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list Mar 22 2020 Written by

Greatest Hip Hop Albums 1980 – 2019

best ever rap music

At HHGA we love lists. Most lists you can find on this site are composed factoring in things such as popularity & sales figures and historical & cultural impact, but only to an extent – most of our lists are based on personal preferences, and of course on our expert opinions;). Any list is that is not completely based on objectively measurable facts & figures, by definition is largely subjective. So because of this subjectivity, all the lists you can find on this site are debatable – and that is just what they are intended for. Nothing better than discussing subjects you’re passionate about – if nothing else it helps keep the music we all love alive.

This article serves as a reference for all those who want a quick overview of the best Hip Hop albums ever, and it is also a gateway deeper into the HHGA site. So check it out, and feel free to share YOUR opinion, here or on social media.

Also read: 100 Essential Hip Hop Albums

greatest hip hop albums of all time

Top 15 Hip Hop Albums 1980 - 1985

best hip hop albums

  1. LL Cool J – Radio (1985)
  2. Run DMC – Run DMC (1984)
  3. Mantronix – The Album (1985)
  4. Run DMC – King Of Rock (1985)
  5. Whodini – Escape (1984)
  6. Wild Style Soundtrack (1983)
  7. Treacherous Three – Treacherous Three (1983)
  8. Fat Boys – Fat Boys (1984)
  9. UTFO – UTFO (1985)
  10. Kurtis Blow – Kurtis Blow (1980)
  11. Fat Boys – The Fat Boys Are Back (1985)
  12. Whodini – Whodini (1983)
  13. West Coast Crew – In The Mix (1985)
  14. Kurtis Blow – Ego Trip (1984)
  15. The Sequence – Sugar Hill Presents The Sequence (1980)

Top 15 Hip Hop Albums 1986

  1. Run DMC – Raising Hell
  2. Beastie Boys – Licensed To Ill
  3. Stetsasonic – On Fire
  4. Schoolly D – Schoolly D
  5. Just Ice – Back To The Old School
  6. Salt N Pepa – Cool & Vicious
  7. Doug E Fresh – Oh My God
  8. Skinny Boys – Weightless
  9. Mantronix – Music Madness
  10. 2 Live Crew – 2 Live Is What We Are
  11. Afrika Bambaataa – Planet Rock The Album
  12. Steady B – Bring The Beat Back
  13. Kool Moe Dee – Kool Moe Dee
  14. Whodini – Back In Black
  15. Fat Boys – Big & Beautiful

Check here for 1986’s Top 40 Hip Hop Songs.

Top 20 Hip Hop Albums 1987

  1. Eric B & Rakim – Paid In Full
  2. Boogie Down Productions – Criminal Minded
  3. Public Enemy – Yo! Bum Rush The Show
  4. LL Cool J – Bigger And Deffer
  5. Ice T – Rhyme Pays
  6. Schoolly D – Saturday Night The Album
  7. Dana Dane – Dana Dane With The Fame
  8. DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – Rock The House
  9. Too Short – Born To Mack
  10. MC Shan – Down By Law
  11. Just Ice – Kool And Deadly
  12. Kool Moe Dee – How Ya Like Me Now
  13. T La Rock – Lyrical King
  14. Skinny Boys – Skinny & Proud
  15. N.W.A. & The Posse – N.W.A. & The Posse
  16. UTFO – Lethal
  17. Kaos – Court’s In Session
  18. Heavy D & The Boyz – Livin’ Large
  19. Steady B – What’s My Name?
  20. Fat Boys – Crushin’

Check here for the full list + videos & honorable mentions, and here for 1987’s Top 40 Hip Hop Songs.

Top 40 Hip Hop Albums 1988

  1. Public Enemy – It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
  2. Ultramagnetic MCs – Critical Beatdown
  3. Slick Rick – The Great Adventures Of…
  4. N.W.A – Straight Outta Compton
  5. Big Daddy Kane – Long Live The Kane
  6. Eric B & Rakim – Follow The Leader
  7. Boogie Down Productions – By All Means Necessary
  8. EPMD – Strictly Business
  9. Ice T – Power
  10. Jungle Brothers – Straight Out The Jungle
  11. MC Lyte – Lyte As A Rock
  12. Eazy E – Eazy Duz It
  13. Marley Marl – In The Control Vol 1
  14. Biz Markie – Goin’ Off
  15. Too Short – Life Is…
  16. Run DMC – Tougher Than Leather
  17. DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – He’s The DJ, I’m The Rapper
  18. Superlover Cee & Casanova Rud – Girls I Got Em Locked
  19. Stetsasonic – In Full Gear
  20. King Tee – Act A Fool
  21. MC Shan – Born To Be Wild
  22. Lakim Shabazz – Pure Righteousness
  23. DJ Cash Money & Marvelous – Where’s The Party At?
  24. The 7A3 – Coolin In Cali
  25. Rhyme Syndicate – Comin’ Through
  26. Tuff Crew – Danger Zone
  27. JVC Force – Doin’ Damage
  28. Def IV – Nice & Hard
  29. Schoolly D – Smoke Some Kill
  30. Audio Two – What More Can I Say?
  31. Kid N Play – 2 Hype
  32. Masters Of Ceremony – Dynamite
  33. Mantronix – In Full Effect
  34. Doug E Fresh – The World’s Greatest Entertainer
  35. Salt N Pepa – A Salt With A Deadly Pepa
  36. Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock – It Takes Two
  37. 2 Live Crew – Move Somethin’
  38. Skinny Boys – They Can’t Get Enough
  39. Steady B – Let The Hustlers Play
  40. Cold Crush Brothers – Troopers

Check here for the full list + videos & honorable mentions, and here for 1988’s Top 40 Hip Hop Songs.

Top 40 Hip Hop Albums 1989

  1. De La Soul – 3 Feet High & Rising
  2. Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique
  3. The D.O.C. – No One Can Do It Better
  4. Kool G Rap & DJ Polo – Road To The Riches
  5. EPMD – Unfinished Business
  6. Boogie Down Productions – Ghetto Music: The Blueprint Of Hip Hop
  7. Geto Boys – Grip It! On That Other Level
  8. Ice T – The Iceberg
  9. Big Daddy Kane – It’s A Big Daddy Thing
  10. Jungle Brothers – Done By The Forces Of Nature
  11. LL Cool J – Walking With A Panther
  12. 3rd Bass – The Cactus Album
  13. Gang Starr – No More Mr Nice Guy
  14. MC Lyte – Eyes On This
  15. Low Profile – We’re In This Together
  16. Nice & Smooth – Nice & Smooth
  17. Biz Markie – The Biz Never Sleeps
  18. Chill Rob G – Ride The Rhythm
  19. Young MC – Stone Cold Rhyming
  20. Grandmaster Melle Mel & The Furious Five – Piano
  21. Schoolly D – Am I Black Enough For You?
  22. Queen Latifah – All Hail The Queen
  23. Special Ed – Youngest In Charge
  24. Tuff Crew – Back To Wreck Shop
  25. Awesome Dre – You Can’t Hold Me Back
  26. Kwame The Boy Genius – Featuring A New Beginning
  27. Three Times Dope – Original Stylin’
  28. Just Ice – The Desolate One
  29. Donald D – Notorious
  30. Willie D – Controversy
  31. Stezo – Crazy Noise
  32. The Jaz – Word To The Jazz
  33. Tone Loc – Loc-ed After Dark
  34. Cool C – I Gotta Habit
  35. Def Jef – Just A Poet With A Soul
  36. Vicious Beat Posse – Legalized Dope
  37. Black Rock & Ron – Stop The World
  38. Kool Moe Dee – Knowledge Is King
  39. The New Style – Independent Leaders
  40. King Sun – XL

Check here for the full list + videos & honorable mentions, and here for 1989’s Top 40 Hip Hop Songs.

Top 30 Hip Hop Albums 1990

  1. Public Enemy – Fear of a Black Planet
  2. Ice Cube – AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted
  3. Paris – The Devil Made Me Do It
  4. A Tribe Called Quest – People’s Instinctive Travels And The Paths Of Rhythm
  5. LL Cool J – Mama Said Knock You Out
  6. Eric B & Rakim – Let The Rhythm Hit Em
  7. Lord Finesse – Funky Technician
  8. Brand Nubian – All For One
  9. Above The Law – Livin’ Like Hustlers
  10. Kool G Rap – Wanted Dead Or Alive
  11. Boogie Down Productions – Edutainment
  12. EPMD – Business As Usual
  13. Master Ace – Take A Look Around
  14. Poor Righteous Teachers – Holy Intellect
  15. Digital Underground – Sex Packets
  16. Too Short – Short Dog’s In The House
  17. Intelligent Hoodlum – Intelligent Hoodlum
  18. D-Nice – Call Me D-Nice
  19. K-Solo – Tell The World My Name
  20. X-Clan – To The East, Blackwards
  21. Compton’s Most Wanted – It’s A Compton Thang
  22. Grand Daddy I.U. – Smooth Assassin
  23. Big Daddy Kane – Taste of Chocolate
  24. The Jaz – To Your Soul
  25. Shazzy – Attitude: A Hip Hop Rapsody
  26. Special Ed – Legal
  27. King Tee – At Your Own Risk
  28. CPO – To Hell And Black
  29. King Sun – Righteous But Ruthless
  30. Boo Yaa Tribe – New Funky Nation

Check here for the full list + videos & honorable mentions, and here for 1990’s Top 40 Hip Hop Songs.

Top 40 Hip Hop Albums 1991

1992 hip hop

  1. A Tribe Called Quest – The Low End Theory
  2. De La Soul – De La Soul Is Dead
  3. Ice T – Original Gangster
  4. Gang Starr – Step In The Arena
  5. Ice Cube – Death Certificate
  6. Cypress Hill – Cypress Hill
  7. Main Source – Breaking Atoms
  8. Black Sheep – A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing
  9. Public Enemy – Apocalypse 91… The Enemy Strikes Black
  10. Naughty By Nature – Naughty By Nature
  11. Organized Konfusion – Organized Konfusion
  12. Scarface – Mr Scarface Is Back
  13. Geto Boys – We Can’t Be Stopped
  14. DJ Quik – Quik Is The Name
  15. Del The Funky Homosapien – I Wish My Brother George Was Here
  16. NWA – Efil4zaggin
  17. Leaders Of The New School – A Future Without A Past
  18. 2Pac – 2Pacalypse Now
  19. Ed OG & Da Bulldoggs – Life Of A Kid In The Ghetto
  20. Freestyle Fellowship – To Whom It May Concern
  21. Compton’s Most Wanted – Straight Checkn’ Em
  22. Chubb Rock – The One
  23. Godfather Don – Hazardous
  24. WC And The MAAD Circle – Ain’t A Damn Thing Changed
  25. KMD – Mr Hood
  26. UMC’s – Fruits Of Nature
  27. 3rd Bass – Derelicts Of Dialect
  28. Digital Underground – Sons Of The P
  29. J- Rock – Streetwize
  30. Nice & Smooth – Ain’t A Damn Thing Changed
  31. MC Lyte – Act Like You Know
  32. Tim Dog – Penicillin On Wax
  33. Slick Rick – The Ruler’s Back
  34. Poor Righteous Teachers – Pure Poverty
  35. OG Style – I Know How To Play Em
  36. Downtown Science – Downtown Science
  37. Schoolly D – How A Black Man Feels
  38. Terminator X – Terminator X & The Valley Of Jeep Beets
  39. Stetsasonic – Blood, Sweat & No Tears
  40. D-Nice – To Tha Rescue

Check here for the full list + videos & honorable mentions, and here for 1991’s Top 40 Hip Hop Songs.

Top 40 Hip Hop Albums 1992

  1. Pete Rock & CL Smooth – Mecca & The Soul Brother
  2. Dr Dre – The Chronic
  3. The Pharcyde – Bizarre Ride II…
  4. Showbiz $ AG – Runaway Slave
  5. Diamond D & The Psychotic Neurotics – Stunts, Blunts & Hip Hop
  6. Compton’s Most Wanted – Music To Driveby
  7. Gang Starr – Daily Operation
  8. Redman – Whut? Thee Album
  9. Eric B & Rakim – Don’t Sweat The Technique
  10. Arrested Development – 3 Years. 5 Months And 2 Days In The Life Of…
  11. Hard Knocks – School Of Hard Knocks
  12. Boogie Down Productions – Sex And Violence
  13. Ice Cube – The Predator
  14. Beastie Boys – Check Your Head
  15. Kool G Rap & DJ Polo – Live And Let Die
  16. Paris – Sleeping With The Enemy
  17. Lord Finesse – Return Of The Funky Man
  18. EPMD – Business, Never Personal
  19. Das EFX- Dead Serious
  20. Positive K – The Skills Dat Pay Da Bills
  21. Ultramagnetic MCs – Funk Your Head Up
  22. Too Short – Shorty The Pimp
  23. Common – Can I Borrow A Dollar?
  24. The Goats – Tricks Of The Shade
  25. UGK – Too Hard To Swallow
  26. Spice 1 – Spice 1
  27. X-Clan – Xodus
  28. Da Lench Mob – Guerillas In The Mist
  29. Grand Puba – Reel To Reel
  30. DJ Quik – Way 2 Fonkay
  31. House Of Pain – House Of Pain
  32. Grandmaster Caz – The Grandest Of Them All
  33. Willie D – I’m Going Out Lika Soldier
  34. Fu-Schnickens – F.U. Don’t Take it Personal
  35. K-Solo – Time’s Up
  36. Rough House Survivors – Straight From The Soul
  37. The Future Sound – The Whole Shabang, Vol. 1
  38. MC Serch – Return Of The Product
  39. Roxanne Shante – The B**** Is Back
  40. The Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy – Hypocrisy Is The Greatest Luxury

Check here for the full list + videos & honorable mentions, and here for 1992’s Top 40 Hip Hop Songs.

Top 40 Hip Hop Albums 1993

  1. Wu-Tang Clan – Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)
  2. A Tribe Called Quest – Midnight Marauders
  3. Snoop Doggy Dogg – Doggy Style
  4. De La Soul – Buhloone Mind State
  5. KRS One – Return Of The Boom Bap
  6. Black Moon – Enta Da Stage
  7. Freestyle Fellowship – Innercity Griots
  8. Souls Of Mischief – 93 Til Infinity
  9. Ultramagnetic MCs – The Four Horsemen
  10. Digable Planets – Reachin’
  11. 2Pac – Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.
  12. Lords Of The Underground – Here Come The Lords
  13. Queen Latifah – Black Reign
  14. Fat Joe – Represent
  15. Del – No Need For Alarm
  16. Ice Cube – Lethal Injection
  17. The Roots – Organix
  18. Masta Ace Inc. – Slaughtahouse
  19. Too Short – Get In Where You Fit In
  20. Geto Boys – Till Death Do Us Part
  21. Ice T – Home Invasion
  22. Mac Mall – Illegal Business?
  23. Scarface – The World Is Yours
  24. The Coup – Kill My Landlord
  25. Leaders Of The New School – T.I.M.E.
  26. Tha Alkoholiks – 21 & Over
  27. King Tee- Tha Triflin Album
  28. Intelligent Hoodlum – Tragedy: Saga Of A Hoodlum
  29. Cypress Hill – Black Sunday
  30. Naughty By Nature – 19 Naughty III
  31. Onyx – Bacdafucup
  32. Eightball & MJG – Comin’ Out Hard
  33. MC Ren – Shock Of The Hour
  34. K-Rino – Stories From The Black Book
  35. Big Daddy Kane – Looks Like A Job For…
  36. E-40 – Federal
  37. MC Lyte – Ain’t No Other
  38. LL Cool J – 14 Shots To The Dome
  39. Poor Righteous Teachers – Black Business
  40. Above The Law – Black Mafia Life

Check here for the full list + videos & honorable mentions, and here for 1993’s Top 40 Hip Hop Songs.

Top 40 Hip Hop Albums 1994

best hip hop 1994

  1. Nas – Illmatic
  2. The Notorious B.I.G. – Ready To Die
  3. Pete Rock & CL Smooth – The Main Ingredient
  4. OutKast – Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik
  5. O.C. – Word… Life
  6. Jeru The Damaja – The Sun Rises In The East
  7. Common – Resurrection
  8. Gang Starr – Hard To Earn
  9. Scarface – The Diary
  10. Organized Konfusion – Stress: The Extinction Agenda
  11. Gravediggaz – 6 Feet Deep
  12. Dred Scott – Breakin’ Combs
  13. Digable Planets – Blowout Comb
  14. UGK – Super Tight
  15. The Beatnuts – Street Level
  16. Method Man – Tical
  17. The Coup – Genocide & Juice
  18. Warren G – Regulate… G Funk Era
  19. Redman – Dare Iz A Darkside
  20. Beastie Boys – Ill Communication
  21. KMD – Black Bastards
  22. Thug Life – Vol. 1
  23. Boogie Monsters – Riders Of The Storm: The Underwater Album
  24. Public Enemy – Muse Sick-N-Hour Mess Age
  25. Coolio – It Takes A Thief
  26. Artifacts – Between A Rock And A Hard Place
  27. Keith Murray – The Most Beautifullest Thing In The World
  28. Down South – Lost In Brooklyn
  29. Kokane – Funk Upon A Rhyme
  30. Above The Law – Uncle Sam’s Curse
  31. Fugees – Blunted On Reality
  32. M.O.P. – To The Death
  33. Big Mike – Somethin’ Serious
  34. Slick Rick – Behind Bars
  35. Black Sheep – Non-Fiction
  36. Da Brat – Funkdafied
  37. Eightball & MJG – On The Outside Looking In
  38. Casual – Fear Itself
  39. Esham – Closed Casket
  40. Odd Squad – Fadanuf Fa Erybody

Check here for the full list + videos & honorable mentions, and here for 1994’s Top 40 Hip Hop Songs.

Top 40 Hip Hop Albums 1995

  1. Raekwon – Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…
  2. GZA – Liquid Swords
  3. The Pharcyde – Lacabincalifornia
  4. Mobb Deep – The Infamous
  5. 2Pac – Me Against The World
  6. Goodie Mob – Soul Food
  7. Big L – Lifestyles Ov Da Poor & Dangerous
  8. Ol’ Dirty Bastard – Return To The 36 Chambers
  9. Bone Thugs N Harmony – E. 1999 Eternal
  10. Smif N Wessun – Dah Shinin
  11. KRS One – KRS One
  12. DJ Quik – Safe + Sound
  13. Aceyalone – All Balls Don’t Bounce
  14. AZ – Doe Or Die
  15. Tha Dogg Pound – Dogg Food
  16. The Roots – Do You Want More?!!!??!
  17. Show & AG – Goodfellas
  18. E-40 – In A Major Way
  19. Eightball & MJG – On Top Of The World
  20. WC & The MAAD Circle – Curb Servin
  21. Kool G Rap – 4,5,6
  22. LL Cool J – Mr Smith
  23. Cypress Hill – III
  24. Tha Alkoholiks – Coast II Coast
  25. Masta Ace – Sittin’ On Chrome
  26. King Tee – IV Life
  27. K-Rino – Danger Zone
  28. Group Home – Livin’ Proof
  29. Mic Geronimo – The Natural
  30. Count Bass-D – Pre-Life Crisis
  31. Too short – Cocktails
  32. Fat Joe – Jealous One’s Envy
  33. Miilkbone – Da Miilkcrate
  34. Erick Sermon – Double Or Nothing
  35. The Nonce – World Ultimate
  36. Onyx – All We Got Iz Us
  37. The Grouch – Don’t Talk To Me
  38. Nine – Nine Livez
  39. Channel Live – Station Identification
  40. Souls Of Mischief – No Man’s Land

Check here for the full list + videos & honorable mentions, and here for 1995’s Top 40 Hip Hop Songs.

Top 40 Hip Hop Albums 1996

  1. De La Soul – Stakes is Higher
  2. OutKast – ATLiens
  3. The Roots – Illadelph Halflife
  4. Nas- It Was Written
  5. The Fugees – The Score
  6. Makaveli – The Don Killuminati The Seven Day Theory
  7. Jay Z – Reasonable Doubt
  8. Dr Octagon – Dr Octagonecologyst
  9. 2Pac – All Eyez On Me
  10. Ghostface Killah – Ironman
  11. Ras Kass – Soul On Ice
  12. Redman – Muddy Waters
  13. UGK – Ridin’ Dirty
  14. DJ Shadow – Entroducing
  15. Jeru The Damaja – Wrath Of The Math
  16. A Tribe Called Quest – Beats, Rhymes & Life
  17. Mobb Deep – Hell On Earth
  18. Heltah Skeltah – Nocturnal
  19. Busta Rhymes – The Coming
  20. Keith Murray – Enigma
  21. Poor Righteous Teachers – The New World Order
  22. Real Live – The Turnaround: A Long Awaited Drama
  23. Chino XL – Here To Save You All
  24. Sadat X – Wild Cowboys
  25. M.O.P. – Firing Squad
  26. Lost Boyz – Legal Drug Money
  27. Xzibit – At The Speed Of Life
  28. Lord Finesse – The Awaking
  29. Bahamadia – Kollage
  30. OGC – Da Storm
  31. E-40 – Tha Hall Of Fame
  32. Geto Boys – The Ressurection
  33. Westside Connection – Bow Down
  34. Ultra – Big Time
  35. Delinquent Habits – Delinquent Habits
  36. Chuck D – Autobiography Of Mistachuck
  37. Eminem – Infinite
  38. Mad Skillz – From Where???
  39. Lil Kim – Hardcore
  40. Too Short – Gettin’ It

Check here for the full list + videos & honorable mentions, and here for 1996’s Top 40 Hip Hop Songs.

Top 40 Hip Hop Albums 1997

best hip hop 1997

  1. Wu-Tang Clan – Wu-Tang Forever
  2. Common – One Day It’ll All Make Sense
  3. Camp Lo – Uptown Saturday Night
  4. Mood – Doom
  5. The Notorious B.I.G. – Life After Death
  6. O.C. – Jewelz
  7. Company Flow – Funcrusher Plus
  8. Cru – Da Dirty 30
  9. Scarface – The Untouchable
  10. Kool Keith – Sex Style
  11. Capone-N-Noreaga – The War Report
  12. Jedi Mind Tricks – The Psycho-Social […]
  13. Jay Z – In My Lifetime Vol. 1
  14. Frankie Cutlass – Politics & Bullsh**
  15. Slum Village – Fan-Tas-Tic Vol. 1
  16. Busta Rymes – When Disaster Strikes
  17. Organized Konfusion
  18. Missy Elliott – Supa Dupa Fly
  19. Rakim – The 18th Letter
  20. KRS One – I Got Next
  21. Suga Free – Street Gospel
  22. The Beatnuts – Stone Crazy
  23. Atmosphere – Overcast!
  24. Del The Funky Homosapien – Future Development
  25. Boogie Monsters – God Sound
  26. Jungle Brothers – Raw Deluxe
  27. EPMD – Back In Business
  28. Tha Alkaholiks – Likwidation
  29. Diamond – Hatred, Passions & Infidelity
  30. Latryx – The Album
  31. Murs – F’real
  32. Artifacts – That’s Them
  33. Aesop Rock – Music For Earthworms
  34. MJG – No More Glory
  35. No I.D. – Accept Your Own & Be Yourself (The Black Album)
  36. Royal Flush – Ghetto Millionaire
  37. Rampage – Scout’s Honor… By Way Of Blood
  38. Killarmy – Silent Weapons For Quiet Wars
  39. The Firm – The Album
  40. LL Cool J – Phenomenon

Check here for the full list + videos & honorable mentions.

Top 40 Hip Hop Albums 1998

  1. Black Star – Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star
  2. OutKast – Aquemini
  3. Gang Starr – Moment Of Truth
  4. Big Pun – Capital Punishment
  5. All Natural – No Additives, No Preservatives
  6. Styles Of Beyond – 2000 Fold
  7. Aceyalone – A Book Of Human Language
  8. People Under The Stairs – The Next Step
  9. DMX – It’s Dark And Hell Is Hot
  10. Beastie Boys – Hello Nasty
  11. Hieroglyphics – 3rd Eye Vision
  12. Jurassic 5 – Jurassic 5
  13. Goodie Mob – Still Standing
  14. Xzibit – 40 Dayz & 40 Nightz
  15. The Coup – Steal This Album
  16. The Dynospectrum – The Dynospectrum
  17. Pete Rock – Soul Survivor
  18. Killah Priest – Heavy Mental
  19. Jay Z- Vol 2… Hard Knock Life
  20. Rasco – Time Waits For No Man
  21. A Tribe Called Quest – The Love Movement
  22. Kool G Rap – Roots Of Evil
  23. Sunz Of Man – The Last Shall Be First
  24. RZA – Bobby Digital
  25. AZ – Pieces If A Man
  26. M.O.P. – First Family 4 Life
  27. DJ Quik – Rhythm-al-ism
  28. Fat Joe – Don Cartagena
  29. Devin The Dude – The Dude
  30. Black Eyed Peas – Behind The Front
  31. Canibus – Can-I-Bus
  32. Ice Cube – War & Peace, Vol 1 (The War Disc)
  33. DMX – Flesh Of My Flesh, Blood Of My Blood
  34. Cappadonna – The Pillage
  35. Busta Rhymes – E.L.E. (Extinction Level Event): The Final World Front
  36. Eightball – Lost
  37. Juvenile – 400 Degreez
  38. Big Daddy Kane – Veteranz Day
  39. Redman – Doc’s Da Name 2000
  40. Method Man – Tical 2000: Judgement Day

Check here for the full list + videos & honorable mentions.

Top 40 Hip Hop Albums 1999

  1. Mos Def – Black On Both Sides
  2. The Roots – Things Fall Apart
  3. MF DOOM – Operation Doomsday
  4. Eminem – The Slim Shady LP
  5. Dr Dre – 2001
  6. Blackalicious – Nia
  7. Prince Paul – A Prince Among Thieves
  8. Pharoahe Monch – Internal Affairs
  9. Dr. Dooom – First Come, First Served
  10. Various Artists – Rawkus Presents: Soundbombing II
  11. Lootpack – Soundpieces: Da Antidote
  12. Jeru The Damaja – Heroz4Hire
  13. Arsonists – As The World Burns
  14. Handsome B-boy Modelling School – So How’s Your Girl
  15. Q-Tip – Amplified
  16. Slick Rick – The Art Of Storytelling
  17. Ice T – 7th Deadly Sin
  18. The High & The Mighty – Home Field Advantage
  19. Peanut Butter Wolf – My Vinyl Weighs A Ton
  20. Public Enemy – There’s A Poison Goin’ On
  21. Method Man & Redman – Blackout!
  22. Rakim – The Master
  23. Mobb Deep – Murda Muzik
  24. Jay Z – Vol 3… Life & Times Of S. Carter
  25. Kool Keith – Black Elvis / Lost In Space
  26. Inspectah Deck – Uncontrolled Substance
  27. Nas – I Am…
  28. GZA – Beneath The Surface
  29. Eightball & M.J.G. – In Our Lifetime
  30. Tech N9ne – The Calm Before The Storm
  31. Kurupt – Tha Streetz Iz A Mutha
  32. EPMD – Out Of Business
  33. The Beatnuts – A Musical Massacre
  34. Atmosphere – Headshotz Se7en
  35. K-Rino – No Mercy
  36. Swollen Members – Balance
  37. Scaramanga – Seven Eyes, Seven Horns
  38. Black Moon – War Zone
  39. Hot Boys – Guerilla Warfare
  40. Polyrhythm Addicts – Rhyme Related

Check here for the full list + videos & honorable mentions.

Top 40 Hip Hop Albums 2000

  1. Common – Like Water For Chocolate
  2. Deltron 3030 – Deltron 3030
  3. Reflection Eternal – Train Of Thought
  4. OutKast – Stankonia
  5. Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP
  6. Ghostface Killah – Supreme Clientele
  7. dead prez – Let’s Get Free
  8. Slum Village – Fantastic, Vol. 2
  9. Binary Star – Masters Of The Universe
  10. Zion I – Mind Over Matter
  11. Jedi Mind Tricks – Violent By Design
  12. Quasimoto – The Unseen
  13. Del The Funky Homosapien – Both Sides Of The Brain
  14. Jurassic 5 – Quality Control
  15. Bumpy Knuckles – Industry Shakedown
  16. Wu-Tang Clan – The W
  17. Aesop Rock – Float
  18. Big L – The Big Picture
  19. Dilated Peoples – The Platform
  20. People Under The Stairs – Question In The Form Of An Answer
  21. Foreign Legion – Kidnapper Van: Beats To Rock While Bike-Stealin’
  22. Tony Touch – The Piece Maker
  23. De La Soul – Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump
  24. Beanie Sigel – The Truth
  25. Rah Digga – Dirty Harriet
  26. M.O.P. – Warriorz
  27. Scarface – The Last Of A Dying Breed
  28. D.I.T.C. – D.I.T.C.
  29. Antipop Consortium – Tragic Epilogue
  30. Various Artists – Lyricist Lounge 2
  31. Big Pun – Yeeeah Baby
  32. DJ Quik – Balance & Options
  33. Jay-Z – The Dynasty
  34. Murs – Murs Rules The World
  35. The Pharcyde – Plain Rap
  36. Analog Brothers – Pimp To Eat
  37. Ice Cube – War & Peace Vol. 2 (The Peace Disc)
  38. Bone Thugs N Harmony – BTNHResurrection
  39. Prodigy – H.N.I.C.
  40. Snoop Dogg – Tha Last Meal

Check here for the full list + videos & honorable mentions.

Top 40 Hip Hop Albums 2001

2001 hip hop albums

  1. Jay-Z – The Blueprint
  2. J-Live – The Best Part
  3. Cannibal Ox – The Cold Vein
  4. Masta Ace – Disposable Arts
  5. Nas – Stillmatic
  6. Immortal Technique – Revolutionary Vol. 1
  7. Ugly Duckling – Journey To Anywhere
  8. CunninLynguists – Will Rap For Food
  9. Asheru & Blue Black – Soon Come
  10. Aesop Rock – Labor Days
  11. Atmosphere – Lucy Ford: The Atmosphere EP’s
  12. 7L & Esoteric – The Soul Purpose
  13. J. Rawls – The Essence Of J. Rawls
  14. Jay Dee aka J Dilla – Welcome 2 Detroit
  15. Substantial – To This Union A Sun Was Born
  16. Cormega – The Realness
  17. Abstract Rude + Tribe Unique – P.A.I.N.T.
  18. Pep Love – Ascension
  19. Lone Catalysts – Hip Hop
  20. Eyedea & Abilities – First Born
  21. Sticky Fingaz – [Blacktrash] The Autobiography of Kirk Jones
  22. Beanie Sigel – The Reason
  23. De La Soul – AOI: Bionix
  24. KRS-One – The Sneak Attack
  25. Dilated Peoples – Expansion Team
  26. Ghostface Killah – Bulletproof Wallets
  27. Typical Cats – Typical Cats
  28. Sm*t Peddlers – Porn Again
  29. Hi-Tek – Hi-Teknology
  30. The Beatnuts – Take It Or Squeeze It
  31. Aceyalone – Accepted Eclectic
  32. Wu-Tang Clan – Iron Flag
  33. Dungeon Family – Even in Darkness
  34. Kankick – From Artz Unknown
  35. RZA – Digital Bullet
  36. Tech N9ne – Anghellic
  37. Declaime – Andsoitisaid
  38. Tragedy Khadafi – Against All Odds
  39. Chino XL – I Told You So
  40. Living Legends – Almost Famous

Check here for the full list, including honorable mentions

Top 40 Hip Hop Albums 2002

best hip hop albums 2002

  1. J-Live – All Of The Above
  2. Mr. Lif – I Phantom
  3. Nas – The Lost Tapes
  4. Eminem – The Eminem Show
  5. Scarface – The Fix
  6. Jurassic 5 – Power In Numbers
  7. Blackalicious – Blazing Arrow
  8. Nas – God’s Son
  9. Talib Kweli – Quality
  10. Cormega – The True Meaning
  11. Atmosphere – God Loves Ugly
  12. The Roots – Phrenology
  13. Large Professor – 1st Class
  14. Edan – Primitive Plus
  15. Canibus – Mic Club: The Curriculum
  16. People Under The Stairs – O.S.T.
  17. El-P – Fantastic Damage
  18. Insight – Updated Software V. 2,5
  19. Non Phixion – The Future Is Now
  20. MF Grimm – The Downfall Of Ibliys: A Ghetto Opera
  21. 7L & Esoteric – Dangerous Connection
  22. Juggaknots – Re:Release
  23. X-Ecutioners ‎- Built From Scratch
  24. Sage Francis – Personal Journals
  25. Alias – The Other Side Of The Looking Glass
  26. Clipse – Lord Willin’
  27. Busdriver – Temporary Forever
  28. Archetype – Freehand Formula
  29. Journalist – Scribes Of Life
  30. Nappy Roots – Watermelon, Chicken & Gritz
  31. Cage – Movies For The Blind
  32. Boot Camp Clik – The Chosen Few
  33. Supastition – 7 Years Of Bad Luck
  34. One Be Lo – Project: F.E.T.U.S.
  35. Pacewon – Won
  36. AZ – Aziatic
  37. Slum Village – Trinity (Past, Present & Future)
  38. Busta Rhymes – It Ain’t Safe No More…
  39. Jay-Z – The Blueprint²: The Gift & The Curse
  40. 3582 – The Living Soul

Top 40 Hip Hop Albums 2003

2003 top 40 hip hop albums

  1. Brother Ali – Shadows On The Sun
  2. Little Brother – The Listening
  3. Viktor Vaughn – Vaudeville Villain
  4. Canibus – Rip The Jacker
  5. Jay Z – The Black Album
  6. Immortal Technique – Revolutionary Vol. 2
  7. Non Prophets – Hope
  8. 50 Cent – Get Rich Or Die Tryin’
  9. CunninLynguists – Southernunderground
  10. Louis Logic – Sin-A-Matic
  11. King Geedorah – Take Me To Your Leader
  12. OutKast – Speakerboxxx / The Love Below
  13. Jaylib – Champion Sound
  14. Lightheaded – Pure Thoughts
  15. KRS-One – Kristyles
  16. Gang Starr – The Ownerz
  17. Danger Mouse & Jemini – Ghetto Pop Life
  18. Nappy Roots – Wooden Leather
  19. Soul Position – 8 Million Stories
  20. Jedi Mind Tricks – Visions Of Gandhi
  21. Vakill – The Darkest Cloud
  22. Insight – The Maysun Project
  23. Soul Supreme – The Saturday Nite Agenda
  24. Atmosphere – Seven’s Travels
  25. Cyne – Time Being
  26. Murs – The End Of The Beginning
  27. Ugly Duckling – Taste The Secret
  28. Aesop Rock – Bazooka Tooth
  29. Zion I – Deep Water Slang V2.0
  30. Jeru The Damaja – Divine Design
  31. Paris – Sonic Jihad
  32. Hieroglyphics – Full Circle
  33. Freeway – Philadelphia Freeway
  34. Akrobatik – Balance
  35. Diverse – One A.M.
  36. Pase Rock – Bullshit As Usual
  37. Andre Nickatina – Conversation With A Devil
  38. Ludacris – Chicken-n-Beer
  39. Shabazz The Disciple – The Book Of Shabazz
  40. Sole – Selling Live Water

Check here for the 18 most under-appreciated Hip Hop albums of 2003.

Top 40 Hip Hop Albums 2004

best rap music 2004

  1. Madvillain – Madvillainy
  2. Masta Ace – A Long Hot Summer
  3. De La Soul – The Grind Date
  4. Kanye West – The College Dropout
  5. Eyedea & Abilities – E&A
  6. Edo. G feat. Pete Rock – My Own Worst Enemy
  7. Haiku D’Etat – Coup De Theatre
  8. Murs & 9th Wonder – Murs 3:16: The 9th Edition
  9. Foreign Exchange – Connected
  10. Time Machine – Slow Your Roll
  11. Shock G – Fear Of A Mixed Planet
  12. Masta Killa – No Said Date
  13. MF DOOM – Mm.. Food
  14. R.A. the Rugged Man – Die, Rugged Man, Die
  15. Braille – Shades Of Grey
  16. Blue Scholars – Blue Scholars
  17. Insight – The Blast Radius
  18. Typical Cats – Civil Service
  19. Ghostface Killah – The Pretty Tony Album
  20. Talib Kweli – The Beautiful Struggle
  21. Brother Ali – Champion EP
  22. Oh No – The Disrupt
  23. Royce Da 5’9″ – Death Is Certain
  24. Nas – Street’s Disciple
  25. The U.N. – UN Or U Out
  26. Illogic – Celestial Clockwork
  27. Ill Bill – What’s Wrong With Bill?
  28. The Roots – The Tipping Point
  29. Leak Bros. – Waterworld
  30. Beastie Boys – To The 5 Boroughs
  31. Micranots – The Emperor & The Assassin
  32. Billy Woods – The Chalice
  33. Non Phixion – The Green CD
  34. P.O.S – Ipecac Neat
  35. Jean Grae – This Week
  36. Slum Village – Detroit Deli (A Taste of Detroit)
  37. Jedi Mind Tricks – Legacy of Blood
  38. Declaime – Conversations With Dudley
  39. Porn Theatre Ushers – Taxachusetts
  40. 7L & Esoteric – DC2: Bars of Death

Check here for the 18 most under-appreciated Hip Hop albums of 2004.

Top 40 Hip Hop Albums 2005

top rap albums 2005

  1. Common – BE
  2. Little Brother – The Minstrel Show
  3. Ohmega Watts – The Find
  4. Kanye West – Late Registration
  5. Atmosphere – You Can’t Imagine How Much Fun We’re Having
  6. Zion I – True & Livin’
  7. Beanie Sigel – The B. Coming
  8. Danger Doom – The Mouse And The Mask
  9. The Game – The Documentary
  10. Jazz Addixx – Oxygen
  11. One Be Lo – S.O.N.O.G.R.A.M.
  12. Sean Price – Monkey Barz
  13. Bun B – Trill
  14. Quasimoto – The Further Adventures of Lord Quas
  15. Blueprint – 1988
  16. Pumpkinhead – Orange Moon Over Brooklyn
  17. Edan – Beauty & The Beat
  18. Felt – Felt 2: A Tribute to Lisa Bonet
  19. Cage – Hell’s Winter
  20. Lone Catalysts – Good Music
  21. Geto Boys – The Foundation
  22. O.C. – Starchild
  23. Reef The Lost Cauze – Feast Or Famine
  24. Cormega – The Testament
  25. J-Live – The Hear After
  26. Sage Francis – A Healthy Distrust
  27. The Circle Of Tyrants – The Circle Of Tyrants
  28. Slum Village – Slum Village
  29. Black Market Militia – Black Market Militia
  30. Tragedy Khadafi – Thug Matrix
  31. 9th Wonder & Buckshot – Chemistry
  32. Supastition – Chain Letters
  33. Rapper Big Pooh – Sleepers
  34. DJ Muggs vs. GZA – Grandmasters
  35. I Self Devine – Self Destruction
  36. The Perceptionists – Black Dialogue
  37. Chief Kamachi & The Juju Mob – Black Candles
  38. Living Legends – Classic
  39. Lyrics Born – Same Shit, Different Day
  40. Proof – Searching For Jerry Garcia

Check here for the 18 most under-appreciated Hip Hop albums of 2005.

Top 40 Hip Hop Albums 2006

top 2006 hip hop albums

  1. The Roots – Game Theory
  2. Jedi Mind Tricks – Servants in Heaven, Kings in Hell
  3. Lupe Fiasco – Food & Liquor
  4. J Dilla – Donuts
  5. CunninLynguists – A Piece Of Strange
  6. Ghostface Killah – Fishscale
  7. People Under The Stairs – Stepfather
  8. Nas – Hip Hop Is Dead
  9. Clipse – Hell Hath No Fury
  10. MF Grimm – American Hunger
  11. Apathy – Eastern Philosophy
  12. Project Polaroid – Project Polaroid
  13. Murs & 9th Wonder – Murray’s Revenge
  14. Mekalek – Live & Learn
  15. Army Of The Pharaohs – The Torture Papers
  16. J Dilla – The Shining
  17. Zion I & Grouch – Heroes In The City Of Dope
  18. Panacea – Ink Is My Drink
  19. Tanya Morgan – Moonlighting
  20. Psalm One – The Death Of Frequent Flyer
  21. OutKast – Idlewild
  22. Louis Logic & J.J. Brown – Misery Loves Comedy
  23. Pigeon John – Pigeon John & The Summertime Pool Party
  24. Bronze Nazareth – The Great Migration
  25. Unknown Prophets – The Road Less Traveled
  26. Soul Position – Things Go Better with RJ & Al
  27. Verbal Kent – Move With The Wall
  28. AZ – The Format
  29. Uppa Notch – No Greater Love
  30. Dilated Peoples – 20/20
  31. Outerspace – Blood Brothers
  32. Oh No – Exodus Into Unheard Rhythms
  33. Mr Lif – Mo Mega
  34. KRS One – Life
  35. Rhymefest – Blue Collar
  36. Ghostface Killah – More Fish
  37. Strange Fruit Project – The Healing
  38. Snoop Dogg – Tha Blue Carpet Treatment
  39. Ice T – Gangsta Rap
  40. The Game – Doctor’s Advocate

Top 40 Hip Hop Albums 2007

top hip hop albums of 2007

  1. Brother Ali – The Undisputed Truth
  2. Blu & Exile – Below The Heavens
  3. Aesop Rock – None Shall Pass
  4. Percee P – Perseverance
  5. Pharoahe Monch – Desire
  6. Cunninlynguists – Dirty Acres
  7. Common – Finding Forever
  8. Lupe Fiasco – The Cool
  9. Talib Kweli – Eardrum
  10. Y Society – Travel At Your Own Pace
  11. Kanye West – Graduation
  12. Evidence – The Weatherman LP
  13. UGK – Underground Kingz
  14. Jay-Z – American Gangster
  15. Sage Francis – Human The Death Dance
  16. Black Milk – Popular Demand
  17. El-P – I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead
  18. Statik Selektah – Spell My Name Right
  19. Zeph & Azeem – Rise Up
  20. One Be Lo – The R.E.B.I.R.T.H.
  21. Ohmega Watts – Watts Happening
  22. Ghostface Killah – The Big Doe Rehab
  23. Polyrhythm Addicts – Break Glass
  24. Army Of The Pharaohs – Ritual Of Battle
  25. Cilvaringz – I
  26. Panacea – The Scenic Route
  27. Little Brother – Getback
  28. Blue Scholars – Bayani
  29. KRS-One & Marley Marl – Hip Hop Lives
  30. Phat Kat – Carte Blanche
  31. Scarface – M.A.D.E.
  32. Marco Polo – Port Authority
  33. Sean Price – Jesus Price Supastar
  34. Public Enemy – How You Sell Soul to a Soulless People Who Sold Their Soul???
  35. Killah Priest – The Offering
  36. Joell Ortiz – The Brick
  37. Redman – Red Gone Wild
  38. DJ Jazzy Jeff – The Return Of The Magnificent
  39. MF Grimm – The Hunt For The Gingerbread Man
  40. Chamillionaire – Ultimate Victory

Top 40 Hip Hop Albums 2008

  1. Q-Tip – The Renaissance
  2. Doomtree – Doomtree
  3. Elzhi – The Preface
  4. Ill Bill – The Hour Of Reprisal
  5. The Roots – Rising Down
  6. Immortal Technique – 3rd World
  7. J Live – Then What Happened?
  8. eMC – The Show
  9. Nas – Untitled
  10. Jake One – White Van Music
  11. Black Milk – Tronic
  12. Mike Mictlan & Lazerbeak – Hand Over Fist
  13. Atmosphere – When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Sh** Gold
  14. East Coast Avengers – Prison Planet
  15. Pacewon & Mr. Green – The Only Color That Matters Is Green
  16. Grip Grand – Brokelore
  17. People Under the Stairs – Fun DMC
  18. Johnson & Jonson – Johnson & Jonson
  19. Skillz – The Million Dollar Backpack
  20. Murs – Murs For President
  21. Invincible – Shapeshifters
  22. Raashan Ahmad – The Push
  23. Akrobatik – Absolute Value
  24. Reks – Grey Hairs
  25. Paris – Acid Reflex
  26. DJ Muggs & Planet Asia – Pain Language
  27. Torae – Daily Conversation
  28. Large Pro – Main Source
  29. Guilty Simpson – Ode To The Ghetto
  30. Ugly Duckling – Audacity
  31. Dagha – The Divorce
  32. Scarface – Emeritus
  33. Nappy Roots – The Humdinger
  34. Ice Cube – Raw Footage
  35. Killer Mike – I Pledge Allegiance To The Grind II
  36. Murs & 9th Wonder – Sweet Lord
  37. Bun B – II Trill
  38. Jedi Mind Tricks – A History Of Violence
  39. AZ – Undeniable
  40. 9th Wonder & Buckshot – Tha Formula

Top 40 Hip Hop Albums 2009

  1. Mos Def – The Ecstatic
  2. Diamond District – In The Ruff
  3. P.O.S . – Never Better
  4. Felt – Felt 3: A Tribute to Rosie Perez
  5. Fashawn – Boy Meets World
  6. Raekwon – Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… Pt II
  7. Skyzoo – The Salvation
  8. J Dilla – Jay Stay Paid
  9. Brother Ali – Us
  10. Marco Polo & Torae – Double Barrel
  11. Finale – A Pipe Dream And A Promise
  12. Souls Of Mischief – Montezuma’s Revenge
  13. Blaq Poet – Tha Blaqprint
  14. Antipop Consortium – Fluorescent Black
  15. Paten Locke – Super Ramen Rocketship
  16. Eminem – Relapse
  17. Apathy – Wanna Snuggle?
  18. Toki Wright – A Different Mirror
  19. DOOM – Born Like This
  20. Mr. Lif – I Heard It Today
  21. Blame One – Days Chasing Days
  22. Tanya Morgan – Brooklynati
  23. Superstar Quamallah – Invisible Man
  24. The Alchemist – Chemical Warfare
  25. Slaughterhouse – Slaughterhouse
  26. Kid Cudi – Man On The Moon: The End Of Day
  27. Del The Funky Homosapien – Funk Man: The Stimulus Package
  28. Illogic – Diabolical Fun
  29. Wale – Attention Deficit
  30. Ace & Edo – Arts & Entertainment
  31. Dynas – The Apartment
  32. Royce Da 5’9″ – Street Hop
  33. O.C. & A.G. – Oasis
  34. KRS-One & Buckshot – Survival Skills
  35. B-Real – Smoke N Mirrors
  36. Jadakiss – The Last Kiss
  37. Jay Z – The Blueprint 3
  38. Five O’Clock Shadowboxers – The Slow Twilight
  39. Sha Stimuli – My Soul To Keep
  40. Kam Moye aka Supastition – Splitting Image

Top 40 Hip Hop Albums 2010

  1. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
  2. Kno – Death Is Silent
  3. Boog Brown & Apollo Brown – Brown Study
  4. Nas & Damien Marley – Distant Relatives
  5. Celph Titled & Buckwild – Nineteen Ninety-Now
  6. Big Boi – Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty
  7. Roc Marciano – Marcberg
  8. The Roots – How I Got Over
  9. The Left – Gas Mask
  10. Skyzoo & !llmind – Live From The Tape Deck
  11. Black Milk – Album Of The Year
  12. Strong Arm Steady – In Search Of Stoney Jackson
  13. Qwel & Maker – Owl
  14. Freeway & Jake One – The Stimulus Package
  15.  Danny Brown – The Hybrid
  16. yU – Before Taxes
  17. Ghostface Killah – Apollo Kids
  18. Reflection Eternal – Revolutions Per Minute
  19. MF Grimm – You Only Live Twice: The Audio Graphic Novel
  20. Gangrene – Gutter Water
  21. Blacastan – Blac Sabbath
  22. Rakaa Iriscience – Crown Of Thorns
  23. Guilty Simpson & Madlib – OJ Simpson
  24. 7L & Esoteric – 1212
  25. G&D – Someothaship
  26. Blame One – Endurance
  27. Vinnie Paz – Season Of The Assassin
  28. PackFM – I F*****’ Hate Rappers
  29. DJ Muggs & Ill Bill – Kill Devil Hills
  30. Murs & 9th Wonder – Fornever
  31. DJ Premier – Get Used To Us
  32. Bun B – Trill O.G.
  33. Eulorhythmics – Green St. & Avers
  34. Bop Alloy – Substantial & Marcus D Are Bop Alloy
  35. Homeboy Sandman – The Good Sun
  36. Brotha Lynch Hung – Dinner & A Movie
  37. Slum Village – Villa Manifesto
  38. Curren$y – Pilot Talk
  39. Deacon the Villain & Sheisty Khrist – N***** With Latitude
  40. Junk Science – A Miraculous Kind Of Machine

Top 40 Hip Hop Albums 2011

  1. Shabazz Palaces – Black Up
  2. CunninLynguists – Oneirology
  3. Rashad & Confidence – The Element Of Surprise
  4. The Roots – Undun
  5. Danny Brown – X X X
  6. Phonte – Charity Starts At Home
  7. Doomtree – No Kings
  8. Kendrick Lamar – Section.80
  9. Pharoahe Monch – W.A.R. (We Are Renegades)
  10. Common – The Dreamer / The Believer
  11. Evidence – Cats & Dogs
  12. Murs – Love & Rockets Vol. 1: The Transformation
  13. Thurz – L.A. Riots
  14. J-Live – S.P.T.A. (Said Person Of That Ability)
  15. Beastie Boys – Hot Sauce Committee Part Two
  16. Superstar Quamallah & DeQawn – Talkin’ All That Jazz
  17. People Under The Stairs – Highlighter
  18. Hassaan Mackey & Apollo Brown – Daily Bread
  19. Apathy – Honkey Kong!
  20. Random Axe – Random Axe
  21. Has-Lo – In Case I Don’t Make It
  22. Qwazaar & Batsauce – Bat Meets Blaine
  23. R.E.K.S. – Rhythmatic Eternal King Supreme
  24. Killer Mike  – PL3DGE
  25. Action Bronson – Dr. Lecter
  26. Hail Mary Mallon – Are You Gonna Eat That?
  27. DC The Midi Alien – East Coast Avengers Present Avengers Airwaves
  28. Royce Da 5’9″ – Success Is Certain
  29. The Doppelgangaz – Lone Sharks
  30. Malcolm & Martin – Life Doesn’t Frighten Me
  31. Talib Kweli – Gutter Rainbows
  32. ScHoolboy Q – Setbacks
  33. Atmosphere – The Family Sign
  34. KRS-One & Bumpy Knuckles – Royalty Check
  35. 9th Wonder – The Wonder Years
  36. J. Cole – Cole World: A Sideline Story
  37. Blaq Poet – Blaq Poet Society
  38. Action Bronson & Statik Selektah – Well Done
  39. Joell Ortiz – Free Agent
  40. Tech N9ne – All 6’s & 7’s

Check here for the full list, including honorable mentions

Top 40 Hip Hop Albums 2012

greatest hip hop albums ever 2012

  1. Kendrick Lamar – Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City
  2. Killer Mike – R.A.P. Music
  3. Ab-Soul – Control System
  4. O.C. & Apollo Brown – Trophies
  5. El-P – Cancer 4 Cure
  6. Nas – Life Is Good
  7. Roc Marciano – Reloaded
  8. Rapsody – The Idea Of Beautiful
  9. Sean Price – Mic Tyson
  10. billy woods – History Will Absolve Me
  11. Aesop Rock – Skelethon
  12. Brother Ali – Mourning In America And Dreaming In Color
  13. Purpose & Confidence – Purpose Of Confidence
  14. Big K.R.I.T. – Live From The Underground
  15. ScHoolboy Q – Habits & Contradictions
  16. Skyzoo – A Dream Deferred
  17. Apollo Brown & Guilty Simpson – Dice Game
  18. Pacewon & Mr. Green – The Only Number That Matters Is Won
  19. Constant Deviants – Diamond
  20. Evitan – Speed Of Life
  21. Oddisee – People Hear What They Wanna Hear
  22. MHz – MHz Legacy
  23. Styles Of Beyond – Reseda Beach
  24. Beneficence – Concrete Soul
  25. DJ Premier & Bumpy Knuckles – KoleXXXion
  26. Oh No – Ohnomite
  27. Reks – Straight, No Chaser
  28. Substantial – Home Is Where the Art Is
  29. Gangrene – Vodka & Ayahuasca
  30. Large Professor – Professor @ Large
  31. Masta Ace & MF DOOM – MA_DOOM: Son of Yvonne
  32. Murs & 9th Wonder – The Final Adventure
  33. Showbiz & A.G. – Mugshot Music
  34. La Coka Nostra – Masters Of The Dark Arts
  35. Ka – Grief Pedigree
  36. Vinnie Paz – God Of The Serengeti
  37. Homeboy Sandman – First Of A Living Breed
  38. Public Enemy – Most Of My Heroes Still Don’t Appear On No Stamp
  39. Chino XL – Ricanstruction: The Black Rosary
  40. KRS One – The BDP Album

Check here for the full list, including honorable mentions

Top 40 Hip Hop Albums 2013

  1. Run The Jewels – Run The Jewels
  2. Oddisee – Tangible Dream
  3. Ghostface Killah & Adrian Younge – Twelve Reasons To Die
  4. Awon & Phoniks – Return To The Golden Era
  5. Earl Sweatshirt – Doris
  6. R.A. The Rugged Man – Legends Never Die
  7. Qwel & Maker – Beautiful Raw
  8. Demigodz – KILLmatic
  9. Armand Hammer – Race Music
  10. Danny Brown – Old
  11. Ugly Heroes – Ugly Heroes
  12. KA – The Night’s Gambit
  13. Clear Soul Forces – Gold PP7s
  14. A$ap Rocky – LONG LIVE A$AP
  15. Black Milk – No Poison No Paradise
  16. Boog Brown – The Late Bloom
  17. billy woods – Dour Candy
  18. Natti – Still Motion
  19. Czarface – Czarface
  20. Cubbiebear – Force Back To Sleep
  21. Deltron 3030 – Event 2
  22. Prodigy & The Alchemist – Albert Einstein
  23. Roc Marciano – Marci Beaucoup
  24. Pusha T – My Name Is My Name
  25. DJ Format & Phill Most Chill – The Foremost
  26. Hieroglyphics – The Kitchen
  27. Ill Bill – The Grimy Awards
  28. L’Orange & Stik Figa – The City Under The City
  29. Blame One & J57 – Walk In The Sun
  30. Eminem – Marshall Mathers LP 2
  31. Marco Polo – PA2: The Director’s Cut
  32. Uptown XO – Colour De Grey
  33. Papoose – The Nacirema Dream
  34. Greenhouse – Bend But Don’t Break
  35. Statik Selektah – Extended Play
  36. J Cole – Born Sinner
  37. Freddie Gibbs – ESGN
  38. Illogic & Blockhead – Capture The Sun
  39. Talib Kweli- Gravitas
  40. J-Zone – Peter Pan Syndrome

Check here for the full list, including honorable mentions

Top 40 Hip Hop Albums 2014

  1. Run The Jewels – Run The Jewels 2
  2. Freddie Gibs & Madlib – Pinata
  3. PRhyme -PRhyme
  4. Damani Nkosi – Thoughtful King
  5. Diamond District – March On Washington
  6. Hail Mary Mallon – Bestiary
  7. Dilated Peoples – Directors Of Photography
  8. Pharoahe Monch – PTSD
  9. Sage Francis – Copper Gone
  10. Schoolboy Q – Oxymoron
  11. People Under The Stairs – 12 Step Program
  12. Big K.R.I.T. – Cadillactica
  13. Skyzoo & Torae – Barrel Brothers
  14. Dag Savage – E&J
  15. Step Brothers – Lord Steppington
  16. YG – My Krazy Life
  17. J Cole – 2014 Forest Hills Drive
  18. Apollo Brown & Ras Kass – Blasphemy
  19. Army Of The Pharaohs – In Death Reborn
  20. Tiff The Gift – Better To Give
  21. Uncommon Nasa – New York Telephone
  22. Ghostface Killah – 36 Seasons
  23. Statik Selektah – What Goes Around
  24. Black Milk- If There’s A Hell Below
  25. J-Live – Around The Sun
  26. Intuition & Equalibrum – Intuition & Equalibrum
  27. Common – Nobody’s Smiling
  28. Bishop Nehru & MF DOOM- NehruvianDOOM
  29. Diamond D – The Diam Piece
  30. Cormega – Mega Philosophy
  31. Ab-Soul – These Days
  32. Mobb Deep – The Infamous Mobb Deep
  33. Atmosphere – Southsiders
  34. Souls Of Mischief – There Is Only Now
  35. Open Mike Eagle – Dark Comedy
  36. Meyhem Lauren & Buckwild – Silk Pyramids
  37. uMaNg – The Black Rose Certificate
  38. Rozewood – The Ghost Of Radio Raheem
  39. Emskee & E The 5th – The Marc Smith LP
  40. Planet Asia & TzariZM – Via Satellite

Top 40 Hip Hop Albums 2015

  1. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly
  2. Add-2 – Prey For The Poor
  3. Lupe Fiasco – Tetsuo & Youth
  4. Oddisee – The Good Fight
  5. Vince Staples – Summertime ’06
  6. Pusha T – King Push — Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude
  7. Earl Sweatshirt – I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside
  8. Scarface – Deeply Rooted
  9. Czarface – Every Hero Needs A Villain
  10. Joey Bada$$ – B4.DA.$$
  11. A$AP Rocky – At.Long.Last.A$AP
  12. Apollo Brown – Grandeur
  13. Skyzoo – Music For My Friends
  14. billy woods – Today I Wrote Nothing
  15. The Game – The Documentary 2/2.5
  16. Semi Hendrix – Breakfast At Banksy’s
  17. Jay Rock – 90059
  18. Ghostface Killah & Adrian Younge – Twelve Reasons To Die II
  19. Joe Budden – All Love Lost
  20. Rapper Big Pooh & Nottz – Home Sweet Home
  21. Ghostface Killah & BADBADNOTGOOD – Sour Soul
  22. Kirk Knight – Late Knight Special
  23. Monday/Friday – Monday/Friday
  24. Finale – Odds & Ends
  25. Edo. G – Afterwords
  26. Camp Lo – Ragtime Hightimes
  27. Junk Science – And The Hundred Dollar Sandwich
  28. Action Bronson – Mr. Wonderful
  29. Jedi Mind Tricks – The Thief And The Fallen
  30. Gangrene – You Disgust Me
  31. Dr. Yen Lo – Days With Dr. Yen Lo
  32. Cannibal Ox – Blade Of The Ronin
  33. MED, Blu & Madlib – Bad Neighbor
  34. Slum Village – Yes!
  35. Murs – Have A Nice Life
  36. Doomtree – All Hands
  37. Fashawn – The Ecology
  38. Dr. Dre – Compton
  39. Quelle Chris- Innocent Country
  40. Public Enemy – Man Plans God Laughs

Top 40 Hip Hop Albums 2016

  1. Run The Jewels – Run The Jewels 3
  2. Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition
  3. Aesop Rock – The Impossible Kid
  4. A Tribe Called Quest – We Got It From Here…Thank You 4 Your Service
  5. Common – Black America Again
  6. Westside Gunn – FLYGOD
  7. Ryu – Tanks For The Memories
  8. Ab-Soul – Do What Thou Wilt
  9. Apollo Brown & Skyzoo – The Easy Truth
  10. Ka – Honor Killed The Samurai
  11. Royce 5’9″ – Layers
  12. Isaiah Rashad – The Sun’s Tirade
  13. ScHoolboy Q – The Blank Face LP
  14. Elzhi – Lead Poison
  15. De La Soul – And The Anonymous Nobody
  16. Kool Keith – Feature Magnetic
  17. Kanye West – The Life Of Pablo
  18. The Game – 1992
  19. Elucid – Save Yourself
  20. Saba – Bucket List Project
  21. Torae – Entitled
  22. Havoc & The Alchemist – The Silent Partner
  23. Czarface – A Fistful Of Peril
  24. Apathy – Handshakes With Snakes
  25. Reks – The Greatest X
  26. D.I.T.C. – D.I.T.C. Sessions
  27. Ugly Heroes – Everything In Between
  28. J Dilla – The Diary
  29. Mr. Lif – Don’t Look Down
  30. Masta Ace – The Falling Season
  31. Nyck Caution – Disguise The Limit
  32. Smoke DZA & Pete Rock – Don’t Smoke Rock
  33. Craig G – I Rap And Go Home
  34. Termanology – More Politics
  35. Onry Ozzborn – Duo
  36. J. Cole – 4 Your Eyez Only
  37. Atmosphere – Fishing Blues
  38. Homeboy Sandman – Kindness For Weakness
  39. Statik Selektah & KXNG Crooked – StatikKXNG
  40. Wise Intelligent – Stevie Bonneville Wallace

Top 40 Hip Hop Albums 2017

  1. Rapsody – Laila’s Wisdom
  2. billy woods – Known Unknowns
  3. Big K.R.I.T. – 4Eva Is A Mighty Long Time
  4. CunninLynguists – Rose Azura Njano
  5. Brother Ali – All The Beauty In This Life
  6. Armand Hammer – Rome
  7. Jay-Z – 4:44
  8. Hex One Words – Worth A Thousand Pictures
  9. O.C. – Same Moon Same Sun
  10. Sean Price – Imperius Rex
  11. Jonwayne – Rap Album Two
  12. Kendrick Lamar – DAMN
  13. Blacastan & Stu Bangas – The Uncanny Adventures Of Watson & Holmes
  14. Apathy & O.C. – Perestroika
  15. P.O.S – Chill, Dummy
  16. Roc Marciano – Rosebudd’s Revenge
  17. MC Eiht – Which Way Iz West
  18. Milo – Who Told You to Think​?
  19. Vince Staples – Big Fish Theory
  20. Hus Kingpin – Cocaine Beach
  21. Nolan The Ninja – Yen
  22. Apollo Brown & Planet Asia – Anchovies
  23. Edo. G – FreEDOm
  24. Raekwon – The Wild
  25. Meyhem Lauren & DJ Muggs – Gems From The Equinox
  26. Joey Bada$$ – All AmeriKKKan Bada$$
  27. Slaine & Termanology – Anti-Hero
  28. Your Old Droog – Packs
  29. Finale & Fel Sweetenberg – Two Kings
  30. Open Mike Eagle – Brick Body Kids Still Daydream
  31. Oddisee – The Iceberg
  32. Kool G Rap – Return Of The Don
  33. Action Bronson – Blue Chips 7000
  34. Binary Star – WaterWorld III
  35. Big Boi – Boomiverse
  36. Tyler The Creator – Flower Boy
  37. Quelle Chris – Being You Is Great… I Wish I Could Be You More Often
  38. Public Enemy – Nothing Is Quick In The Desert
  39. Talib Kweli – Radio Silence
  40. Snoop Dogg – Neva Left

Top 60 Hip Hop Albums 2018

  1. Saba – Care For Me
  2. Noname – Room 25
  3. Armand Hammer – Paraffin
  4. B.E.N.N.Y. – Tana Talk 3
  5. Masta Ace & Marco Polo – A Breukelen Story
  6. Royce 5’9″ – The Book Of Ryan
  7. Evidence – Weather Or Not
  8. O.C. – A New Dawn
  9. August Greene – August Greene
  10. Phonte – No News Is Good News
  11. Lupe Fiasco – DROGAS Wave
  12. Westside Gunn – Supreme Blientele
  13. Czarface & MF DOOM – Czarface Meets Metal Face
  14. Chuck Strangers – Consumers Park
  15. Skyzoo – In Celebration Of Us
  16. Blueprint – Two-Headed Monster
  17. Apollo Brown & Joell Ortiz – Mona Lisa
  18. Apathy – The Widow’s Son
  19. Elzhi & Khrysis are Jericho Jackson – Jericho Jackson
  20. Roc Marciano – Behold A Dark Horse
  21. PRhyme – PRhyme 2
  22. Dave East & Styles P – Beloved
  23. Dr. Octagon – Moosebumps…
  24. AG – The Taste Of AMBrosia
  25. Showbiz – A-Room Therapy
  26. The Diceman – The Power Of Now
  27. Roc Marciano – RR2: The Bitter Dose
  28. Philmore Greene – Chicago: A Third World City
  29. Nipsey Hussle – Victory Lap
  30. Cypress Hill – Elephants On Acid
  31. Atmosphere – Mi Vida Loca
  32. Planet Asia – Mansa Musa
  33. Kool G Rap & 38 Spesh – Son Of G Rap
  34. Murs – A Strange Journey Into The Unimaginable
  35. Intellect – Out Of Left Field
  36. Jedi Mind Tricks The Bridge & The Abyss
  37. Ankhlejohn & Big Ghost Ltd – Van Ghost
  38. Zilla Rocca – Future Former Rapper
  39. Jean Grae & Quelle Chris – Everything’s Fine
  40. Hermit & The Recluse – Orpheus vs. The Sirens
  41. Vic Spencer & SonnyJim – Spencer For Higher
  42. Soul Assassins – Dia Del Asesinato
  43. Kooley High –Not Coming Down
  44. Logic – YSIV
  45. Marlowe – Marlowe
  46. U-God – Venom
  47. DJ Muggs & Roc Marciano – Kaos
  48. Ghostface Killah – The Lost Tapes
  49. Eminem – Kamikaze
  50. Vinnie Paz – The Pain Collector
  51. The Doppelgangaz – Aaaaggghh
  52. Last Emperor – Jungle Jim Season 1
  53. Ice Cube Everythang’s Corrupt
  54. Pete Flux & Parental – Infinite Growth
  55. Big Stacks – Never Favored
  56. Del The Funky Homosapien & Amp Live – Gate 13
  57. Binary Star – Lighty/Ears Apart
  58. MC Paul Barman – (​(​(​echo chamber​)​)​)
  59. JPEGMAFIA – Veteran
  60. Jay Rock – Redemption

* Excluded are mixtapes, EP’s (like Black Thought’s excellent Stream Of Thought EP’s) and releases billed as albums that are actually EP’s (like Nas’ Nasir, Pusha T’s Daytona, Vince Staples’ FM! and Curren$y, Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemist’ Fetti).

Top 60 Hip Hop Albums 2019

best rap 2019

  1. Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Bandana
  2. Rapsody – Eve
  3. Apollo Brown – Sincerely, Detroit
  4. Little Brother – May The Lord Watch
  5. billy woods & Kenny Segal – Hiding Place
  6. Skyzoo & Pete Rock – Retropolitan
  7. Add-2 – Jim Crow: The Musical
  8. Gang Starr – One Of The Best Yet
  9. Bobby J From Rockaway – Summer Classics
  10. Epic Beard Men – This Was Supposed To Be Fun
  11. Little Simz – Grey Area
  12. Tone Spliff – Ardore Melodico
  13. Quelle Chris – Guns
  14. L’Orange & Jeremiah Jae – Complicate Your Life With Violence
  15. billy woods – Terror Management
  16. Griselda – WWCD
  17. Black Moon – Rise Of Da Moon
  18. Brother Ali – Secrets & Escapes
  19. Yugen Blakrok – Anima Mysterium
  20. Blu & Oh No – A Long Red Hot Los Angeles Summer Night
  21. Anti-Lilly & Phoniks – That’s The World
  22. Neak – Kwesbaar
  23. A.J. Munson – Cigarettes & Coffee
  24. Czarface & Ghostface Killah – Czarface Meets Ghostface Killah
  25. People Under The Stairs – Sincerely, The P
  26. NEMS – Gorilla Monsoon
  27. Uncommon Nasa – City As School
  28. clipping. – There Existed An Addiction To Blood
  29. Calig Kontra – Simian Automatic
  30. Danny Brown – uknowhatimsayin¿
  31. Diamond D – The Diam Piece 2
  32. Smif-N-Wessun – The All
  33. Common – Let Love
  34. The Good People – Good for Nuthin’
  35. Murs & 9th Wonder – The Iliad Is Dead And The Odyssey Is Over Review
  36. XP The Marxman & IceRocks – Nomads
  37. SOL Development – The SOL Of Black Folk
  38. Bronx Slang – Bronx Slang
  39. HARRIETT – Damani Nkosi & ill Camille are HARRIETT
  40. Learic & Es-K – Thought Instruments
  41. Joell Ortiz – Monday
  42. Dope Knife – Things Got Worse
  43. Dark Lo – American Made
  44. Awon – Soulapowa
  45. Your Old Droog – It Wasn’t Even Close
  46. Papoose – Underrated
  47. Truth – The Fight For Survival
  48. Dave – PSYCHODRAMA
  49. Erick Sermon – Vernia
  50. K-Rino – Mind Vision
  51. Ras Kass – Soul On Ice 2
  52. Homeboy Sandman – Dusty
  53. Krum & Theory Hazit – Here’s Mud In Your Eye
  54. Ubi – Under Bad Influence
  55. Hemlock Ernst & Kenny Segal – Back At The House
  56. Roc Marcian0 – Marcielago
  57. Jim Jones – El Capo
  58. Marlon Craft – Funhouse Mirror
  59. Inspectah Deck – Chamber No. 9
  60. Diabolic – The Disconnect

* Excluded are mixtapes, compilations (like Nas’ Lost Tapes 2), EP’s (like Benny The Butcher’s Plugs I Met) and releases billed as albums that are actually EP-length.

Check The Best Hip Hop Albums Of 2019 for the full list + honorable mentions + list with 2019’s best EP’s.

Best Hip Hop Albums 2020

Work in progress

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13 responses to “Greatest Hip Hop Albums 1980 – 2019”

  1. Justin says:

    #8 from 88 should be strictly business. Cause I read these amazingly informative list too much! Trying to collect them all!

  2. Justin D says:

    The Brothers Under Madness are way overlooked in 95’. Buck 65’s Man Overboard from 2001 is a classic in my opinion. Way cool list! Can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at it and bought records because of it! Much love!

  3. Justin D says:

    Not everyone was an anticon fan but 1999 should of included their finest release Deep Puddle Dynamics for sure.

  4. Darren Kerry says:

    Love the lists and reminding me of some awesome albums.

    Be interested in seeing a list of the worst albums from each decade I remember owning some shocking stuff DerekB on top!!!!

  5. Daniel says:

    Great lists year for year, although some incredible albums are missing, Jam baxter – So We Ate Them Whole, Edward Scissortounge – BETTER.LUCK.NEXT.LIFE, Mr Key & Greenwood Sharps – Yesterday’s Futures, CashUs King – Lost In The Wilderness and the crazy underground rare project of last year from The Skull Eclipses, a shame so many peeps sleep on it. Peace.

  6. Alonzo says:

    Ill Bill and Stu Bangas album is definitely one of the best of 2019. The Opioid Era and Diabolic and Vanderslice as well.
    And Nems album

  7. KevG says:

    Scandalous not to include most of K-Rino’s post 2013 albums like The Blood Doctrine. Annihilation of the Evil Machine, etc. Fait Accomoli by Canibus should have got a mention too.

    Apart from that . Great lists btw 👍

  8. JERMAINE says:

    THIS IS SOME STRAIGHT HIPPITY HOPPITY BIAS BS. LMAO HOW THE HELL IN KRS ONE IN HERE EVERY YEAR FOR BEST ALBUM.. HILARIOUS AND HOW THERE IS NOT ONE TI OR LIL WAYNE ALBUM IN THERE.. OR JEEZY THUG MOTIVATION. COME ON NOW. YOUNG BUCK WELCOME TO CASHVILLE IN 94. WHERE IS DAVE EAST CARI CHANEL IN 16? I CAN GO ON AND ON.

  9. K Douglas says:

    First off great website. Love the lists and they seem well thought out.

    Second some corrections:
    1988 EPMD album title should read Strictly Business not Unfinished Business
    1992 Eric B & Rakim album title should read Don’t Sweat The Technique not Don’t Check The Technique.

  10. K Douglas says:

    Hmm, no love for Jazzmatazz Vol 1 by Guru? That easily makes my top 10 of ’93.

  11. Big Stacks says:

    Hey Hiphopgoldenage,

    I thank you for naming my album “Never Favored” to your 2018 top-60 albums list. I am honored by the mention and surprised that you were even aware of the album (I’d love know how you heard of it). As an indie artist, part of the challenge is getting my music heard. So, I truly appreciate you shedding some needed light upon my art.

    Peace,

    Big Stacks

  12. Big Stacks says:

    Thanks, Cis!!! I appreciate the compliment and support.

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