These 1990s Hip-Hop Albums Reach Round 2, With Two Battles Left To Be Decided

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Beginning in September, 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. Today (November 22), AFH completed the first round from the 1990s, and you determined the winners, so far. However, two battles remain, with just a 1% margin between contenders.

The two remaining battles each involve former N.W.A members, taking on major players in the East Coast Underground Hip-Hop movement. There is Ice Cube’s solo debut, AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted squaring up against Mos Def’s own solo debut, Black On Both Sides. These are two iconic albums that book-end the 1990s decade with very different commentaries on what it meant to be Black in America. Both attached to Priority Records, these plaque-carrying efforts may have more in common than Heads may immediately think (Click on one then click “vote”).

The other remaining battle is between Dr. Dre’s sophomore solo, 2001, and Pete Rock & C.L.’s Mecca & The Soul Brother full-length debut. Each album is backed by Hip-Hop super-producers, with rhymes that are still memorized, quoted, and heard at parties every night today. One album is a multi-platinum juggernaut, while the other has no plaque at all. It’s all about skills in this last hour decision (Click on one then click “vote”).

Polls will close for both matches at 11:59pm on Wednesday November 25.

Here are the 18 (with the two additional winners joining) 1990s Hip-Hop albums going to Round 2, as voted by the readers:

Midnight Marauders by A Tribe Called Quest winner, against Hard To Earn by Gang Starr (70% to 30%)

The Chronic by Dr. Dre winner, against Safe + Sound by DJ Quik (81% to 19%)

The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill by Lauryn Hill winner, against Stunts, Blunts, and Hip-Hop by Diamond D & The Psychotic Neurotics (59% to 41%)

Aquemini by Outkast winner, against Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde by The Pharcyde (62% to 38%)

Ready To Die by The Notorious B.I.G. winner, against Operation Doomsday by MF DOOM (53% to 47%)

Illmatic by Nas winner, against Liquid Swords by GZA (66% to 34%)

It’s Dark And Hell Is Hot by DMX winner, against Mama Said Knock You Out by LL Cool J (62% to 38%)

The Infamous by Mobb Deep winner, against Capital Punishment by Big Pun (70% to 30%)

Death Certificate by Ice Cube winner, against Efil4zaggin by N.W.A. (83% to 17%)

The Low End Theory by A Tribe Called Quest winner, against Things Fall Apart by The Roots (75% to 25%)

Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… by Raekwon winner, against Word…Life by O.C. (87% to 13%)

Reasonable Doubt by Jay Z winner, against Music To Driveby by Compton’s Most Wanted (75% to 25%)

Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star winner, against Stakes Is High by De La Soul (61% to 39%)

All Eyez On Me by Tupac winner, against Sex Packets by Digital Underground (76% to 24%)

Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik by Outkast winner, against The Score by The Fugees (64% to 37%)

Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) by Wu-Tang Clan winner, against De La Soul Is Dead by De La Soul (82% to 18%)

Doggystyle by Snoop Dogg winner, against Breaking Atoms by Main Source (71% to 29%)

Ironman by Ghostface Killah winner, against Life After Death by The Notorious B.I.G. (57% to 43%)

Stay tuned, as tomorrow (November 30) kicks off Round 2 of the 90s bracket and this will-be set of 20 1990s Hip-Hop great albums will be whittled to 10.

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