The Rest Of The Top 25
The Blueprint – Jay-Z – So many hits, so many extraordinary verses, so much classic material. Jay could have ended it here and still been considered The G.O.A.T.
Stankonia – Outkast – This one softened the world up for “Speakerboxx”. It was every bit as good really, just shorter.
St. Elsewhere – Gnarls Barkley – Hip hop loosely defined and brilliantly rendered.
Watermelon, Chicken & Gritz – The Nappy Roots – The Po Folks anthem. A little Grand Mariner only enhanced the listening pleasure.
Trap Muzik – T.I. – Tip stood out amongst the glut of southern rappers thanks to his whip smart rhymes, liquid flow and infinite swagger.
Be – Common – Common hooked up with Kanye and finally made the album that lived up to our expectations.
AOI: Bionix – De La Soul – If you’re one of those who think De La stopped making music after “De La Soul Is Dead”, then you’ve missed out on one of hip hop’s most prolific groups. If you only cop one album from their unbroken string of gems since then, make it “Bionix”.
The Chronic 2001 – Dr. Dre – It took him a while but Dre came back with a vengance. He got a lot of help from his friends, including Snoop, rescued from No Limit and sounding rejuvenated.
All Of The Above – J-Live – Heady, gimmick-free back-pack rap from a True School legend. Still criminally obscure.
Blazing Arrow – Blackalicious - The Bay Area indie rap darlings earned their rep with this mellow, unassuming treasure.
The College Dropout – Kanye West - Not as focused as the next two albums, but still a game-changing debut from Kanye.
Supreme Clientele – Ghostface Killah - This is where Ghostface established himself as the most outstanding Wu Tang soloist.
Reflection Eternal – Talib Kweli & Hi Tek - The combination of Talib's exquisite mic skills and Hi Tek's masterful board work was unstoppable.
The Marshall Mathers LP - Eminem - Eminem emerged as quite likely the best rapper alive at the time with this avalanche of scathingly insightful, utterly stupendous rhymes.
The Minstrel Show – Little Brother - Based on the poor sales of this fantastic record, I can only assume that it was a little too intelligent for the general population.
Based on the poor sales of this fantastic record, I can only assume that it was a little too intelligent for the general population.