DAR Hip Hop: The Greatest Discographies In Hip Hop

By @TrueGodImmortal

When we talk about the best discographies of hip hop, it's very tough to narrow who has the greatest, because music is all opinion based in terms of quality. While some might feel one has a classic discography, there's a fan who doesn't agree. With that being said, what I'm attempting to do today is narrow down a list of the best discographies in hip hop based on my opinion and overall perception of the albums combined. There will be names some of you expect to see that will not be on here and there's a reason why: rappers like Lil Wayne, Game, Young Jeezy, Rick Ross, Lupe Fiasco, and Eminem all have solid discographies but either don't have enough classics or the rest of their catalog falls short or doesn't measure up to the top tier (Eminem IMO hasn't had a truly good album since 2004, Lupe has two classics, but since then he's been up and down, Wayne had classic mixtapes but not as many classic albums, Ross has no classic albums IMO, and Jeezy really only has one classic). Regardless, despite them not making the cut, there are some names that truly deserve to make the list and they are present here. Let's get into the best discographies in hip hop.

(Best Albums: Be, Resurrection, Like Water For Chocolate)

-One of the greatest MCs of all time rarely misses with his albums. He just released another debatable classic in Black America Again, and he has a number of classics or debatable classics in his catalog, something that many can't do. For the one or two missteps he's made in his career, he's always responded perfectly with a classic after it. From Be to Like Water For Chocolate to Resurrection to One Day It'll All Make Sense to Finding Forever to The Dreamer, The Believer to the recent Black America Again, Common has shown he's one of the best, if not the best at making albums.

(Best Albums: Muddy Waters, Dare Iz A Darkside, Whut? Thee Album)

-It was a last minute decision to include Redman, but I stand by it. One of the most slept on MCs ever, his catalog has some classics and overall solid albums that earn him a spot on the list. His first three albums are underrated hip hop gems, and even other albums like Doc's The Name 2000 and Malpractice are solid projects that earn him the spot on the list. For every project that seemingly failed, there's 3 more that are solid and enjoyable. Redman is probably not the first name you think of for best discography, but he certainly should be in the conversation at least.

(Best Albums: Illmatic, It Was Written, Life Is Good)

-The greatest rapper of all time to me is of course on this list and how could he not be? With classics like Illmatic, It Was Written, Stillmatic, The Lost Tapes, and debatable classics like Life Is Good and God's Son, I think Nas has a top 3 hip hop discography personally. The only albums that miss the mark IMO are Nastradamus and Hip Hop Is Dead, and I've always felt the world was just not ready for the heaviness that is Street's Disciple. Nas has made some bad production choices perhaps, but his albums are usually enjoyable and solid, if not classic.

(Best Albums: ATLiens, Aquemini, Stankonia)

-The greatest hip hop duo to ever come into the game IMO is easily deserving of a spot on the list. If I'm being honest, their ability and knack to experiment with different sounds and music have made their albums so good, and they don't really have a bad album to me. Idlewild was seen as disappointing because we were expecting or hoping for a legit Outkast album, but that doesn't mean the music itself was bad. It just wasn't what people wanted to hear. Still, when take into consideration that their 2nd and 3rd albums are two of the greatest albums ever, and Stankonia and their debut SPCM are both debatable classics. The double album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below is also very solid, but once again, if you didn't like the natural progression of the albums and the music, then it probably wouldn't have been on your radar or as great to you. For me, I really enjoyed it, and I think overall, Kast has definitely one of the best and I'd consider them top 5 in discography.

*Ghostface Killah
(Best Albums: Supreme Clientele, Ironman, Fishscale)

-Ghostface is my pick for the best solo discography. He's got one of the most complex yet straightforward catalogs and his albums never seem to disappoint. From his Ironman debut to his sophomore Supreme Clientele to Fishscale and even to the slightly underrated Big Doe Rehab or Twelve Reasons To Die, Ghost has come with concepts, solid lyricism, and out of this world production that makes his discography stand out THAT much more and garners him a spot on the best discographies list and right at the top.

*The Roots
(Best Albums: Things Fall Apart, Illadelph Halflife, Game Theory)

-This might be no. 1 in terms of ranking. The Roots are truly flawless when it comes to albums, except their last project, which fell short for me. However, from Do You Want More to Illadelph Halflife to Things Fall Apart to How I Got Over to Phrenology to Rising Down to Undun to Game Theory and more, The Roots have not missed really at all in their catalog. They've managed to remain consistent and on top of their game throughout their whole career, a feat most groups couldn't manage.

*Ice Cube
(Best Albums: Death Certificate, Amerikkka's Most Wanted, The Predator)

-Cube is a legend, and he managed to pull off the trifecta that very few really have and that's release three classics in a row. His debut solo, Death Certificate, and the Predator are all classics for three different reasons. Lethal Injection is a solid album as well and some of his most recent albums have good vibes to them as well. Overall, his discography has much more solid work than lackluster and for that, he earns a spot on the list.

(Best Albums: The Fix, The Diary, Deeply Rooted)

-The truth is, Scarface is a legend, but he tends to go slept on by many. His albums have never been anything short of solid, and listening back to his discography, I can't find one bad or lackluster album. He's had an album that was a classic in every decade he's rapped just about, whether it be an album with Geto Boys, The Diary in the 90s, The Fix in the 2000s, or his last album Deeply Rooted in the 2010s. That's definitely what we call longevity and a feat that's not necessarily easily achieved by too many. For that, Scarface deserves his spot here.

(Best Albums: Reasonable Doubt, The Blueprint, The Black Album)

-Jigga is seen as one of the greatest rappers ever and his discography is a large part of that. One of the most consistent rappers to ever grace the mic, he's managed to stay relevant over the years and at the top because of his ability to make top tier albums. His debut Reasonable Doubt is an all time hip hop classic and one of the greatest albums ever, while The Blueprint is also a classic, and one could argue American Gangster, The Black Album, and one of the Vol. Albums are also classics. Regardless, Jay has had a great catalog per "retirement", but what's hurting his discography slightly is the recent albums he's put out that have fallen short. However he's been so consistent during the highlights of his career that he would likely never lose his spot on this list.

*A Tribe Called Quest
(Best Albums: Midnight Marauders, The Low End Theory, People's Instinctive Travels of Rhythm)

-One of the greatest groups ever that only have one real miss in their discography and even that miss is just exaggerated by their fanbase. The Love Movement was solid, as was Beats, Rhymes, and Life and one could also say their newest album is a possible classic or a great project. Combine that with their first three albums, which were all classics and you definitely have a discography that's full of greatness. Tribe is one of the greatest groups ever and their discography is a large reason why.

*MF Doom
(Best Albums: Madvilliany, MM..Food, Danger Doom)

-Slept on by many, his large and vast discography is easily one of the best. Never scared to take chances and do something outside the box, MF Doom has amassed one of the largest discographies in hip hop and he has plenty of classics and all around great albums to show for it. While I'm not personally the biggest fan of his music (his production is top notch), I do recognize the longevity and the ability to reinvent himself musically when need be as seen on collaboration projects like Danger Doom, Madvillian and more. Doom is probably the most underrated artist from an album perspective and deserving of being on this list without a doubt.

*Kanye West
(Best Albums: The College Dropout, Late Registration, MBDTF)

-Kanye had about 2 pure classics and 2 debatable classics. His first 2 albums are his pure classics, and his 3rd and 5th albums ate his 2 debatable classics. Because of those albums alone, he makes the list. However, he's declining and could fall off the list if he releases another one or two albums that fall short like Yeezus and The Life of Pablo did. I'm also not a huge fan of 808s and Heartbreak, as it just fell flat to me. Kanye remains on the list, but it's really really starting to seem possible that he will move off. We shall see. It doesn't change however what he accomplished in the earlier parts of his career.



  1. They had only 4 albums, but Eric B & Rakim's catalog is flawless imho. De La Soul, Gang Starr and Beastie Boys also deserve a mention I think.


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