Los Angeles is one of the epicenters of rap, and the scene's resurgence in recent years has helped to resuscitate West Coast hip-hop and wrench the mantle back from the likes of Atlanta and Chicago as the center of the hip-hop universe. With the likes of DJ Mustard, YG, Tyga and Ty Dolla $ign nearly inescapable on the radio, the next generation of Los Angeles rap is experiencing a sharp rise in national and global popularity.

But the bounce of Mustard's beats and the snarl of YG and ScHoolboy Q's gangsta raps—not to mention the sing/rap of Kid Ink and the street stylings of the likes of Nipsey Hu$$le and Dom Kennedy—are the byproducts of the generation of L.A. hip-hop that came before, spearheaded by N.W.A, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. With L.A. experiencing a renaissance, XXL asked 11 L.A.-area rappers to name the best L.A. hip-hop album of all time. —XXL Staff



Shit, Chronic 2001? Doggystyle? good kid, m.A.A.d city? Oxymoron? Yeah.



Ice Cube's AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted is the hardest L.A. album of all time.



The Chronic 2001, for sure. That's the one that I still bump.


Kid Ink

That would have to be Snoop Dogg's Doggystyle. I think Snoop Dogg's albums in the beginning, everything that Dre was doing... Actually, you know what? Probably the biggest West Coast album ever has to be The Chronic 2001. That might be the biggest West Coast hip-hop album, not just worldwide, but the whole album was just well produced and well put together. And obviously since he hasn't tried to re-make it again, even though there's so much hype, is because there's so much pressure to follow a perfect album, you know what I'm saying?

I think the records being a little bit more diverse [sets it apart]. I think the original Chronic was more strictly West Coast, whereas 2001 had more where you could vibe on the East Coast or around the world. He set it up with different features that spoke to different regions, to where the first Chronic was definitely real West Coast and more about his squad and his team instead of as him as a producer for everybody as a whole.


MC Eiht

The best L.A. rap album? Shit. Outside of my shit, I'd say, to me, it'd have to be The Chronic. It was just the time, how West Coast rap music was. I think The Chronic because of the direction it took as far as the creativity of West Coast music and everything from songs like "G Than" to "Little Ghetto Boy" to "Let Me Ride," it was just so diverse, but it dealt with typical L.A. and a lot of L.A. subjects. So I'd say The Chronic was probably the best time for L.A. hip-hop.

I thought The Chronic 2001 was okay, but I thought the first one, basically... I thought production-wise, as far as only L.A. hip-hop and L.A. being introduced to hip-hop coming from N.W.A and Compton's Most Wanted, it was more of the diversity of what L.A. hip-hop was. I mean, don't get me wrong, 2001 was the shit, too, but being that type of artist who dealt with that era, I'd have to say the first Chronic, for me.


Nipsey Hu$$le

The Chronic? Nah, The Chronic 2001 might be the best L.A. album of all time. I gotta keep it 100. There's a lot of classics. Chronic's a classic. 2001's a classic. Man, even The Documentary's a classic. I was out here for Documentary, I know when that hit, how that felt. Man, I gotta go with The Chronic 2001, though. It was just the perfect album. It covered too much ground, you know what I mean? It was successful on too many fronts—radio, in the streets, in the clubs, culturally.

The legacy of that album, it being a sequel and being damn near better than the original, the amount of artists that was on the album and the way they were showcased. I think that's what Dre's best at, is using people for what they're best at. And yeah, finding the diamond in every artist and putting that in one space, and the collective is what comes out. So I gotta roll with that one, bro.


Price from Audio Push

The Chronic 2001, that's my favorite album ever. As soon as you turn that shit on, the way the low low sound, you know it's real. Everything about that shit is timeless. That's the real definition of a timeless classic album to me. And it was raw ass rap on there. I just appreciate the real hip-hip and Dre put on so many West Coast niggas that no one knew about, from Hit Man to Mail Man. My mom used to play that shit every day and I used to be little as shit rapping, then getting a whooping for rapping. I knew every word.



You gotta start with Doggystyle, The Chronic, All Eyez On Me. Somewhere in there. Them records, man. It’s hard for me to say cause there’s so much material. You can even say Makaveli, that album. It’s hard to name one. Doggystyle was amazing just how it was put together. It felt like a movie, like a day in the life of Snoop. They come on and he in a bubble bath. This some fly shit going on. The first rapper you hear is Lady Of Rage. That’s crazy to me. It wasn’t Snoop. It was well put together. You can tell sonically that they was in a good groove doing that record from top to bottom. And then they had the version, the one with the “Gz And Hoes” on it? Most of them didn’t have it. The tape version had the “Gz And Hoes” and the CD version didn’t. So that was fly.

The Chronic just came out of nowhere. That shit was out of nowhere. I was young as fuck, but I still remember just the impact of it. With Dre leaving and dissing Cube and the whole thing with that. And you know what All Eyez On Me was. ['Pac] fresh out of jail, the first record that he recorded was “My Ambitionz As A Ridah.” That in itself is already amazing. That’s the first record that you record. You get out.

Makaveli, I remember I ditched school to get that album. I definitely did. I ditched school to go get it. One of my favorite 2Pac songs, probably one of the most underrated 2Pac songs, “Blasphemy.” I never heard ‘Pac [like that]. Man, that shit is crazy. You ever get a chance to revisit it and listen to the shit he saying, “They say Jesus is a kind man, well he should understand/Times in this crime land, my Thug nation/Do what'chu gotta do but know you gotta change/Try to find a way to make it out the game.” That nigga was killing it.


Ras Kass

That's a really hard question. The Chronic, maybe. It just changed music, I think it just changed rap, period. A masterpiece that opened the door for a whole new crop of rappers, Kurupt and Nate Dogg. Yeah, The Chronic to me may be the greatest West Coast, L.A. album.



I think one of my favorites fo sho was The Documentary. I think of Doggystyle. Out of the new cats, Kendrick did his thing on good kid, m.A.A.d city. The Documentary, for me, I was like in 9th grade when that joint was released. It’s been a minute since a new West Coast dude. That joint came along and it was like, “Yo, what the fuck is this?” And Game was strongarming the city at the time. Joints that stuck out for me on that thing was “How They Start From Scratch,” “Don’t Need Your Love,” “Where I’m From.” It felt like a classic album. I’m excited for the Documentary 2. We got something off of that. I’m glad to be a part of this process.

Doggystyle is off of the fact of the amount of singles off of that joint. Now, doing music my damn self, it's like crazy to see that kind of shit looking back. It was like athletics, you know what I mean? From top to bottom, that motherfucker just come out feeling like Dre and Snoop. Them niggas was on some shit. We trying to make some crazy joints. But that joint, you know, you can’t beat that. Growing up, listening to that shit, that’s something that is not gonna go nowhere. It’s one of them albums that you can put in today and sonically it still sounds right.

Kendrick Lamar's album, when I say that, for the time being. It’s a current thing. For a young cat to have a joint that sounded like that well-put together. Well-thought out joint. And the songs he did actually stuck and he did the numbers behind it. It’s an argument. I think the joint on there that stuck out to me most was “Sing About Me." And that joint was dope as fuck. This kid’s storytelling game was epic. That’s how I looked at it and when I heard it, I said it was crazy for me. I ain’t gonna lie, I jumped on the early copy and went and bought two versions of the album. That’s my dude for sure. Definitely proud of the homie for that one.


Warren G

I can't say there's one best but I can give you like five. The first Chronic, the second Chronic, Doggystyle, Kill At Will, N.W.A's Niggaz4Life, Eazy-E's Eazy-Duz-It. Those are the records that will just not go away. They are in constant rotation here and around the world. What trips me out is all of it is starting over again. Like Regulate, I'm in the 20 year anniversary of Regulate and it's like it's starting over again. The new generation is just loving it.

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