Top Ten Greatest Hip Hop albums in my life

Rolling Stone just released their greatest 100 Hip Hop songs of all time today. It inspired me. This list only includes albums that dominated my life for extended periods of time. There are albums that had better songs that I love, but only had 1 or 2 good tracks. These albums were life changing for me.
  1. 10. Ready to Die - Notorious B.I.G.
    I listened to this and was blown away. Bad Boy was huge in my mid-20s and this is why. I remember not being sure about the guy because it sounded like he was rapping while eating. But after a few verses, his flow was amazing and his voice is still a standard by which others are judged. I listened to this album for 4 months straight, and I still listen to it at least once a year.
  2. 9. 3 Feet High and Rising - De La Soul
    I remember watching Me, Myself as I on "Yo MTV Raps". They were all in the TV studio with Fab Five Freddy too. I bought the album a few days later. This album was dope as hell. The samples were from everyone from Bob Dorough, Johnny Cash, Hall & Oates, Steely Dan, and tons of Hip Hop breaks. This was a big album from my high school days and they are still a favorite of mine. I have forgiven lesser albums by the trio because of my feelings for this one.
  3. 8. The Score - The Fugees
    Every. Single. Song. Is. Bomb. I had just gotten out of the Army when this came out. I was into West Coast Rap at the time while stationed in El Paso. This brought me back to the days of barely getting Hot 97 out of NYC from the Poconos when it was a clear day. I was just as in love with the Miseducation of Lauren Hill, but I don't consider it a Hip Hop album.
  4. 7. The Low-End Theory - A Tribe Called Quest
    ATCQ is my favorite group of all time. This is their Sophomore album, which means they were due for a let-down. They disappointed many by making a complete album that many think is better than their debut. I listen to all of their albums all the time, still. But this one, and the other on my list, are played at least 4 times a year and I know every single word.
  5. 6. Sex Packets - Digital Underground
    I know this doesn't make most lists of greatest of all time. But this makes my list for sure. This album was pretty sexual, right around the time I was also discovering sex and sexuality. The Humpty Dance was amazing, but it wasn't even the best song in the album. The Way We Swing and Packet Man were equally as good but less radio friendly.
  6. 5. Straight Outta Compton - N.W.A
    This album literally ripped the veil off my lily-white teenage existence. It brought to light what the world is like outside of my own. This album got around quick in my school. Lots of people tried to dress gangsta and play the role. But I thought, and liked, that N.W.A. were Raider fans. Silly teenagers...
  7. 4. Peoples Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm - A Tribe Called Quest
    I guess I'm in the minority that like ATCQ's first album more than their second, and I'm okay with that. Can I Kick It?, Bonita Applebum and Left My Wallet in El Segundo are classics, but every single song is good. It's got less of Phife, but it's still my favorite.
  8. 3. Slim Shady L.P. - Eminem
    A few of the albums in this list have completely blown me away and changed perspective on Hip Hop. Most come along when the genre gets stale and repetitive. This album made me laugh and get angry. Em's "I don't give a fuck" attitude was just what I felt like at that time. It's what I needed to hear and I miss this version of Eminem. By the way, "My Name Is", the song that sold millions of this album, is the worst song on the album.
  9. 2. The Chronic - Dr. Dre
    If you had any say in how cool you were in 1992 through 94, then you had to know every single word to this album. It was everywhere. And I had 3 copies because it was the first CD I actually wore out. This album launched the career of Snoop and Nate Dogg and other lesser talent, and also Dr. Dre as a standalone genius producer. He also brought Interludes to a whole new level on this album that so many try, and fail, to copy.
  10. 1. Licensed to Ill - Beastie Boys
    The sheer enjoyment of this album cannot be topped. It was the first album I bought with my own money in 7th Grade. Of all albums on this list, I'm most sentimental about this one. They spoke about things I didn't understand until this album. But I jammed to it anyway. Everyone knew every single word of every song and we all had our impressions of Mike D., MCA, and Ad-Rock. This album made it okay for white kids from Suburbia to wear Kangols and Adidas jumpsuits.