Source: press handout / Live Nation

All year long artists and fans alike have been celebrating #HipHop50. In many people’s eyes, August 11, 1973 is hip-hop’s birthday. On that day, DJ Kool Herc threw a block party at 1520 Sedgewick Avenue in the Bronx. Since that time, hip-hop has become one of, if not the most popular genre of music and a force in popular culture. Whether it’s the music itself, the fashion or even the lingo, there isn’t a music genre around more influential than hip-hop. Due to its larger than life stars and their exceptional talents, hip-hop has morphed into the preeminent voice of the youth over its 50 year history. Every year since its inception, hip-hop has rendered countless classic albums. 30 years ago wasn’t any different. In fact, many consider 1993 one of the best years in hip-hop history.

In the early 90s, although relatively still in its premature stages, hip-hop was well on it’s way to becoming the global phenomenon it is today. The decade before seen the likes of Public Enemy, Run-DMC, N.W.A., Salt-n-Pepa, MC Lyte, LL Cool J and many more step into the spotlight. The following decade continued the dominance of the one that preceded it. Some might even say that it overlapped it and took hip-hop to new heights never reached before. How can anyone disagree? The 90s literally ushered in hip-hop’s biggest and greatest stars ever (Tupac Shakur, The Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z). 1993 in specific is a year that will always stand out. The West Coast had a lot to say, holding the top three selling hip-hop albums of the year. Snoop Dogg released his debut album Doggystyle, Cypress Hill released their second album Black Sunday and Ice Cube released his fourth studio album Lethal Injection. Those albums were just the tip of the iceberg. Fans were also blessed with releases from the aforementioned Tupac Shakur (Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z…and LL Cool J (14 Shots to the Dome). Queen Latifah (Black Reign), the Wu-Tang Clan (Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)) and Mobb Deep (Juvenile Hell) also dropped. Considering how many classic albums were released that year, it’s without saying that there were countless hit singles that spawned from them. We put together a gallery of classics that are now 30 years old, check it out below! Let us know your favorites and if we missed any!

1. Souls of Mischief – 93 ‘Til Infinity

Source:Souls of Mischief

2. Naughty By Nature – Hip Hop Hooray

Source:Tommy Boy

3. Ice Cube – It Was A Good Day

Source:Ice Cube / Cubevision

4. Black Moon – Who Got Da Props


5. Cypress Hill – Insane In The Brain

Source:Cypress Hill

6. Tag Team – Whoomp!


7. Dr. Dre – Nuthin’ but a G Thang

Source:Dr. Dre

8. Salt-N-Pepa – Shoop


9. Arrested Development – Mr. Rendal


10. Wu-Tang Clan – Protect Ya Neck

Source:Wu-Tang Clan

11. Wu-Tang Clan – C.R.E.A.M.

Source:Wu-Tang Clan

12. Onyx – Slam


13. DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – Boom! Shake The Room


14. Paperboy – Ditty

Source:Paperboy – Topic

15. Positive K – I Got A Man


16. Disable Planets – Return of Slick (Cool Like Dat)


17. Kris Kross – Alright


18. Big Daddy Kane & Spinderella – Very Special


19. MC Lyte – Ruffneck

Source:UPROXX Video

20. 2Pac – I Get Around


21. Snow – Informer


22. A Tribe Called Quest – Electric Relaxation

Source:A Tribe Called Quest

23. Snoop Dogg – Gin and Juice

Source:Omar Caprio

24. Queen Latifah – U.N.I.T.Y.


25. Too Short – I’m A Player

Source:Too Short