DAR Hip Hop: The 8 Greatest Albums Of 1995

By @TrueGodImmortal

1995 was an excellent year. That year, there were so many artists releasing music and finding new ways to showcase their talent. 1995 was especially a good year for hip hop, as many artists would help bring the year nothing but quality. There are so many albums to discuss from that year, but today, I would like to take a look at the 8 best projects in the genre frol 1995. Which albums make the list? Let's take a look.

8. Bone Thugs N Harmony- E. 1999 Eternal 

-The group from Ohio that took the stoner image to another level in hip hop returned with their first full length major label LP after making the fans go crazy for their major label debut EP a year prior. This album would be pushed by the iconic single "Tha Crossroads" alongside the epic hit "1st Of Tha Month", as the group utilized melody and smoker lyricism to push their music to the next level. The album would get great reviews and end up selling well over 5 million copies and earn Grammy nominations as well. The album came at a traumatic time for the group, as their mentor Eazy E passed away shortly before the album dropped, but they picked themselves up and released an album that brought them bigger fame and more attention. E. 1999 Eternal isn't a full fledged classic, but it is well up there with the best albums of the 90's for sure.

7. Tha Dogg Pound- Dogg Food

-The West Coast duo would release their debut album after working side by side with Snoop and Dre on their respective releases, paving the way for a classic. The album is seen as a G-Funk gem overall, with Daz and Kurupt blending their styles together to make one of the greatest West Coast albums of the decade easily the best West Coast release of the year. With a lengthy tracklist, Daz providing most of the production, and solid features from their Death Row family including Snoop, The Lady of Rage, and Nate Dogg, Tha Dogg Pound would etch their name into the hip hop history book with classic songs such as "Let's Play House", "New York, New York", "I Don't Like To Dream About Getting Paid", "Some Bomb Azz Pussy", and more. Death Row brought us some classics, and this album definitely fits that category.

6. Goodie Mob- Soul Food

-Dungeon Family was such a classic group and collective that their work together is always a highlight and fun to listen to. One of the most important pieces to the family remains the amazing group Goodie Mob and their debut album Soul Food is easily one of the best from the year. With a mix of southern fried boom bap and smooth lyricism and abstract flows, Goodie Mob delivered a classic album that features Witchdoctor, Cool Breeze, and Outkast. The standout tracks are "Thought Process", "Dirty South", "Cell Therapy", "Fighting", and "Guess Who". The arrival of the Goodie Mob spelled a new era for Atlanta hip hop all spearheaded by the Dungeon.

5. GZA- Liquid Swords

-So, I will be the first to admit I'm not the biggest fan of GZA. He is a legend by far, becoming a crucial part of the Wu-Tang brand and collective, but I always felt his style teeters slightly towards the boring side. Lyrically, he was a beast and that never changes. He remains a consistent lyricist even today, but his ultimate peak was with the release of this amazing album. Full of samples from the martial arts film Shogun Assassin alongside the soulful yet dark production of RZA, the perfect canvas was set for GZA to showcase his talent and album making ability. This project doesn't disappoint, as we have classic tracks like "Cold World", "Duel Of The Iron Mic", "Living In The World Today", "Shadowboxin", and more. While his other solo releases never quite garnered him the same attention, Liquid Swords is a moment in hip hop history that will not be forgotten.

4. AZ- Doe or Die

-Is this ranked too high? You decide. For me, it was easily one of the best albums of the year and AZ's solo debut features a ton of internal rhyme schemes, solid production, and the best AZ we had ever seen. With his focus being on capitalizing on the fame he obtained by appearing on Nas' classic Illmatic, AZ set out to make a classic and I think he fully succeeded. With production from Pete Rock, L.E.S., and Buckwild, alongside a classic verse or two from Nas, this album delivered 100%. The standout tracks here are "Sugar Hill", "Rather Unique", "Mo Money, Mo Murder, Mo Homicide", the title track, and "Gimme Yours". AZ arrived in a major way and this is still his greatest album.

3. 2Pac- Me Against The World

-This was my favorite album on the year and my personal pick for the greatest 2Pac album ever. Me Against The World represented everything that made Pac who he was and took his career to the next level. It would come at a tough time in his life, as he was locked up at the time that the album released, but all of the pain, paranoia, and strife he was facing seemingly came to an interesting culmination in the form of this album. Pac could attack the system that wrongly imprisoned him, look around at his circle, praise his mother, and still deliver the music that makes every stereo bump. The highlights here are plentiful, and to me, my favorites were "Lord Knows", "It Ain't Easy", "Temptations", "So Many Tears", and more. When we speak of Pac and his career, there is no better moment in it than Me Against The World. That is the pinnacle of 2Pac music and another 1995 classic.

2. Mobb Deep- The Infamous 

-If I had to pick my favorite album from this year, this woulf probably be no. 3 under Pac and Raekwon. However, as the years have gone by, I realize just how important this album was and the power of Prodigy in 1995 as a MC is something that can't be duplicated. Prodigy in his prime was honestly one of the greatest to ever do it, and if you need an album to showcase why he was that, look no further than The Infamous. With production from Havoc and Q-Tip, the album has a gritty sound and dark undertones that fit the duo perfectly and allow the two MCs to shine on the standout tracks "Temperature's Rising", "Shook Ones", "Survival Of The Fittest", "Eye For An Eye (Your Beef Is Mines)", and "Trife Life" among others. Simply put, Mobb Deep came of age with The Infamous and never looked back.

1. Raekwon- Only Built 4 Cuban Linx

-The greatest hip hop album of all time is actually a hard one to decide on. There are so many different albums to compare and discuss that there is never really a concrete answer. However, one of those albums that always seems to get mentioned is the debut solo project from Wu-Tang legend Raekwon, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx. This album is a lesson in true hip hop music, with perfect production, amazing lyricism, and a great concept all around. Assisting Raekwon on a majority of the album is none other than another Wu-Tang legend in Ghostface Killah, who plays the role of costar very well. The album is solely produced by RZA as most early Wu albums were, and features some great guest appearances from the rest of the Wu and Nas. The standout tracks for this album are almost the entire tracklist, with no weak tracks but if I had to pick my favorites, I would go with "Verbal Intercourse", "Criminology", "Knowledge God", "Rainy Days", and the hit single "Ice Cream". All in all, this album, like the others on the list, are masterpieces mostly.



Popular Posts