DAR Hip Hop: 11 Greatest Albums Of 1999

By @TrueGodImmortal

2019 is fast approaching and many albums will be turning 20 soon enough. 1998 gave us a ton of classics and we celebrated that year and the albums that came with it recently, but today, we wanted to look back 19 and a half years ago to the albums and music of 1999. Today, we rank and list the 11 best albums of the year, which is no easy task. It is possible that you might not see an album you love on this list, but that is essentially what makes this such a fun and challenging article to write. Which albums make the list? What albums grace the top 5? Read on and you'll find out.

11. Nas- I Am....

-So, it was a struggle to include this album on this list, but it must be done. In my opinion, this album was actually underrated and although it wasn't as good as the bootlegged version that had the streets buzzing, this is still a good album from start to finish. There are songs that I could do without ("Dr. Knockboot" and "I Want To Talk To You" instantly come to mind), but for the most part, with production from Timbaland, DJ Premier, Trackmasters, Dame Grease, and more, Nas creates a good enough album that got solid eviews upon release. Highlights include "Small World", "Hate Me Now", "Nas Is Like", "Life Is What You Make It", and of course "Undying Love". Nas does his thing here, even if I Am isn't the classic that It Was Written and Illmatic are.

10. Jay-Z- Vol. 3.....Life And Times Of S. Carter

-It baffles me that a reflective review of albums from the year features Jay so low, but Vol. 3 is one of his lesser albums and it doesn't get the job done in the same way that his previous albums managed to. While the production from Timbaland, DJ Premier, and others gave Jay a solid sound, this album felt a bit darker and subsequently bland in the process, but lyrically, Jay doesn't disappoint. There are some songs I could do without here, but for the most part, when Jay is at his most cocky on the microphone, he shines brightest providing listeners with classics like the timeless "So Ghetto", "Dopeman", "Hova Song", the hit single "Big Pimpin", and a personal favorite of mine "Come And Get Me". For the most part, Vol. 3 was one of the good albums of the year, but for Jay and his standards, it was still a disappointment.

9. Eminem- The Slim Shady LP

-I am not an Eminem fan. This is known. Once upon a time I enjoyed his music and it was in spurts then. However, it would be impossible for me to deny that his debut album was one of the better releases this year. Backed by Dr. Dre, Aftermath, and Interscope, Eminem gives a different spin on the white boy that can rap narrative, delivering an album that is equal parts lyrical and controversial in the same breath. When focused for the most part, Em is at his best, as he delivers songs such as "Guilty Conscience", "If I Had", "Brain Damage", and "Role Model", which are all controversial highlights on the album.

8. Juvenile- Tha G Code

-If we had to talk about the album on this list that is extremely underrated, this is it. Tha G Code is my favorite Juvenile album and I think it is his best album overall personally, despite not reaching the sales of the epic 400 Degreez. Musically, Juve was in a different zone and he would deliver an album that was top notch from start to finish. Mannie Fresh provides the production of course, giving Juve everything from upbeat hits to dark street anthems, and of course the Cash Money gang all show up for multiple appearances on some of the best tracks like "Never Had Shit", "A Million And One Things", the title track, and more. Other highlights include "Tha Man", "Guerrilla", and "Take Them 5" in addition to the singles that hit the radio and made some noise. Juve created a great album and this is definitely one of the better releases of the year.

7. DMX- ...And Then There Was X

-I love DMX and his music. His first two albums are classics and some of my favorite works in the genre. His third album JUST makes the cut for the year, as it released in December, and it was one of the best projects on the year IMO. It wasn't nearly as flawless as his first two, but with production from Nokio, Swizz Beatz, Dame Grease, and more, X brings his usual gritty sound and provides his fans with classics like "What These Bitches Want", "One More Road To Cross", "What's My Name", "Here We Go Again", and many more. The album would sell over 5 million copies, nearly reaching the 6 million mark becoming one of the most popular albums from 1999 and dominating 2000 as well.

6. Pharoahe Monch- Internal Affairs

-One of the most slept on artists ever has to be mentioned for this album. While I was sleep on Monch during this time, I couldn't deny the fact that he not only had a hit, but that his album was really good. Branching out after the Organized Konfusion minor separation, Monch would make his solo debut a bit harder than the music we were used to hearing him be a part of, but it all worked perfectly. Of course, the hit single "Simon Says" was a huge reason why this album was recognized, but there are other top tier tracks featured such as "Behind Closed Doors", the M.O.P. featured "No Mercy", the Busta Rhymes featured "The Next Shit", and the Common and Talib Kweli assisted gem "The Truth". All in all, Monch delivers a great album, earned some sales and hit the Billboard charts. That's a win for sure.

5. Hot Boys- Guerrilla Warfare

-One of my all time favorite rap groups makes the top 5 of this list surprisingly. Many probably will read this and instantly think that there are albums you could put over Guerrilla Warfare, but they would be wrong of course. The Hot Boys were a force to be reckoned with in hip hop, and with Mannie Fresh on the boards making the beats once again, they would release the best Cash Money album of 1999 and a top 3 Cash Money album of all time. With the street anthems and classic songs booming out the speaker, Guerrilla Warfare gave us gems like "I Need A Hot Girl", "We On Fire", "Too Hot", "Tuesdays And Thursdays", and my personal favorite "Respect My Mind". Simply put, Guerrilla Warfare is one of the best albums of the year and it is top 5 for sure in 1999. Long live this era of CMR.

4. Mobb Deep- Murda Muzik

-We love the Infamous Mobb. They managed to become one od the greatest duos of all time, and Prodigy was still at the top of his game. This made for an epic turn of events after dropping back to back classic albums and searching for a third. While many people were hoping the new album could rival the previous two, Mobb went in a slightly different direction than expected with Murda Muzik, opting to reach out to producer The Alchemist for some assistance along with features from 8Ball, Kool G. Rap, Nas, Cormega, Lil' Cease, and of course Lil' Kim. For me, the true gems of this album are "It's Mine", the "Quiet Storm" original and remix, "The Realest", "Thug Muzik", "Where Ya Heart At", and "Adrenaline", along with a few others. Murda Muzik was close to a classic and definitely a top 5 release in 1999.

3. Dr. Dre- 2001

-If I ranked this by album that I've listened to the most on this list, tbis albun woukd be no. 1 and there would be a large distance between the other choices, however, this album is deservjng od the third spot. It is a classic, but quality wise, it pales in comparison to the top two just a little bit. I would argue that 2001 is on par and maybe better than The Chronic, but it really is all opinion. For those that came up with The Chronic, you probably prefer the G-Funk sound that was ushered in through the album and that's possibly why I would lean to The Chronic as well, but Dre changed the West Coast sound again with 2001. With booming drums, lush piano melodies, and more, the music here sounds better than Dre has ever been for the most part. The highlights on this album are massive, from "Let's Get High" to "Forgot About Dre" to "Xxplosive" to "The Next Episode" to "Fuck You" to "Housewife" and so many more. 2001 was a classic album for sure, and it definitely is top 3 on the year and depending on your preference, it might be no. 1 on your list.

2. The Roots- Things Fall Apart

-So, to many, this was the album of the year and it certainky has one hell pf a case for that title. It is a classic, one of the best albums of the year and the late 90s, and it brought The Roots more attention to the amazing music they had been making for years. While Illadelph Halflife might actually be better than this album, Things Fall Apart brought the appeal that was missing and took things to the next level as the as the Soulquarian wave was making their own space in the music world. With the beautiful live instrumentation production that made their music so special always in tact and features from Erkyah Badu, Eve, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Common, Mos Def, and more, the album has a nice flow to it from beginning to end. The highlights and gems are pretty much every single song, but if I had to pick my standout tracks, I would have to go with "You Got Me", "The Next Movement", "Dynamite", "Double Trouble", and "Adrenaline", all of which are amazing pieces of music. Things Fall Apart is a pivotal Roots album and a prime moment in the Soulquarians' growth.

1. Mos Def- Black On Both Sides

-If someone tells you Mos Def wasn't one of the best rappers in rhe game in 1999 then I don't know what's wrong with them. Regardless, Mos had the album of the year to me, sales aside. He would showcase what he does best, putting together some amazing verses that stood the test of time even now along with one of the greatest storytelling songs ever honestly. With a stacked lineup of producers that include Ayatollah, 88 Keys, Diamond D, DJ Premier, and others, Mos delivers some of his potent rhymes on this album, and he doesn't disappoint. Of course, we all know and love "Ms. Fat Booty", but there are so many other gems on this gold album like "New World Water", "Love", "Umi Says", "Climb", "Know That", "Mathematics", and of course my favorite "Mr. Nigga". All in all, Mos Def gave us a classic duo album with Kweli in 1998 and then turned around and gave us the best album of 1999. He is a true legend and his run during 1997-2000 is one of the best lyrical runs ever in hip hop period.



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