Shyheim Names His Top 5 Hip Hop Albums

Exclusive: Long time Wu-Tang Clan collaborator and Big Daddy Kane disciple Shyheim reveals his favorite Hip Hop records, including two emcees he famously freestyled with back in 1993.

Speaking with HipHopDX just hours after his bail release in April, Shyheim The Rugged Child shed light on the legal charges he is currently facing stemming from his Staten Island Gang Squad arrest and drug charges. He also took the time to reveal his own New York City-heavy top five list with a nod to some of Hip Hop’s most praised albums of the '90s.

Shyheim kicked off his list with the fourth album from late legend Tupac Shakur which topped the Billboard 200 charts in 1996. All Eyez On Me, a Death Row Records double-album notably included Shy's own Wu family affiliate Method Man on "Got My Mind Made Up." The sessions for the song also included Inspectah Deck, though only Meth, joined by Redman and Tha Dogg Pound, appeared on the album. The Rugged Child emcee kept it in the same year but switched coasts for his next selection: Reasonable Doubt by Jay-Z. Reportedly, Shyheim was slated to appear on the song "Coming Of Age" on Jay's Roc-A-Fella/Priority Records debut. Following their appearance alongside Sauce Money and Ol' Dirty Bastard on Big Daddy Kane's 1994 single "Show & Prove," Jay took a mentoring role to Shy. However, Memphis Bleek ended up taking the spot on Reasonable Doubt, and becoming a supporting cast member to Roc-A-Fella and Jay-Z since.

He went on to name two more New York City classics in Nas’ 1994 debut Illmatic. The same year Sha released his own debut, AKA The Rugged Child, Illmatic sported production from longtime Nas affiliate L.E.S. Sha would enlist the-then-Trackmasters affiliate on his follow-up, 1996's The Lost Generation. Lastly, Sha highlighted his cousin Ghostface Killah's debut on wax, his Wu-Tang Clan family’s 36 Chambers (Enter The Wu-Tang).

The Stapleton emcee went on to jokingly name his own 1999 release before quickly scratching that selection: “And, um, [my album] The Manchild [laughs]. [But I gotta] exclude myself out of that so I’m gonna have to say Notorious B.I.G. Ready To Die.” Shyheim famously appeared alongside host Big Daddy Kane, when Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G. freestyled on the same stage in 1993. 

Like a lot of other list-makers, Shyheim threw around a few other titles and added a definitive runner up before qualifying his own best of list: “Oh, and #6: 50 Cent's Get Rich Or Die Tryin’. I mean [those first five], that’s just of the '90s era, you know what I mean, but then of course you got your [Big Daddy] Kane’s, like that’s always a tricky question because each generation I probably have five from, you know what I mean.”

Shyheim is currently prepping the release of his eighth album, The Commissary, which does not yet have a firm release date.

RELATED: Shyheim Reacts To Drug Raid Arrest, Criticizes NYPD & Maintains His Innocence

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71 Comments

  • #RuleTalk

    Every song released by Ja Rule is art at its truest form

  • Anonymous

    DMX -it's dark and hell is hot Biggie- Ready to die Jay-Z- resounable doubt Nas- It's was written 2pac- All eyes on me Ghostface killah- Supreme clientele Joe budden- Mood muzik shit

  • Anonymous

    shyheim > cappadonna

  • Anonymous

    shyheim > killah priest

  • Anonymous

    Ja rule pain is love 2, 20 mil sold

  • Anonymous

    What the fuck is this shit? This is where it's at: 1. Ja Rule VVV 2. Ja Rule Pain Is Love 3. Ja Rule Last temptation 4. Ja Rule R.U.L.E. 5. Ja Rule 3:36.

  • Anonymous

    Ja Rule is born for beef, he kills niggaz son!

  • Anonymous

    ja rulism, everywhere, just takin ova

  • Anonymous

    If you talk about best rap music, always talk about ja rule

  • Anonymous

    i mean he already took it over, he just wants to make sure it's his. Fuck Fame, will sell 30 mil!!! Pain is love 2 20 mil sold!!!

  • Anonymous

    ja rule taking over the world

  • Anonymous

    you can't talk about hip hop and not mention Ja RUle

  • Anonymous

    ja rule got rhymes for dayz

  • Anonymous

    Ja Rule should be on everyone's top 5

  • Anonymous

    Where's ja rule on this list?

  • Anonymous

    ja rule fuck fame album will sell 30 mil, believe that!!!

  • Anonymous

    What the fuck is this shit? This is where it's at: 1. Ja Rule VVV 2. Ja Rule Pain Is Love 3. Ja Rule Last temptation 4. Ja Rule R.U.L.E. 5. Ja Rule 3:36

  • Anonymous

    ja rule the 12 gauge nigga, sold 100 mil

  • Wtf

    Nobody asked for yalls weak ass lists

  • Anonymous

    1 NAS ILLMATIC 2NOTORIOUS B.I.G READY TO DIE 3 DMX IS DARK AND HELL IS HOT 4 DR DRE THE CHRONIC 5 JAY-Z REASONABLE DOUBT

  • digga

    1. Nas- It Was Written 2. Raekwon- Only for Cuban Linx 3. Outkast - Aqumeni 4. 2Pac - Me Against The World 5. Nas - Illmatic/The Notorious B.I.G - Life After Death (tie)

  • Anonymous

    Greatest hip hop albums of all time in my opinion Duets: The Final Chapter - Notorious B.I.G. 8 Diagrams - Wu-Tang Clan Nastradamus - Nas Ghostdini - Ghostface Killah Encore - Eminem Relapse - Eminem 808s & Heartbreak - Kanye West I Am The West - Ice Cube Batte of the Sexes - Ludacris Welcome To: Our House - Slaughterhouse Pac's Life - 2Pac Loyal to the Game - 2Pac Reggie - Redman Lasers - Lupe FIasco Blood Money - Mobb Deep I listen to these albums all the time, they're definitely the best from each artist's catalogue.

    • Anonymous

      fix your ear for greatest hip hop albums but then again is your opinion

    • digga

      he's trolling. good try though

    • Lboy

      You like Lasers more then Food & Liquor and The cool? You like 808's and Heartbreak more then the College Dropout? Nastradamus is one of Nas weaker albums,I would pick illmatic, It Was Written or even hiphop is dead over it. I dont understand your taste in music unless you like other genres of music just as much as you like hip-hop.

  • Anonymous

    this nigga shyheim a embarassment he not pushing any units fuck this broke nigga

  • Anonymous

    1. The Marshall Mathers LP - Eminem 2. Illmatic - Nas 3. Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) - Wu-Tang Clan 4. Wu-Tang Forever - Wu-Tang Clan 5. The Slim Shady LP - Eminem 6. The Fix - Scarface 7. 2001 - Dr. Dre 8. The Infamous - Mobb Deep 9. Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... - Raekwon 10. It's Dark and Hell is Hot - DMX Honorable Mentions: ATLiens - OutKast Aquemini - OutKast The Eminem Show - Eminem Liquid Swords - GZA Ironman - Ghostface Kilah Supreme Clientele - Ghostface Killah Fishscale - Ghostface Killah Me Against the World - 2Pac Midnight Marauders - ATCQ Things Fall Apart - The Roots Illadelph Halflife - The Roots Resurrection - Common Hell Hath No Fury - Clipse Black Star - Mos Def & Talib Kweli God Loves Ugly - Atmosphere Word...Life - O.C. The Sun Rises in the East - Jeru the Damaja Wrath of the Math - Jeru the Damaja Internal Affairs - Pharoahe Monch Ready to Die - Notorious B.I.G. Doggystyle - Snoop Dogg The Chronic - Dr. Dre 40 Dayz & 40 Nightz - Xzibit Reasonable Doubt - Jay-Z The Lost Tapes - Nas Late Registration - Kanye West

  • R&B Nigga

    Thriller Songs In The Key Of Life ...To Be Continued Can't Get Enough Whitney Houston

  • Richard

    Stakes Is High War & Peace Vol. 1 Beats, Rhymes & Life Strictly Business Lord Willin'

  • Anonymous

    bring back ny raw hip hop come on

  • Anonymous

    new york rap fell off hard now all the new york niggas trying to sound like they from the dirty south

  • Get Rich Or Die Trying Isn't A Classic

    1. Illmatic 2. Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 3. 36 Chambers 4. Liquid Swords 5. It Was Written

  • A Person

    My Personal Top 10 Illmatic-Nas 36 Chambers-Wu Tang Clan Doe or Die-AZ The Preface-Elzhi Disposable Arts-Masta Ace Paid in Full-Eric B and Rakim Step in the Arena-Gang Starr The Message-Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five The Low End Theory-A Tribe Called Quest Album of the Year-Black Milk Honorable Mentions Donuts-J Dilla The Greatest Story Never Told-Saigon Liquid Swords-GZA OB4CL-Raekwon Return to the 36 Chambers-Ol Dirty Bastard The Don Killuminati: The Seven Day Theory-Tupac It Was Written-Nas Elmatic-Elzhi Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous-Big L ATLiens-Outkast The 18th Letter-Rakim Straight Out of Compton-NWA Criminal Minded-Boogie Down Productions Long Live the Kane-Big Daddy Kane Wanted: Dead or Alive-Kool G Rap and DJ Polo The Salvation-Skyzoo That is my personal list of favorites, some obviously a lot better than others, but I feel like they are all very good albums. (and I probably missed a handful of great albums either way, the 80's and 90's spawned many many classics that I still need to listen to)

    • A Person

      I dunno, I thought it was really good personally, Elzhi has always been one of my favorite lyricists, and average for him is still going to net you a solid album, if I had to give my two cents.

    • Anonymous

      Elmatic is not that good. He just spits average battle rhymes over replayed Illmatic beats. The most creative aspect is the live instrumentation of the Illmatic beats, but Elzhi lyric's are average as fuck on there. That being said, The Preface is classic.

    • A Person

      Forgot about Trophies by Apollo Brown and OC, that was a hell of an album, OB4CL2 by Raekwon and both A Long Hot Summer and Slaughtahouse by Masta Ace should have also been on there.

  • So Icy Boi!

    1. Lil Wayne - I Am Not a Human Being II 2. Drake - Take Care 3. Rick Ross - God Forgives, I Don't 4. Nicki Minaj - Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded: The Re-Up: Deluxe Edition: Special Re-release: Limited Edition 5. Tyga - Hotel California 6. Chief Keef - Finally Rich 7. Vanilla Ice - To the Extreme 8. 2 Chainz - Based on a T.R.U. Story 9. Lil Twist The Golden Child 10. Waka Flocka - Triple F Life: Friends, Fans & Family 11. Gucci Mane - Trap House III 12. Wiz Khalifa - O.N.I.F.C. hip hop is not gay. swag

  • Sensaye Sixkiller

    Illmatic - Nas It Was Written - Nas It's a Big Daddy Thing - Kane Me Against the World - Pac The Purple Tape - Rae & Ghost The Infamous - Mobb Deep 36 Chambers - Wu-Tang Clan Supreme Clienetele - Ghost Donuts - J. Dilla Camp Lo - Uptown Saturday Night Killarmy - Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars Dr. Dre - The Chronic

  • Chris

    honorable mention me against the world and life after death, only built 4 cuban lynx, supreme clientele, lowend theory and midnight marauders, aquemeni and atlienes, and good kid maad city

  • Chris

    People putting drake in their top 5 are hilarious. i got 1. lllmatic 2. Ready to Die 3. All Eyez on me 4. enter the wu tang 5. The big picture

  • Anonymous

    He didn't even cite Drake. Enjoy prison loser.

  • Anonymous

    My 5 favorite albums no one ever heard of: Gangster Posse Crew Syndicate - Are You Down With Me Nigga Ghetto Mafia - Draw The Line Mr. Iroc - Finally On Tha Map Underground Posse - On The Come Up 415 - 41Fivin' Honorable Mentions: Ace Deuce - Comin' Up N Da Ghetto Various artists - Seattle... The Dark Side TMC - Straight To The Dome The Product - You Can't Fade Me The Brother/Hood - Stormin' The Black Kings - Ghetto Reality Terror Mob - Born Dying Strugglin Souls - Manic Depression Street Thugs - Not To Be Fucked With

    • Anonymous

      LOL the fuck??? None of these come from my city I guess

    • Sensaye Sixkiller

      Try listening to something outside of your zipcode one day, you might find something interesting. There's 49 other states in the U.S..

  • Bene The OG

    1.Nas - illmatic 2.Tupac - All Eyez on Me 3.Outkast - Aquemini 4.Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP 5.Eminem - The Slim Shady LP 6.Outkast - ATLiens 7.Raekwon - Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 8.Lupe Fiasco - Food & Liquor 9.Nas - It was Written 10.DMX - Its Dark And Hell is Hot ....My personal favorites of all time but this list changes around slightly from month to month.

    • digga

      call me crazy but i am not a fan of all eyes on me. that was't pac to me. to this day, i feel aggy listening to it. don't get wrong. it is a great album. just hated him on that CD though cuz i felt like it wasn't him. u get what i am trying to say?

    • Anonymous

      great list. everyone forgets how good DMX's first few albums are. wish he never fell off so hard. he was one of the greatest once.

  • Anonymous

    A tribe called quest-Midnight Marauders Nas- Illmatic Wu Tang Clan-Enter the 36 Chambers Black Moon- Enta Da Stage Outkast-Aquemeni Honorable Mention: The Chronic,The Chronic 2001 and Doggystyle

  • Drake the best rapper alive

    1. Thank me later 2. Take Care 3. The carter 4 4. I am not a human being 2 5. The carter 3

    • Big Bad Barrio 18, E'z up!

      You got it all mixed up, you fucking chavala. Drake is the WACKEST and GAYEST rapper alive. Also, the so called rap albums you list are GARBAGE. You obviously need an education in REAL hip hop music and you need to get your hearing checked as soon as possible, puto.

  • Jacc

    Straight Outta Compton It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back Criminal Minded Raising Hell Paid In Full Not downplaying any other artists, but these 5 were the soundtrack to my childhood back in the 80's.

  • Tom

    My top 5 favorite albums, 1. IANAHB2 by Wayne 2. God Forgives, I don't by Rick Ross. 3. souljaboytellem.com by Soulja Boy 4. Tha Carter 4 by Wayne 5. Rebirth by Wayne

  • K.S.

    Damn!!!! I didn't know Shyheim had his 8th LP dropping dude is still going hard that's good. I got "AKA The Rugged Child" on Cassette that debut was dope!!!! All the best with the new LP Shyheim and do your best to stay outta trouble. Big up My top 5 LP's of all time damn this is gonna be hard 1. A Tribe Called Quest - "The Low End Theory" 2. Nas - "illmatic" 3. Dr Dre - "The Chronic" 4. Outkast - "ATLiens" 5. MC LYTE - "Eyes On This" (Gotta show the Females some love) Bonus Pick - Wu Tang Clan - "36 Chambers" or Gangstarr - "Step in the Arena" there's too many Classics damn this is hard. Thank God I grew up with real Hip Hop 90% of the stuff today is straight Garbage

  • dp

    This site needs to rewrite these as lists. The reader doesnt want to scan through paragraphs trying to put together the list.

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