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Sav’s Top 100 Rap/Hip Hop Albums of All Time

Started by Sav Stanfield, Sep 10, 2017, in Music

  1. Sav Stanfield
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    Sav Stanfield

    Sep 10, 2017 my name is my name

    I can’t even imagine how many times I re-arranged this list and to tell you the truth I’m still not happy with the final product. But I decided to give it a shot nonetheless. Now, I don’t claim to be an expert - I know very little about 80’s hip hop, there’s entire discographies of important rap/hip hop acts that I’ve never listened to and a lot of underground shit that I’ve never really gotten into. But I have been listening to hip hop for about 15 years now and I have heard my fair share. So this is my (still under construction) list of my personal favorite top 100 rap/hip hop albums of all time, counting backwards from 100 to 1. Like this post if you want a mention for the rest of the list. This might take a while.

    100. [1988] Straight Outta Compton - NWA
    99. [1996] Here to Save You All - Chino XL
    98. [2013] Acid Rap - Chance the Rapper
    97. [1998] 40 Dayz & 40 Nightz - Xzibit
    96. [2013] Nothing Was the Same - Drake
    95. [1997] The Untouchable - Scarface
    94. [1999] Internal Affairs - Pharaoh Monch
    93. [2009] Man on the Moon: The End of Day - Kid Cudi
    92. [2003] Speakerboxxx/The Love Below - Outkast
    91. [1995] All We Got Iz Us - Onyx
    90. [1998] Tha Streetz Iz A Mutha - Kurupt
    89. [2008] It Is What It Is - A.B.N
    88. [2000] Violent By Design - Jedi Mind Tricks
    87. [1996] Soul On Ice - Ras Kass
    86. [2002] The Future Is Now - Non-Phixion
    85. [2009] The Burrprint (The Movie 3D) - Gucci Mane
    84. [2003] Rip the Jacker - Canibus
    83. [2005] The Documentary - The Game
    82. [1992] Music to Driveby - Compton's Most Wanted
    81. [2015] If You're Reading This, It's Too Late - Drake
    80. [2002] The Eminem Show - Eminem
    79. [2012] God's Father - Lil B
    78. [2016] Still Brazy - YG
    77. [2011] LiveLoveA$AP - A$AP Rocky
    76. [2006] Like Father Like Son - Lil Wayne & Birdman
    75. [2012] Finally Rich - Chief Keef
    74. [2015] DS2 - Future
    73. [2015] I Don't Like Shit, I Don't Go Outside: An Album By Earl Sweatshirt - Earl Sweatshirt
    72. [2012] Life Is Good - Nas
    71. [2000] Let's Get Free - dead prez
    70. [2008] Tha Carter III - Lil Wayne
    69. [2014] Piñata - Freddie Gibbs & Madlib
    68. [1994] 6 Feet Deep - Gravediggaz
    67. [2015] Rodeo - Travi$ Scott
    66. [1997] Harlem World - Ma$e
    65. [1996] Makavelli: The 7 Day Theory - 2Pac
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017

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  2. Sav Stanfield
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    Sav Stanfield

    Sep 10, 2017 my name is my name

    100. [1988] Straight Outta Compton - N.W.A.

    You are now about to witness the strength of street knowledge.”

    From the moment these now fabled, almost mythological words hit the speakers, the world’s most dangerous group proceed to bring 80’s hip hop to it’s gangsta zenith. A young vitriolic Ice Cube is the star of the show and Eazy’s swaggering sneer and Ren’s cold and collected tropes provide the perfect counter-balance as Dre and Yella decorate the hour-long soundscapes with skull-rattling drum machine loops and record scratches galore. There’s even brief precursors to Dre’s later G-Funk sound that would later arise in the early 90’s (see Dopeman). Though they would split up only a year later, Straight Outta Compton marks one of hip hop’s most powerful political statements and even 30 years later, the message still maintains its’ sting.

    While it may not have aged too gracefully, it’s always fun to throw on. f--k the po-lice. I am admittedly not too well-versed in 80’s hip hop, but this album has always been my go-to for that era, amongst a handful of others. The 2015 film re-ignited my love for this album and also added some much needed context that made me see it in a whole new light.

    Best song: Straight Outta Compton
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2017
  3. Lucifert 2R
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    Lucifert 2R

    Sep 10, 2017 36 bitches and they wanna be my neighbor

    If you plan on listing 100 albums 1 by 1 I don't think anyone gives a f--k. Youre not a major publication you have no credentials and your opinion holds no weight
     
    #3 Lucifert 2R, Sep 10, 2017
  4. Sav Stanfield
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    Sav Stanfield

    Sep 10, 2017 my name is my name

    lol thanks for the vote of confidence. true but its just for fun, I don't really care if anyone gives a f--k
     
  5. Big Cuntry
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    Big Cuntry

    Sep 10, 2017 never duckin' from you peons

    I mean I agree he should do it by 5s or 10s but we're on a rap forum dude it's supposed to be casual
     
    #5 Big Cuntry, Sep 10, 2017
  6. Michael Myers
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    Michael Myers

    Sep 10, 2017 The Boogeyman

    Lmfao as if anyone's opinion 'holds more weight' than any other.

    Agree with the other point tho
     
    #6 Michael Myers, Sep 10, 2017
  7. Mraczewsky
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    Mraczewsky

    Sep 10, 2017 Pray for Kanye

    tag me if you can, but I also agree droping 5 or 10 albums at once is a better idea
     
    #7 Mraczewsky, Sep 10, 2017
  8. Big Dangerous
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    Big Dangerous

    Sep 10, 2017 World Heavyweight Champion

    Tag me brother
     
    #8 Big Dangerous, Sep 10, 2017
  9. El Plus Member
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    El Plus Member

    Sep 10, 2017 Welcome to america, babydick

    Only tag me if wave gods is number 1 pls
     
  10. Motherfucker Jones
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    Motherfucker Jones

    Sep 10, 2017 YaBoiD'Angelo

    Chill the f--k out my nigga

    And btw tag me Op
     
    #10 Motherfucker Jones, Sep 10, 2017

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  11. wait is this guy actually going to analyze each album from 100 to 1?
    the f--k...
     
    #11 Donald The Trump, Sep 10, 2017
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    Sqrt Sqrt and Motherfucker Jones like this.
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  12. Big Cuntry
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    Big Cuntry

    Sep 11, 2017 never duckin' from you peons

    #12 Big Cuntry, Sep 11, 2017
  13. Sav Stanfield
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    Sav Stanfield

    Sep 11, 2017 my name is my name

    was just about to post the next 5 lol. alright, 10 at a time it is
     
    #13 Sav Stanfield, Sep 11, 2017
    3 3
  14. Big Cuntry
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    Big Cuntry

    Sep 11, 2017 never duckin' from you peons

    five is good too!
     
    #14 Big Cuntry, Sep 11, 2017
  15. LaSquid Ball
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    LaSquid Ball

    Sep 11, 2017 Lately I've been flexing hard on my ex

    @ me when you get to the top 3 in 4 months
     
    #15 LaSquid Ball, Sep 11, 2017
  16. I'm in sav.

    f--k it.
     
    #16 shadyslim555, Sep 11, 2017
  17. Sav Stanfield
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    Sav Stanfield

    Sep 11, 2017 my name is my name

    99. [1996] Here to Save You All - Chino XL

    Before there was Eminem, there was Chino XL. I would not be surprised to find out that Eminem had recently been listening to this very album when he invented the Slim Shady persona. The similes, puns and metaphors flow like liquid, every bar is stuffed to the brim with pop culture references, celebrity bashing, political punches, hilarious wordplay and all-round Mathers-esque content. It’s strange that Chino’s career never took off, sure he never had much commercial appeal but even amongst underground/battle-rap sphere, he’s rarely mentioned. Chino is actually a genius, literally - he’s a member of Mensa and it shows on this album. His later work was plagued by label politics, terrible instrumental choices and a tendency to sound more Tech N9ne-corny, rather than early Eminem-clever. Still, Here to Save You All is Chino at his best and definitely worth checking out if you appreciate the art of wordplay.

    Check our Riiot ft. Ras Kass for the infamous 2Pac jab which Pac actually responded to, albeit briefly on Hit Em Up)

    Best song: Riiot ft. Ras Kass


    98. [2013] Acid Rap - Chance the Rapper

    Chancellor Bennett has made one hell of a name for himself in the past few years but for all his accomplishments, political commentary, hit singles and Kanye guest verses, he still hasn’t in my opinion topped his 2013 mixtape, Acid Rap. I remember the first time I heard Juice - one night out, trying to figure out who the hell was rapping like some kind of drunken/ talking to a baby/1950’s blues-aficionado. And why did it sound so good? The whole project is cushioned in thick, plump splotches of jazzy, soulful, gospel-esque loops and choral arrangements, giving a beautifully rich and luscious soundscape for Chance’s weird and wonderful vocal inflections and flows to run amok. Clever wordplay (Good Ass Intro, Cocoa Butter Kisses) and a knack for storytelling (Pusha Man/Paranoia, Lost), not to mention a host of excellent guest features, makes for an endearing, sad, happy and exciting piece all at once, as Chance waxes poetic about love, addictions, relationships and lots of smoke. 2016’s Coloring Book was great too, for many of the same reasons, but didn’t manage to reach the same heights. And despite all the ‘industry plant’ allegations, I still think Chance has a lot more to offer in his career.

    Best song: Juice


    97. [1998] 40 Dayz & 40 Nightz - Xzibit


    X to the Z is probably best known for his brief stint with Dr. Dre’s Aftermath in the early 2000’s and subsequently for his hosting of MTV’s Pimp My Ride. But can anyone really remember the names of any his albums? Any of his singles? X was always a good rapper, gruff voice and delivery, but was never managed to reach the upper echelons of his west coast and Aftermath contemporaries. Restless is often considered his best work, but I tend to disagree; 40 Dayz & 40 Nightz is X at his peak. What U See is What U Get is the centerpiece; a profound philosophical reflection, a dig into the mind of a young black American, almost reminiscent of a young Ice Cube. Fellow west-coasters Ras Kass and Saafir join X on the brilliant battle-rap tirade, 3-Card Molly (Ras Kass steals the show by the way), Tha Liks and King Tee join forces on the funk-fueled Let It Rain. X switches effortlessly from hard west coast trunk thumpers (Chamber Music) to beautiful violin-infused boom bap (Handle Your Business) to the hilarious Funky-Worm sampling Shroomz, without batting an eye and the result is an exceedingly well balanced and rounded project, concise, brave, powerful and far superior to any of his subsequent releases (though a case can definitely be made for Restless).

    Best song: What U See Is What You Get


    96. [2013] Nothing Was the Same - Drake

    I don’t like Drake. When Best I Ever Had dropped in 2009, I listened to it for a week straight then realized I despised it. I skipped his debut (apparently I’m not missing out on much) and only gave the rest of his discography a chance when I heard IYRTITL. I guess I tend to agree with Big Ghost; Drake is a simp. That hasn’t stopped him from putting out some excellent music though, and I can’t believe it took me so long to finally discover his third album Nothing Was the Same. Tuscan Leather is the epic 6 minute opener and its brilliant. Drake may have made his fame and fortune letting his emotions spill, but he can brag and boast with the best of them when it comes down to it; he even manages to hold his own alongside Jay-Z on the mournful sounding Pound Cake. The production on NWTS is stellar, the usual suspects 40 and Boi-1da provide a rich and enticing soundscape and Drake pivots effortlessly from traditional ballot-type staples (Furthest Thing) to the more brash and braggadocios (Started from the Bottom). As to be expected, the project is full of top-notch single material but they don’t detract from the album’s flow. Rather the album feels well-sequenced and succinct, with Drizzy conducting the show.

    Best song: Tuscan Leather


    95. [1997] The Untouchable - Scarface

    Scarface must surely be the most consistent rapper in history. Right? From his debut appearance in 1989 until his most recent 2015 album, Face has ever lived up to his namesake in that he’s relentless as f--k. The man never quits. While 2002’s The Fix is frequently cited as his best/second-best project, alongside 94’s The Diary, I’ve always felt an affinity for 97’s The Untouchable, which feels a lot like a sequel to The Diary, still teeming with that deep bassy G-funk sound of earlier projects, both solo and with The Geto Boys. The west-coast influence is strong, there’s appearances from Pac, Dre, Cube, Daz, Too Short and a typically Dre-ish Roger Troutman sample on the title track. Smile, featuring 2Pac was one of the last songs he recorded before his death and it’s one of the best songs on the album. Pac is in top form as he and Face trade verses on ghetto dreams and harsh realities - “our lifestyles be close-captioned, addicted to fatal attractions”. For the most part though, Scarface carries the album alone, “just a homie from the hood” trudging through H-Town with a scowl on his face.

    Best song: Smile ft. 2Pac
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2017
  18. Sav Stanfield
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    Sav Stanfield

    Sep 11, 2017 my name is my name

    94. [1999] Internal Affairs - Pharaoh Monch

    Admittedly, I’ve never delved into Organized Konfusion’s discography. That is something I should probably remedy soon because Pharaoh Monch is one of the greatest to ever hold a mic, evidenced by his first solo LP (not to mention his subsequent projects), 1999’s Internal Affairs. In a post-shiny suit era NY, Monch took it back to underground, firing quick-fire, cryptic multisyllabic riddles over instrumentals ranging from classically east-coast sounding somber and dolorous, speckled with record scratches and piano loops (Official, Queens) to the more lighthearted and up-tempo (The Ass, The Next Shit). Songs like Behind Closed Doors and God Send show the tremendous scope of Monch’s skill; he twists words to suit his purpose, all the while rattling off genius-level metaphors and similes and one of a hell storytelling ability. Rape is a particularly brilliant look into Monch’s own relationship with music and one of the definite standouts. It’s a pity that the monstrous Simon Says got tied up in clearance issues (who knew the Godzilla theme could be make such a banger?) because the song and album certainly deserves a lot more recognition than it gets.

    Best song: Simon Says


    93. [2009] Man on the Moon: The End of Day - Kid Cudi

    Cudi was a game changer. From the moment those distinctively baritone humming vocals wept of his visions and spinning head on on Kanye’s 808’s, the way for for Drake and legions of imitators was paved in his wake. Some may disagree but I tend to prefer Man on the Moon to it’s 2010 sequel. At the time of it’s release in 2009, it could barely be considered rap - at a time when Jay-Z was announcing the death of auto tune, traditional rappers like Jadakiss, Raekwon and Fabolous were topping charts and Slaughterhouse actually had a decent buzz. Cudi did his own thing though, and it paid off. Over an assortment of dreamy, psychedelic, post 808’s instrumentals, Cudi spends just about an hour moaning and humming his way through a collection of depressed thoughts - the eternal ‘lonely stoner’, his voice thick with sadness (Sky Might Fall), or at the other times nimble and breezy (Make Her Say) and the result is beautiful.

    Best song: Day n Night


    92. [2003] Speakerboxxx/The Love Below - OutKast

    For me, Speakerboxxx outshines all of Big Boi’s other more recent solo outings. By a long way. In fact, it may be the shining pinnacle of his solo career. The Love Below is a whole different story. I didn’t like it back in 2003 when it first dropped but oh boy have I started to appreciate it now. How is it that 3 Stacks was a good 10-15 years ahead of the game? It’s unthinkable. I still much prefer Andre’s work on ATLiens, Aquemini, etc., but I’ve grown to appreciate the brilliance of The Love Below. Plus who could ever forget A Day In the Life of Benajmin Andre, which is arguably the best on song on the entire project? (Ok, Flip Flop Rock is probably better). I still think I would have preferred a single disc - Andre and Big Boi are at their best when they’re bouncing ideas off one another, but Speakerboxxx/The Love Below is still an interesting glimpse into where things could have gone had they pursued solo careers instead, not to mentio, this album going diamond - an incredible testament to Outkast’s power, not only in rap but in music, period.

    Best song: Flip Flop Rock ft. Jay-Z Killer Mike


    91. [1995] All We Got Iz Us - Onyx

    Bacdafuccup is probably Onyx’s most recognizable project but 95’s dark and grimy All We Got Iz Us is by far the more engaging. To me, at least. Stuffed with M.O.P-like gun-toting, mouth on the curb type bravado, the Queens trio proceed to annihilate everything they touch for a solid 46 minutes of hardcore, raw and uncut. This album will have you wanting to do ignorant shit, “robbing, killing, stealing and drug dealing”. Sticky Fingaz is the star of the show, and thats not taking anything away from Fredro Starr and Sonny Seeza who are both in top form, but Sticky is just clearly the most talented of the three; he raps in psychotic screeches, straining his vocal chords to their limit. I gotta mention Eminem again, its clear he was heavily influenced by these guys. Themes of murder, suicide, depression, delivered with a tongue-in-cheek smugness, all 3 emcees feeding off each other’s energy with each song seeming to build up to all out eardrum-shattering crescendo/assault. Oh and guns. lots and lots of guns. If you’re a fan of the raw and hardcore, check this out immediately.

    Best song: Betta Off Dead


    90. [1999] Tha Streetz iz a Mutha - Kurupt

    Tha Streetz Iz A Mutha is Kurupt’s sophomore solo LP and arguably his best album - solo or collaborative - to date (DPG’s Dogg Food comes a close second). Kurupt was always one of the most talented rhymers in the Death Row/DPG camp and his sneering, aggressive inflection often gave much needed contrast to the laid back flows of Snoop, Dre and co. Here, the stars align for Young Gotti, whether he’s chasing bad bitches or repping the DPGC, he’s in peak form throughout. The tracklist is very feature heavy - every single song (save the operatic Trylogy) has at least 1 guest, but that doesn’t detract from the album at all, rather it gives the album that classic old Death Row sound, full of ear-worm hooks, funky, laid-beats that borrow heavily from the Parliament-Funkadelic/George Clinton sound and a whole lot of chronic, bitches and gang banging. Plus, who could ever forget the absolutely murderous Calling Out Names, one of the most scathing (but unfortunately forgotten) diss tracks ever recorded?

    Best song: Tryolgy
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2017
  19. Sav Stanfield
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    Sav Stanfield

    Sep 11, 2017 my name is my name

    #19 Sav Stanfield, Sep 11, 2017
  20. The Box
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    The Box

    Sep 11, 2017

    Decent so far.
     
    #20 The Box, Sep 11, 2017
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    Ordinary Joel and Sav Stanfield like this.
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