High top fades, Karl Kani and the Fresh Prince. One thing comes to mind when you hear any of these phrases, the 90’s. Unbridled black artistic expression was in full effect for a decade. Black America was still on its rebound from the devastating crack cocaine epidemic and the war on drugs. Some African Americans needed an outlet to escape their surreal realities others needed a voice to bring our struggles to light. Artists like Ice Cube, Mos Def, Tupac Shakur, A Tribe Called Quest and Lauryn Hill released unapologetically black music that perfectly encapsulated a century from the perspective of black Americans in their bodies of work respectively. Revisit all of these timeless classic with Apple Music. New users get the first 3 months free!
#10 Mos Def- Black On Both Sides (1999)
With tracks like Ms. Fat Booty & UMI Says Mos def firmly staked his name in hip hop with his sophomore effort Black on Both Sides. Dont get “Got”, Stream it now.
#9 Jay-Z Vol. 2 Hard Knock Life (1998)
Some hip hop heads consider Reasonable Doubt (1996) Jay-Z’s definitive album. However, most hip hop fans know that two years later Jay-Z the Hit-maker was born with his 5x platinum album Vol. 2 Hard Knock Life. (Still his highest selling album) If you agree Can I Get a…Stream?
#8 Nas- Illmatic (1994)
Hailing from Crown Heights, Brooklyn Nas’ eyes saw more as a child than most of us would see in a lifetime and that is apparent with his freshmen entry Illmatic. Reclaim your rights to the world and stream it now.
#7 A Tribe Called Quest- The Anthology (1999)
With tracks like Can I Kick it?, Award Tour & Scenario The Anthology serves as the perfect time capsule for the 90’s. Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Jarobi & Ali combine to make one of the most respected hip hop collectives in music history. Check the Rhime and stream now.
# 6 Ice Cube- AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted (1990)
We all saw Straight Outta Compton However, that movie did little to no justice to Ice Cube’s phoenix like rise after his untimely departure from the legendary N.W.A. AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted is more than a debut album, its as much a raw documentary of California inner city neighborhood life as it is a political critique spread across 16 powerful tracks. Check out What They Hittin’ Foe and stream it now.
#5 Tupac Shakur- All Eyez on Me (1996)
All Eyez on Me is 2pac’s 4th and final album to be released during his lifetime. Fresh out of jail 2pac released one of his most critically successful and well received bodies of work only 7 months before his untimely demise. Stream it now
#4 The Notorious BIG- Ready to Die (1994)
Ready to Die is easily The Notorious B.I.G.’s most captivating body of work. What Biggie was able to do with his rhyme pattern and cadences while telling his enchanting stories was simply innovate and ahead of his. Stream now and give this album One More Chance to change your mind on the greatest rapper to ever do it.
#3 Big L- Lifestylez of Da Poor & Dangerous (1995)
The number 3 spot goes to Big L who will forever be known as an uncrowned king of New York hip hop. Lifestylez of Da Poor & Dangerous gives listeners a unique insight to the life of quite possibly the best rapper to come of of Harlem, New York. Stream now and be careful not to get Street Struck.
#2 Dr Dre- The Chronic (1992)
The number 2 spot goes to Dr. Dre’s The Chronic album. This solo debut album simultaneously launched Dr Dre’s own career and that of Snoop Dogg. His ear for melodies and samples makes him one of the best producers to ever do it in the world of music, not just hip hop which makes The Chronic one of the best debut albums and one of the best Hip Hop albums. Stream this timeless album now.
#1 Lauryn Hill- The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998)
The number 1 spot goes to another Debut album, Ms. Lauryn Hill’s the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. With her unique writing style paired with the combination of her entrancing vocal abilities and head spinning rhyme patterns Lauryn Hill created the prefect album with The Miseducation. Stream it now.
We may have not figured out how to create the flux capacitor just yet, however here at apple we can aid your nostalgia with apple music. New members now get 3 months free and at $10.00 a month you can have unlimited access to all of your favorite artists of yesterday, today and tomorrow.
-List sponsored by Apple Music.