90. Mystic - Cuts for Luck and Scars for Freedom
The multi-talented social ambassador never made it to album #2, but her lone outing was amazing from start to finish.
89. Del - 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.
88. Slum Village - Fantastic vol..2
Two of the three masterminds behind Fantastic Vol...2 are no longer alive, but this album left an indelible mark on hip-hop. SV's experimentation with neo-soul and quirky raps flung the door open for groups like Little Brother and Tanya Morgan.
87. Black Moon- Enta Da Stage
Unlike most hip-hop albums of its era, Enta Da Stage eschewed confrontational raps and opted for brooding, electrifying brand of hip-hop.
86. Wyclef Jean -The Carnival
This is where it all began. Wyclef's debut set the bar high for the rest of the Fugees' solo efforts. The Carnival was a masterful piece that combined Clef's smart songwriting with excellent beatsmithing. It was a critical and commercial smash.
85. Scarface- The Fix
The Fix was one of those albums that came out of nowhere and made you forget everything else going on in the southern rap. With robust beats by Mike Dean and a young Kanye West and Scarface in peak-form, The Fix was an instant hit. A southern rap classic.
84. Pharoahe Monch- Internal Affairs
Internal Affairs was Pharaoh Monche's Rocky Balboa moment. Most of the album was recorded in a closet without air conditioning, which imbues it with a raw feeling. The gritty production comes from now-vintage SP-12s and AKAI 2000s.
83. The Roots - Illadelph Halflife
The year is 1996 and hip-hop heads aren't so sure about live instrumentation. So The Roots flip the script and sample themselves. A brave artistic endeavor.
82. Busta Rhymes- When Disaster Strikes
Busta's second album is arguably his most consistent work to date. It definitely contains his most memorable singles "Dangerous" and "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See."
81. MC Lyte - Lyte as a Rock
Hip-hop in 1988 is a misogynistic place. MC Lyte's debut, Lyte as a Rock, helped usher in a wave of skilled and confident rappers who just happen to be women. Standouts include: "Paper Thin" and "I Cram to Understand U."