Talk:List of hip hop albums considered to be influential

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Old comments[edit]

Suggestions for additional lists for this article:

  • A best-selling hip hop albums of all time list -- I couldn't find a source. Tuf-Kat

Most cited where? Google? Wikipedia? Please say so in the article. Kingturtle 06:25 May 5, 2003 (UTC)

I'm not sure how to reword this to make it more clear. They're cited by whatever best-of lists I could find on google.
The list has been derived from a more complete list at list of hip hop albums, inclusive, which collects the data from amateur and professional "best of" lists in order to create an aggregate list of the most influential albums in hip hop; this is the most frequently cited albums from that list
Or are you referring to the intro to the female list? (same method, except for disqualifying the males) Tuf-Kat


does this really need to be only influential albums? the ones seperated by artists arent all influential. this should be all hip hop albums --Jaysscholar 00:19, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

I disagree. A list of all hip hop albums would be pointlessly long. The lists of albums by name is also pointlessly long, and should be changed. Tuf-Kat 01:59, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
so how do u suggest it be organized? i think a section that clearly says influential in title should be made. it says hiphop, that implies all hiphop--Jaysscholar 08:27, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
The "influential" is implied because this is an encyclopedia, and encyclopedias don't cover unimportant topics. That's the same reason we have a List of Canadians that doesn't list all Canadians, for one example. Tuf-Kat 08:32, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
true, but not every album in the encyclopedia is influential. if its on the site it should be on the list--Jaysscholar 08:33, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
Well, I disagree that not albums with articles are influential. There are different degrees of influence, but any non-notable album should be deleted. We have a list of all hip hop albums with articles at category:Hip hop albums. Tuf-Kat 08:35, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
To what standard are you appealing, when you make the assertion that something is influential. Influential to what, precisely? Politically, socially, musically? Albums that influenced subsequent hip-hop artists? Albums of historical significance? Controversial albums (remember, something can be controversial without being influential...). Clarify your parameters. 21:46, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
maybe this list can be arranged by length of article....the more known, respected, notable albums have the best articles...See Illmatic and Ready to Die. Cosprings 04:14, 13 October 2007 (UTC)


Hey, I rewrote, resourced and annotated this article along the lines of the list of important operas. Say "word".

Caveats and explanatory notes[edit]

Coleman's book utilizes comment from the artists to him regarding the albums in question. Though the book grew out of the "Classic Material" column he has written for XXL since 2000, and was an expansion of his earlier book restricting itself to the 80s, Rakim Told Me, he may still have been limited in his selections by his access to artists. Also note that the late publication date may belie Coleman's perspective: the most recent album covered dates to 1996.

Shapiro's book attempts a comprehensive A to Z of hip hop by notable artist. For each artist, he recommends essential recordings: sometimes one single, usually (the great majority) one album, very occasionally two or three. His recommendations constitute his list of albums eligible for inclusion here.

Appearing on four lists or more of ten is the criteria for inclusion. A higher bar would have rid the list of recent albums by figures like Outkast, Jay-Z and Eminem, as well as Queen Latifah and a trio of 1990 albums by Five Percenters that are significant as part of a phase of Afrocentricity, pedagogy and/or social comment in mainstream rap along with Public Enemy, KRS/BDP, the Native Tongues groups and others (personally I would probably have preferred something by KMD to any of the three, but what can one do?). A lower bar would have included many fine albums, but also would have most probably stretched the meaning of important beyond usefulness.

The editors of the opera list sought to avoid arbitrariness by selecting nine lists and only including operas on a majority of lists, i.e. five. I could have done something similar (by using 7 lists, for instance, including those on 4) but the article would not be the better for it. Which album appears on what list (and what amount of lists) is clearly indicated, and the nature of those lists limned. Also, inclusion of international and cross-genre listings are useful and interesting. (If there are similarly major and reputable publications to the ones used here in, say, Germany or Japan, who have lists that can be fairly said to approach canonical, they might be worth looking at. I looked into using a list from further afield, France's Les Inrockuptibles, but it did not significantly treat of hip hop. I think it probable that English-language writing has led the way on this topic, and I regard the current article as decent in any case.) (talk) 23:41, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

No Tupac?[edit]

Wouldn't he have at least one album here? He's fairly highly regarded. Zazaban (talk) 03:40, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

Despite his stature his albums aren't highly regarded to the extent the albums in the article are, going by the lists consulted.
egotrip's Book of Rap Lists has Me Against the World (7th best hip hop record of 1995), The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory (10th of '96) and All Eyez on Me (14th of '96).
Shapiro goes for All Eyez on Me - "way too long and way too unpleasant ... this is nevertheless the most convincing argument for 2pac's legendary status."
Classic Material has Me Against the World, Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory and All Eyez on Me. The Source has Me Against the World.
That's the full extent of his presence on the lists. So Me Against the World and All Eyez on Me both figure on only three of the lists consulted, and Don Killuminati on only two. Apologies for the late response. (talk) 16:24, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

Also I've noticed not very notable albums being included on the list when Biggie Smalls is forgotten. He is often considered the Greatest Rapper of all-time so you would think both Ready to Die and Life After Death would be considered influential. Why use only some lists, how can opinion prove how something is influential? Clearly the wide majority of people would consider both Tupac and Biggie Smalls to be some of the greatest and most influential hip-hop artists of all-time. When many of the artists are small and unknown, despite their experimentation an album would have to be somewhat wide spread to cause a great influence on rap as a whole. Another Travesty of someone misconstruing what actual impact is, the fact Dear Momma has been added to the Library of Congress should cement "Me Against the Worlds" Place and "All Eyes on Me" Changed the nature and Hip Hop Scene in 1996.

GZA album Liquid Swords[edit]

It deserves to be there, right? It is considered to be the best Wu-Tang album, competing with Only Built 4 Cuban Linx. It has received 4 to 5 star reviews from many publications.

It seemed to be removed, along with 2Pac's Me Against the World, by the nameless If you are going to contribute, make a fudging profile! —Preceding unsigned comment added by OabAli (talkcontribs) 08:14, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

I would say it's probably considered the second-best Wu Tang solo album, after Cuban Linx (Shapiro singles both out, and calls LS "probably the only Wu album to win you over purely on skills"), but this is still not quite enough to put it over the line as far as being on four or more of the lists consulted. (talk) 16:24, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

Put liquid swords on the list. Its rivals Cuban Linx, and so they both deserve to be there. Or neither. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:18, 3 August 2010 (UTC) The Impact of the whole Wu Tang Clan and Its affiliates should be indisputable to a real HipHop fan.

Goodie Mob - Soul Food[edit]

On this album Goodie Mob - Coined the phrase 'Dirty South', Brought a new and unique style, Became one of the main arguments for the credibility of southern rap, and produced one of the best albums of all time. It only went gold but got a great critical response, Allmusic gave it 5 stars so I was stunned it wasn't in the list and I hope someone will put it in. I think '97 could do with an album, it wasn't a totally bad year. Master P's Ghetto D was pretty good so was Biggie's Life After Death and Wu-Tang Forever. There's gotta be more but I can't think off the top of my head. Oh and personally I didn't think Amerikkka was Cube's best album, would have gone with Death Certificate or The Predator they were both better in my opinion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:10, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

Goodie Mob's Soul Food is a remarkable record but features on only two of the works consulted (ego trip's Book ..., 6th of 1995) (Shapiro, "one of hip hop's most underrated gems"). It could be that its reputation is only becoming fully established in recent years. I agree with you about Ice Cube but I think there's a tendency for critics looking back to favour the album that made the initial impact as therefore "important" or "best". Sorry for the late response. (talk) 16:24, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

End of decade lists[edit]

End of decade lists are coming out, and could be a way to update this article, which pretty much stops at this decade's beginning.

Perhaps we should have a separate section dealing just with the 2000s.

Pitchfork and Uncut have published lists, and I believe lists are due from Q and Spin. One problem with these is that they are all, so far, rock publications, and are therefore arguably more an indication of what rock writers found relevant. Meanwhile hip hop is so successful that its best writers are signed up and consumed by rock or generalist publications. Still, if anyone knows of urban or rap only publications such as XXL or The Source wrapping up the decade like this, let me know here.

Rap albums in the Pitchfork Top 200 Albums of the 2000s:

  1. Jay-Z - The Blueprint [Roc-A-Fella; 2001] (5)
  2. Ghostface Killah - Supreme Clientele [Sony; 2000] (11)
  3. OutKast - Stankonia [La Face; 2000] (13)
  4. Kanye West - Late Registration [Roc-A-Fella; 2005] (18)
  5. Madvillain - Madvillainy [Stones Throw; 2004] (25)
  6. Kanye West - The College Dropout [Roc-A-Fella; 2004] (28)
  7. Clipse - Hell Hath No Fury [Jive; 2006] (52)
  8. Ghostface Killah - Fishscale [Def Jam; 2006] (75)
  9. Missy Elliott - Miss E: So Addictive [Elektra; 2001] (77)
  10. Kanye West - Graduation [Roc-A-Fella; 2007] (87)
  11. Jay-Z - The Black Album [Roc-A-Fella; 2003] (90)
  12. Cam'ron - Purple Haze [Roc-A-Fella; 2004] (114)
  13. Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP [Interscope; 2000] (119)
  14. Clipse - We Got It 4 Cheap, Vol. 2 [; 2005] (130)
  15. T.I. - King [Atlantic/Wea; 2006]
  16. Cannibal Ox - The Cold Vein [Definitive Jux; 2001] (152)
  17. Ghostface Killah - The Pretty Toney Album [Def Jam; 2004] (154)
  18. Clipse - Lord Willin' [Star Trak; 2002] (155)
  19. Wu-Tang Clan - The W [Sony; 2000] (162)
  20. Common - Like Water for Chocolate [MCA; 2000] (169)
  21. Lil Wayne - Tha Carter II [Cash Money; 2005] (178)
  22. Scarface - The Fix [Def Jam South; 2002] (185)

Rap albums in the Uncut 150 Greatest Albums of the 21st Century... So Far:

  1. Ghostface Killah: Fishcale (62)
  2. Jay-Z: The Blueprint (66)
  3. Kanye West: The College Dropout (77)
  4. Outkast: Stankonia (83)
  5. Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott: Miss E... So Addictive (103)
  6. Outkast: Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (139) (talk) 17:02, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

NME Top 100 Greatest Albums of the Decade:

  1. Blueprint (22)
  2. Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (44)
  3. Stankonia (57)
  4. Roots Manuva - Run Come Save Me (Big Dada, 2001) (85)

Times The 100 best pop albums of the Noughties:

  1. Speakerboxxx/The Love Below - Outkast (Arista, 2003) (4)
  2. The College Dropout - Kanye West (Mercury, 2004) (13)
  3. The Ecstatic - Mos Def (Downtown, 2009) (30)
  4. Run Come Save Me - Roots Manuva (Big Dada, 2001) (40)
  5. The Marshall Mathers LP - Eminem (Polydor, 2000) (44)
  6. Miss E ... So Addictive - Missy Elliott (Elektra, 2001) (58)
  7. The Blueprint - Jay-Z (Roc-A-Fella, 2001) (67) (talk) 22:59, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

A.V. Club The best music of the decade:

  1. Kanye West, The College Dropout (2)
  2. OutKast, Stankonia (4)
  3. Jay-Z, The Blueprint (9)
  4. Missy Elliott, Miss E… So Addictive (23)
  5. Madvillain, Madvillainy (25)
  6. Ghostface Killah, Supreme Clientele (28)
  7. Clipse, Lord Willin’ (34)
  8. Eminem, The Marshall Mathers LP (36)
  9. The Coup, Party Music (42)
  10. Devin The Dude, Waitin’ To Inhale (44) (talk) 05:17, 27 November 2009 (UTC)


  1. Jay-Z - The Blueprint (8)
  2. Missy Elliott - Under Construction (22)
  3. 50 Cent - Get Rich Or Die Tryin' (43)
  4. Jay -Z - The Black Album (47)
  5. Young Jeezy - Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101 (86)
  6. Jay-Z - American Gangster (100) (talk) 00:16, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

Observer Music Monthly Top 50 Albums of the Decade:

  1. Jay-Z - The Black Album (8)
  2. Kanye West - Late Registration (19)
  3. Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP (29)
  4. Jay-Z - The Blueprint (36)
  5. OutKast - Stankonia (45)
  6. Danger Mouse - The Grey Album (50) (talk) 00:24, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

I propose that we add albums that have appeared on at least three of those lists. It's odd that almost nothing in the last decade is included. Zazaban (talk) 02:48, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

The last decade in hip hop per Spin's "Top 125 Albums of the Past 25 Years":

  1. (12) OutKast, Stankonia (2000)
  2. (19) Jay-Z, The Blueprint (2001)
  3. (52) Kanye West, The College Dropout (2004)
  4. (65) Eminem, The Marshall Mathers LP (2000)
  5. (92) Jay-Z, The Black Album (2003)
  6. (100) Kanye West, Late Registration (2005)
  7. (113) Danger Mouse, The Grey Album (2004)
  8. (115) OutKast, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (2003)
  9. (120) Lil Wayne, Tha Carter III (2008)

the Stylus Decade:

81. Clipse Lord Willin' Star Trak/Arista, 2002

69. Outkast Speakerboxxx / The Love Below Arista, 2003

55. Missy Elliott Miss E...So Addictive Elektra, 2001

50. Kanye West Graduation Roc-A-Fella, 2007

35. Ghostface Killah The Pretty Toney Album Def Jam, 2004

27. Ghostface Killah Supreme Clientele Def Jam, 2000

21. Kanye West The College Dropout Roc-A-Fella, 2004

20. Madvillian Madvilliany Stones Throw, 2004

16. Eminem The Marshall Mathers LP Aftermath, 2000

15. Outkast Stankonia La Face/Arista, 2000

11. Ghostface Killah Fishscale Def Jam, 2006

7. Jay-Z The Blueprint Roc-A-Fella, 2002 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:39, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

I very strongly second this notion. The article is missing the last eleven years of the genre's history, or about a third of its total history, which is a glaring omission. The latest of the lists consulted is seven years old. Zazaban (talk) 21:14, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

Why this list is a bad idea[edit]

Trying to ascertain the most influential hip-hop albums by weighing a select group of lists is verging on synthesis and original research. The value and neutrality of this list is thus pretty dubious, and might possibly result in an Article for Deletion nomination unless it is drastically revamped. WesleyDodds (talk) 09:10, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

the neutrality is impeccable, unless you can discern some sort of cherry-picking of the lists used (i vouch that there is none. see above section on that). see also List of important operas, which you may want to tag on similar grounds. if not, why not? (talk) 17:42, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
also u may wanna think abt avoiding the passive voice, so you have more of a "i think this, i may do that" kind of thing going than a "these are writ on tablets of stone brought down from the mountain" vibe. (talk) 17:47, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

I just reverted to the last fully sourced version btw. (talk) 17:54, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

2Pac should be mentioned.[edit]

How there are no 2Pac albums on here is ridiculous considering he's often considered the most influential rapper of all time!

Me Against The World and All Eyez On Me are both considered classics by many! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:09, 18 October 2012 (UTC)

Overrated. Dan56 (talk) 02:37, 19 October 2012 (UTC)

"Midnight Marauders"[edit]

A Tribe Called Quest's "Midnight Marauders" (1993) has to be on the list. ???uest (talk contribs) 12:44, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

Needs a lot of work[edit]

Looking over this article, there are numerous problems. It seems to be rather biased, relies very heavily on a single source, has an unencyclopedic style of writing, and the article itself walks a thin line of neutrality. I suggest that some serious revamping needs to be done, if not starting from scratch. IsisAthenaArtemis Talk 07:21, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

Agreed. Problem is, Wikipedia relies too much on mainstream information. The mainstream media are notorious for not having a damn clue about urban cultures or Hip-Hop music, so reliability of the sources being based on how mainstream they are is an instant path to failure. This list misses nearly all of the most influential albums of Hip-Hop in favour of one's which were more successful in the charts. Missing out Kool Moe Dee, Whodini, Fat Boys, MC Shan, Busy Bee, Roxanne Shante, Grandmaster Flash, (real) Afrika Bambaataa (albums), Public Enemy ('s debut album), U.T.F.O., Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth, Heavy D, 2 Live Crew, Kool G Rap & DJ Polo, Das EFX, Black Moon and perhaps Masta Ace, as well as many notable singles, is pretty shameful. They all greatly impacted the Hip-Hop community and shaped the future music, especially those albums released during the Golden Era ('87-'93).
Here's a non-mainstream source which still does the job much better... - I know Wikipedia policy wouldn't consider it "reliable", but going from that page is at least a good example of what this page should look like. However you choose your sources, that page is decent, while this page is totally unsatisfactory. (talk) 16:11, 1 November 2014 (UTC)