Here Are Your Top 10 Rap Albums of the 80s. Get Ready For The 90s…

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Today (October 25) closes Round 2 of the 1980s bracket of Finding The GOAT Albums. In the closing hour, there were no ties, and not even a race within even 5% of two candidates. You—the voter—definitively decided which 10 albums go forth to the final 32 albums across all eras.

Tomorrow (October 26) begins the first round of the 1990s bracket. Forty albums from what many consider the Rap album’s greatest decade will be voted to 20, and then—just as what has happened with the ’80s—folding to a definitive 10. Following the same process will occur for albums released in the 2000s (2000-2015).

Ambrosia For Heads consulted multiple industry experts, as well as historical top albums lists, in determining the 40 candidates for each bracket. However, with such an important topic among Hip-Hop Heads, there can never be a full consensus. So, for those who believe that classic albums have been omitted from the ’80s, ’90s, or 2000s, there will be a wild card vote—deciding two additional winners for a final 32 bracket.  In addition to many of the albums we debated including for the brackets, there will be a poll that features several of the albums we debated including in the 3 brackets, as well as an option for write-in choices. This will allow any album in Rap/Hip-Hop history to be considered. As was the case in the first Finding The GOAT MC, these wild cards can truly contend for the top.

So after the Top 10 is decided in all three brackets, look out for the moment of reckoning for the albums everybody (including AFH) may seem to overlook. Once the two wildcard winners have been selected, things will get really interesting, as albums across all three eras will compete against each other to find the album Heads consider to be the greatest of all-time.

Thus far, Eric B. & Rakim are the only act to have multiple albums remaining, thanks to Paid In Full and Follow The Leader. On the other side of the coin, Big Daddy Kane’s two—and arguably best—albums have been defeated. In addition to Kane, legendary acts like Ice-T, Whodini and MC Lyte likely lose album contenders going forth in the Finding The GOAT Album series.

The tightest margin of victory is De La Soul’s 3 Feet High victory against Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique. The two 1989 sample production juggernauts were less than 10% apart in voting, with De La winning out. This is the second consecutive close margin for Ad-Rock, Mike D, and MCA, following Round 1’s Licensed To Ill tie-breaker loss to EPMD’s Strictly Business—an album that also lost in Round 2.

Here are the 10 Greatest Of All Times Rap Albums from the 1980s, as decided by you:

Slick Rick’s The Great Adventures Of Slick Rick
The D.O.C.’s No One Can Do It Better
Run-D.M.C.’s Raising Hell
Eric B. & Rakim’s Paid In Full
LL Cool J’s Radio
Boogie Down Productions’ Criminal Minded
Public Enemy’s It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
N.W.A.’s Straight Outta Compton
Eric B. & Rakim’s Follow The Leader
De La Soul’s 3 Feet High And Rising

*in order of margin of victory

Which of these albums do you think stand the best chances against 1990s and 2000s contenders?

Related: Ambrosia For Heads’ Finding The GOAT: The Albums