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|My Top 10 Hip-Hop Albums...ever (as of right now)|
I've been a metalhead for most of my life, but growing up in Atlanta I was exposed to a lot of hip-hop...good and bad. Later on in life (about 4 or 5 years ago) I began to get into underground (or, indie) hip-hop and it completely changed my perspective on music and what I wanted to play. These are my 10 favorite albums within the genre with special attention paid to those that influenced me the most. (note: I decided to limit myself to one release per artist for this list. Otherwise there might be too much Atmosphere and P.O.S.)
It's not so much that I believe this to be the BEST Atmosphere album (that honor goes to God Loves Ugly) but this was one of the first underground rap records I got, and it profoundly influenced my thinking about the genre. Slug's rhymes also really hit home with me due to some personal stuff I was dealing with at the time.
P.O.S. is probably my favorite emcee ever. This was the first disc I heard from him and I was blown away at how he combines so many elements of music into hip-hop. He raps, sings, screams and plays the guitar, bass, keys and pretty much everything on the record. Lyrics range from social/political to observational and deeply personal. Just fantastic stuff.
This is such an amazing album on so many levels. It took quite a few listens for me to truly grasp the scope of this record, but the lyrics and beats flow so well together to make a comletely cohesive listening experience. The lyrics deal mostly with trying to strike a balance between the security of a day job and the thrill of chasing your dream. I was dealing with very similar issues a few years back, and this album really helped me gain perspective.
Shadows on the Sun
Think you've got it bad? Wait until you hear part one in the saga of Brother Ali. He paints beautiful pictures with his lyrics and the rhyme schemes are off the chain. Ant's production really helps make this a classic.
Murs 3:16: the 9th Edition
Some of the best story-telling you will hear in underground hip-hop. In my opinion, this is Murs' best work. He's just such a natural at making a story seem like it's happening right in front of your eyes.. it's unbelievable. Definitely opened my mind to a different style of wordplay and lyricism.
The Original 11:11 Sessions
This one's probably not on Sputnik (actually, I just added it), but this was the album Mac originally recorded to be his Rhymesayers debut. Everything was put on hold after his girlfriend miscarried their child and his mother passed away; which lead to him eventually shelving this and recording what would be released as 11:11 in 2007. This collection of songs is much more personal and basically just better. Hard to choose just one Mac Lethal album for this list, but if I'm picking one -- this is it.
Man, what don't I love about this record? This was 'Face announcing to the world he was back and hungrier than ever. He's got everything you want in a rapper; crazy wordplay and rhyme schemes, story-telling and that personal Ghostface touch. In my opinion, this record represents everything a classic hip-hop album should be.
I waited for this to come out for like 3 years! Definitely my most anticipated hip-hop record ever, it did not disappoint. The sheer breadth of this album can be overwhelming at first; but there's just so much great lyricism and songwriting on display here... it's almost not even hip-hop. Maybe it's something more...
This was the first hip-hop record I ever bought -- I must have been like 12 years old. It's still my favorite Outkast disc because it displays everything about them that made them legends. Fantastic production from Organized Noize, clever lyrics and cadence from Andre and Big Boi plus that futuristic, spacey feel that made it so much fun.
MM ... Food
Well, once again, it was hard to narrow it down to one DOOM disc. There's not really one that blows me away all the way through, but mm...Food is the closest it gets. While Operation Doomsday was great, and the Viktor Vaughn albums were a lot of fun (not to mention DangerDoom and Born Like This) I think this one best represents everything I love about MF Doom. From the catchier-than-fuck beats to the insane lyrics, this record's a classic.
|Solid list, but most of these wouldn't crack my top 10 :)|
|No? Who you got?|
|Great to see that my Minnesota hip hop artists are getting out of the state. I love P.O.S. too so make sure to check out his other albums along with the entire Doomtree catalog which is available off their website.|
|Nas - Illmatic|
Beastie Boys - Paul's Boutique
El-P - I'll Sleep When You're Dead
GZA - Liquid Swords
Marco Polo - Port Authority
Mos Def - Black On Both Sides
Roots Manuva - Brand New Second Hand
Wu-Tang Clan - Enter The Wu-Tang: The 36 Chambers
in no order obviously. I'm still have some hip-hop to listen too as kingsoby1 has recommended me some I have yet to get too. Including that damn new Mos Def album. I don't really have a favorite album in any genre and hip-hop isn't an exception.
|Oh dude, I've been obsessed with P.O.S. and the whole Doomtree crew for awhile now. I've got all 3 P.O.S. records as well as both Meat Tapes. Also got Cecil Otter, a couple Sims discs, Hand Over Fist and about four False Hopes. LOVE Minnesota hip-hop.|
|Yeah, I really debated putting 36 Chambers on there but I limited myself to ten and I couldn't decide what I should take off. I've got I'll Sleep When You're Dead but half of that record has been hard for me to get into. I haven't really given it as much time as some others though. |
Respect though, I definitely feel everything on your list there. Except Marco Polo and Roots Manuva; haven't heard them. I'll get on that pronto.
|Don't forget Dessa, she only has the 5 song ep but she is so good. She has been slated for a full length for a while but it's been getting pushed back. She is the one that sings my favorite part on Low Light Low Life from Never Better. |
|I approve of this list Mine is a bit different but props on 1,4,7,9,10|
|Oh word, I love Dessa's stuff. I don't have the EP, but I've got all the stuff she's done on the False Hopes and Doomtree record. I heard that her and Mictlan were doing a record under the name Valiant and Valiant...|
|Wow that would be fucking sick. I don't really care who she does one with (obviously P.O.S. would be preferred) but as long as I get some more material by her. The whole crew is on tour now but for some reason there is no MN date on the schedule wtf?|
|Heres My List|
2.Supreme Clientele-Ghostface Killah
7.When Life Gives You Lemons...-Atmosphere
8.Only Built 4 Cuban Linx-Raekwon
10.Illadeph Halflife-The Roots
|I noticed that... I just saw them at Reggie's in Chicago last month. I saw P.O.S. there with Hand Over Fist back in February too. P.O.S. is suuuuch a good performer.|
|@ Logman456: very nice list man. It was a tough decision for me between Supreme Clientelle and Fishscale, basically a coin toss. I feel like the high points on Clientelle beat the high points on Fishscale, but overall Fishscale's a little more consistent. Also love me some Dilla.|
|Great Fucking list. Props.|
|3 is incredible for white boy rap.|
|Hey thanks Inveigh. Yeah it was a toough choice for me to. Fishscale is really great album|
|Yea, I can see how El-P can be difficult to get into. His flow his extremely quick, but if you get into the concept of the album: dystopian society, government controlled world, billions in prisons, anti-religious, and most of all satirical look at it all, it grows on you quickly. I probably got a lot more I can put on the list, but those have stuck with him for quite some time. Considering I got tons of other shit to listen too, not sure if that will always be so.|
|I have a very limited rap collection, but Paul's Boutique would definitely be my favorite.|
|@ curseworship: thanks man! |
@ MassiveAttack: interesting, I never thought of that album that way. Looks like I know what I'll be listening to on my commute home today.
|Glad you included some Kast. Andre 3k is off the hook|
|illmatic/madvillainy are all i need|
|mac lethal is the worst rapper ever. otherwise good list.|
|needs more stuff below the mason-dixon line, you should check out UGK - Ridin Dirty to start out with|
can't stand 2, 4, 6, or 8, and i'm not particularly a fan of 3 or 5, the rest im cool with though
|No 2pac, Biggie, Nas or Jay-z?|
|Eh, I'm more of a fan of the underground hip-hop. It's not that I don't like Nas (I actually really like Nas), Biggie, 2pac or Jay-Z; it's just that I prefer the emcee's on this list.|
I think it's mainly the fact that I can relate to the lyrics of guys like P.O.S., Atmosphere and Mac Lethal more than I can the guys mentioned above. Again, no disrespect to them, because I own albums from each one of those guys.
|Yeah, Stankonia's my second favorite. Less for the actual album and more because ATLiens is the first Outkast (and first REAL hip-hop) album I ever got.|
|aesop rock is dope as fuck and labor days is his best album. outkast would be a 3 way tie between ATLiens, Southernplayalisticadilacmuzik and Aquemini for me.|
|I'm surprised by no Biggie, Cypress Hill, or 2Pac. But a pretty good list nonetheless.|