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Top 10 90's Hip Hop Albums

Hip Hop has come a long way over the years, from Curtis Blow to Jay-Z. Founded in the 80’s, early hip hop was seen as a fad that would soon pass. But during the 90’s, Hip Hop flourished and was embraced by the mainstream.  Lyrics were at a premium, old school samples were frequently used, and some of the best hip-hop albums were produced. Here is my compiled list.  Leave a comment below or read more about 90’s hip hop.




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#10 - Top 10 90's Hip Hop Albums

Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik - Outkast


Hootie Hoo” yall, the south is in the house! These southern rappers stepped onto the scene with this ode to all the plays, pimps & hustla’s. “Player’s Ball,” “Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik,” and the always applicable “Git Up, Git Out.”    Broadcasting live from the capital of the south, ATL, they showed us that the sound was more than just bass music.




Soul Food
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#9 - Top 10 90's Hip Hop Albums

Soul Food – Goodie Mob


Goodie Mob may have Outkast to thank for getting them noticed. But it was their message & music that gained them respect. Goodie Mob (Good die mostly over bullshit) released Soul Food as not just an ode to southern cooking, but as nutrition for our souls. One of the most socially and politically aware groups of the time, they got their message across without compromising their sound. As evident on hit singles “Thought Process,” “Dirty South,” and “Cell Therapy.”



Reasonable Doubt
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#8 - Top 10 90's Hip Hop Albums

Reasonable Doubt – Jay-Z


One of the most underrated hip hop albums ever, this album is like fine wine, gets better with time. I’ll admit, I wasn’t a big fan of jiggaman during this time. But when I went back and listened to it, I realized Jay-Z was right, Reasonable Doubt is a hip hop classic, “should’ve went triple!” Includes hit singles “Can’t Knock the Hustle,” “Brooklyn’s Finest” feat. Biggie, and “Dead Presidents.”



The Chronic
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#7 - Top 10 90's Hip Hop Albums

The Chronic – Dr. Dre


Dr. Dre first had showcased his talents for production with NWA. But after signing with Death Row Records, his musical genius blossomed. With Dre as the director, he featured multiple artists including Tha Dogg Pound, Lady of Rage & Snoop Dogg. The album was a mega-success, launching the west-coast to forefront. Includes hit singles “Nuthin but a G Thang,“ “Let Me Ride,” and “Dre Day.”



Midnight Marauders
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#6 - Top 10 90's Hip Hop Albums

Midnight Marauders – A Tribe Called Quest


The third installment by Tribe, Midnight Marauders was released in 1993 and was a commercial success. Also known for it’s popular album cover including head shots of other rappers. The listener is guided thru the album by a female robotic voice who also gives good advice along the way. You won’t find bling bling/baller talk on this album, just hip hop at it’s purest and best. Be sure to check out the hit singles “Award Tour,” “Electric Relaxation,” and “Oh My God.”





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#5 - Top 10 90's Hip Hop Albums

Doggystyle – Snoop Dogg


Snoop Dogg first introduced himself to the world on Dr. Dre’s The Chronic. This talented, then 18 yrs. Old, rapper captured everybody’s attention with his distinctive flow.  Backed by the Dogg Pound & Mentored by Dr. Dre, the album was a mega success, selling over 800,000 the first week, becoming the fastest selling hip hop album ever, for that time. Inspired by 70’s groups like Parliament & The Stylistics, the album began  a new style of rap called G Funk. Includes hit singles “Gin & Juice,” “What’s my Name,” and “Murder Was the Case.”



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#4 - Top 10 90's Hip Hop Albums

Illmatic - Nas


The Queensbridge  rapper emerged onto the hip hop scene with this instant classic, immediately being bestowed with the label of top rapper. Short, simple & sweet, the album is masterfully crafted. With smooth N.Y. beats, Nas’s lyrical prowess is on full display. With hit singles “N.Y. State of Mind,” ”It Ain’t Hard to Tell,” and “Life’s a Bitch,” the album is strong from start to finish.



Enter the Wu-Tang
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#3 - Top 10 90's Hip Hop Albums

Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) – Wu-Tang Clan


Maybe the best collection of MC’s in one group that we will ever see, Wu-Tang Clan burst onto the scene in 1993. This Samuri Sunday inspired album was unlike any other previous hip hop album, including samples from kung fu movies and old school albums infused with gritty hip hop. A definitive album for it’s time, it included the hit singles “Protect Ya Neck,” “Method Man,” and “C.R.E.A.M.



Ready to Die
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#2 - Top 10 90's Hip Hop Albums

Ready to Die – Notorious B.I.G.


Considered by many as one of the best hip hop albums of all time, Ready to Die served as the debut for both Notorious B.I.G. and Bad Boy Records. The hit single “Juicy” introduced us to the big boy from Brooklyn. No one may have been as lyrically gifted, or as good a story teller as Biggie was. The album was a success, followed up with hits “Big Poppa,” “One more Chance,” and “Who Shot Ya,” thrusting Biggie to the forefront of hip hop. 



All Eyez On Me
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#1 - Top 10 90's Hip Hop Albums

All Eyez On Me – 2Pac


The last, and arguably greatest, studio album released by 2Pac. It was the first album upon being bonded out of jail by Suge Knight. Freshly signed to Death Row, 2Pac had a lot to say, releasing one of the first double disc hip hop albums. Less political this time, “All Eyez on Me” was a celebration of the Thug Lifestyle. Includes the hit singles “California Love,” “Ambitionz Az a Ridah,” and “How Do You Want It.”



Top 10 90's Hip Hop Albums - Honorable Mentioned:

Only Built for Cuban Links – Raekwon, The Score – The Fugees, 400 Degrees – Juvinile, Ironman – Ghostface Killah, The Predator - Ice Cube, It’s Dark & Hell is Hot – DMX, – Trick Daddy, The Diary – Scarface, Piece of Mind – Tela, E. 1999 Eternal – Bone Thugz-N-Harmony, Ghetto D – Master P, No More Glory - MJG






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