Essential Rap Albums


This is just a starting point for those getting into rap music or for younger fans that wants to enjoy the older classic albums. It is not the “be all list,” it’s just a list compiled by 22 people (my friends and music lovers). There are so many albums that we split the rap lists into A and B. In my opinion list A are must haves and list B are albums you should get after you have all the ones on list A. The list below is compiled so far by David P., Nicole A., Jeff H., DJ Pone, Chase, Jimmy Taco, Eric. R., Skinny Fresh, Nick, DoodlebugV2, Bps, T-Rock, Maurice J., Spence Dookey, Mike Nice, Mike P., Gert, Pej, Vincent V., Corey N., DJ Toast, M. Bull.

DOC – No One Can Do It Better
Ultramagnetic MC’s – Critical Beatdown
Lord Finesse – Funky Technician
Alkaholiks – 21 & Over
Masta Ace – Slaughta House
Del – I Wish My Brother George Was Here
Main Source – Breaking Atoms
KRS One – Criminal Minded
Diamond and the Psychotic Neurotics – Stunts, Blunts, & Hip-Hop
Fugees – The Score
Black Sheep – A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing
Gang Starr – Step In the Arena
Geto Boys – Geto Boys
Run DMC – Raising Hell
Eazy E – Eazy Duz It
Dr. Dre – The Chronic
Pharcyde – Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde
Kool G Rap & DJ Polo – Wanted : Dead or Alive
Organized Konfusion – Organized Konfusion
Mantronix – The Album
Wu-tang – 36 Chambers
Nas – Illmatic
Cypress Hill – self titled
Ice Cube – Amerikkka’s Most Wanted
Biz Markie – Goin’ Off
L.L. Cool J – Radio
NWA – Straight Outta Compton
Digital Underground – Sex Packets
EPMD – Unfinished Business
De La Soul – 3 Feet High And Rising
De La Soul – De La Soul Is Dead
Public Enemy – Yo! Bum Rush The Show
Public Enemy – It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
A Tribe Called Quest – The Low End Theory
3rd Bass – Cactus Album
Beastie Boys – Licensed To Ill
Beastie Boys – Pauls Boutique
Eric B & Rakim – Paid In Full
Jungle Bros. – Done By the Forces of Nature
BDP – By All Means Necessary
JVC Force – Doin Damage
Big Daddy Kane – Long Live the Kane

Common Sense – Resurrection
Pete Rock & CL Smooth – Mecca & the Soul Brother
GZA – Liquid Swords
Ice T – O.G.
Slick Rick – Adventures of…
Nice & Smooth – self titled
3rd Bass – Derelicts of Dialect
A Tribe Called Quest – Midnight Mauraders
A Tribe Called Quest – People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm
Jungle Brothers – Straight Out The Jungle
Paris – The Devil Made Me Do It
Brand Nubian – One For All
UMC’s – Fruits of Nature
Big L – The Big Picture
Jurassic 5 – Quality Control
Aceyalone – All Balls Don’t Bounce
Freestyle Fellowship – Inner City Griots
Outkast – Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik
Leaders of the New School – A Future Without a Past
Run D.M.C. – self titled
T La Rock – Lyrical King
MC Shan – Down By Law
D-Nice – Call me D-Nice
X-Clan – To The East Backwards
Organised Konfusion – Stress
Hijack – The Horns Of Jerico
King Tee – At Your Own Risk
Low Profile – We’re In This Together
Alkaholiks – Coast 2 Coast
Kurious – A Constipated Monkey
Beatnuts – Street Level
Eric B. & Rakim – Follow The Leader
Big Daddy Kane – Looks Like a Job For…
Souls of Mischief – 93 Til…
Jeru – The Sun Rises In The East
Redman – Whut the album
Blackalicious – Melodica ep
Stetsasonic – On Fire
King Sun – Righteous But Ruthless
Chill Rob G – Ride the Rhythm
Too Short – Life Is…
Black Moon – Enter Da Stage
EPMD – Strictly Business
Kool G Rap & DJ Polo – Road to the Riches


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2 Responses to “Essential Rap Albums”

  1. dgjcrabtree Says:

    Thats some classic old school teachings right there, the essential learning tools for any inspiring hip-hop follower.
    My personal contribution would be- Masta killa “No said date”, this is a lost gem of old school ok its not that old but its real hip hop. Peace

  2. Andrew Rodriquez Says:

    dave … this is andrew/skwid … sorry my brotha but i gotta add quite a few that should be on at least the b-list. mc shy d got to be tough, cash money & marvelous, 2 live crew 2 live is what we are, tuff crew danger zone AND back to wreck shop, , rasco time waits for no man, the nonce world ultimate, sway & tech concrete jungle, steady b let the hustlers play, skinny boys weightless, group home livin proof, magnetic force 1st album, maggotron 1st album, tim dog do or die, 415 415in, just ice back to the old school, t la rock back to burn, grand puba reel 2 reel, kool keith 1st solo album, dream warriors & now the legacy begins, 7a3 coolin in cali, showbiz & ag runaway slave, stezo crazy noise, ghostface supreme clientele, original concept straight from the basement of cooley high, edan sprain your tape deck, planet asia ep 1998, m4sers shake it up & get nasty, south central cartel south central madness, … & thats just without goin through my lp collection lol!!! just sayin dave these are all AAA grade hip hop classic albums i have listed and definitely need to be on SOME list lol! i’ll post 30 0r 40 more tomorrow or in a few days!

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