. "When I turned 28 they were like 'what u gon do now?' And now a nigga 30, and I don't think you heard me that the last 10 years I've been so fuckin stressed. Tears in my eyes, let me get this off my chest. The thoughts of no success got a nigga chasin death. Doin all these drugs, hope I'm OD-ing next, triple x"
2Aesop Rock
Labor Days

Because I was originally put-off by cut/paste "weed/bitches/money" brand of gangster rap, a lot of the stuff that originally stuck with me was the so-called "conscious hip-hop." Aes is overall probably my favourite rapper, thanks to his rapid-fire delivery, interesting lyrics (that sometimes take a handful of listens to process), and masterful story-telling. The song "No Regrets" is one of my all-time favourite tracks. In it, Aesop Rock tells the story of a 7-year old girl named Lucy, an introvert who likes to draw chalk on the sidewalk. With each new verse, Lucy has grown up a bit, moving through adolescence and adulthood, always drawing, until the final verse. She is alone on her deathbed, her companion having died years earlier, and as she finally slips away, she reflects back on a life in which she lived exactly the way she wanted to. She had never had a dream, because she seized every day and did exactly what she always wanted. Her life was her dream.
1Kanye West
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Yeah yeah, hate away, laugh your dick off. This album single-handedly made me start paying attention to rap, and had me beginning to embrace all the narcissism of certain superstar rappers that I had previously scoffed at. Love him or hate him, I think we all have to agree that Kanye West is one of the most puzzling and interesting egomaniacs currently relevant in the pop music world. He's completely self-absorbed, way past the point of it being just a fault, but he self-analyses it all in such a way that is bold and clever. It is a shiny album, produced to within an inch of its life, but all that glittery sheen just adds to the deliciously over-the-top indulgence. Nearly all of the songs on this expansive masterpiece have worked their way into my regular listening habits, and I can't begin to think about my journey towards enjoying a genre I once completely dismissed without thinking of this album. You may personally hate it (and I do understand why, it's ok guys, I do) but to me, every damn second of this album is sonic perfection, and the majority of Kanye's lyrics are either ridiculous, poignant, clever, catchy, or all of the above. I hate this man as a human being, but god damn do I ever love that one album he made back in 2010.
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