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The Top 50 Summer Releases Of All Time


50. Luniz, Operation Stackola

Released On: July 4, 1995 (Noo Trybe/Virgin/EMI)

Perhaps more than any other region in hip-hop, the music of the Bay feels the most like a warm summer day. Operation Stackola, the debut album from Oakland’s Luniz, was a platinum-selling smash loaded with good-time summer vibes. Noted for it’s breezy mellow funk and smooth playalistic rhymes, the duo of Yukmouth and Krumskull, take the listener on a tour of their hometown’s terrain filled with “Playa Haters,” “Broke Hos” and “Pimps, Playas & Hustlas.” Powered by the instantly iconic weed smoker’s anthem, “I Got 5 On It,” (a top ten hit), Operation Stackola is the platonic ideal of summery Bay Area perfection.


49. Gravediggaz, 6 Feet Deep

Released On: August 9, 1994 (Gee Street/Island/PolyGram Records)

During the summer to flee the often-oppressive heat, Americans flock to the cool recesses of air-conditioned movie theaters. In the summer of 1994, hip-hop supergroup, Gravediggaz, provided the soundtrack to a gruesome hip-hop horror film with the release of their debut LP, 6 Feet Deep.

One of rap’s first supergroup’s consisting of Wu-Tang’s The RZA, Stetasonic’s Prince Paul and Frukwan and the late Too Poetic, 6 Feet Deep is largely credited with inventing “horrorcore,” a sub-genre of rap obsessed with blood, guts and body parts that is heavy on shock value and murderous satire.


48. Pete Rock & CL Smooth, All Souled Out

Released On: June 25, 1991 (Elektra)

Clocking in at a breezy 29 minutes and 3 seconds, All Souled Out, the debut EP from venerable hip-hop duo Pete Rock & CL Smooth, demonstrated a perfect alchemy for hip-hop success. CL’s smooth street conscious rhymes rocked Pete’s jazzy layered beats to perfection, going together like ice cream and a 90° degree day. Spawning the modest hit, “The Creator,” All Souled Out set the stage for the duo’s classic debut LP, Mecca & The Soul Brother, a year later.


47. Scarface, The World Is Yours

Released On: August 17, 1993 (Rap-A-Lot Records)

Filled with murderous intent in rhymes and in content, Mr. Scarface’s record, The World Is Yours, is as strong a sophomore release as they come. Scarface brings his penchant for gritty street narratives on tracks like “The Wall,” “Dyin’ With Your Boots” and the Top-Ten hit, “Let Me Roll.” Produced primarily by N.O. Joe, The World Is Yours remains a gangster classic.


46. Boogie Down Productions, Edutainment

Released On: July 17, 1990

On Edutainment, KRS-One coined the titular phrase that would become one of his chief philosophies of his career. “Edutainment,” a synthesis of KRS’s dual desire to entertain and educate forms the primary thesis of this album’s theme. Songs like “Love’s Gonna Get’cha (Material Love), “Beef” and “100 Guns” accomplish both tasks equally making Edutainment one of the most essential albums of KRS-One’s catalogue.

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