Hip-Hop Artists Across the Map Name Their Essential Albums

As part of our 2023 Annual Report, Consequence is taking a look back at our massive Hip-Hop 50 celebration. The landmark anniversary was a major part of this year’s story, and there are plenty other awards, lists, and articles about the best music, film, and TV of 2023 that you can find here.

Make sure to check out our list of the 15 Best Independent Rap Albums of the Year.


Of all the major anniversaries that were observed this year, one stands as arguably the most culturally important. August marked the 50th anniversary of what is considered the birth of hip-hop, and we explored the genre’s massive impact throughout our Hip-Hop 50 celebration.

We listed out the best hip-hop albums, songs, and mixtapes; spoke with icons like Run-DMC’s Darryl “DMC” McDaniels and filmmaker Allen Hughes; revisited how hip-hop’s 25th anniversary changed the game; and even explored the intersection of rap and rock.

For the true heads, we also presented a series of special edition Crate Digging interviews asking artists from across the map to name their essential records. The idea was to highlight not only what influenced these MCs from different regions, but how these different regions influenced hip-hop at large.

Some of our artists, like Texas’ Big Jade and Chicago’s Mick Jenkins, picked out albums entirely from their home areas, while Toronto’s Haviah Mighty noted a few local highlights mixed with other undeniable classics. Atmosphere’s Ant looked at the underrated records that helped define Minneapolis’ sound, Cypress Hill’s Sen Dog highlighted landmark LPs from Los Angeles and beyond, and Cheryl “Salt” James of Salt-N-Pepa revealed her core influences.

While each interview centered on a specific area, the final takeaway is that music — especially hip-hop — is universal. No matter where you’re from, whether you’re a hip-hop artist, fan, or neophyte, these albums are essential to the story of rap music.

Explore all our Hip-Hop 50 Crate Digging lists by clicking on the artists in the map below. You’ll see selections from their individual lists to get a flavor of what their respective regions — California, Texas, Minnesota, Illinois, Ontario, and New York — have brought to hip-hop. You can also listen to Sen Dog’s complete interview as part of our Consequence Uncut podcast series using the player above.

You can still snag some of our exclusive Hip-Hop 50 merch, with proceeds benefiting Chance the Rapper’s SocialWorks. See what we have to offer at the Consequence Shop, or by using the buy-now buttons below.

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Author: Michael

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