Kanye West
It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
Late Registration
The Marshall Mathers LP

Rap

Rap's germination is sometimes attributed to the righteous street poetry of the Last Poets and the Watts Prophets, but it didn't begin to take full shape -- and earn its tag -- until after the Sugarhill Gang released "Rapper's Delight" in 1979. Since then, rap spread from its New York epicenter throughout the remainder of the U.S. (with each region taking on its own specific flavor) and then to countless countries. Rap's core components are beats and rhymes, but that simplicity belies the wide range of sounds that have sprung from them. Instrumentalists, a sampled breakbeat, or a drum machine can form the backbone of a track, while an arrangement can be spaciously spare or chaotically dense, and a chorus can range from atonal shouting to a sweet melody. Detractors were still calling rap a fad in 1985, when LL Cool J released his first single. They were doing the same thing when, roughly 20 years later, the same MC released his tenth album, and they'll probably continue to do so as long as the genre exists. Should rap ever die, which isn't likely, it would be far too late to prevent its effect on most other music forms, from R&B to rock to jazz.

Rap Album Highlights grid list

It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
Public Enemy
It Takes a Nation of ...
10
Late Registration
Kanye West
Late Registration
10
The Marshall Mathers LP
Eminem
The Marshall Mathers LP
10
Doggystyle
Snoop Dogg
Doggystyle
10
Ready to Die
The Notorious B.I.G.
Ready to Die
10
Aquemini
OutKast
Aquemini
10
The Chronic
Dr. Dre
The Chronic
10
Raising Hell
Run-D.M.C.
Raising Hell
10
Sex Packets
Digital Underground
Sex Packets
10
Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)
Wu-Tang Clan
Enter the Wu-Tang (36 ...
10
Paid in Full
Eric B. & Rakim
Paid in Full
10
Only Built 4 Cuban Linx
Raekwon
Only Built 4 Cuban Linx
10
Radio
LL Cool J
Radio
10
Paul's Boutique
Beastie Boys
Paul's Boutique
10
Stankonia
OutKast
Stankonia
10
Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City
Kendrick Lamar
Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City
10
Yeezus
Kanye West
Yeezus
10
Life Is...Too $hort
Too $hort
Life Is...Too $hort
10
Straight Out the Jungle
Jungle Brothers
Straight Out the Jungle
10
The Infamous
Mobb Deep
The Infamous
10
Illmatic
1994
Nas
Illmatic
10
Straight Outta Compton
N.W.A
Straight Outta Compton
10
Pink Friday
Nicki Minaj
Pink Friday
7
Supa Dupa Fly
Missy Elliott
Supa Dupa Fly
10
The Slim Shady LP
Eminem
The Slim Shady LP
10
Liquid Swords
GZA
Liquid Swords
10
Criminal Minded
Boogie Down Productions
Criminal Minded
10
Check Your Head
Beastie Boys
Check Your Head
10
Quality Control
Jurassic 5
Quality Control
10
Dr. Octagonecologyst
Dr. Octagon
Dr. Octagonecologyst
10
The Low End Theory
A Tribe Called Quest
The Low End Theory
10
CrazySexyCool
TLC
CrazySexyCool
10
ATLiens
OutKast
ATLiens
9
Reasonable Doubt
Jay-Z
Reasonable Doubt
10
Long Live the Kane
Big Daddy Kane
Long Live the Kane
9
The Great Adventures of Slick Rick
Slick Rick
The Great Adventures of ...
10
Fear of a Black Planet
Public Enemy
Fear of a Black Planet
10
Death Certificate
Ice Cube
Death Certificate
10
The College Dropout
Kanye West
The College Dropout
10
The Score
Fugees
The Score
10
Old
Danny Brown
Old
10
Stone Cold Rhymin'
Young MC
Stone Cold Rhymin'
10
All Eyez on Me
2Pac
All Eyez on Me
10
Deltron 3030
Deltron 3030
Deltron 3030
9
King of Rock
Run-D.M.C.
King of Rock
10
The Iceberg: Freedom of Speech... Just Watch What You Say
Ice-T
The Iceberg: Freedom of ...
10
E 1999 Eternal
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
E 1999 Eternal
9
Under Construction
Missy Elliott
Under Construction
10
By All Means Necessary
Boogie Down Productions
By All Means Necessary
10
The Blueprint
Jay-Z
The Blueprint
10
Labor Days
Aesop Rock
Labor Days
9
Cypress Hill
Cypress Hill
Cypress Hill
10
Follow the Leader
Eric B. & Rakim
Follow the Leader
10
Speakerboxxx/The Love Below
OutKast
Speakerboxxx/The Love Below
9
Hard Core
Lil' Kim
Hard Core
9
Black on Both Sides
Mos Def
Black on Both Sides
10
A Prince Among Thieves
Prince Paul
A Prince Among Thieves
9
Things Fall Apart
The Roots
Things Fall Apart
10
Anti-Theft Device
Mix Master Mike
Anti-Theft Device
9
He's the DJ, I'm the Rapper
DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh ...
He's the DJ, I'm the Rapper
10
Breaking Atoms
Main Source
Breaking Atoms
10
Miss E...So Addictive
Missy Elliott
Miss E...So Addictive
9
Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star
Black Star / Mos Def / ...
Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are ...
10
Nia
Blackalicious
Nia
9
The Eminem Show
Eminem
The Eminem Show
8
AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted
Ice Cube
AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted
10
The Platform
Dilated Peoples
The Platform
9
Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version
Ol' Dirty Bastard
Return to the 36 Chambers: ...
9
Daily Operation
Gang Starr
Daily Operation
10
Like Water for Chocolate
Common
Like Water for Chocolate
9
Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde
The Pharcyde
Bizarre Ride II the ...
10
Scorpion
2001
Eve
Scorpion
8
The Best of Kurtis Blow
Kurtis Blow
The Best of Kurtis Blow
10
Gangsta's Paradise
Coolio
Gangsta's Paradise
9
Jurassic 5
Jurassic 5
Jurassic 5
9
As Nasty as They Wanna Be
The 2 Live Crew
As Nasty as They Wanna Be
10
It's a Big Daddy Thing
Big Daddy Kane
It's a Big Daddy Thing
9
The Cactus Album
3rd Bass
The Cactus Album
10
Big Tyme
Heavy D & the Boyz
Big Tyme
9
Curtain Call: The Hits
Eminem
Curtain Call: The Hits
10
Ultimate Run DMC
Run-D.M.C.
Ultimate Run DMC
10
Looking for the Perfect Beat: 1980-1985
Afrika Bambaataa
Looking for the Perfect ...
10
Greatest Hits
2Pac
Greatest Hits
9
O.G. Original Gangster
Ice-T
O.G. Original Gangster
10
To Pimp a Butterfly
Kendrick Lamar
To Pimp a Butterfly
10
Greatest Hits
Scarface
Greatest Hits
9
All World: Greatest Hits
LL Cool J
All World: Greatest Hits
10
Strictly Business
EPMD
Strictly Business
10
DS2
2015
Future
DS2
10
The Very Best of Brand Nubian
Brand Nubian
The Very Best of Brand ...
10
3 Feet High and Rising
De La Soul
3 Feet High and Rising
10
Greatest Hits [Arista]
Run-D.M.C.
Greatest Hits [Arista]
10
Tha Carter II
Lil Wayne
Tha Carter II
9
Respect M.E.
Missy Elliott
Respect M.E.
10
Licensed to Ill
Beastie Boys
Licensed to Ill
10

Rap subgenres and styles [+]