February 01, 2021

The Perfect 10 (Vibe Magazine, June 2002)

"Using merit and staying power as the sole criteria, VIBE editors battled fiercely for our favorite genre-defining masterpieces. And we came up with a representation of all that's beautiful and revolutionary about hip hop. Here are our Top 10 rap albums" (2002):  10) Supreme Clientele by Ghostface Killah. 9) Aquemini by OutKast. 8) De La Soul Is Dead by De La Soul. 7) Reasonable Doubt by Jay-Z. 6) The Chronic by Dr. Dre. 5) Ready To Die by The Notorious B.I.G. 4) Illmatic by NaS. 3) Criminal Minded by Boogie Down Productions. 2) Amerikkka's Most Wanted by Ice Cube. 1) It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back by Public Enemy. Looking back, music hadn't quite shifted in 2002, so this representation of hip-hop is actually a really solid list of 10 albums. The music that would come soon after inspired the next generation and so-on of artists, so this list (for VIBE) would look a lot differently in 2020 (reasonably so). Today, there'd be mentions of Kid Cudi, Kanye, Drake, Wayne, etc to balance it out, and off the list De La and GFK might go, am I right? The impact of the underground had it's own ripple effects with classics that were released through P2P via Rawkus, Rhymesayers, Fat Beats, etc. at the time, too! I'm sure you could create a list of your own, because my first thoughts were: what can stay and what can go!? So, what do you say? Then? Now? LMK!