Hip Hop’s Greatest Albums: The 80’s


We here at PMB are happy to showcase hip hop’s greatest albums of all time. We wanted to showcase the best of each era so we present best albums of each era and we start with the best of the 80’s.

10.N.W.A-Straight Outta Compton

N.W.A at it’s riches was in the 80’s(and with their best member Ice Cube) and with thier debut album “Straight Outta Compton” they introduced the hood to america and were gangsta rap was taboo, but yet it wasn’t gloating about killing rivals gangs or even slanging coke, it was rebelling agianst the system and exposing how dirty the polices are and informing people in the suburbs how raw and rugged the hood was at that time, this is also one of the few gangster rap albums that’s educational with song like ‘Express Yourself’ and ‘Staright Outta Compton’. This album was on that gangsta shit before gangsta shit was cool.

9.LL Cool J-Bigger and Deffer

LL Cool was the biggest name in hip hop in the 80’s , I don’t think people realize he has every right to call himself the goat, but of course it’s debatable, but it’s not debatable how much of a smash ‘BAD’ was when it debuted. Also known as “Bigger and Deffer” LL’s sophomore album showcase his charismatic flows and his style that everyone jocked in the 80’s and 90’s and still today, but it was “I Need Love” track that got most criticized from his peers for being “soft” but nowadays you can’t hear a rapper not whining about women or some bullshit on the regular. One of the original rebels of rap and the one of if not the best of his era and was ready take on anyone who was up for the challenge cough* Kool Moe Dee Cough*.

8. Eric B and Rakim-Follow The Leader

This album is the shit! Rakim was lyrical before people got credibility for it and he rose above every rapper in the game with “Follow The Leader” with the hardcore rhymes and smooth flows. “Microphone Fiend” still one of the hottest tracks to be released. Just hearing the metaphors on the album still will blow you away today, to add, I love how fresh Eric B was in the video’s back in the day, just posted next to Rakim not saying a word.

7. De LA Soul-3 Feet High and Rising


One of the most influential albums of all time. The way the album flows is just perfect, it’s a very cohesive album. It’s not over the top with it’s rhymes and production but still install into your brain to when you here a track from the albums you know it word from word. I don’t even think De La are that great of a group but this album certified them as legends.

6. Run DMC-Run DMC

Run, RUN RUN RUN RUNNNN! The first of the legendary group and is possibly the first classic hip hop album ever! First to be the first rap artist to be featured on MTV, and second to cross over to rock and bridge the gap a little. “Sucker MC’s”  still can get a party jumping as well as “Jam Master Jay”. They were Emcees in it’s rarest form and did it better than anyone in the 80’s. This is what mainstream hip hop used to sound like, ah the good times. I rock my shell-toes still with no laces just to honer the trio and last but not least, gotta pay respect to Jam Master Jay, without him we wouldn’t have artist like LL Cool J and 50 Cent.

5.Boogie Down Productions-By All Means Necessary

The birth of the intellectual rapper was the Boogie Down Productions second release,’By All Means Necessary.’ “My Philosophy” was a hot club record and KRS is dropping science on the beat. One of the greatest hip hop songs ever and it’s positive and they say you can’t have substance in club records, but yet BDP still gets greasy on the album. So you got the best of both worlds on this album, one of the few artist to have a sequel album as great as the debut album.

4. LL Cool J-RADIO

How many 16 years olds drops a hit song, let alone a classic album?  Ladies Love Cool James that’s who. His first hit is rapping about his radio, doesn’t really sound like much of a hit until you hear the song and get hyped. Then made a song about needing a beat, which he murdered, but the icing track was “Rock The Bells” with probably the best intro to a song ever! I have yet to see someone to top young LL as the best rapper under the age of 21 and this album is proof.

3. Boogie Down Productions-Criminal Minded

The BRIDGE IS OVER! BRIDGE IS OVER! The best song coming out of the 80’s rely on this album. The production on that record was wicked and was a diss to MC Shan, “Manhattan keep on making it, Brooklyn keeps on taking it, Bronx keeps creating it and Queens keep on faking it!” SHOTS FIRED! But the hits don’t stop there, 9MM goes bang, South Bronx, Criminal Minded, Poetry, I can go on but it’s not needed, BDP is easily some of hip hop’s finest and KRS-One one of the best to ever do it.

2.Public Enemy-It Take A Nation Of Millions to Hold Us Back

The message was raw, the facts are still true about society today, and the people who didn’t like hearing about it, are probably “in the mix”, if you get my meaning! PE said literally whatever they pleased cuz Chuck D had the balls to do it.  The powerful message to convey to everyone in this album was incredible. It was social commentary in poetrical form and with a bad-ass sound. They weren’t about sugar coating their shit, they were about fighting the power, but the ironic thing is, Flavor Flav has been a disgrace to the group for selling out for riches for being made a fool of on tv.

1.Eric B and Rakim-Paid In Full

The 80’s had easily the best Mc’s in the forefront and no one was more lyrical, fresher or more captivating than Rakim. Easily top three dead or alive and if you say otherwise, you have no credibility! The ‘Paid In Full’ track is crazy, Rakim makes the story of the day of a typical hustler so fresh, insightful, and entertaining. I still lose my mind listing to this album today. “I Ain’t No Joke” is the illest thing I heard in my life and “Eric B For President” oh my god, talking about Rakim alone, makes be proud to be a hip hop fan. This album has been quoted numerous of times from Lil Wayne to Missy Elliot. I honestly can’t blame them because  “I came in the door, I said it before, I never let the mic magnatize me no more, but it’s biting me, fighting me, inviting me to rhyme, I can’t hold it back, I’m looking for the line, taking off my coat, clearing my throat, my rhyme will be kicking it until I hit my last note!” WORD TO THE MOTHA!!

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