CoS Exclusive FeaturesHotList 'Em Carefully

List ‘Em Carefully: Top 10 NYC Hip Hop Albums

on May 11, 2011, 3:00pm
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listn 260x260 List Em Carefully: Top 10 NYC Hip Hop AlbumsIt’s difficult to gauge on any scale what makes an album a “best” album. What exactly makes something qualify to be the best? It’s hard to say, especially when it comes to New York hip hop, a rare breed of music whose sound has changed and revolutionized the genre since its conception. Something about the streets of the Big Apple and hip hop seems to infiltrate human’s cerebellums and produce euphoric feelings of pleasure. Oh baby, we like it raw.

But what are the best albums to come out of the New York scene? Like I said, these are no easy decisions. There have been so many key players on the scene, such as the RZA, Notorious B.I.G., Q-Tip, Chuck D, LL Cool J, and Jay-Z (dare I mention Puff Daddy?). All of them have made records that changed the genre and opened up people’s perceptions a bit more. Therefore, I went about making this list by asking a very specific question: Is each album still relevant by today’s standards? I mean, A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing fits the criteria for being one of the finest NYC releases, but nobody in their right mind owns it in their immediate collection anymore (well, I do, but it’s on a dusty old cassette). The thing is, rap albums are cool one minute but then dismissed the next. While compiling this list, I picked not only the albums that revolutionized the sound of rap within New York City, but albums that the public still listens to regularly. Not only should the music influence still be heard in modern hip hop, but the music should be the type you can’t live without on your iPod.

New York, I love you, and you’ve brought me so much rap music that has continued to drive my folks nuts for years. I salute you for that, and hopefully, your streets will continue to produce fine artists, amazing rhymes, and continually creepier production (see: “C.R.E.A.M.”). And now we pay homage to the five Burroughs….and the music that they spawned and perfected over the past 30 years.

-Ted Maider
Media Specialist

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17 comments

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Mark
September 15, 2012 at 7:17 am

Almost forgot.. Ready to die, played it till cd was worn out….and bought it again. I dont think à top ten list is possible. Too many real artist all with a huge contribution, but never the less i also liked this one.

Mark
September 15, 2012 at 7:03 am

I still owne it…engine engine nr 9????I’m kinda missing show&ag, and a little more recent: big up to joel ortiz. Also talib kweli is one of my all time favourite. Peace out to all hiphop lovers from Amsterdam. ?

Schmails and I never slice
May 15, 2011 at 6:01 pm

Gangstarr are not from new York…… They are from Boston mass.

zatzbatz
May 15, 2011 at 2:16 am

 I really hope you didn’t spend a lot of time on this

zatzbatz
May 15, 2011 at 2:16 am

 I really hope you didn’t spend a lot of time on this

vargo05
May 13, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Completely ignoring either of Raekwon’s OBFCL albums, Ghostface Supreme Clientele, Black Star, and Gang Starr is ridiculous.  Talib Kweli Quality?  Where is BDP’s Criminal Minded?  I guess the list is this Ted’s list, but listing LL, Beasties and Run DMC over Gang Starr, BDP and Black Star shows someone’s been influenced too heavily by pop culture.

Andrew M
May 12, 2011 at 11:37 pm

Having said all that, I did just go download The Infamous b/c it is not in my collection. Brooklyn based.

Andrew M
May 12, 2011 at 11:36 pm

the fact that LL & GZA were honorable mentions and no mention at all of Reasonable Doubt makes this list fraudulent.

Andrew M
May 12, 2011 at 11:35 pm

Blueprint too low. What about Reasonable Doubt? License to Ill too high. Illmatic too low.

Andrew M
May 12, 2011 at 11:33 pm

this is the shit im talking about.

Stormtrooper
May 12, 2011 at 10:27 pm

Nailed it. Very nicely done

Stormtrooper
May 12, 2011 at 10:27 pm

Nailed it. Very nicely done

it’s Parker in VB
May 12, 2011 at 8:33 pm

“Erik B. and Rakim –
Paid in Full
: One of the most important albums in the history of hip hop. Unfortunately, not one I see on too many people’s iPods.
” <- the presence of the album on many people's ipods was a factor in the list and not the fact its one of the most important albums in hip hop?

it’s Parker in VB
May 12, 2011 at 8:31 pm

No Gangstarr for honorable mention?

questo
May 12, 2011 at 7:45 pm

De La Soul- Stakes is High deserves to be on the list. Talk about an infulential sound…

Notmyrealemail
May 12, 2011 at 2:05 pm

36 Chambers should have been #1

schmails and i never slice
May 12, 2011 at 12:35 pm

beastie boys—— paul’s boutique

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