1988 Vs. 1998

I still haven’t found Jane Doe, so in the meantime I’ve been bumping “Twice In A Lifetime” off Black Star‘s debut album.

They were spitting back then. It’s hard to believe it’s already been ten years since Black Star’s only LP. Some of you may remember that it dropped on September 29th, one of the illest release dates in hip-hop history. Jay-Z‘s Hard Knock Life, Outkast‘s Aquemini, A Tribe Called Quest‘s final CD, The Love Movement and Bran Nubian‘s Foundation, all hit stores that day. That’s five solid albums dropping on the same day. I haven’t heard five solid albums all year.

Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill had just dropped a month earlier (August 25), and you dunn know I was still bumping Def Squad and DMX and those Best Of Canibus Freestyle CDs. That was a hot summer, Cam. I remember us bumping that Capital Punishment on the way to Coney Island, or trying to break my aunt’s windows blasting that N.O.R.E. when everybody left the crib. For my money, 1998 is one of my favorite years in hip-hop. Not only for the music, but the memories I associate with the albums. I think 94 or 96 may be my other favorite calendars. Shoot, listening to Hot 97 wasn’t even half bad back then.

I’m pretty sure my older brother feels the same way about 1988, the year of monster releases by Big Daddy Kane (Long Live The Kane), Boogie Down Productions(By All Means Necessary), Slick Rick (The Great Adventures Of Slick Rick), Public Enemy (It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back), N.W.A.(Straight Outta Compton) and Eric B. & Rakim(Follow The Leader). He’s looking over my shoulder right now telling me my year can’t hang. You see I love those albums, but I have a different type of appreciation for them. I could wikipedia the dates, but I’d be lying if I told you I remembered the day they dropped. I was a super youngin’ at the time. I was probably more worried about how many homeruns Darryl Strawberry hit in the Mets game anyway.

But anyway, 98 may be one of my favorites, but I couldn’t possibly say it was better than 88 album-wise. I may not have understood everything the R. said back then, but I sure revisited his CD years later. Dude was a beast. The same goes for Kane and them. Basically, 88 wins because of the ratio. There were less albums out, but almost everything out (minus Hammer of course) was fire. What do you guys think? What was the better year 1998, or 1988? I couldn’t possibly remember every release, so if I forgot somebody, my bad. Speak on it.

 

1988

-Big Daddy Kane-Long Live The Kane
-Biz Markie-Goin’ Off
-Boogie Down Productions-By All Means Necessary
-Eazy-
E-Eazy-Duz-It
-EPMD-Strictly Business
-Eric B. & Rakim-Follow The Leader
-The Fat Boys-Come Back Hard Again
-Ice-T-Power
-Jungle Brothers-Straight out the Jungle
-
-MC Hammer-
Let’s Get It Started
-N.W.A-Straight Outta Compton
-Public Enemy-It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
-Rob Base And DJ E-Z Rock-
It Takes Two
-Run-D.M.C.-Thougher Than Leather
-Salt-n-Pepa-A Salt with a Deadly Pepa
-Slick Rick-The Great Adventures Of Slick Rick
-Ultramagnetic MCs-Critical Beatdown

1998

-Beastie Boys-Hello Nasty
-Big Pun-Capital Punishment
-Bizzie Bone-Heaven’z Movie-Black Star-Mos Def & Talib Keli Are…Black Star
-Brand Nubian-Foundation
-Busta Rhymes-Extinction Level Event
-Cam’Ron-Confessions Of Fire
-Canibus-Can-I-Bus
-Cappadonna-The Pillage
-Cypress Hill-IV-Daz Dillinger-Retaliation, Revenge & Get Back
-Def Squad-El Nino
-DJ Quik-Rhythm-Al-Ism-DMX-It’s Dark & Hell Is Hot
-DMX-Flesh Of My Flesh, Blood Of My Blood
-Fat Joe-Don Cartegena
-Gangstarr-The Moment Of Truth
-Goodie Mob-
Still Standing
-Jay-Z-In My Lifetime Vol. 2: Hard Knock Life
-Jermaine Dupri-
Life In 1472
-Jurassic 5-Jurassic 5 LP
-Killah Priest-Heavy Mental-Kurupt-Kuruption
-Lauryn Hill-The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill
-Lord Tariq and Peter Gunz-Make It Reign
-The Lox-
Money, Power, Respect
-Master P-The Last Don
-M.O.P.-First Family 4 Life
-Noreaga-N.O.R.E
-Onyx-
Shut ‘Em Down
-Outkast-Aquemini
-Pete Rock-Soul Survivor
-Redman -Doc’s Da Name 2000
-Snoop Dogg-
Da Game Is To Be Sold, Not To Be Told
-Timbaland-Tim’s Bio:Life From Da Bassmet Timbaland
-A Tribe Called Quest The Love Movement
-Various Artists-Lyricist Lounge Vol.1
-Xzibit-40 Days & 40 Nightz

  • Fdot

    To me, ’88 & ’98 are big years for different reasons. Both years however, helped the genre reach it’s status.

    ’88 had fewer albums but it’s hard to dispute the legacy’s those albums left behind 20 years later.

    ’98 was a year that I believe, that had so many #1 albums.

    Both years also had balance with the different types of artists out. There was something for everyone. Not to mention, just about everyone in Hip-Hop was eatin’.

    • chill

      both with the success of the 88′ album lables look forward and signed new act I still listen to my slick rick cd bought in 98′ I had the tape in 89′ but yall left a lot of classic album off the 88′ list like Big Daddy Kane, The R KRS-one

  • Ridda

    1998 EASILY. Even if in 1998 only Aquemini was released, it would be still a better year

  • G Dub

    Dre’s Shit Detox Be Droppin In 20-28
    (The Year 2028 F**kin Morons)

    Beliedat Homies!

  • Pierzy

    Hard Knock Life was volume 2 (you have it listed as volume 3 in your list). Like you, I have much better memories from 98, but I think you have to go with 88 because those albums are CLASSICS…some of the 98 albums weren’t classics or were considered disappointing (Can-I-Bus especially). Lyrically, Chuck D murders them all…

  • http://www.xxlmag.com jackpot

    Good looking out, Pierzy.

    • Pierzy

      No doubt – big fan of your posts, kid!

      • Pierzy

        DJ Clue’s album “The Professional” came out in ’98 too. That had some bangers on there…

  • http://beatsandrants.blogs.com Trent

    This is no contest.

    1988 was the best year.

    Public Enemy‘s It Takes a Nation of Millions is the greatest hip-hop album of all-time.

    It’s the album that artists today should measure by when they want to create a perfect hip-hop album.

    Sadly, they don’t.

    And N.W.A.‘s Straight Outta Compton — a revolutionary gangsta rap album.

    Almost 90 percent of the albums from 1988 are timeless classics.

    Please this is no contest.

    • Pierzy

      Co-sign. Without Straight Outta Compton, there might not even be a Death Row…

  • Dal

    wow I actually have 10 albums from ’98

    wow the good old days when cd’s were worth copping

  • detroit 88

    i was born in 88 and remember 98 well i had all dat shit at 10 i was really listnenin 2 hiphop but 88 wins on da fact that everything dat came is classic and has lyrics in those albums been used by artists slick was that dude thank god 4 internet rakin still is dat dude whenever spit a 16 88 was dat year bdp nwa salt n pepa legends was made dat year

  • bakerboi

    Once again what are we really talking about Quantity or Quality? For me ’88 has more quality bangers that are to this day are still classics. Look who’s in the list come on man, these are the rapper and groups that formed what hip hop is today. Duhhhhhh! NWA, Big Daddy Kane, Public Enenmy…. shit just those few we beast in every since of the word. However, being a West Coast Baby, I got to add Too $hort to the mix because it made it already to say BITCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • jcwpsych

    Great Post!! I bought all those C.Ds in 1998. That N.O.R.E. was off the chain. Can-i-Bus murdered LL 4,3,2,1 track. The golden years of hip-hop.

  • bakerboi

    Once again what are we really talking about Quantity or Quality? For me ’88 has more quality bangers that are to this day are still classics. Look who’s in the list come on man, these are the rapper and groups that formed what hip hop is today. Duhhhhhh! NWA, Big Daddy Kane, Public Enemy…. shit just those few we beast in every since of the word. However, being a West Coast Baby, I got to add Too $hort to the mix because it made it already to say BITCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • are001

    I can’t call it. Looking at the lists, both years had some heat. Dope post.

  • DJ Say Whaaaaaat??

    1998 was one of the very last years where most if not all of these releases were available on cassette….which gives 98 the slight edge in my personal opinion only because my DOC’S DA NAME 2000!!!!, foundation, still standing, hello nasty, moment of truth, and aquemini tapes have more sentimental value to me than my by all means necessary, great adventures of slick rick, nation of millions, and follow the leader tapes, all of which i got at goodwill/tag sales over the years

  • http://hhu.blog.hr KeTy_22

    I’m the fan from Croatia and in 88 I was born so I’m not that experienced about this music, but last few years I found a lot of albums and research… I think 88 albums were better, it was time when people made music because they loved doing it, so that music had better quality. I don’t think 98 albums were great, I must say I listen them more often than this from 88, but that’s just because they are more comercial and easier for listening… Peace out

  • http://www.sohh.com BossHogg

    I Was Born In ’88 So I Don’t Kno But I Remember ’98, That Was The Year I Fell In Love With Hip-Hop, It Was Hip-Hops Come Back After We Lost Two Of Our Best..’98 to infinity

  • Simple like ABC, 123

    88 wins!!! you know, classic albums!!!

    98 the East Coast dominate that year.

    But if you look 92 – 96 there are a couple of classic East Coast album but those years was dominate by the West Coast.

    So, 80′s and 97-02 was dominate by the East Coast.

    And Dirty South from 03-present

  • DETROIT

    ’88 murders ’98…”the love movement” was tribe’s worst album. Snoop’s album was avg….i could go on, but needless to say ’88 had many more classic albums. I’m actually old enough to remember the music from ’88 (i had most of these albums) and the difference was that during that era, everyone had their own style. Also, you had to have talent to be an actual rapper that put out albums! But come on man, “strictly business” (you got’s ta chill!), long live the kane, Power, The great adventures of slick rick, Str8 outta compton, by any means necessary, easy duz it, follow the leader, and even let’s get it started were all the defining works of each respective artist…..CLASSIC YEAR! oh yea, can’t forget the pe joint…night of the living baseheads was da ish!

  • Simple like ABC, 123

    I forgot to say that 92-96 was for me the best years of Hip- Hop because you have classic albums from all region.

    New York: Wu-Tang Clan = 36 Chambers

    Cali: Dr. Dre = The Chronic

    ATL: Outkast = Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik

    Houston: UGK = Ridin’ Dirty

    Memphis: Three 6 Mafia = Mystic Stylez

  • Combat Jack

    Hard to tell. I was in law school in ’88 and bump each and every one of the list INCLUDING Hammer! One of the Best Years of My Life!

    but

    In ’98, I was at the top of my music biz game and made MAD paper just for the fact that so many dope albums were being dropped.

    However,

    “It Takes A Nation Of Millions” singlehandedly blows everything on the ’98 and the ’88 list clean off the charts.

    Verdict:

    ’88 wins. Plus, knicckas was rocking authentic hi tops, suzuki jeeps with new jack hustlers and gucci links was running the streets, fine ass bk and queens chicks were rocking biker shorts (whats better than that?)

    AND

    House Music was still pumping for when cats got a lil too amped off of straight listening to Hip Hop too much.

    Jack Your Body, Move your Body!

  • Combat Jack

    btw, great effin post dude!

  • http://thimk.wordpress.com/ Vincent

    No question it’s ’88 just for the sheer dominance, influence and creativity at the time. Not to mention PE’s ‘It Takes a Nation of Millions…’ But obviously your age will influence your opinion. My uncle (8 years older than me) would probably say ’86 or ’87 is best.

  • Farouq Obama aka Fux

    1998 no question I was junior going to my Senior year had a little job and I copped every damn album on Tuesday. Its a matter of perception like how can something hold the same wait if I was too young to understand. Same way the young kids stan weakass Weezy

  • http://ifux.alumnah.com/ Farouq Obama aka Fux

    btw I fuck with you, you’ve been going all the way live for a minute

  • Sleepy Wonder

    My Uncle Bumped Big Daddy Kane When I Was Little, But 96 Was It For Me, Basically Because It Was The Year That I Got Into Hip-Hop. I Was Barely Finished With 5th Grade About To Start Middle School When My Older Cousin Stopped By From NY In July. He Brought His Walkman And In It Was “It Was Written”. It Was The First Hip Hop Tape I Listened To From Beginning To End, Before That I Was A Big Michael Jackson Fan Throughout Elementary. After That, I Got It On With Hip Hop “Reasonable Doubt”, “All Eyez On Me”, “Hell On Earth”, “Ironman” And Some Others….

    • Were Read 2 Def

      “It Was Written” was that 1 that made me fall in luv wit hip hop. Then, Wu-Tang Forever can out n it was a rap 4 me.

  • http://myspace.com/phantom916 phantom

    I have more memories from 98 because thats when we were older and goin nuts, partying etc. Fun time for music. We were livin in that era where as we had to go back and get classics later on to be educated about the history. We werent tryin to hear nothin old back then. We stayed supid. Now I take history classes. I remember being so disapointed when I opened the source and saw the ad for that snoop cd on no limit. Always with the cheesey photoshop and fake jewels everywhere. There are a couple joints on that cd but for the most part… thanks for the post.
    myspace.com/phantom916

  • http://xxlmag.com kane corleone

    @ EASE cuz….thats a cold ass list 88′- 98′ makes me feel older than a mufucca. Can’t knock the young dudes for they opinion but 87′ is when i got put on the set and hangin wit my OG’z .Any WestCoast nigga know late 80′s we were comin for the CROWN!

  • Dante

    ’94 & ’95 > ’88 & ’98

    • Arcey

      ’88 > ’94-95 > ’98

      I remember my older brother bumping that Big Daddy Kane, PE, EPMD, etc. back then most of everything was fresh & new, ppl were original with it (maybe sometimes corny!) ’94 was like Meth said on the B.I.G. joint “rugged, raw, kicking down the got damn door” and by ’98 BIG & Pac had passed, ppl were trying to emulate the Bad Boys sound & DMX’s “Get at me dog@ is basically “get the bozack” by EPMD but yeah that Black Star, L. Hill, Pete Rock, Outkast were crazy nice & still are to this day (to me, anyways)

      • Simple like ABC, 123

        92 – 96 >>>>> 80′s >>>>> 97-present

        • Simple like ABC, 123

          Correction:
          92-96 >>>> 80′s-91 >>>> 97-02 >>>> 03-present

  • The Nicker

    It’s hard to argue with ’88 being superior although my age slots me into spinning way more ’98 discs.

    A couple dope albums you forgot from ’98:

    Heltah Skeltah – Magnum Force
    Lost Boyz – LB IV Life

    • Capital G

      Magnum Force was the muthafuckin’ shit! Good call my dude.

  • $ykotic

    Good job! great forum….

    ’88: Chuck shook the world. That was KRS’ first cut after Scott LaRock died. EpMd popped off. Slick no longer a free agent on Def Jam. Kane spitting that wordplay. Rakim’s second album. THAT YEAR WAS THE SPAWN FOR THE NEXT 10 YRS!

    Peep the ’98 list. No lie!

    Jungle Bros: Tribe/Busta
    EpMd: Redman/Def Squad
    Biz/Kane: Jay-Z
    Run DMC: Onyx
    EazyE/NWA: Snoop/X

    SO HERE’S MY QUESTION ALL:

    What the hell happened between ’98 to ’08?

    Is it me or did Hip Hop not progress thru these last 10yrs?

    HMMM………

    • Pierzy

      Definitely didn’t. It actually REgressed…

      • DETROIT

        Excellent point bro, i never thought of it like that. but that kind of supports what i said also. a lot of people have suggested that this comparison is about what you were doing at the time, or how you felt during each era. I STRONGLY DISAGREE! Musically, as well as lyrically, 1988′s offerings were just better. I challenge anyone who says “98 cuz i was in 12th grade, etc” to actually listen to the albums listed for 88. For instance, slick rick’s joint was waaaaaaay colder than snoop’s ’98 joint, regardless of where you were or what you were doing at the time. Music is timeless. I was 10 in ’88 and 20 in ’98, but if you go album for album, the 88 music was more on point and much more organic. That’s before rappers started makin 1 album every year, or having 8 guest apperances. Also, each rapper had a distinct style which made the ’88 offerings way more diverse. for example, slick rick was from the uk and told stories, krs was the teacher, nwa was gangsta, chuck d was militant, erick sermon had the trademark lisp and funk beats, kane had the killer flow, etc

  • Will Lee

    I remember limping through the mall at 14 years old on my way to Camelot Music Store (remember that?) on October 6, 1998 to cop that Heaven’s Movie on what turned out to be a broken ankle. 1998 for my money. although i find myself listening to Big Daddy Kane A LOT.

  • DANJA29

    I think ’88 is the more musically significant, but I personally enjoyed the ’98 stuff more. I was just a kid in ’88, and like you said, I can’t recall the initial feeling of those albums coming out. I remember them only because that was what my brother was listening to, and I happened to hear ‘em. I like a lot of those albums, but there’s no personal attachment. In ’98 on the other hand, I was fresh out of high school and I have lots of fun memories to attach to them.

  • KQ

    1988! dumb question!

  • Ryan

    Man, in 88 I was 6 so 98 was a more prominent year for me, I have each and every one of the albums from that year and most off the 88 list but 98 evokes more/better memories. I don’t remember much from when I was 6, and I didn’t know about hip hop at that age and I discovered those albums far after they were released. That being said, the 88 list is still better just because Eric B & Rakim, Kane and PE are on it.

  • http://www.incilin.blogspot.com Incilin

    98 is big mostly because of Ms. Hill (and all her grammys) and the revival of Def Jam (X and Jay). Aside from Blackstarr, Capital Punishment, and artists I just listed, I don’t know if I can call all them joints classics. I don’t know what to say bout 88, nigga I was 2! But I got the Kane, Ra, and NWA joints and they all bump even after all these years. I don’t know about the rest. All I know is 2008 aint shit. Aside from Rising Down and 2 mixtapes (Re-Up and Budden), I can’t think of any really good albums.

  • http://clapcowards.wordpress.com Zilla Rocca

    Damn Jack–you’re taking me back!

    I just counted on the list of albums from ’98 (when I was copping something every single Tuesday)…

    I own 22 albums on that list!

    Nothing was crazier than 9/29/98…until 2/28/99 when the Roots “Things Fall Apart,” Prince Paul’s “Prince Among Thieves,” Eminem’s “Slim Shady LP” and SOMEONE ELSE GODDAMMIT! all dropped on the same day.

  • Simple like ABC, 123

    I thinks you forgot one of 98:

    Juvenile = “400 Degreez”

    That’s a classic album from the south, New Orleans. Do you remember the video of the song “Ha” on the “Magnolia Projects” wow!!! Pure Hip-Hop!!!

    • Simple like ABC, 123

      Video of Juvenile “Ha” = late 1998, classic!!!

  • mr.martin

    2008 will trump these years with boosie beezy jeezy weezy and cheesy

  • Ali

    lol @ mr. martin

    yeah it aint even close, 88…..Rakim released sumn in 88 that makes 88 win by default lol

  • BIGNAT

    Lauryn Hill-The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill don’t fake i still rock that joint

  • ThingAlec

    I was born in ’88 and I got into hip hop for the first time in ’98.

  • http://hiphoponmymind.blogspot.com DJ Daddy Mack

    1998>1988

    even some professors would agree.

  • http://XXL TheGodJustice

    You forgot one album that came out in ’98:

    NAS-I AM….THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY

    • Pierzy

      Actually, that came out in April of ’99. I met NaS the day after it came out…it was early April, 1999.

      • http://XXL TheGodJustice

        You know what you’re right. It did come out in ’99. Because that album and NASTRADAMUS came out a year apart. NASTRADAMUS was supposed to had dropped in October of that same year but didn’t. It ended up coming out a year later.

  • jay

    Jayo Felony-”what you gonna do”,AZ-”pieces of a man”,W.C.-”the shadiest one”,E 40-”the element of suprise”,8 Ball”lost”,Cocoa Brovaz(Smith N Wessun)-”rude awakening”,Mack 10-”the recipe”,C-Murder-”life insurance”. Classics that didn’t drop….King T-”thy kingdom come”,Snoop Dogg”doin too much”(death row),I Apologize(independent),Rza”the cure”. I can go on and on……

  • jay

    pt.2- KRS-One”maximum strength”,Rass Kass”rassassination”.Yukmouth”thugged out”,Ghetto Boys(iforgot the name), and Devin “the dude” came out i’d say 98 was a great year… one of my favorites.

  • http://xxlmag.com Kane Corleone

    @ Ease lil homies…..the comparison only can be asked to cats who’re old enough to remember 88 & 98 ,Like if you was 12+ during 88 than you can probably relate to the music then ,and now in 98 you’re 20+.Just cause you remember hearing the music back then is one thing, but could you comprehend the music you were listening to? Gotta love this hiphop shit no matter what year.The General has spoken!

  • http://www.xxlmag.com jackpot

    Yo, God Justice. Nas’I Am came out in 99, the same year as Nastradamus. I can’t believe I forgot Rassassination though.

  • Yayza

    Such a fucking hard decision! I’m kind of biased to say ’88, if only because I was born that year, and plus By All Means Necessary was sick as fuck. But damn, Hello Nasty was an incredible album, not just by rap standards, like, I consider that one of the greatest albums in any genre. And I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t bumpin’ “Still Not A Player” this very moment, high as a mothafucka. But I’d still have to give it to 88, the albums were just solid, and there’s no denying they have a certain charm songs today just don’t, as cliche as that may sound.

  • c. gabi

    I think this is really just a generational thing. I have great admiration and respect for the albums that dropped in ’88, I can *appreciate* them. My dad is an old school hip hop kinda guy (more like, Grandmaster Flash & P-Funk type rap), but he was on a serious Public Enemy kick when I was little. So, those songs from that era are nostalgic for me.

    But ’98…man. I have at least 8 of those albums (and you forgot The Source Vol. 2). Soooo many classics! One thing I have to say that makes ’98 a better year is that those songs are timeless, truly. I can put the Black Star album on and forget it’s 10 yrs old. The sound is still fresh. For me at least, ’98 was high school, and really a time where I began to really fall in love with hip-hop (cheesy yes, such a Brown Sugar moment ).

    So, my vote goes for ’98.

  • eauhellzgnaw

    Master P, Jurassic 5, and Canibus are supposed to be arguments FOR 98?

    88 wins easily. Not even close.

    There are 90s years that beat 88, but 98 aint one of em.

  • http://www.myspace.com/sinistahmoneybagz Sinistah aka 7Body Sin

    88 put out more classics, and i too was a lil too young to follow the music as thorough as i did in 98 but still was able to enjoy them firsthand, but i can say i appreciate every album you listed that dropped those two years and thats word to MCM jacketz boyeeeeeee…

    and MC Hammer was the 1988 50 Cent soundscan wise, lmaooo, i ain’t really fuck wit that nigga cause his pants looked like a Parachute, but he kept shit rockin at parties and on the airwaves and dats word to Rick James!!!!!!!!!

    damn the nostalgia is kickin in again, remembering how me and my dudes used to congregate in the hood and recite our favorite NWA members verse from Str8 Outta Compton like we was doing our own version of the video…………

    The good ol dayz……….

  • BX POSTER CHILD

    WELL IM A 90′S BABY SO IMA HAVE 2 GO WIT 98. IVE LISTEN 2 ALL THOSE ALBUMS FROM BOTH YEARS AND 98 WAS DAT YEAR. SOME OF MY FAVORITE ALBUMS ARE FROM AROUND 96, 97, & 98. IN 98 I CAN REMEMBER JAMMIN 2 DAT HARD KNOCK LIFE SHIT, DAT CAPITAL PUNSHMENT. BOTH DMX ALBUMS WERE CRAZY. LOX CAME THRU AND TORE SHIT UP WIT DAT MONEY POWER RESPECT SHIT. I REMEMBER IT LIKE IT WAS YESTERDAY. BUT I WILL ADMIT DAT 88 HAD ALOTTA GREAT ALBUMS, TIME 2 ME 98 WILL ALWAYZ BE DA YEAR WERE ALL THE FUTURE LEGENDS CAME THRU AND TORE SHIT UP.

  • bkbaby

    I never get this whole ‘i was just 6, so i’m gonna have to go with…” I wasn’t even born when Bob Marley, Aretha Franklin and Stevie were peaking, but what am I gonna do…”go with” Elephant Man, K. Cole and John Legend, cuz they’re “my” era…what’s next…’i was just an infant when Jordan was doing it…I’m gonna have to rock w/Chris Paul.’ This shit can be measured, and thanks to last century’s technology, revisited. That said, there was nothing like the early 90s…and i graduated high school in 88.

  • BORN IN THE NORTH, RAISED IN THE SOUTH

    1998 was a great year for Hip-Hop (and a year I remember well since that’s when I turned 21), but the influence of the albums from ’88 is a bit stronger. Nearly every album on that ’88 list is widely considered a classic, while some on the ’98 list are iffy. I do miss buying [good] CDs though….

    BTW: 1994 = greatest year in Hip-Hop history

  • Deez Nutz

    Great f*cking article…you’ve grown up today…this shyt right here nukka, this shyt right here (in my katt williams voice) is what nukkas want to read…both great years but give me 98…

    p.s. 88&98>last 10yrs

  • Chaka

    @all the 88 selectors,
    I think most of you who picked 88 over 98 didn’t do that from a critical point of view but merely because 88 contain the names of several hip hop elites like BDK,Rakim,IceT,Slick Rick,KRS1,e.t.c.As for me,I rate an album for what it is in regardless of who dropped it.If KRS1′s album is trash(indeed he has some trashy albums) I will tell you its trash.If Mos Def’s album is better than KRS1 album(infact I cant think of any KRS1 album that is better than ‘Black on both side’)than I will tell it as it is.Regarding the comparism btw 88 and 98,any one that is objective will agree that almost all the albums that came out in 88 contain too much outdated materials in them.For instance,who today can listen to Eric B. & Rakim’s ‘Follow The Leader’
    or The Fat Boys’Come Back Hard Again’ or Ice-T’s ‘Power’,without fast fowarding almost all the cuts on those albums?Those albums are not not ageless.They were made when brothers had not mastered the craft.Hip hop then was still in its pre-matured stage.But if you look at the 98 albums,most of them are pure class:Killah Priest’s ‘Heavy Mental’;Kurupt’s ‘Kuruption’;Lauryn Hill’s ‘The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill’;Noreaga’s ‘N.O.R.E’;Gangstarr’s ‘The Moment Of Truth’;DJ Quik’s ‘Rhythm-Al-Ism’;DMX ‘It’s Dark & Hell Is Hot’;Big Pun’s ‘Capital Punishment’;Jay-Z’s ‘Vol. 2: Hard Knock Life’;Rass Kass’ ‘Rassassination’.These were albums that were made when hip hop was in its matured stage.Brothers around this time had mastered the craft.This was an improved Hip hop compared to 88……..cant finish my post,got to attend to an important mission that just came up.Peace an hi[p hop head in Africa wrote this.

  • Ben James

    To me I definitely like 1998. Look at the debuts from 1998-The LOX, DMX, Killah Priest, Canibus, Black Star Big Pun and so on. Most of these albums became classics in my mind. Ive listened to It’s Dark And Hell Is Hot I dont know how many times. Canibus is probably one of the best lyricists I know. Black Star also had a crazy debut, but all in all 1998 was the re-birth of hardcore rap with a string of albums. It is to this day my favorite style of rapping with the exception of the kings like Rakim, and Nas’ flow. But you also can’t forget where it all came from but there arent enough 88 albums to compete with 98. But the albums in 88 perfected the style of a lot of the rappers in 98 as well i.e Slick Rick, Big Daddy Kane…

    • http://xxlmag.com big ox

      88 will forever be golden to me 4 those were my high school dayz real hiphop. but 98 was dat shit too the market was flooded with quality music cats was buyin the real cd not the bootleg.both years were dope and u cant forget g rap road to the riches and stet or masters of ceramony or utfo or 2live crews 88 joints

  • daesonesb

    In 88 I weighed around 8 pounds 3 ounces. my parents were rocking tracy chapman or some shit probably.. i definitely wasnt listening to hip hop.

  • Niko

    Lauryn Hill had just dropped a month earlier (August 25), and you DUNN KNOW I was still

    you from London?

    anyway 1998 Wins It

  • HolymanSound

    88 Wins.

    The impact of these albums influenced all others that followed. Fans fought for and defended the music and it reciprocated with honesty and an everyman value. I love many of the albums of 98 as well but 88 set the standard.

    88 was the civil rights era for hip hop 98 was disco.

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