Lists are meant to be debated, and updated. Rolling Stone magazine just updated its Greatest Albums of All Time list, and interestingly, though not too surprisingly, Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is its highest-ranking Hip-Hop album.
Rolling Stone‘s OG list was first published in 2003 and got tweaked in 2012. In spite of the list being a continuing traffic winner due to spirited debate about ranking and who should or shouldn’t be included, this year RS decided to complete remake the list.
The remade list was created by compiling the Top 50 lists of over 300 critics, artists, producers, journalists, and “music-industry figures” (i.e. record and execs) [Full Disclosure: The author of this post participated by submitting his own Top 50 albums list].
The results were that the 2020 re-up includes 86 albums from the current century while 154 titles are fresh to the fold. Of course, Kendrick Lamar’s modern classic Good Kid, Maad City is one of those new albums. Other Hip-Hop titles that made the cut, and the top 50 one big ass list, include Jay-Z’s The Blueprint at no. 50, OutKast’s Aquemini at No. 49, Nas’ Illmatic at No. 44 and A Tribe Called Quest’s The Low End Theory at No. 43. Dr. Dre’s The Chronic hold down No. 37, Beyoncé comes in at No. 32 while Wu-Tang Clan’s Enter the Wu-Tang(36 Chambers) lands at No. 27 and the Notorious B.I.G.’s Ready To Die is at No. 22.
But older Hip-Hop heads may feel a way since Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly is ahead of all the aforementioned Hip-Hop classics at No. 19 while Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Fantasy is at No. 17—Yeezy will be probably be mad since he’s not numero uno. But older heads should find comfort in Public Enemy’s It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back coming in at No. 15 and as for L Boogie’s Miseducation, her masterpiece came in at no. 10.
As for No. 1, we gotta give it two thumbs up, for cultural considerations.
Check Rolling Stone’s full 500 Greatest Albums of All Time right here.