RHHH: Top ten most influential hip-hop albums thread?

Here is my top 10 list with reasons for why I chose them. I know it is not perfect because people have different opinions, but I still think it is a good list. Make your own list.

1.Paid in Full- "God of hip-hop." Was ahead of his time in 86-87. Set a higher standard for lyricism, which forced other artists to step their game up. Album has so many quotable lyrics and samples.

2.Illmatic-" The Bible of hip-hop." Nas at the mere age of 19 dropped one of the dopest albums in hip-hop history.Nas displayed street poetry at its finest.

3. 3 Feet high and Rising- Three young cats from Long Island with complete originality.They introduced the skits use in hip-hop albums, expanded the musical sampling array,and were hailed to be the future of hip-hop.

4. It takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back- Pro-black, political and militant.No other group has ever done an album like this, not even BDP. Yeeaaaaahhh Boooyyy, you know the rest.

5. Ready to Die- One of the sickest voices, presence and lyrics ever. Biggie helped shift the attention back to the east coast along with others like Wu-Tang, and Nas. He put N.Y. on his back with this straight classic that was both commercially successful, but also street wise.

6. Straight Outta Compton- First album to really break the door for gangster rap.Schoolly D, Ice-T and BDP's Criminal Minded to an extent had already laid out some of the foundation for gangster rap, but nothing like the magnitude of N.W.A.'s debut that even got them letter from the FBI.

7.Enter the Wu-Tang 36 Chambers- One of the best collective group albums,if not the best.The most unusual creative concept imagined in hip-hop ever from the RZA, GZA, & Ol' Dirty Bastard the founders of the group. Who would have ever taught of combining Asian flick samples, soul, and hip-hop together? You get 9 different emcee's with their own style, but also get a cohesive album as well. Very hard to pull off.

8. The Chronic- Cemented the west coast as a power house in hip-hop. It introduced us to a young rapper named Snoop Doggy Dogg and started the G-Funk era.

9. Breaking Atoms- Once again another 19 year old dropping a straight classic hip-hop album. Large Professor's lyrics and beats that are made with an sp1200 are fairly simple, but yet catchy, entertaining, and funky as hell. Why did he even need the other two guys, no wonder he said in ATCQ Keep It Rollin' song "F*ck them two DJ's."Another reason for this album to be acclaim as a classic because of the introduction of young Nasir at age 17 in Live at the BBQ. Classic.

10.The Low End Theory- Last, but not least is ATCQ's sophomore album that was even better then their debut. How many artist's or group that can do this, not too many. There is only a selective few who have managed to this in hip-hop history. Also, it made the use of jazz into hip-hop popular that inspired other albums the next year in 1992 like, Runaway Slaves and Stunt, Blunts, & Hip-Hop. A combination of deep bass with jazziness made for a memorable album.

Honorable mentions that could also be included as a top ten contenders:

No One can Do It Better

Liquid Swords

Only Built 4 Cuban Linx

Criminal Minded

All Eyes On Me

and so on...

P.S.- If you're not knowledgeable in hip-hop music, please do not post anything at all. I am specifically referring to those who want to sneak in Eminem, Lil Wayne, Lupe Fiasco, & Drake albums into the list.Whether they are good or not, they still wouldn't make the top 100 best hip-hop albums. Period


@ Libs Do It Better, yeah man it is generic list, but I am referring to influential. I am well aware that they're tons of other good albums, hundreds of them actually, but are they as influential as these are?

Update 2:

@ Cognautic Creix, that's exactly what i want people to do in this thread is to argue by backing up their arguments. I agree with you in not having put in Criminal Minded on the list.

Update 3:

@Creix. Of course man my list isn't the best at all by no means, and actually it is impossible to have a perfect list because the answer to my question is based on people's personal opinion. Feel free to disagree. Also no one is actually posting their top 10.

10 Answers

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Favourite answer

    I've never seen how Illmatic or Ready to Die are influential....You're missing Slick Rick, BDK, and Kool G, therefore this list fails. All Eyez on Me, Liquid Swords, OB4CL aren't influential by any semblence, and Criminal Minded is more influential in general culture-wise (of the RHH audience) more than anything content-wise, production-wise, or rhyming technique-wise.

    Illmatic was more like a textbook east coast rap execution, stripped down jazz and soul sampling beats from amazing producers, rhymes style used great execution of ignoring bar lengths, content wasn't really generic, but not influential...

    Yeah, aside from those albums I can pretty much agree with the albums being on a list, if not necessarily the order or ranking...Outkast I don't know about being influential so much as being sonically innovative...the only group that I know that they have directly influenced would be Cunninlynguists though I'm not thinking too hard...

    Also, Run-DMC deserve a place on this list, they essentially created the way hip hop beats sound.

    @AC - I don't know about that, I've never heard it cited in such a manner. Enter the Wu-Tang was the first major album released featuring an updated rhyme style (that I don't believe has been surpassed), and Illmatic featured the same style. Though it wasn't as popular as Illmatic, it made billboard and had some charting singles. From my understanding it was Wu-Tang that pioneered that new style, having come first.

    And about that influential albums after 1995, sure, I agree, but I don't think there were any albums that created huge movements that you can see in almost every single hip hop album like there were pre-95. Name any and say why you think so and I'll consider it, I'm not close-minded.

    Oh, lol. Whatever then.

  • Mike
    Lv 5
    9 years ago

    @ Fear of the Mask, actually a lot illmatics best tracks were out since 92, so 36 Chambers should be put in the same boat of influence as Illmatic

    I agree with Pac about having OutKast on the list

    @ Fear, actually the majority of 36 Chambers were recorded in 92

    Illmatic only had 3 tracks recorded in 93 which were Life's A B*tch, Represent, and The Genesis(which is really just a short intro so...)

    also some of the verses on the album date back to 91

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Pretty good but I think 36 Chambers should be way higher than #7. That album influenced Nas and Biggie. No 36 Chambers = No Illmatic or Ready to Die.

    I think there should be more on this list like

    Mr. Scarface Is Back

    Ridin' Dirty



    The Blueprint


    Source(s): @ GMan well if Illmatic tracks were out in 92, 36 Chambers tracks must've been recorded earlier.
  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    @Creix didn't Illmatic make internal rhymes that much more popular? It's your list so I'm not gonna knock it but hella influential albums happened after 95 too bro

    Edit:@Creix I was talkin to the OP in the second sentence man. I was just askin you the Illmatic Q lol

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  • ?
    Lv 4
    9 years ago

    Why are you putting Lupe in the same sentence as Wayne and Drake. F&L is definitely in my top 100. And Liquid Swords is much better and more influential than Breaking Atoms, which is chill but nowhere near what GZA put together.

  • 9 years ago

    Kanye West - The Graduation is probably the most influential of the last few years.

    It popularized 'Auto tune' software in hip-hop music.

    Not that it's a good thing.

  • 9 years ago

    Can't really fault that list too much.

    I'm not the biggest fan of The Chronic however I can't deny it's influence

  • Co-sign 100% on the Outkast comment....this list without Outkast is like.....this list without Outkast...I can't even construct a proper simile around that mistake

  • 7 years ago

    You are aware that we don't all know your favorite artists, right? You need to post who it's by, -_-

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    about generic as generic gets.

    and while you are talking about em and Lupe

    Food and Liquor >half this list

    and no outkast... so its automatically a garbage list

    EDIT: nvm I didn't pay attention to the "influential" part, then its cool, BUT you still need Outkast, they are the epitome of southern hip hop

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