Criminal Minded is the debut album by Boogie Down Productions, released on March 3, 1987 on B-Boy Records. Largley considered a highly influential Hip Hop album, it is also credited with providing a prototype for the East Coast gangsta rap which emerged in the following decades. The album’s samples and direct influences were unusual at the time, ranging from liberal use of dancehall reggae (as well as the more commonly used James Brown) to rock musical artists such as AC/DC, The Beatles and Billy Joel. The album was eventually certified Gold by the RIAA.
The songs “South Bronx” and “The Bridge Is Over” ignited the rivalry with the Queens-bred emcee MC Shan and the Juice Crew. These songs and others on the album spoke of the role the South Bronx area of New York City played in hip hop’s early history. Other songs told streetwise tales of the evils of drugs and prostitution. In 2003, the album was ranked number 444 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.