40 Hip-Hop Albums Turning 20 in 2016
Some things get better with age. And luckily in hip-hop, the best source of material to build from can be from the archives of the golden age. While a hip-hop fan born in the new millennium might not remember OutKast's intergalactic days with ATLiens, the Fugees' Grammy sweep with The Score or 2Pac's magnum opus All Eyez on Me, they can definitely identify the samples and homage paid by contemporary artists like Joey Bada$$, GoldLink and Tink.
With a resurgence in '90s hip-hop today, rap nerds can relive the good old days by revisiting the classics from 20 years ago. It's safe to say 1996 was a banner year in hip-hop. From the album covers to the lyrics, rappers made it a point to be memorable on all fronts.
Bold portraits like Lil' Kim's stance for Hard Core and Foxy Brown's pose on the Ill Na Na cover proved sex appeal was a major key in their success. When it comes to the guys, Nas' face on It Was Written set the stage for many MCs to pay homage with similar covers for years to come and Snoop Dogg was all business when it came to The Doggfather.
As for the lyrics, who can ever forget the opening lines to Lost Boyz's "Renee" ("Here's a tune about this honey named Renee that I met one day / On my way back from John Jay") off Legal Drug Money or Jay Z's high on life ode "Feelin It" ("If every nigga in your clique is rich, your clique is rugged / Nobody will fall cause everyone will be each others crutches"), featured on Reasonable Doubt.
This year, 40 iconic rap albums are celebrating their 20th anniversary in 2016. Which one is your favorite from back in the day and which is your new find? Check out 40 Hip-Hop Albums Turning 20 in 2016.