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Best Rap Albums of All Time: Top 50 Unbelievable Picks!

best rap albums of all time

We’re about to embark on a lyrical journey through the annals of hip hop history, presenting phenomenal picks for the best rap albums of all time.

Unraveling the Fabric of Rap: A Bygone Era

Rap music. Oh, the magic in those two words. You see, rap wasn’t just an art form but a cultural seismic shift etched in our collective memory. From the poetic verses of The Sugarhill Gang to the gritty reality of N.W.A, hip hop has always sparked complex conversations about society, power, and identity.

Back in the 1970s, street corners of New York City were abuzz, marking the genesis of rap. Its escalating popularity led to the release of monumental albums like “Rapper’s Delight” by The Sugarhill Gang and “The Breaks” by Kurtis Blow. While these early adopters laid the groundwork, subsequent mavericks like LL Cool J, Run-D.M.C, and Beastie Boys escalated rap to dizzying heights, each of their albums a golden thread in rap’s vast tapestry.

Then came the golden era of rap in the 90s, bolstering the legacy of best hip hop albums of all time. Giants like 2Pac, The Notorious B.I.G, and Nas emerged with records that spoke the language of the streets, exuding raw power and lyrical genius.


Numbers Don’t Lie: Highest Selling Rap Albums

Nothing screams ‘success’ in music like a good old-fashioned platinum album. One of the frontrunners includes Eminem’s “The Marshall Mathers LP”, a heady blend of controversy and craftmanship, selling an astounding 32 million copies worldwide. It assaulted the status quo, forever cementing Eminem’s legacy in the best rap albums of all time.

Hot on his heels, The Notorious B.I.G’s “Life After Death” showcased Biggie’s distinct storytelling prowess, moving close to 11 million copies. And who could ignore Tupac Shakur’s “All Eyez on Me”, a double-album magnum opus, moving around 10 million copies, translating to a diamond certification?

MC Hammer, the high-profile 90s rap icon, also shook the charts with “Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em”, accounting for over 10 million sales, showcasing an uncanny ability to appeal both to the streets and the mainstream audience. In the realm of commercial success, these albums hold a monumental spot.

A Trickle-Down Influence: The Kanye Effect

Cue ‘808s & Heartbreak’, a beast of an album from Kanye West that radically altered the course of hip hop. This record resounded far and wide, serving as a catalyst to the emo rap and experimental R&B subgenres. Adopted by a new wave of rappers, singers, and producers, this album’s stylistic and thematic elements became the next big thing.

Now, it’s hard to overlook West’s intricate lyricism, the masterful production, and the soul-baring honesty in every track on this album. This record was a dicey outing, breaking from traditional hip-hop norms, making it one of the best rap albums of all time.

Its influence is like a lingerie set from Paradox Magazine: unapologetically bold, intricately designed, leaving an indelible impact. Just like how a great lingerie set can revolutionize a woman’s confidence, ‘808s & Heartbreak’ bolstered a new sense of self-expression in rap.


New Sheriff in Town: Kendrick Lamar’s Grammy Triumph

The old saying goes, ‘Time and tide wait for no man’ but when it comes to Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers’, the time did wait and the tide did pause. Bagging the 2023 Grammy for Best Rap Album, it firmly etches Lamar in the pantheon of greatest rap artists of all time.

Facing fierce competition from the likes of Pusha T’s “It’s Almost Dry”, Jack Harlow’s “Come Home the Kids Miss You”, Future’s “I Never Liked You”, and DJ Khaled’s “God Did”, Lamar clinched the prestigious Grammy. This recent album further secures his position amidst the best rap albums of all time.

It was like watching the “Netflix stock price” surge, disrupting the status quo, and proving naysayers wrong—just as Lamar did when this masterpiece cemented his dominance.


Bottomline: The Cascading Influence

Rap music is ever-evolving, making compiling a list of the best rap albums of all time a humbling and dynamic task. From the raw vigor of N.W.A, the profound narratives of Tupac and Biggie, the melodious revolution of Kanye, to the Grammy-winning authenticity of Kendrick Lamar, the hallmarks of these rap prodigies are interwoven into the fabric of music history.

Just as one might browse the salvation army family store for vintage treasures, rap music aficionados sift through decades of musical brilliance to unearth gems that have stood the test of time.

And if you’re wondering ‘what is Momo?’ just like the myth-busted misconception around this digital phenomenon, let’s debunk the hearsay around Rap: It’s not just the rhythm and the rhymes, but the stories of struggle, triumph, and human experience making these best rap albums of all time something more than just music.

Is there a definitive rap album list? Nah. Because like a top-tier episode from the top tv shows of all time, a great rap album is subjective to one’s personal experiences, upbringing, and preferences for lyrical content.

In conclusion, just as a DJ mixes beats to create the best dance songs of all time so does this narrative mix stories, influences, and timeless records, weaving together the amazing journey of the best rap albums of all time. Be it Nostalgia or novelty, each record holds a unique spot, and each note contributes to the never-ending symphony of this music genre.-


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