1991: Top 25 Hip Hop Albums


On the website I’ll be spotlighting each year of the Diamond, Golden, and Silver age of Hip Hop … ranking the albums, doing podcasts, and songs here and there.
After the 1988 post (The Greatest year in Hip Hop) we continued on, this post is the 1991

A 3 person panel grabbed what each thought to be the top 25 Hip Hop albums of 1990 and ranked them
The rankings were added and then averaged, the results are what you are about to read
With that being said if you dont agree with the position of your favorite album, dont blame me! lol

Feel free to comment or tweet to @TweetRhymesLife

Besides myself, the other two panel members are

@12Kyle – Podcaster and Hip Hop enthusiast
@AmazingJayce – Hip Hop thugster used to be a mugster

LOL anyway, lets get with it … we will start with 25 and work our way up, with a few comments along the way.


25. KMD – Mr. Hood


    Panel Rankings

Me: 16
Jayce: NR
Kyle: 24

Me: I loved this album, the production was dope, had Peach fuzz, and Humrush … the 8087 man, the preacher pork chop joint, and the hilarious Mr. Hood Skits “Slippers? Boy these are Clarks!”
Jayce: “Could have been something special…but hey, DOOM still thrives”
Kyle: “Zev Love X aka MF Doom delivers a solid album from top to bottom. This is one of Doom’s earlier projects. But if you’re a fan of Doom…you’ll love it”

24. All Souled Out


    Panel Rankings

Me: 13
Jayce: NR
Kyle: NR

Me: I’m not sure how or why these guys didn’t peep this The EP was dropped before Mecca and the soul Brother had Go with the Flow and the Creator … excellent work by Pete Rock

23. The Ruler’s back

Rulers back

    Panel Rankings

Me: NR
Jayce: 25
Kyle: 13

Me: Wasn’t a fan, came in right at 26 for me … after TGAOSR he had to come with it and … no.
Jayce: “Ricky didn’t deliver on this album but we were so damn happy he was making music”
Kyle: “Solid album but not Rick’s best effort. He was facing a 5 yr prison sentence and he rush to complete it. Unfortunately…it sounds rushed. Good but not great ”

22. GZA/Genius Words From the Genius


    Panel Rankings

Me: 18
Jayce: 26
Kyle: 20

Me: I originally panned this because of the cover and his name was “Genius” but after listening … he rocked the entire tape; definitely of the time you could tell he had the lyrics
Jayce: “Trapped on a label with no hope and wack beats….he drops bars”
Kyle: “Words from the Genius – Lyrical wizardry from top to bottom. Much like GZA… the album was slept on”

21. Grand Imperial Diamond Shell


    Panel Rankings

Me: 12
Jayce: NR
Kyle: NR

Me: Everyone slept on this album, it had it all the beats, the lyrics, funny joints, story joints, hip hop joints … it was definitely complete; wish he would’ve came with more.

20. Step in the Arena


    Panel Rankings

Me: 11
Jayce: NR
Kyle: NR

Me: I’m not even a fan of Gangstarr but I had to include this, again my panel overlooked this again (yet ranked some trash higher lol) Lovesick, Just to get a rep, and who’s gonna take the weight … they didn’t rank it tho.

19. Chubb Rock The One


    Panel Rankings

Me: 19
Jayce: 17
Kyle: NR

Me: This album doesn’t even sniff the first one, but was better than And the Winner is … had a couple of joints but I could’ve done without it.
Jayce: “Chubb had some bangers…his highs on this album were very high”

18. Digital Underground Sons of the P


    Panel Rankings

Me: 14
Jayce: NR
Kyle: NR

Me: No Nose Job and Kiss you back was enough to rank the album for me
Jayce: “Digital was that group who your dad would bump in his whip and still look cool”

17. Organized Konfusion


    Panel Rankings

Me: 21
Jayce: 18
Kyle: 15

Me: So underrated, people slept on them off the look and the name, but the beats and rhymes were butter.
Jayce: “Just a solid album that didn’t have a weak track at all”
Kyle: “A dope album! Pharoahe Monch and Prince Poetry created an album that gave us a little of everything. It was political, religious, fun, and raw! This was one of the must underground albums of the entire 90s. If you don’t have this album, you need to get it”

16. I wish my Brother George was here


    Panel Rankings

Me: NR
Jayce: 16
Kyle: 9

Me: Nah.
Jayce: “Eccentric album with a nice blend of lyrics and beats”
Kyle: “Del was the combination of a hardcore west coast rapper, a progressive east coast rapper, and a funk technician. On this album, he blended dope beats with an arsenal of musical styles. This album BANGS from top to bottom. A must have for your collection. ”

15. Original Gangster

Ice T OG

    Panel Rankings

Me: NR
Jayce: 10
Kyle: 14

Me: This isn’t the same guy who made Rhyme Pays … I was good on him around this time.
Jayce: “Who didn’t wanna be a New Jack in 91? Ice-T had white people and cops scared to death.”
Kyle: “The fusion of west coast hip hop and heavy metal. Ice delivers his best album with OG. With songs like New Jack Hustler and the title track…Ice T showed that Hollywood and acting wasn’t going to change him as a rapper. Dope album.”

14. Cypress Hill


    Panel Rankings

Me: 23
Jayce: 7
Kyle: 19

Me: Never was a fan of these guys outside of the singles on this album, and it’s the only reason I ranked it
Jayce: “This album came out of nowhere and introduced me B. Real & the ill production of DJ Muggs…classic album”
Kyle: “Crazy production! DJ Muggs blessed this album with great production all the way through. Sen Dog and B Real deliver some dope west coast rhymes. Very good album”

13. Nice & Smooth – Ain’t a Damn Thing Changed


    Panel Rankings

Me: 9
Jayce: 15
Kyle: 23

Me: You cannot get a party started hyper than Greg Nice rhyming lead off, Hip Hop Junkies and Harmonize … Cake and eat it to; plus down the line? Dopeness
Jayce: “Just fun records B…that sums up how I feel about Nice & Smooth”
Kyle: “a pretty good album from this duo. While it wasn’t as good as their first album, fans will still enjoy this. Greg Nice is spitting and Smooth B comes across very mellow on each track. ”

12. Mr. Scarface is back


    Panel Rankings

Me: NR
Jayce: 8
Kyle: 8

Me: Nah. If he’s not in the Group I’m not messin with him.
Jayce: “Scarface was an emcee proving a point in 1991…one of the best to ever do it”
Kyle: “Hardcore gangsta rap at its finest. Scarface spits bars unlike many others. He graphically describes scenes of murder and mayhem that keeps you listening to each verse. The Geto Boys front man delivers”

11. Naughty by Nature – Naughty by Nature


    Panel Rankings

Me: 17
Jayce: 13
Kyle: 11

Me: For the singles, but ultimately the New Style Posse was pretty corny.
Jayce: “They successfully made some of the sappiest music ever…but hey I won’t hate”
Kyle: ” The 2nd album from the trio from NJ. This album featured the hip hop classic, OPP. Treach gave you some slick street rhymes throughout this album. Vinnie held his own on most tracks with great production from Kay Gee”

10. Geto Boys – We Can’t be stopped


    Panel Rankings

Me: NR
Jayce: 6
Kyle: 6

Me: The worst joint they made, Mind playing tricks and then what?
Jayce: “Geto Boys put me on the south…this was a hardcore album that was straight up southern royalty”
Kyle: “The first thing that stands out about this album is not the music…but the album cover. The album cover is a graphic picture of Bushwick Bill in the hospital shortly after being shot in the eye. Bill removed the eyepatch for the album cover. Musically, this album is funk mixed with hardcore gangsta rhymes. The Geto Boys perfect it! They dropped street anthems from We Can’t Be Stopped, I’m Not A Gentleman, Ain’t with Being Broke, and the classic smash hit Mind Playing Tricks on Me”

9. DJ Quik – Quik Is the Name


    Panel Rankings

Me: 7
Jayce: 12
Kyle: 17

Me: For the time, for that year it was incredible … different sound and a new voice, everyone liked Tonite … and I got that feeling
Jayce: “Quik let the world know that he was one of the most complete emcees in hip hop on the beats and the mic.”
Kyle: “Damn good album that produced the hit “Tonite”. Quik is one of the best producers from the west coast in the history of hip hop. This album bangs all the way throughout. ”

8. Black Sheep – A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Black Sheep - A Wolf In Sheep

    Panel Rankings

Me: 8
Jayce: 14
Kyle: 12

Me: Native tongues hit us with an original act, and this album had bangers, I still bump La Menage
Jayce: “Never able to duplicate the dopeness of this album but it was so damn good…the Native Movement was REAL”
Kyle: “Dope album that featured songs like Stroblite Honey, Similak Child, Flavor of the Month and the smash hit…The Choice Is Yours. Dres and Mista Lawnge were solid MCs from the Native Tongue family tree. Great production and a must have”

7. 2Pac – 2Pacalypse Now


    Panel Rankings

Me: 10
Jayce: 9
Kyle: 10

Me: Personally my favorite Pac Album (The only one I actually like) Real raw on here, he was believable…
Jayce: “The Legend gave us a glimpse of his greatness with some of his most passionate verses”
Kyle: “The debut studio album from the late Tupac Shakur. A raw album that dealt with social issues, racism, police brutality, teen pregnancy, poverty and much more. Tupac simply delivered and introduced the world to who he was as an MC. With songs like…Trapped, If My Homies Call, and Brenda’s Got A Baby…Tupac let the world know that he had a voice that needed to be heard. ”

6. Public Enemy Apocalypse 91…The Enemy Strikes Black

apocalypse 91 cover

    Panel Rankings

Me: 4
Jayce: 11
Kyle: 7

Me: Can’t Truss it, By the time I get to Arizona, and Shut em Down … what else do you want?! PLUS Nighttrain and Yo Niga, great album
Jayce: “When the beat dropped on Can’t Truss it…you already knew Chuck wasn’t playing”
Kyle: “Phenomenal Album. With songs like By The Time I Get to Arizona, Shut em Down, and Can’t Truss It, PE knocked it out of the park. The problem with this album was…the success of their previous 3 albums. Those are all heralded as classics in many hip hop circles. This one doesn’t compare to those other 3. However, still a must listen”

5. N.W.A – Efil4zaggin


    Panel Rankings

Me: 6
Jayce: 3
Kyle: 5

Me: Beginning of the end, but they went out with a classic … I could only image what Cube would’ve done on that production, real fun album
Jayce: “NWA…did you really think they would fall off? ”
Kyle: “Simple put…this is a gangsta rap masterpiece. The album, which would be the last NWA album that would feature Dr. Dre, flows gracefully. From diss records directed at Ice Cube to street bangers…NWA does not disappoint. Alwayz Into Somethin’, Real Niggaz Don’t Die, Niggaz 4 Life are just a few standout tracks on this album. If you don’t have this album in your collection…then you don’t have a collection. ”

4. Main Source – Breaking Atoms


    Panel Rankings

Me: 5
Jayce: 5
Kyle: 4

Me: Even with me ranking it 5 I’ve always found this to be overrated, the 2 singles and some other songs for me, still solid tho.
Jayce: “Extra P…period…everything dope about this album is due to his unappreciated greatness ”
Kyle: “Large Professor handles all the rapping and production. The beats are dope, very funk influenced and with hard drums. Large Professor is also a dope rapper, his subject matter is rather everyday type stories but on “Friendly Game of Baseball” he goes against racist cops. The album is filled with CLASSICS (Just Hangin’ Out, Lookin at the Front Door) including the first guest appearance by Nas (Live at the Barbeque). Simply put…a great hip hop album from start to finish.”

3. Ice Cube – Death Certificate


    Panel Rankings

Me: 3
Jayce: 2
Kyle: 3

Me: I’m ranking it off the strength of 5 songs, the rest of the 20 track album can go … but those 5 or 6 were great
Jayce: ” Ice Cube said fuck NWA and everyone down with them…bold and amazing album”
Kyle: “Ice Cube kills it with this album. He completed it on the heels of shooting, Boyz N Tha Hood. But he would not go Hollywood on this album. Cube’s affiliation with the Nation of Islam provided the backdrop to be one of the most influential and pro-black hip hop albums ever. The album was funk and bass heavy. Lyrically, Ice Cube held up a mirror to America so they could see what they had ignored for years. Ice Cube was angry yet poised to deliver some of the best work he’s ever done. From songs like Us, Steady Mobbin, and Look Who’s Burnin…Ice Cube serves a knockout blow. He also crafted arguably the best diss record in the history of hip hop, No Vaseline. A classic”

2. De La Soul – De La Soul Is Dead


    Panel Rankings

Me: 1
Jayce: 4
Kyle: 2

Me: Ahead of it’s time, De La reinvents themselves and gives us some brand new funk … true hip hop classic; listen to the De La Soul podcast for more!
Jayce: “The best album that nobody talks about…their best album to this date which is saying a lot!”
Kyle: “It is never easy to follow-up a classic album but De La Soul have managed to even outdo their debut. The trio delivers a phenomenal classic album that can still be enjoyed to this day. The production from Prince Paul is flawless and was crafted to perfection. The skits are dope and funny, cleverly dissing gangsta and pop rap. Lyrically, they matured from the first album. You always need a few listens to get what they say which helps the replay value. There aren’t really any standout songs on this album because they all standout! It’s a strong an cohesive album. This album showcases real hip hop and is still relevant. A must have”

1. A Tribe Called Quest – The Low End Theory


    Panel Rankings

Me: 2
Jayce: 1
Kyle: 1

Me: I ranked this 2, only because I think LET gets older faster than DLSID … but that also could be because we played the HELL out of it, such a solid album Date Rape and Skypager gets dated and Everything is fair is unlistenable to me now … but you must love this album

Kyle: “One of the first albums to bled hip hop and jazz. This album is a classic. I could write a book on why it is a classic…but I won’t. If you don’t have this album in your collection…let me know and I will BUY it for you. Period.
Low End Theory really has some of the best hip hop production ever made, who would have thought that they could improve over their debut album, and continue innovating at the same time? They did! Q Tip does not disappoint on any tracks. There is a difference between Phife’s rhyming style on the first album and this album. He’s twice as good on this one. This is not only the best album of 1991 but one of the best albums in the history of hip hop.”

Well, that is the list, hopefully we can get 1992 up sooner than later, be on the lookout for the Crates Podcast where I play some 1991 songs you might’ve missed, until then …

Hip Hop.