These 1980s Hip-Hop Albums Reach Round 2, With One Battle Left To Be Decided

Last month, Ambrosia For Heads returned to “Finding The GOAT,” our annual voting series that polls readers and fans to determine the Greatest Of All-Time. Following 2014-2015’s quest to use votes to determine the GOAT MC, we are asking readers to determine the greatest of all-time Hip-Hop album.

“Finding The GOAT Album” considers 120 albums from three individual eras (40 in each), with options for wild card and write-in candidates. This past Friday (October 9), AFH completed the first round from the 1980s, and you determined the winners, so far. However, with a dead-even poll tally in votes, one battle remains:

Beastie Boys’ Licensed To Ill vs. EPMD’s Strictly Business

The battle between Hip-Hop’s only 1980s diamond-certified (10 million sold) album and a gold independent debut rages strong. Heads will have mere hours 12 midnight EST tonight (October 11) to decide which is the winner, and which goes home.

Besides this one overtime battle, the polls are now closed, yielding some interesting results. With the deciding voting, some interesting facts stand out. The Beasties are already in, but with 1989’s Paul’s Boutique. EPMD lost to Eric B. & Rakim’s Follow The Leader. Coincidentally, Eric and Ra’, Big Daddy Kane, and Run-D.M.C. each go forth with multiple winners, with Eazy-E and N.W.A. also each stepping ahead. Both of Too Short’s contenders are sent home, as well as the southern factions (2 Live Crew and Geto Boys). Three Def Jam Records releases (thus far, anyway), three Ruthless LPs, and four Warner Bros. Records-distributed 1980s albums march to Round 2.

Additionally, barring a Wild Card emergence, this may greatly affect the likelihood of GOAT Album conversation for Jungle Brothers, King T, Fat Boys, Ultramagnetic MC’s, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Just-Ice, Kurtis Blow, Stetsasonic, 2 Live Crew, and Salt-N-Pepa.

Here are the 19 (with one more joining) 1980s Hip-Hop albums going to Round 2, as voted by the readers:

Paid In Full by Eric B. & Rakim winner, against By Any Means Necessary by Boogie Down Productions (75% to 25%)

No One Can Do It Better by The D.O.C. winner, against Act A Fool by King T (86% to 14%)

It Takes a Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back by Public Enemy winner, against Straight Out The Jungle by Jungle Brothers (91% to 9%)

The Great Adventures of Slick Rick by Slick Rick winner, against Life Is…Too Short by Too Short (80% to 20%)

Straight Outta Compton by N.W.A. winner, against Grip It! On That Other Level by Geto Boys (90% to 10%)

Escape by Whodini winner, against Fat Boys by The Fat Boys (67% to 33%)

Raising Hell by Run-D.M.C. winner, against Rock The House by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince (88% to 12%)

It’s A Big Daddy Thing by Big Daddy Kane winner, against All Hail The Queen by Queen Latifah (73% to 27%)

Radio by LL Cool J winner, against Ego Trip by Kurtis Blow (93% to 7%)

Criminal Minded by Boogie Down Productions winner, against Yo! Bum Rush The Show by Public Enemy (74% to 26%)

Lyte As a Rock by MC Lyte winner, against Back To The Old School by Just-Ice (76% to 24%)

Eazy Duz It by Eazy-E winner, against 2 Live Crew Is What They Are by 2 Live Crew (85% to 15%)

Paul’s Boutique by Beastie Boys winner, against He’s The DJ, I’m The Rapper by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince (64% to 36%)

3 Feet High And Rising by De La Soul winner, against In Full Gear by Stetsasonic (91% to 9%)

Long Live the Kane by Big Daddy Kane winner, against Road To The Riches by Kool G. Rap & DJ Polo (65% to 35%)

Rhyme Pays by Ice-T winner, against Born To Mack by Too Short (53% to 47%)

Goin’ Off by Biz Markie winner, against Hot, Cool & Vicious by Salt-n-Pepa (75% to 25%)

Run-D.M.C. by Run-D.M.C. winner, against Critical Beatdown by Ultramagnetic MC’s (57% to 43%)

Follow The Leader​ by Eric B. & Rakim winner, against Unfinished Business by EPMD (68% to 32%)

Stay tuned, as tomorrow (October 12) kicks off this will-be set of 20 1980s Hip-Hop great albums as they whittle to 10, and voting moves into the 1990s. Things are just warming up!

Related: See Round 1 (The 1980s) of Ambrosia For Heads’ Finding The GOAT: The Albums