The Great 28, Pt. 1

Ranking The Best Rap Albums

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I’m an 80s baby who moved from Maryland to California when I was seven-years-old and never turned back. For Westcoasters my age hip hop didn’t really get started until it controversially crashed the late 80s with NWA, Too $hort, and 2 Live Crew (an adopted cultural crossover from the southeast). Heading into the 90s, Cali kids listened to Public Enemy, KRS One, Rakim, Run DMC, EPMD, A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, and LL Cool J, but not as attentively as New Yorkers did. There was something about NY beats and rhymes that didn’t totally catch the West. Momma got some jabs in, but she didn’t knock us out. Maybe we couldn’t identify with the cold weather tone of the New York bars and snares. Maybe hip hop production had room to evolve and the Westside precogs were chillin in the tub waiting for Dr. Dre. Regardless, in the late eighties the Life Is…Too Short, As Nasty As They Wanna Be, and Niggaz4Life cassettes prepared CA for our looming global takeover. They also gave us an excuse to show off our yellow waterproof Walkmans. It was an exciting time.

The Chronic finally came in December of 1992. Doggystyle followed in November ’93. Wu-Tang Clan’s Enter the Wu-Tang (36

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