Filed under: Features,Not Your Average,Steady Bootleggin'
Written by: Robbie Ettelson
I just got an email from a reader named Lily who commented:
i have only recently realized that hip hop (and soul and funk and jazz and so on) is the only thing worth listening to in this day and age. rock music is so fucking tired and i’ve been listening to it for too long. i’m really ignorant though. i don’t know anything about this music, but i’m 15 so i guess there’s still time for me to learn.
While I’m always glad to help, the question is: do I recommend what I consider to be the greatest rap albums ever, or try to consider what would provide the most well-rounded introduction to the hip-hop? Obviously, the first option is the only way to go. Save that well-rounded nonsense for the drive-through customers at Krisy Kreme. Note that I’ve only listed one album from each artist, even though a few of them have several classics under their belt.
Unkut.com’s Top Ten Rap LP’s:
1. Criminal Minded - Boogie Down Productions
Changed the sound of hip-hop forever. Every song is great.
2. Critical Beatdown - Ultramagnetic MC’s
So far ahead of it’s time that it still hasn’t been surpassed. State-of-the-art beats meet bugged-out lyrics for a the perfect mixture of originality and hardcore b-boy shit.
3. Long Live The Kane - Big Daddy Kane
Marley Marl‘s “project sound” at it’s best, combined with the one of the most gifted rappers to ever put it down.
4. Saturday Night - Schoolly D
If you don’t already, this LP will inspire to start smoking weed.
5. Wanted: Dead or Alive - Kool G Rap & DJ Polo
The best album from this tough-talking pioneer of street-level rap.
6. The Beatnuts (aka Street Level) - The Beatnuts
Lyrically hilarious and musically incredible.
7. Stunts. Blunts & Hip Hop - Diamond D
Forget De La Soul, this album broke the boundaries of what you could sample.
8. Return of the Funky Man - Lord Finesse
Talking shit has never sounded this good.
9. Mecca & The Soul Brother - Pete Rock & CL Smooth
To this day, the most sophisticated example of the fine of art of sampling ever released.
10. The Low End Theory - A Tribe Called Quest
A perfectly stripped down return to the basics.
Plus here’s another thirty essential albums:
Act A Fool - King Tee
Vagina Diner - Akinyele
It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back - Public Enemy
Breaking Atoms - Main Source
Illmatic - Nas
Ready To Die - Notorious B.I.G.
Follow The Leader - Eric B. & Rakim
Together Forever:Greatest Hits - Run-DMC
Step Into the Arena - Gangstarr
Operation: Doomsday - MF Doom
Paper Chase - Krown Rulers
Original Stylin’ - Three Times Dope
Strictly Business - EPMD
A Constipated Monkey - Kurious
Radio - LL Cool J
Only Built For Cuban Linx - Raekwon
Liquid Sword - GZA
The Infamous - Mobb Deep
Ride The Rhythm - Chill Rob G
Runaway Slave - Showbiz & AG
Straight Outta Compton - NWA
Geto Boys - Geto Boys
Goin’ Off - Biz Markie
The Convicts - The Convicts
Controversy - Willie Dee
All For One - Brand Nubian
Lifestyles Ov Da Poor & Dangerous - Big L
Kool & Deadly - Just-Ice
It’s A Compton Thang - Compton’s Most Wanted
Put Ya Boots On - Double XX Posse
While you can still pick-up a lot of these albums, if you have trouble finding any of them you could ask at our new message board.
Here’s a little something to listen to:
Ultramagnetic MC’s – Bait (full version)
Lastly, I’ve started a new blog over at Vox which covers stuff not necessarily related to music. They have a “Question of the Day” thing which is vaguely entertaining. I might get sick of it in a few weeks, but in the meantime:
Note: The templates over there all have pictures that look like they belong on Lego boxes. The choice of “rolling hills”, robots or a “Blocko” city was a tough one.
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