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10 Essential Hip-Hop Albums


10 of 10

#1. Nas - Illmatic
10 Essential Hip-Hop Albums

Album cover: © Columbia

Often heralded as the "hip-hop bible" by fans and critics alike, Illmatic is proof that you don't need a 22-song CD to create a masterpiece. Nas packed into 39 minutes more potent material than most rappers are able to produce in twice that amount of time. With A-list producers (DJ Premier, Large Professor, Pete Rock and Q-Tip) supplying the beats, then 19 year-old Nasir Jones dispensed endless chains of multi-syllabic rhymes throughout his debut LP, tossing vivid imageries and metaphors like confetti. Illmatic is the paragon of lyricism and stellar production. It's the greatest hip-hop album of all time and a must-own for every hip-hop head.

    Top Tracks
  • Halftime
  • It Ain't Hard To Tell
  • The World Is Yours
  • New York State of Mind
  • Memory Lane
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