The Top 50 Summer Releases Of All Time

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

  • 2012Industry1

    OK…i’ll say it…How are a lot of these Summer Albums and they came out in mid to late September? Other than that…good list!

  • Banthum Bailey

    They just throwing anything from NY in there… LOL.

    • Eric Diep

      Ha. What do you think should be replaced?

  • mistahdubs

    Don’t get me wrong blueprint is mad nice but that isn’t on the level of reasonable doubt, vol. 1, or black album though It is one of his best but it doesn’t rank above a lot of the classics on this list by any means

  • Dimas

    Am I crazy, or ya’ll don’t have Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… on the list? That dropped August 1st 1995. Not only should that be on the list, it should probably be number one.

  • whiteout

    Ya’ll shoulda just said, “fuck this list.” I know its not your fault, but, no Tupac albums were released in the “summer.” Oh, and I haven’t checked yet, but, apparently no Eminem or Tech N9ne albums released during that time period, either. The three greatest (or at least influential) MCs of all-time not on a list that isn’t, “The Top 50 Wackest Albums of All-Time”, or some bullshit, is fucking BLASPHEMY! *Tupac voice*

  • in2deep

    LOL @ NO OBCL doesnt get ‘more summer’ than the purple tape…

    thats my word.

  • Dart_Adams

    Black Star album dropped on September 29th, 1998, didn’t it?

  • Dart_Adams

    Didn’t “Bigger And Deffer” drop back in 1987? “Walking With A Panther” dropped back in June 1989. I should know. I played “Kanday” on my class trip back in 1987. Off of “Bigger And Deffer”. This is embarrassing…