Rap Music Zip – The Best Albums of 2010

Rap’s explosive rise occurred against a backdrop of political unrest, racial discord and violent demonstrations – which caused its focus to change from middle-class aspirationsal music towards violence-laced “gangsta rap”.

Controversial events inspired MCs to experiment with various complex rhyme schemes and techniques such as internal rhymes. As a result, hip-hop genres such as drill, bounce and crunk emerged.

1. Dr Dre & Snoop Dogg – Doggystyle (1993)

Dre and Snoop’s first joint album, Doggystyle, is considered an all-time classic of hip-hop music by many fans. Snoop’s musically artful yet lyrically repellent attitude came together perfectly in Doggystyle to set a standard in hip-hop. Doggystyle topped the charts for three weeks after its release and produced two hit singles (Gin & Juice went on to win a Grammy Award), as well as solidifying Snoop as one of hip hop’s original glam-rap artists.

Doggystyle features some of the richest hip-hop production of Snoop’s career. Dre is responsible for this track’s rich production, laying down deep bass lines and hard snare drums with additional keys and horns for added depth. Additionally, this beat utilizes samples from Funkadelic’s “Knee Deep”, giving Doggystyle its signature sound while distinguishing it from earlier solo efforts by Snoop.

Although this album boasts impressive production values, what truly sets Snoop’s rapping apart is his impressive flow and tonal versatility. This can be heard especially clearly on tracks like “Murder Was The Case” and “Tha Shiznit,” where rivals (or perhaps just haters) come rolling up on him while spraying shots at him. Snoop then makes a deal with the Devil for limitless riches in exchange for giving up his lifestyle–but eventually goes back into it and ultimately gets “shot to hell”.

Snoop’s Death Row co-workers such as Lady of Rage, Daz and Kurupt from Tha Dogg Pound, and the Dramatics all play supporting roles on his album. All deliver excellent work putting forth street credibility while sounding natural alongside Snoop’s confident demeanor; this is most evident on “Ain’t No Fun,” one of its signature tracks which features an R&B groove far exceeding anything new-jack crooner Keith Sweat has produced lately and proclaiming male bonding as male bonding sport in Snoop’s characteristically caustic manner.

2. Eazy-E & Ice Cube – The Chronic (1993)

Dre and Snoop helped popularize gangsta rap in 1992, but The Chronic was the album that truly established its commercial success. It topped both Billboard 200 and R&B/Hip-Hop charts and is considered one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time – it also cemented Snoop Dogg as a global superstar.

West Coast rap was transformed by this album, as it combined smooth funk beats with laid-back lyrics to form what would later be known as G-Funk music. Artists like 2Pac, MC Eiht and Spice 1 became instantly famous. Meanwhile Public Enemy, who had become popular since 1987 with their political-oriented Apocalypse 91: The Enemy Strikes Black album seemed outdated by comparison.

Though the album was an immense success, there was some pushback against gangsta rap from those who felt that it was demeaning and violent. Calvin Butts and C. Delores Tucker became well known critics of gangsta rap; activists such as them also formed organizations dedicated to investigating rapper lyrics and boycotting music industry companies.

This tension can be found throughout The Chronic, especially its lead single and video “Nuthin But A G Thang.” Filmed at one of Los Angeles’ picnic areas, this video showed elements never before shown in hip-hop videos.

It is clear that Eazy-E’s song was in response to Dre’s diss track from late 1992/early 1993 titled F**k Wit Dre Day. While Dre’s diss song may have been out-of-line with Eazy-E, it still managed to damage his reputation and image.

Death Row Records had an unprecedented four year reign of gangsta rap dominance, beginning with The Chronic. Even amid widespread controversy and backlash, its music remains timeless – whether it be the car chase bass of “Exxtra Special Thankz” or Dre and Snoop’s confident chorus on “Nuthin But A G Thang,” creating an anthem for an entire generation of gangsters.

3. Migos – Culture (2001)

As was true of The Beatles before them, Atlanta rappers Quavo, Offset and Takeoff have wielded an indelible influence over the past five years. Their infectious brand of high-octane Southern trap has spread through every level of pop music from upstart “mumble rappers” to Drake, Kendrick Lamar and Katy Perry – not forgetting upstart mumble rappers themselves! On Culture III – their third full-length record – Quavo Offset Takeoff and Takeoff have asserted their dominance over present (though possibly not future).

Migos fans won’t be disappointed; their album offers an incredible collection of trap gems that stands as an impressive milestone in their young careers thus far. It features them channeling their signature swaggering persona with almost comical panache; as well as seamlessly incorporating other musicians such as Justin Bieber (What You See), Juice WRLD (Antisocial) or the late Juice WRLD (RIP). Antisocial is just another testament to Migos’ adaptability: every track showcases how well they handle any subject matter and make it their own!

Though the album is successful, it’s far from flawless. Many singles from this project can be repetitive while some like “T-Shirt” with Lil Uzi Vert don’t offer anything truly new or fresh. On the contrary, other songs like “Call Casting” and “Bad and Boujee” demonstrate how well Offset, Quavo, and Takeoff work together and complement each other — “Bad and Boujee” featuring Offset’s serration balanced against Takeoff’s mature lyrics while “Call Casting” includes Takeoff’s mature lyrics with his turn in his verse!

The album manages to remain timely by touching upon a variety of current events, such as Covid-19 (notably through “Vaccine”), dead rappers (“Pop Smoke” and “Juice WRLD”) as well as reference of cultural phenomenon Kim K’s wedding ceremony (“Kim K’s Wedding”).

Culture III doesn’t upend or improve Migos’ formula, yet still stands as a potency statement of dominance. With enough fiery tracks to fuel Spotify’s Rap Caviar playlist for months and solidify Migos as one of hip-hop’s key acts.

4. Jay-Z & Kanye West – The Blueprint (1999)

Jay-Z was already an iconic singles chart star before The Blueprint came along, yet hadn’t left an impactful mark as an album artist. Even though Reasonable Doubt and The Black Album had solid albums that showcased his skills as an album artist – Reasonable Doubt and The Black Album respectively were well received, but neither could match The Blueprint in terms of impactful listening experiences and lasting legacy in hip hop history. Indeed, The Blueprint became a definitive milestone that marked him out as one of the all-time great rappers, cemented his standing as one of rap’s finest and cemented his place among history’s greats re-launching him back onto hip hop history’s hallowed grounds as a true titanic presence within hip hop music history re-launching him back onto hip hop’s ranks while solidifying his place among legends like Ko-Empire as one.

Jay-Z used The Blueprint as a platform to showcase hip-hop, rock and soul artists such as Just Blaze and Kanye West as rising producers to craft an urban/radio friendly sound that would come to define his later releases, including 4:44.

West’s contributions were no less important than those of his Roc-A-Fella co-founders; his innovative use of sampling on tracks like “Takeover” led him to become one of the most revered producers in his generation. Furthermore, The Blueprint marked an unprecedented shift towards Soulcentric production that relied heavily on sampling.

Timing was also key, with its release occurring shortly after September 11 attacks, so that its message resonated strongly among many, particularly New York City where Jay-Z resided.

As such, the album became an anthem for perseverance and resilience, serving as a call-to-arms to rappers to uphold their morals against power abuses brought on by money.

“Takeover,” Jay-Z’s most well-known track from his fourth studio album, was instantly iconic upon its debut at Hot 97 Summer Jam. Jay-Z himself made history when he premiered it live at that event – adding even greater significance to this timeless classic.