New York, the birth place of rap. While this statement still goes back and forth between rap fans, New York is home to some of rap’s best albums. From Run DMC to Fabolous, the streets of New York have been played through our speakers for decades. With the release of a Queensbridge favourite’s (Nas) new album upon us, we’re going to give you five of the biggest.

5. Paid In Full : Eric B & Rakim

The epitome of old school hip hop, Paid In Full is a classic album. The combination of their funky up-tempo beats and poetic rap style captured hearts. With Rakim’s quick, sophisticated, precise delivery and Eric B’s ways of revolutionizing how producers layer their music, the duo created new ideas in hip hop.

4. Enter The Wu-Tang Clan (36 Chambers) : Wu-Tang Clan

The best way to describe this album is The Avengers of rap, all using their strengths to create something amazing. RZA’s heavy beats and the mix of GZA’s flawless delivery, Method Man’s voice, come together in one of the greatest albums.

3. The Blueprint : Jay Z

One of the Brooklyn artist’s best albums to date, The Blueprint is one of New York’s treasures. The blending of Jay Z’s flow and soul samples created an amazing base for the artist.

2. Illmatic : Nas

The artist’s debut album is flawless. Illmatic is perfect in every sense of a rap album.

1. Ready To Die : B.I.G

Now, I know there are many people and albums you could put at number one, but you can’t have a top New York list without one of the kings of New York. Ready To Die is one of the most timeless pieces of rap music. This album influenced a line of young artists and slowly became a staple in any hip hop head’s catalogue.

Honourable Mention : The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill – Lauryn Hill

The only reason this album does not make the top five is because Lauryn Hill wrote most of this album in Jamaica and she is from New Jersey. Although, Hill is one of the greatest MCs coming out of the East Coast, this album was based around self reflection and her political stand point. Lauryn Hill still tours off of this album today and if that isn’t a sign of success I could not tell you what is.

Ariana Ramanand

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