New classics, my ass!

As I mentioned in a post here recently, it’s generally accepted in hip-hop, even by the likes of the late, great Noz (rest in power), that hip-hop has been in a downward spiral.

And yet, to read Entertainment Weekly’s recent list of the best hip-hop albums evar, you’d hardly know this is the case. All of the top five albums on the list have been released in the past five years, and four of them have been released this decade. (Note the slight difference.)

Could it be that the Entertainment Weekly list is bullshit?

Before we begin, I should note, for the sake of clarification, that Entertainment Weekly hasn’t actually released a list of the best hip-hop albums evar. Er, at least not this week, they haven’t. What they did is, for their special 1,000th issue, they put together a list of the 100 best albums from 1983 to 2008. I then took said list and removed all but the rap albums.

You can check the resulting list over on my own site.

And now for the fun part: picking apart said list and showing the various ways that it’s bullshit.

First of all, you’ll notice that the list is topped by Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, which was the number two album on the list overall, second to only Prince’s Purple Rain. As I know I’ve mentioned at some point another either on this site or my own site (I know because people started crying as if they were Young  Buck), I’ve never actually heard The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill in its entirety, but I figure I’ve heard enough of it to know that it’s not the best rap album evar.

Also, Miseducation doesn’t appear anywhere at all on the hip-hop bloggers list of the 25 best rap albums evar, which I consider about as accurate a hip-hop albums list as there ever was, except for, perhaps, my own. It could be, as someone pointed out on my own site just now, that Miseducation isn’t considered a rap album per se. I only included it in the first place because I saw it mentioned in XXL’s news item on the Entertainment Weekly list.

If I had it to do over, I probably wouldn’t have included it. A list of the best rap albums evar topped by an album by a woman (even though it’s since been revealed that it was written by a bunch of guys) is just… bothersome to me. Not because I hate women. It’s just that times are hard enough for a black man these days. Rap music was the one thing we had to be proud of, and now it’s under attack from all angles by the likes of Soulja Boy, and which ever angry feminist skank put together this list.

But I digress.

Elsewhere, the list isn’t that bad. There’s some overlap with my own list of the best rap albums evar, and, by extension, the hip-hop bloggers list. For example, there’s Enter the 36 Chambers; and Ready to Die; and Three Feet High and Rising; and Illmatic, i.e. hip-hop bloggers’ favorite album evar. None of them are as high as they should have been, but at least Entertainment Weekly had sense enough to include them on the list.

There’s even some places where Entertainment Weekly kinda surprised me. For example, I don’t know if I would have included it in my top five, but if I had to include an Outkast album on my list, which I’m not saying I definitely wouldn’t (even though I’m pretty sure I didn’t), I definitely would have gone with Stankonia, as Entertainment Weekly did. However, I’m sure many in the hip-hop community would beg to differ. If I remember correctly, Aquemini ranked the highest on the hip-hop bloggers list.

On the other hand, there’s a whole lot of wrong to go along with that right. Probably the most glaring example of the wrong album by an artist on the list is People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm by A Tribe Called Quest. Which is kind of a cool album in its own right (far be it for me to front on any of the first three Tribe albums), but how in the fuck are they gonna chose it over either The Low End Theory or Midnight Marauders, both of which, as I recall, placed way high on the hip-hop bloggers list?

Other cases where I think they picked the wrong album include Kanye West’s The College Dropout, Jay-Z’s The Blueprint, and The Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique. Kanye West probably shouldn’t have been on the list at all, as far as I’m concerned, but if they had to go with a Kanye West album (and I guess they kinda did, huh?), I would’ve gone with Late Registration. As is the case with Stankonia, I’m sure many heads well object, but… well, whatever. I would’ve gone with Reasonable Doubt over The Blueprint, but I guess I can see how the latter has just been so much more influential. Similarly, I’m assuming that’s why Paul’s Boutique is here instead of License to Ill. After all, could there have been a Girl Talk without Paul’s Boutique? (Um, wait!)

Finally, there’s a whole shiteload of people who just plain didn’t make the list at all. Part of it’s that the list only consists of 18 albums. But certainly motherfucking T.I. could have been excised from the list to make room for somebody. The most notable artists I can think of that don’t appear at all on the list are NWA; solo Ice Cube; BDP; Fiddy Cent; and any of the Wu-Tang solos. Honestly, both of the NWA albums are spotty pieces of work (yep), but Straight out of Compton was remarkably influential. I guess they figured the one Dr. Dre album would serve in place of any other NWA-related albums. And similarly, they weren’t gonna put Enter the Wu-Tang and then have any of the Wu-Tang solos. But what about Fiddy? Or is he covered by the Dr. Dre entry? I figured with his popularity, he’d have his own spot on the list. This is, after all, Entertainment Weekly.

Recommended for You

Around the Web

Best of XXL

  • Sweet

    Bol use a fat ugly mother fucker.

    all your blogs are trash.

    who the fuck are you really anyway?

    • Bol

      I’m you’re father nigga!

      • Yaw


  • render

    “the hip-hop bloggers list of the 25 best rap albums evar, which I consider about as accurate a hip-hop albums list as there ever was”

    right, cause a bunch of unemployed white liberal arts majors posted up in front of computer screens 24/7 are the ones that know whats really up

  • Dante

    Is it my computer or has something happened to the Cocaine Blunts site?

  • grp03

    did anyone realize lil wayne has a separate tab only for him now on this website? how much lil wayne info do we need

    • Bol

      Maybe Noz somehow managed to get fired from his own site.


  • Dante

    Bol, you think that Straight Outta Compton and The Chronic are spotty albums and yet they both made your top 25 list. What’s up with that?

  • og bobby j

    watch how this spawns a bunch of circle jerks to give us their list….like we give a fuck….

    but yea, t.i. should have been replaced by grodt….like him or not, that shit was uber hot in its time.

    And cosign heavy that Kauyne belons no where near this list…people still think this dude can rap?

    Best producer/pop artist = kanye
    runner up= timbaland

  • thoreauly77

    it’s as if you read my mind.

  • zino

    these lists are all a matter of opinion…honestly i think “i am” is a better album than illmatic…simply cos its more rounded – better beats, more diverse topics…illmatic is way more lyrically superior but it jus sounds like a long ass demo

  • yoprince

    “i am” is garbage.. stop bein gay.

    and trap muzik was very well made and highly influential.. for good and bad, but i’d say that’s the case with most things that are influential.

    GRODT should’ve been on the list, and I’m not mad at College Dropout, just it’s placement on the list.

  • Benicio Del Thoro


    First things first, Fif should have been on the list. Get Rich was all I fuckin heard back in march 03′. Even if you hate him, you can’t deny the power of that album.

    Second, I see what you said about the Blueprint. I could have gone either way on that one. Both remarkable albums, with probably ye’s finest work as a producer in my opinion.

    Third, how the hell did Trap Muzik get on the list? Who put that bullshit on there? In another ten years when they do this list again is T.I vs T.I.P gonna be on there? Nullus as you would say lol. One hunnid.

  • Neven

    It’s Entertainment Weekly who gives a fuck. Now if BET, Vibe, Allhiphop, sohh, XXL….. did a list like that I could see people getting pissed off, but like render said it’s a bunch of white arts majors and people who care about stars life more than their kids. So to sell some more copys without putting drug infected Brittney on the cover the decided to come up with a 100 list in music from 83-08 just to please their pop artist fans and the pussy’s that read it.

    plus Rakim wasn’t even on the list he reinvented this game.

  • ljone71

    aquemini is best outkast album, while stankonia and speakerbooxx/ the love below were probably more popular, aquemini is outkast at its best

  • hurtsmesoul


    i noticed it when i first came on the site also. i love wayne as an artist and everything but that is kind of weird.

  • bigone

    Fuck YEAH, Bol, I read this bullshit list and the whole time I was thinking to myself “Bol’s gonna fuck this shit up…”

  • k.

    Bol’s a fuckin clown…get back to your panic at the disco cd.

  • blackkid

    u a hating ass 4 eye bitch bol, how can u say kanye west college dropout isn’t a classic eat a dick u dumb nerd suck my dick. i would like u to try and make a classic instead of jacking off all day to prince and lauran hill albums all day.

  • moresickaMC

    Bol…y do you hate Kanye so much? Late Registration is a great hiphop album by any standards.

  • $ykotic

    “This is, after all, Entertainment Weekly.”


    Dun I ripped that whole list like doodoo paper!

    Allow me to adjust this:

    1. ILLMATIC-Nas
    3. THE CHRONIC-Dr Dre
    4. PAID IN FULL-Eric B & Rakim
    5. ALL EYEZ ON ME-2pac
    6. THE SCORE-The Fugees
    7. ONLY BUILT FOR CUBAN LINX-Raekwon Feat. Ghostface Killah
    8. IT TAKES A NATION…-Public Enemy
    9. BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY-Boogie Down Productions
    10.READY TO DIE-The Notorious BIG
    15.LOW END THEORY-A Tribe Called Quest
    16.PAUL’S BOUTIQUE-Beastie Boys

    • henry

      how the hell ur going to have vol 3

    • Liam

      ditch 11,12 and 13 and you’ve got a good list

  • Rosco

    Im gittin sick of dis Nigga who post dese blogs. I dint even bother to read dis bullshit. I mean, u make good points sometimes, but dude, dont u think muhfukkers get tired of reading bout how u disagree wit shit. God damn, u just a fukkin hater with no life. U never have n e thing good to say….. UGH

    • Dave

      Because it would get boring if a motherfucker got up here and sucked everyone’s dick. It’s entertaining when Bol tears shit apart.

  • Rosco

    Fam…….I decided to read the article. And im shocked to see dat u like 50 Cent!? Aint u da same nigga talkin bout hip hop dyin……………….50 Cent. Man dat nigga garbage as hell.

  • northern california bay area

    #1. mac dre, ronald dregan dreganomics
    #2. lupe fiasco, food and liquor

    thats it…

  • smac

    If they included one wu-tang solo album, they’d have to include two more, i.e. you can’t have OB4CL and not have Liquid Swords and Supreme Clientele. So it made sense to include 36 Chambers and be done with Wu-Tang.

    Of all the Radiohead albums, they include In Rainbows at #10, then OK Computer at #62. Interesting choice…

    i’m still struggling to comprehend the T.I album making the list

    • Liam

      Yeh the Radiohead thing is weird, they didn’t even mention Kid A

  • giantstepp

    If Tupac aint on the list the list is BULLSHIT, period!

  • Incilin

    In case you aint notice, EW doesn’t really know all that much about hip hop.

  • chad bro chill

    bol y would u want 50 cent on the list i hate you eat a dick sandwich made freshly by ron mexico

  • enzoe

    paul botique is better than license to ill.

  • Pierzy

    Reasonable Doubt is my favorite, but The Blueprint is Jay-Z’s pinnacle. Meanwhile, how can they omit Only Built 4 Cuban Lynx?? Awful.


    Bol, this is the 1st time I haven’t read one of your posts all the way thru to stop and reply to you because you are grossly misinformed. (This is amazing considering some of the crazy ass shit you’ve written in the past…)

    I just bought that issue of EW today to see what they would put on their lists. The claim is that it’s their bests of the past 25 years — not neccessarily the best ever. (Granted, much of the lifespan of Hip-Hop is encompassed within the past 25 years, but nevermind that.) Besides — how much do you except the staff of EW to know about Hip-Hop history? They even left a shitload of good films off the movie list, so what does that tell you? Don’t take it too seriously, that’s what….

    BTW, you should listen to that Lauryn Hill joint. The 1998 version of her could eat any MC from any era alive — swinging dick or bleeding puss….


    @ giantstepp

    2Pac is on the list, for what it’s worth — “All Eyez On Me” is #87 on the list of 100. But they didn’t put “Platoon” (among other classics) on a list of the 100 best movies between 1983 & now? WTF???…..