This is a very personal thing for everyone, so don't be surprised if mine is completely different than what you are are used to seeing. Feel free to post your own lists and give feedback and shit. from my music ish: http://grilledsteeze.wordpress.com 12. Dyme Def- Space Music: Three of the most talented MC's on the west coast. This was the start of something BIG. Party music with great beats thanks to Bean One, and the lyricism is crazy from Brainstorm, Fearce Villain, and S.E.V. If you haven't heard this album, go learn yourself some hip hop. 11. Jay-Z & Danger Mouse- The Grey Album: I'm gonna save myself alot of writing- JUST LISTEN. 10. Blu & Exile- Below the Heavens: This is what an album is supposed to be. Following in the footsteps of Eric B. & Rakim, and CL Smooth and Pete Rock just to name a few, the full album produced by one guy with one guy rapping is a work of art. Exile's beats are unbelievable, setting a soundscape for Blu's poetic delivery to shine. Only bad part of this album was the Crass Knucks collabo with Ta'Raach. Not like Ta'Raach is bad, he is really pretty decent, but the guest feature sounds out of place among the intimacy of Blu's lyrics throughout the rest of the album. 9. Murs & 9th Wonder- Murray's Revenge: The second in the trilogy (so far) from Murs and 9th, this is great west coast rap with east coast production. Great shit, that's all I can say on this really. 8. Diverse- One A.M.: Produced almost exclusively by big names like RJD2 and Prefuse 72, this album has some crazy beats and Diverse rides them great. One of the best rappers from Chicago. 7. Binary Star- Masters of the Universe: The lyricism of One Be Lo and Senim Silla, along with all their Waterworld counterparts is just crazy. 6. Big L- The Pig Picture: I know it's a compilation and shit, but I feel it does greater justice to Big L's lyrical talents that Lifestyles ov Da Poor and Dangerous. That's to say nothing of The Freestyle History. The greatest lyricist of all time, hands down. 5. Black Star- Mos Def & Talib Kweli are Black Star: Mos and Talib, what else do you need to know? 4. AZ- The Format: Shouldn't be a surprise to see one of the greatest lyricists of all time on this list, but why not one of his classic older albums? Because almost every song on this album is AZ at his best. Listen to The Format, Get High, and Make Me and you'll know what I'm talking about. 3. Nas- Illmatic: Do I need to explain this? 2. Danger Mouse & Jemini- Ghetto Pop Life: Yes, another producer/emcee collabo album. I really feel that this sort of album allows both the production and lyricism to excel, leading the listener through a musical story, rather than just randomly assorted tracks. Guests like Price Po and Tha Alkaholics, along with Jemini's multi-faceted delivery make this one of the most varied albums I've ever heard. This got me into rap music, the second rap album I ever heard after the Grey Album. 1. Common Market- Common Market: RA Scions lyrical prowess never fails to amaze me, and the way he crafts his rhymes around Sabzi's beats leads to some of the most thought provoking, inspiring, and contemplative lyrics I've ever heard. Not one song on this debut album from the Seattle duo lets me down, and it continues to recieve spin time on my shuffle every day. (Tobacco Road is dropping Sept. 9th, brace yourselves.) This was a personal list, and it took me hours to think of. Of course I respect all the classic shit and listen to it alot, so don't be all up in arms asking where's the Biggie or Pac or Pun or Wu-Tang you know. Of course ATCQ all that classic stuff, I'm not gonna justify my reasons these are just my personal favorite albums, catered to my taste. I'm sure I left some of my own favorites out and this isn't binding or anything, just what I could think of now.