Finding Solace in Rap Music

Hi y’all! I’m back again. This winter “gripper” virus has a hold of me. My voice is shot, which was hilarious when that happened while I was coaching basketball. One time, I had no voice at all, but somehow got a tech called  on me even though there was no way the ref could hear me say anything. Fortunately, after that happened, my team got a couple of calls down the stretch and we won the game. But, the one time I coached without a voice, I got “T-ed” up. There were probably so many other times when I SHOULD have been teched, like the time I tried to hand my glasses to referee as he was running by me.  Oh, the stories I could write about my coaching and playing careers.

So, what’s a guy supposed to do when he is disabled with chronic pain on a normal day, then has an upper respiratory virus that has me stymied? Of course, I revert back to my college days and pull out my old school rap albums, singles and CDs, causing my wife to ask me how old I am while listening to Eazy-E’s “Boyz-n-the-Hood”. I just laughed when she asked me that. “Cruisin’ down the street in my 6-4…” HAHAHA!!!

So, while my wife and I were binge-watching the great FX show The Americans, I have compiled my list of my favorite rap albums of all-time. As far as the show is concerned, my older son got us hooked on the show when he gave me a copy of the first season. So, we’ve been watching seasons 2 and 3 on Amazon Prime. I love the show! And, I love these albums. I have listed the albums below in alphabetical order. I hope some of them kick-start your memories. Or, maybe, my list will jump-start you on something new.

My 100 Favorite Hip Hop Albums

  1. 2pac – All Eyez on Me
  2. 2pac – Me Against the World
  3. 3rd Bass – The Cactus Album
  4. 50 Cent – Get Rich or Die Tryin’ (2003)
  5. A Tribe Called Quest – Midnight Marauders
  6. A Tribe Called Quest – The Low End Theory (1991)
  7. Afrika Bambaataa – Planet Rock
  8. Arrested Development – 3 Years, 5 Days, and 2 Months in the Life of…
  9. Beastie Boys – License to Ill
  10. Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique
  11. Big Daddy Kane – Long Live the Kane
  12. Biz Markie – Goin’ Off
  13. Black Star (Mos Def/Talib Kweli) – Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star
  14. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony – 1999 Eternal (1995)
  15. Boogie Down Productions – By All Means Necessary
  16. Boogie Down Productions – Criminal Minded
  17. Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book
  18. Common – BE
  19. Common – Like Water for Chocolate
  20. Cypress Hill – Cypress Hill
  21. Danger Mouse – The Grey Album (2004)
  22. De La Soul – 3 Feet High and Rising
  23. De La Soul – De La Soul Is Dead
  24. dead prez – let’s get free
  25. Deltron 3030 – Deltron 3030
  26. Digable Planets – Reachin’ (A New Refutation of Time and Space) (1993)
  27. Digital Underground – Sex Packets (1990)
  28. DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – Homebase
  29. DJ Shadow – Endtroducing…
  30. DMX – It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot
  31. Dr. Dre – The Chronic (1992)
  32. Dr. Octogon – Dr. Octagonecologyst
  33. Eazy-E – Eazy-Duz-It
  34. Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP (2000)
  35. Eminem – The Slim Shady LP (1999)
  36. EPMD – Strictly Business
  37. Eric B. & Rakim – Paid in Full
  38. Fugees – The Score (1996)
  39. Genius/GZA – Liquid Swords
  40. Geto Boys – Grip It! On That Other Level
  41. Ghostface Killah – Ironman
  42. Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five – The Message
  43. Ice Cube – AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted (1990)
  44. Ice-T – The Iceberg/Freedom of Speech…Just Watch What You Say
  45. Jay-Z – Reasonable Doubt (1996)
  46. Jay-Z – The Blueprint (2001)
  47. Jay-Z & Kanye West – Watch the Throne (2011)
  48. Kanye West – Late Registration (2005)
  49. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010)
  50. Kanye West – The College Dropout (2004)
  51. Kanye West – Yeezus (2013)
  52. Kendrick Lamar – Good Kid, m.A.A.d. City (2012)
  53. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly
  54. Kid Cudi – Man on the Moon: End of the Day (2009)
  55. Killer Mike – A.P. Music (2012)
  56. Kurtis Blow – Kurtis Blow
  57. Lauryn Hill – The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998)
  58. Lil’ Kim – Hardcore (1996)
  59. Lil Wayne – Tha Carter III (2008)
  60. LL Cool J – Mama Said Knock You Out (1990)
  61. LL Cool J – Radio
  62. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – The Heist (2012)
  63. Main Source – Breaking Atoms (1991)
  64. Master PGhetto D (1997)
  65. MC Hammer – Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em
  66. Madvillain [MF Doom & Madlib] – Madvillainy
  67. Missy Elliott – Miss E…So Addictive
  68. W.A – Straight Outta Compton
  69. Nas – Illmatic (1994)
  70. Ol’ Dirty Bastard – Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version
  71. Outkast – Aquemini (1998)
  72. Outkast – Speakerboxx/The Love Below (2003)
  73. Outkast – Stankonia (2000)
  74. P.M. Dawn – Of the Heart, of the Soul and of the Cross
  75. Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth – Mecca and The Soul Brother (1992)
  76. Public Enemy – Fear of a Black Planet
  77. Public Enemy – It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
  78. Public Enemy – Yo! Bum Rush the Show
  79. Puff DaddyNo Way Out (1997)
  80. Queen Latifah – All Hail the Queen
  81. Rae Sremmurd – SremmLife 2
  82. Raekwon – Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… (1995)
  83. Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels
  84. Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels II
  85. Run-D.M.C. – King of Rock
  86. Run-D.M.C. – Raising Hell
  87. Run-D.M.C. – Run-D.M.C.
  88. Schoolly D – Saturday Night: The Album
  89. Slick Rick – The Great Adventures of Slick Rick
  90. Snoop Dogg – Doggystyle
  91. The Jungle Brothers – Straight Out the Jungle
  92. The Notorious B.I.G. – Ready to Die (1994)
  93. The Notorious B.I.G. – Life After Death (1997)
  94. The Pharcyde – Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde (1992)
  95. The Roots – Things Fall Apart
  96. TLC – crazysexycool
  97. Too $hort – Life Is…Too Short
  98. Ultramagnetic MC’s – Critical Beatdown
  99. Whodini – Escape
  100. Wu-Tang Clan – Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) (1993)

Now, my 10 favorites are Paid in Full (Eric B. & Rakim), Raising Hell (Run-DMC), Licensed to Ill (Beastie Boys), Straight Outta Compton (N.W.A), It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (Public Enemy), The Chronic (Dr. Dre), Speakerboxx/The Love Below (Outkast), The Marshall Mathers LP (Eminem) My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (Kanye West) and Run the Jewels II (Run the Jewels).

If you are not familiar with, or have developed an aversion to, rap music, just drop your prejudices and try listening to some of these! These artists are truly talented and are much like the early rock artists were at the beginning of rock music compared to the blues, hillbilly, jazz and big band musics from which rock was derived.

Author: ifmyalbumscouldtalk

I am just a long-time music fan who used to be a high school science teacher and a varsity coach of several high school athletic teams. Before that, I worked as a medical technologist at three hospitals in their labs, mainly as a microbiologist. I am retired/disabled (Failed Back Surgery Syndrome), and this is my attempt to remain a human. Additionally, I am a serious vinyl aficionado, with a CD addiction and a love of reading about rock history. Finally, I am a fan of Prince, Cheap Trick, Tom Petty, R.E.M., Hall & Oates, Springsteen, Paul Weller & his bands and Power Pop music.

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