Notable Albums during the Golden Age of Hip Hop

Summary of the key albums during the second era of Hip Hop from 1985 to 1995

Golden Era

So what makes this era so special that it receives a title implying it was the best?  The Golden Age represents a time when Hip Hop Music techniques had advanced beyond the primitive Old Skool Age but was still distinctly separate from the world of pop music.  New rap styles and productions sounds were being invented and older techniques were being mastered.  Although some acts were crossing over to make music for the pop charts, at the time this was looked down upon and the art of hip hop was separate from the world of pop music making many believe that it is when the genre reached its zenith. 

Below, is a list of 10 notable Golden Age albums. They contributed to hip-hop’s legitimacy as an art form, and without them contemporary hip-hop as we know it wouldn’t exist at all

Raising Hell

Artist: Run D.M.C.

Released: May 15, 1986

Studio: Chun King Studios

Sub-genre: Boom Bap, Hardcore Rap, Rap Rock

Length: 39:46

Label: Profile, Arista

Producer: Russell Simmons, Rick Rubin

Notable Track(s): My Adidas, Walk This Way, It’s Tricky

U.S. Billboard 200 Peak Position: 3

RIAA Certification: Platinum (July 15, 1986); 3xPlatinum (April 24, 1987)

*First Platinum and multi-platinum rap album in history

Returning home to Queens in late 1985 after their extensive touring, Run DMC soon put themselves on lockdown.  The group members took charge of creating the music with Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin overseeing the project and adding to it. 

Run-DMC’s 1986 rap masterpiece, Raising Hell, storms out of the musical gate. One of the albums that defined the transition from the old school to the new school, with its heavy rhyme sequences layered on top of drum-machine beats.  The late-’80s lyricism of MCs Run and DMC is not as complex as that of today’s microphone mathematicians, but that was never the point–what they lack in finesse, they more than make up in intensity, authority, and flat-out lung power. The fact that almost every line of “Peter Piper” has become the hook of another hip-hop song is a testament to the power of these originals.

The roots of rap/metal fusion are in here, too, with songs like “It’s Tricky,” “Walk this Way,” and the title cut making use of distorted rock guitars and pounding drums, while “Proud to Be Black” helped launch the Afrocentric-conscious rap era of the late ’80s. And “My Adidas” prefigured the brand-name fetishism that hip-hop is just beginning to get over. When it comes to beats, bumps, and b-boy bravado, there has never been anyone else like Run-DMC, and this album shows why.

Licensed To Ill

Artist: Beastie Boys

Released: November 15, 1986

Sub-genre: Boom Bap, Hardcore Rap, Rap Rock

Length: 44:33

Label: Def Jam, Columbia

Producer: Rick Rubin, Beastie Boys

Notable Track(s): Paul Revere, Brass Monkey, No Sleep till Brooklyn

U.S. Billboard 200 Peak Position: 1

RIAA Certification: Platinum (February 2, 1987); Diamond (March 4, 2015)

*First Rap album to top the billboard chart

*It is one of Columbia Records’ fastest-selling debut records to date.

*It is the only album by a Jewish hip-hop act to receive 5 mics from The Source.  Licensed to Ill remains the world’s only punk rock rap album.

It is noted for its layered sampling with songs like “It’s time to get ill” having up to 14 samples.  It included start-stop transitions and aggressive beats that helped transform the genre from a direct dialogue between MC and DJ into a full narrative. 

The joke of Licensed to Ill’s cover–that the Beasties could crash their jet into the side of a mountain and keep on tickin’–serves as a good metaphor for a career that even some of their 1986 admirers thought might be over after the one-time-only shock of this full-length debut. That thousands of funk-junkie wannabes have since failed at re-creating its groove, breaking-the-law vibe, and ear-splitting mix of rock and rap is an even better joke. And funniest of all is the record itself, which packs dexterous boasts, aural puns, and lots and lots of yelling into a disc that can still be listened to with as much pleasure as it gave in ’86.

This writer can remember Michael Diamond and the two Adams (Yauch and Horovitz) lighting up the screen when they made a cameo appearance in Krush Groove a year earlier. The film was loosely based on the story of Beasties’ record label, Def Jam, co-owned by their producer and original DJ, Rick Rubin, and manager Russell Simmons.

Looking at their single ‘She’s On It’ as a seven-year-old, I wondered what Spanish Fly was. At 40, I still don’t know what exactly it is. Either way, one of them was holding a five-gallon bottle of it on the picture sleeve. Flash-forward to 15 November 1986, and the Top 10 albums in the Billboard 200 included the works of Boston, Bon Jovi, Huey Lewis And The News, Cyndi Lauper, Tina Turner, Lionel Richie, Billy Joel and Madonna, whom our anti-heroes had toured the country with in 1985, performing to confused parents and children alike. I arrived late to their Anaheim Stadium performance, missing the Beasties by mere minutes. We were not yet living in a hip-hop world.

Then came Licensed To Ill. The album’s title was a pun based on a 1965 imitation James Bond film, Licensed To Kill. Strangely, the album pre-dated a real James Bond movie entitled Licence To Kill by three years. Was it art imitating art imitating art? The album’s gatefold artwork was famously done by collage artist World B Omes and depicted an airplane crashing into the side of a cliff. Held up to a mirror, the plane’s serial number, 3MTA3, reads like “EATME”, and not by coincidence. Etched into the matrix are more naughty slogans, supposedly all Rubin’s idea (the group hated it) that both embraces and lampoons rock’n’roll excess.

Lyrically, Beasties were also walking that tightrope between goofing on frat boy culture and rock star clichés, and being the archetypes of their intended ridicule. Blurring those lines paid off commercially, enabling them to crossover into the rock world. The catalyst was ‘(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!)’, written by Yauch and his friend Tom Cushman. Essentially a hard rock song with a drum machine, ‘Fight For Your Right’ may have tricked MTV viewers who weren’t in on the joke into thinking that Beastie Boys were the next Twisted Sister. ‘No Sleep Till Brooklyn’ (featuring guitarist Kerry King from Def Jam labelmates Slayer) drove the gag home.

Ironically, the inspiration for these songs came from another hip-hop group – Run-DMC, whose ‘Rock Box’ had combined rap and rock elements two years prior. Run-DMC were the template for Beastie Boys in so many ways: the loud drums and the shouted vocal delivery where bandmates would complete each other’s lines. And then, of course there’s the fact that Run-DMC actually wrote pieces of Licensed To Ill, including ‘Slow And Low’, which they originally recorded (with Rubin producing) as a demo that never made it onto their own albums.

Paid In Full

Artist: Eric B. & Rakim

Released: July 7, 1987

Studio: Marley Marl’s home studio, Queens, NYC, NY; Power Play Studios in Manhattan, NYC, NY

Sub-genre: Boom Bap, Hardcore Rap

Length: 45:08

Label: 4th & B’way, Island

Producer: Eric B. & Rakim

Notable Track(s): Eric B. Is President, I Ain’t No Joke, I Know You Got Soul, Paid In Full

U.S. Billboard 200 Peak Position: 58

RIAA Certification: Platinum (July 11, 1995)

Paid in Full is credited as a benchmark album of golden age hip hop. Rakim’s rapping, which pioneered the use of internal rhymes in hip hop, set a higher standard of lyricism in the genre and served as a template for future rappers.  The album’s heavy sampling by Eric B. became influential in hip hop production.

Eric B.’s friend and roommate Marley Marl allowed him to use his home studio. He recorded his vocals in the booth by reading his lyrics from a paper.  The duo completed the album in one week with 48-hour shifts and recorded in single takes to complete the album within budget.  In a 2008 interview with AllHipHop, Eric B. stated, “[T]o sit here and say we put together this calculated album to be a great album would be a lie. We were just doing records that felt good.”

Rakim’s rhyming deviated from the simple rhyme patterns of early 1980s hip hop. His free-rhythm style ignored bar lines and had earned comparisons to Thelonious Monk.  While many rappers developed their technique through improvisation, Rakim was one of the first to demonstrate advantages of a writerly style, as with for instance his pioneering use of internal rhyme.  Unlike previous rappers such as LL Cool J and Run-D.M.C. who delivered their vocals with high energy, Rakim employed a relaxed, stoic delivery.  Rakim’s relaxed delivery resulted from his jazz influences; he had played the saxophone and was a John Coltrane fan.  His subject matter often covered his own rapping skills and lyrical superiority over other rappers.  His style also incorporated much imagery and an unpredictable off-the-beat rhythm. 

Paid in Full, which contains gritty, heavy, and dark beats, marked the beginning of heavy sampling in hip hop records.  Of the album’s ten tracks, three are instrumentals.  As a disc jockey, Eric B. had reinstated the art of live turntable mixing.  His soul-filled sampling became influential in future hip hop production.   Eric B. also incorporated horn or whistle sounds deep in the mix. 

It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back

Artist: Public Enemy

Released: June 28, 1988

Studio: Chung King Studios and Greene St. Recording in Manhattan NY, Sabella Studios in Long Island NY

Sub-genre: Boom Bap, Hardcore Rap

Length: 57:51

Label: Def Jam, Columbia

Producer: Chuck D., Rick Rubin, Hank Shocklee

Notable Track(s): Rebel Without a Pause, Bring the Noise, Don’t Believe the Hype, Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos

U.S. Billboard 200 Peak Position: 42

RIAA Certification: Platinum (August 22, 1989)

With the album, Public Enemy set out to make the hip hop equivalent to Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On, a record noted for its strong social commentary.  Noting the enthusiastic response toward their live shows, Public Enemy intended with Nation of Millions to make the music of a faster tempo than the previous album, Yo! Bum Rush the Show, for performance purposes.

The album was very well received by music critics, who hailed it for its production techniques and the socially and politically charged lyricism of lead MC Chuck D.

The material was recorded in 30 days for an estimated $25,000 in recording costs, due to an extensive amount of preproduction by the group at their Long Island studio.  The album was completed in six weeks.  “It was aggressive, race-against-the-clock teamwork, taking chances in sound,” recalled Chuck D.

This was also one of the details which Chuck felt to be unique to the time and recording of the album. “Once hip-hop became corporate, they took the daredevil out of the artistry. But being a daredevil was what Hank brought to the table.”  It was decided amongst the group that the album should be exactly one hour long, thirty minutes on each side. At the time, audio cassettes were more popular than CD’s and the group didn’t want listeners having to hear dead air for a long time after one-half of the album was finished. 

Under Hank Shocklee’s direction, the Bomb Squad, the group’s production team, began to develop a dense and chaotic production style that relied on found sounds and avant-garde noise as much as it did on old-school funk.  Along with a varied selection of sampled elements, the tracks feature a greater tempo than those of the group’s contemporaries.  As with the group’s live performances, Flavor Flav supported Chuck D’s politically charged lyrics with “hype man” vocals and surrealistic lyrics on the album.

Public Enemy’s sound demonstrated an integration of lyrical content, vocal tone, sample density and layering, scratch deconstruction, and sheer velocity that rap music has never been able to recapture, and that hip-hop DJs and producers are still mining for gems.

In an interview with the New York Daily News, Shocklee noted that the album’s dynamic sound was inspired by Chuck D’s rapping prowess, stating “Chuck’s a powerful rapper. We wanted to make something that could sonically stand up to him”.  Of his own contributions to its production, Shocklee cited himself as being the arranger and noted that he had “no interest in linear songs.

Hank referred to Chuck D as being the person who’d find all the vocal samples, Eric Sadler as “the one with the musical talent,” and noted that his brother, Keith Shocklee, “knew a lot of the breakbeats and was the sound-effects master.”  Shocklee’s sentiments were reinforced by Chuck D while explaining the group’s working methods during production. “Eric was the musician, Hank was the antimusician. Eric did a lot of the [drum] programming, [Hank’s brother] Keith was the guy who would bring in the feel.”  For his contributions to the production side, Chuck stated that he “would scour for vocal samples all over the Earth. I would name a song, tag it, and get the vocal samples.”  Chuck D also noted the productiveness of Sadler and Shocklee’s differing approaches to the creative process. “The friction between Hank and Eric worked very well. Hank would put a twist on Eric’s musicianship and Eric’s musicianship would put a twist on Hank.”

The album itself was mixed with no automation, instead of being recorded on analog tape and later painstakingly mixed by hand.  This is a significant fact due to its nature as being one of the most intricate albums of digitally sampled music.  Asked years later if replicating the number of samples used on the album would be possible [due to increased clearance costs for copyrighted material], Hank Shocklee said while possible, it would be far more expensive than at the time to do so.

Throughout the album, Chuck D delivers narratives that are characterized by black nationalist rhetoric and regard topics such as self-empowerment for African Americans, critiques of white supremacy, and challenges to exploitation in the music industry.  “Caught, Can We Get a Witness?” directly addresses the issue of sampling in hip hop and copyright violation from a perspective that supports the practice and claims entitlement due to “black ownership of the sounds in the first place”.

Straight Outta Compton

Artist: N.W.A.

Released: August 8, 1988

Studio: Audio Achievements, Torrance, California

Sub-genre: Gangsta Rap, Boom Bap, Hardcore Rap

Length: 60:16

Label: Ruthless, Priority

Producer: Dr. Dre, DJ Yella

Notable Track(s): Straight Outta Compton, Gangsta Gangsta, Express Yourself

U.S. Billboard 200 Peak Position: 37

RIAA Certification: Platinum (August 22, 1989)

Some critics of the album expressed their view that the record glamorized Black-on-Black crime, but others stated that the group was simply showing the reality of living in the areas of Compton, California, and South Central Los Angeles.  Steve Huey in a retrospective review for AllMusic feels that the lyrics are more about “raising hell” than social criticism, but also feels the album is “refreshingly uncalculated” due to its humor—something he feels is rare in hardcore rap.

Many critics feel that the album’s lyrics glamorize gang violence. The Washington Post writer David Mills wrote: “The hard-core street rappers defend their violent lyrics as a reflection of ‘reality’. But for all the gunshots they mix into their music, rappers rarely try to dramatize that reality — a young man flat on the ground, a knot of lead in his chest, pleading as death slowly takes him in. It’s easier for them to imagine themselves pulling the trigger”.

The production on the album was generally seen as top-quality for the time, with Dr. Dre’s production performing well with the drum machine beats and DJ Yella’s turntable scratches. Some critics find it somewhat sparse and low-budget given the significance of the album and compared with other producers of the time, such as Marley Marl.

The Chronic

Artist: Dr. Dre

Released: December 15, 1992

Studio: Death Row Studios and Bernie Grundman Mastering (Los Angeles, CA)

Sub-genre: G-Funk, Gangsta Rap

Length: 62:52

Label: Death Row, Interscope

Producer: Dr. Dre, Suge Knight

Notable Track(s): Nuthin But a G Thang, Dre Day, Let Me Ride

U.S. Billboard 200 Peak Position: 3

RIAA Certification: 3XPlatinum (November 3, 1993)

The production on The Chronic was seen as innovative and ground-breaking, and received universal acclaim from critics. The album was noted for establishing the patented G-funk sound: fat, blunted Parliament-Funkadelic beats, soulful backing vocals, and live instruments in the rolling basslines and whiny synths.  The upper end is often a lone keyboard line, whistling or blipping incessantly.  In between are wide-open spaces that hold just a rhythm guitar, sparse keyboard chords.  The songs were smoother and simpler than the East Coast Boom Bap sound and decisively expanded the hip hop audience into the suburbs. 

This sound was a major influence on mainstream hip hop for the next four years.  

Unlike other hip hop acts (such as The Bomb Squad) that sampled heavily, Dr. Dre only utilized one or few samples per song. 

Until this point, mainstream hip hop had been primarily party music or pro-empowerment and politically charged, and had consisted almost entirely of samples and breakbeats.  Dr. Dre ushered in a new musical style and lyrics for hip hop. The beats were slower and mellower, samples from late 1970s and early 1980s funk music.

The album’s lyrics were noted for continuing the trend of sexism and violent representations associated with gangsta rap.  It was also noted that Dr. Dre dissed his former groupmate Eazy-E as well as Luke from the 2 Live Crew.   

Snoop Doggy Dogg, who had a significant role on the album, was praised for his distinct creative lyrics and flow delivering gangsta rap more delicately than his predecessors. 

Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)

Artist: Wu-Tang

Released: November 9, 1993

Sub-genre: Hardcore Rap, Boom Bap

Length: 61:31

Label: Loud

Producer: Rza

Notable Track(s): Protect Ya Neck, CREAM, Can It Be All So Simple, Method Man

U.S. Billboard 200 Peak Position: 41

RIAA Certification: Platinum (May 15, 1995)

Because of an extremely limited budget, the group was only able to record in a small, inexpensive studio; with up to eight of the nine Wu-Tang members in the studio at once, the quarters were frequently crowded.  To decide who appeared on each song, RZA forced the Wu-Tang rappers to battle with each other.

Group leader RZA produced Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) by creating sonic collages from classic soul samples and clips from martial arts movies.  He complemented the rappers’ performances with lean, menacing beats that evoked their gritty, urban surroundings.  The use of soul samples and various esoteric clips, and the technique by which RZA employed them in his beats was unique and largely unprecedented in hip-hop.  Part of the gritty sound of Enter the Wu-Tang is due, at least in part, to the use of cheap equipment to produce the album.

The minimalist means of production plays directly into the music’s “street” aesthetic.  The drums have more bass and are more hard-hitting than they are crisp and clean; the samples have an eerie, almost haunting type of echo; and the vocals.  It helped legitimize the use of more diverse sample sources to the hardcore New York rap massive, breaking away from James Brown based beats.

Enter the Wu-Tang ushered in a new standard for hip-hop at a time when hip hop music was dominated by the jazz-influenced styles of A Tribe Called Quest, the Afrocentric viewpoints of Public Enemy, and the rising popularity of West Coast gangsta rap.  The album’s explicit, humorous and free-associative lyrics have been credited for serving as a template for many subsequent hip hop records. 

While the lyrical content on Enter the Wu-Tang generally varies from rapper to rapper, the basic themes are the same—urban life, martial arts movies, comic book references, and marijuana—and the setting is invariably the harsh environment of New York City. The lyrics have a universally dark tone and seem at times to be simply aggressive cries. The lyricists were praises for their originality and caustic humor, stating some were outsized, theatrical personalities, others were cerebral storytellers and lyrical technicians, but each had his own distinctive style. 

Most songs feature multiple rappers contributing verses of varying lengths.  The verses are essentially battle rhymes, mixed with humor and outsized tales of urban violence and drug use. There is some debate about whether the lyrics on 36 Chambers are properly classified as gangsta rap or something else entirely.


Artist: Snoop Dogg

Released: November 23, 1993

Sub-genre: G-Funk, Gangsta Rap

Length: 55:05

Label: Death Row, Interscope

Producer: Dr. Dre, Suge Knight

Notable Track(s): Who Am I?, Gin & Juice, Doggy Dogg World

U.S. Billboard 200 Peak Position: 1

RIAA Certification: 4XPlatinum (May 31, 1994)

Snoop Doggy Dogg collaborated with two music groups, 213 and Tha Dogg Pound.  Daz Dillinger and Warren G, producers of the two groups did much of the initial beat making for the album with Dr. Dre completed the production.  Dre’s handling of the production was praised by critics.  Coming off the groundbreaking “Chronic” this album featured the G-Funk sound but with a slighty faster tempo and more fun injected into the lyrics. 

Snoop Doggy Dogg’s lyrics were generally praised by critics due to the realism in his rhymes and his harmonious flow that is sometimes described as melodic eloquence.  His relaxed vocal style is a perfect match for Dre’s bass-heavy producing.  The ideas put forward through the lyrics include Snoop Doggy Dogg’s adolescent urges, as he freely talks of casual sex, smoking marijuana and gunning down rival gang members.

The lyrics involve many derogatory terms against women, with expressions such as “bitches” and “hoes” being used throughout, which illustrates the feeling of sexism and oppression within American society.  In certain tracks Snoop Doggy Dogg and Tha Dogg Pound casually speak of group sex, illustrating the demeaning of women.  Snoop Doggy Dogg’s lyrics depict drugs, alcohol, sex, and money as methods of escape from oppression, but they also show an underside of the “gangsta” lifestyle and the results of following this lifestyle.


Artist: Nas

Released: April 19, 1994

Sub-genre: Hardcore Rap, Boom Bap, Jazz Rap

Length: 39:51

Label: Columbia

Producer: MC Search

Notable Track(s): Halftime, It Ain’t Hard To Tell, Life’s A Bitch, The World Is Yours

U.S. Billboard 200 Peak Position: 12

RIAA Certification: Gold (January 17, 1996); Platinum (December 11, 2001); 2x Platinum (February 6, 2019)

Illmatic has been noted as one of the most influential hip hop albums of all time, with pundits describing it as an archetypal East Coast hip hop album. 

The alembic of soul jazz samples, SP-1200s, breaks, and raw rap boom bap.

Illmatic has been noted as a creative high point for East Coast hip hop, since it featured production from renowned New York-based producers Large Professor, Pete Rock and DJ Premier. 

Following the album’s release, hip hop artists increasingly began to draw upon a broad stable of producers for their projects. At the time, the assembly of big-name producers was unprecedented, since most hip hop albums had primarily been the work of one dedicated producer and sometimes an embedded production team.

Yet while hip-hop artists continue to draw upon this template for album production, the practice has earned some criticism.  With many stating after Illmatic rap albums had less cohesion and quality because there is a different producer for every song and producers stop being tied to single artists anymore. 

Illmatic was one of the first major recordings to emerge from New York’s burgeoning hardcore hip hop scene, at a time when much of East Coast hip hop was still dominated by alternative hip hop acts such as A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul (groups often known for their jazz-inspired production and playful sensibilities).

While Illmatic contains strong elements of jazz rap, it nonetheless signaled a major regional shift towards hardcore aesthetics.

Despite its initial low sales, the album had a profound impact on the hip hop underground circuit, and marked a major stylistic change in hip hop music by introducing a new standard of lyricism.  Before the album’s release, hip-hop lyricism was mostly defined by two popular forms. One was characterized by a fast-paced ragga-flow accompanied with a whimsical, often nonsensical lyrical delivery, and had been popularized by the Brooklyn-based groups Das EFX and The Fu-Schnickens.  The other was characterized by a slurred “lazy drawl” that sacrificed lyrical complexity for clarity and rhythmic cadence, and was exemplified by West Coast hip hop emcees including Snoop Doggy Dogg and Warren G.

However, Nas’ content, verbal pace, and intricate internal rhyme patterns inspired several rappers to modify their lyrical abilities.  Nas’ self awareness, internal rhyme schemes, and mastery of street detail.

Ready to Die

Artist: Notorious BIG

Released: September 13, 1994

Sub-genre: Hardcore Rap, Boom Bap

Length: 69:05

Label: Bad Boy, Arista

Producer: Mr. Cee, Bluez Brotherz, Sean ‘Puffy’ Combs

Notable Track(s): Juicy, Big Poppa, One More Chance

U.S. Billboard 200 Peak Position: 15

RIAA Certification: Gold (November 16, 1994); 2x Platinum (October 16, 1995); 6x Platinum (April 4, 2018)

The production on the album was mainly handled by Easy Mo Bee and The Hitmen.  The production is mainly sample-based with the samples varying from the percussion of funk tracks to the vocals of hip hop songs.  Most of the album follows the boom bap east coast sound.  The hit “Juicy” was a crossover hit with a more commercial sound and “Big Poppa” employed a more G-Funk style sound.   

The Notorious B.I.G.’s lyrics on the album were generally praised by critics. Many critics applauded his story-telling ability stating that his raps are easy to understand and his skills are noticeable.  He has a loose, easy flow and a talent for piling multiple rhymes on top of one another in quick succession.  The lyrics are firmly rooted in reality, but play like scenes from a movie.  The lyrics mixed autobiographical details about crime and violence with emotional honesty, telling how he felt while making a living as a drug dealer.  The album is also noted for its dark tone and sinister sense of depression.  There is a consistent level of tension by juxtaposing emotional highs and lows. 

The lyrics on Ready to Die tend to deal with violence, drug dealing, women, alcohol and marijuana use, and other elements of Notorious B.I.G.’s environment. He rapped about these topics in clear, sparse terms, allowing the lyrics to hit the first time you hear them.  The album contains a loose concept starting out with an intro that details his birth, his early childhood, his adolescence and his life at the point of the album’s release.  Songs on the album range from homicide narratives, to braggadocios battle raps, to various tales of the life of a drug dealer.  The final song was “Suicidal Thoughts”, a song where The Notorious B.I.G. contemplates and finally commits suicide bringing the album to a cinematic end.


Honorable Mention

  • Criminal Minded
  • Long Live the Kane
  • The Great Adventures of Slick Rick
  • By All Means Necessary
  • 3ft High & Rising
  • Mama Said Knock You Out
  • Low End Theory
  • Midnight Marauders
  • 1999 Eternal
  • Me Against the World
  • Only Built 4 Cuban Linx






Hip Hop Evolution Documentary

 “Check the Technique, Liner Notes for Hip-Hop Junkies (by Brian Coleman) (2005) – page 392”. Retrieved 2019-05-01.

 Klep One (November 15, 2013). “Since 1984: Beastie Boys – “Licensed To Ill” Released 27 Years Ago! Def Jam”. Archived from the originalon February 11, 2014. Retrieved January 17, 2014.