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Top Ten Hip Hop Albums: 1988

The Hip Hop culture is one of the most dynamic cultures throughout the society. Whether it’s fashion, dialect or realism, its powerful content can change the world. When we reflect on the history of Hip Hop music, there’s never been a more influential year than 1988. That year produce a sleuth of Hip Hop albums that not only shifted the tone of the country but changed the sound of music forever.  
For this Black History issue, we name the top 10 Hip Hop albums that were instant classic and ultimately changed the music industry. 

1. Eric B. & Rakim – Follow the Leader. One of the most prolific album of 1988. Rakim’s distinguish verbiage set the tone of Hip Hop for that year. The follow up album to “Paid in Full” created a musical gem. With hits like “Microphone Fiend” and “Follow the Leader” created a new standard of music that revolutionize  how artist narrative, write and display their songs. Influence: Nas, Mobb Deep, Wu Tang Clan

2. N.W.A. – Straight Outta Compton. N.W.A. became the face of west coast rap music.  This album foretold the civil unrest in the black community as well as produce one of the GREATEST albums of all time. “F… Tha Police” and “Gangsta, Gangsta” were ground breakers. Although there were other rap groups from California, the success of N.W.A. catapulted this group as the Influence: Snoop Dogg, Eminem, West Side Connection, Compton Most Wanted

3. Boogie Down Production – By Any Means Necessary
. CLASSIC!!! KRS One’s “My Philosophy” pretty much set the tone for the Bronx and Hip Hop. The Malcolm Xishhh album cover was creative and the “Stop The Violence” record spawn a Hip Hop coalition that brought all of the top artist together to speak on violence in the black community. It was truly an epic time in the culture. Influence: Hip Hop

4. Big Daddy Kane – Long Live The Kane. Big Daddy Kane was and still is one of the legends of Hip Hop. His slick delivery is was sat him a part of all the artist past and current. “Ain’t No Half Stepping” can rival any Hip Hop song in any rap era. When he said “It’s 88, time to get straight; Ain’t no half stepping”. That pretty much set the tone for 1988 and the future of the culture. Influence: Jay Z, Fabolous 

5. Run-D.M.C. – Tougher Than Leather
. Who’s house? “Run’s House” was the statement that the kings from Queens stated to the rap music industry. This group was a mainstay in Hip Hop and Pop culture. Influence: 50 Cents G Unit, Onyx, Beastie Boys, ALL Def Jam artists

6. Doug E. Fresh – The World’s Greatest Entertainer. Doug E. Fresh cemented himself in 1988 with the album’s debut single “Keep Rising to the Top”. The creator of the Beatbox, Doug E. Fresh is one of the most entertaining and dynamic artist in the culture. Influence: P Diddy, Cam’Ron, Ma$e, The Diplomats

7. Public Enemy – It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. Chuck D, Flavor Flav and the rest of the rap group created a historical masterpiece. Its music touched on the climate of the inner-city at that time with records like “Night of the Living Baseheads” and “Black Steel in The Hour of Chaos”. “Don’t Believe The Hype” and “Rebel Without a Pause” where instant classic that shined a light on the media as well as stitched the group’s name in infamy. Influence: Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Dead Prez

8. Biz Markie – Going Off. A member of the Juice Crew, Biz Markie’s “Vapors”  is etched in Hip Hop history as one of the best rags to riches song. “Nobody Beats the Biz” hell catapult him to stardom. R.I.P. Biz Markie. Influences: Das EFX, Redman Keith Murray

9. EPMD – Strictly Business The rap duo from Long Island sold over 500,000 units in 30 days of the album release. “You Gots to Chill” was a bonafide hit and the group’s sound and revolutionize Hip Hop with sound and swagger. Influences: Das EFX, Redman Keith Murray

10. Ice T – Power One of the most controversial album covers in the history of Hip Hop, Ice T delivered “I’m Your Pusha” which captured the essence of the inner-city drug trafficking. Influences: West Coast music

Too Short – Life is Too Short

Easy E – Eazy-Duz-It

Salt & Pepa – A Salt with a Deadly Pepa

MC Lyte – Lyte As a Rock

Slick Rick – The Greatest Adventures of Slick Rick

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