9. Del tha Funky Homosapien - I Wish My Brother George Was Here
While his cousin Ice Cube was busy stirring up the gangsta rap scene, Del was laying the foundation for what would become a healthy alternative-hip-hop landscape.
8. Cypress Hill - Cypress Hill
The year is '91. B-Real is one of the most recognizable voices in west coast hip-hop and DJ Muggs is arguably the greatest producer on the planet. That was all you needed.
6. Freestyle Fellowship - To Whom It May Concern...
Amidst the thugged-out reign of N.W.A. and Cypress Hill, Freestyle Fellowship countered with lyrical virtuosity.
3. Main Source - Breaking Atoms
This sample-heavy LP may not be the best rap album of '91, but it's one of the most influential ever, in that it helped launch the careers of Nas, Akinyele, and others. Not to mention a production technique that's still being emulated today.
1. Ice Cube - Death Certificate
On this groundbreaking album, Cube pulled out his laundry list of socio-political issues, tackling everyone from LAPD to white supremacists. But Cube didn't reserve the scathing indictment for non-Blacks only; he also held L.A. gangs responsible for the proliferation of crack cocaine in black neighborhoods. An honest expression of black rage like no other.