The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill holds down the tenth spot overall.
On Tuesday, Rolling Stone released its list of the 500 best albums of all time. This is the first time the list was updated since 2003. Since then, the list added some memorable releases from the last decade. Relative newcomers to the game, like Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and Frank Ocean, all claimed multiple spots on the list. The number-one rap album, however, belongs to Lauryn Hill.
The corresponding blurb cites an Essence magazine interview from 1998, which notes Lauryn’s desire to blaze her on trail on her solo debut. “This is a very sexist industry,” she said. “They’ll never throw the ‘genius’ title to a sister.”
The album also featured early contributions from John Legend, as well as rising stars like D’Angelo, and Mary J. Blige, who joined Hill to veer away from the increasingly digitized pop music of the 1990s. Two of Blige’s albums, What’s the 411 (271) and My Life (126), also made the top 500.
“I wanna hear that thickness of sound,” Hill continued. “You can’t get that from a computer, because a computer’s too perfect. But that human element, that’s what makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up.”
Public Enemy‘s It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (15), Kanye West‘s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (17), Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly (19), and the Notorious B.I.G.’s Ready to Die (22) make up the top five hip-hop albums on the list.
Find The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill on all major digital streaming platforms.