10 classic 90s hip-hop albums by so-called ’80s rappers’

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No. 2 Let the Rhythm Hit ‘Em by Eric B. & Rakim (1990)

Another act that was still riding the crest of their creative peak, Eric B. & Rakim were both admired and admonished for their singular focus in the early 1990s. As gangsta rap, alternative rap, political rap and a lot of other subsets of hip-hop emerged in the late 80s, the duo remained staunchly purist in its musical approach. But their refusal to bend to trends paid off; outside of their classic debut– this remains arguably their most fully-realized and most riveting album. With ghost production by Large Professor, it features Rakim in full flight as a rhymer and serves as an unofficial precursor to 1994’s Nas classic, Illmatic.


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