illmaticI’ll confess, I’m out of the loop when it comes to modern day Hip-Hop. I’ve never been a full-fledged head – but as a child of the 80’s and 90’s from West Illadelphia, it’s safe to say that Hip-Hop was heavily interwoven into the fabric of my early life experiences. To be frank, I rather cringe at many of the sounds I hear on the radio today that claim to stem from the once inspired genre – and who knows, perhaps if I were a young one today I’d actually dig some of these cats (highly doubtful). Nevertheless, Hip-Hop (in its many forms) is here to stay, hence, what better way to pay homage to the vibrant art form than to highlight 50 of rap music’s best, courtesy of handsome hip hop connoisseur Henry Adaso:

50. Big Punisher – Capital Punishment
49. Black Star – Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star
48. OutKast – ATLiens
47. The Roots- Do You Want More?!!!??!
46. Organized Konfusion – Stress: The Extinction Agenda
45. LL Cool J – Radio
44. Brand Nubian – One For All
43. Lauryn Hill – The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
42. EPMD – Unfinished Business
41. Ice T – Power
40. The Notorious B.I.G. – Life After Death
39. GangStarr – Hard to Earn
38. A Tribe Called Quest – People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm
37. Pete Rock & CL Smooth – Mecca and the Soul Brother
36. Dead Prez – Let’s Get Free
35. Public Enemy – Fear of a Black Planet
34. Ghostface Killah – Ironman
33. Ice Cube – AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted
32. Redman – Whut? Thee Album
31. Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique
30. LL Cool J – Mama Said Knock You Out
29. Makaveli – The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory
28. Scarface – The Diary
27. Big Daddy Kane – Long Live the Kane
26. A Tribe Called Quest – Midnight Marauders
25. Ultramagnetic MCs – Critical Beatdown
24. D.O.C. – No One Can Do It Better
23. EPMD – Strictly Business
22. Common Sense – Resurrection
21. Afrika Bambaataa – Looking for the Perfect Beat:
20. Main Source – Breaking Atoms
19. Snoop Doggy Dogg – Doggystyle
18. Fugees – The Score
17. Beastie Boys – Licensed to Ill
16. Cypress Hill – Cypress Hill
15. OutKast – Aquemini
14. Jay-Z – Reasonable Doubt
13. Ice Cube – Death Certificate
12. 2Pac – Me Against the World
11. Run-D.M.C. – Raising Hell
10. Dr. Dre – The Chronic
9. Boogie Down Productions – Criminal Minded
8. N.W.A. – Straight Outta Compton
7. A Tribe Called Quest – The Low End Theory
6. Raekwon – Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…
5. The Notorious B.I.G. – Ready To Die
4. Wu-Tang Clan – Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)
3. Eric B. & Rakim – Paid in Full
2. Public Enemy – It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
1. Nas – Illmatic

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  • Keisha

    This list is a joke. You mean to tell me you have a top 50 list with one Common album? There are at least 2 albums from him that need to be on there. Common (minus this last cd) is one of the nicest MC’s of all time. And no Slum Village? You’re telling me Dead Prez album was better the Fantastic Vol 2. You could actually listen to the whole thing without fast forwarding any of the songs. I can listen to BE, One Day It Will All Make Sense and Fantastic Vol 2 with a broken fast forward button.

    Is that an Ice-T and Big Punisher album on that list? Please tell me what they brought to the game as far as lyrics, style, beats or originality?

    Oh and you can switch the Cypress Hill for Black Moon.

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  • wowsers…

    the roots at #47? no hieroglyphics? no pharcyde? no mobb deep? no black moon (co-signin)? i guess you can’t please everybody… :) this is a pretty good list.

  • Donna

    Okay when I saw the roots at #47 and big pun on hear at all I should have stopped but I didn’t LOL. But no there are some good ones on here. I want to see your list to West Phil.

  • LaurynX

    As usual Bone Thugs n Harmony get no love.