Black Music Month

Black Music Month

We can all agree that every day is the perfect time to celebrate the musical contributions of African-Americans, but in June we go extra hard since it is officially Black Music Month.


30 Revolutionary Rap Albums That Turn 30 In 2024

Da Brat, Fugees & Nas

Photo: So So Def/Ruffhouse Records/Columbia Records

It's been 30 years since Nas debuted his classic hit "It Ain't Hard To Tell," and it still hits harder than ever. The Queensbridge native and Large Professor actually made the original version of the song, which samples Michael Jackson's "Human Nature," three years earlier in 1991. In 1992, Nas was furious when he heard SWV sample the same track on their hit "Right Here."

"When the SWV record came out, I was pissed," he said according to Genius. "because if I was to have a record for the radio, that was the perfect one. And when SWV took the shine, it was like, “Oh no!” Of course, it was my first album.'"

"It Ain't Hard To Tell" served as the lead single for his debut album Illmatic, which finally dropped on April 19, 1994. Nas' breakthrough single remains one of several iconic records that made the 10-track LP one of the greatest rap albums of all time. The 50-year-old's first album comes with other groundbreaking tracks like "Life's a B*tch" with AZ, "NY State of Mind," "Represent" and more.

Nas' first LP arrived the same year as other revered debut rap albums like Outkast's Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, Da Brat's Funkdafied and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony's first-ever project Creepin' on ah Come Up. Their albums went on to establish the foundation of their iconic careers and influence generations of MC's.

Take a trip down memory lane and relive other classic albums that turn 30 in 2024 below.

Fugees, Blunted on Reality (Feb. 1)

Blunted On Reality

Photo: Ruffhouse Records/Columbia Records

MC Hammer, The Funky Headhunter (Mar. 1)

The Funky Headhunter

Photo: Giant Records

Gang Starr, Hard to Earn (Mar. 8)

Hard To Earn

Photo: Virgin Records

Kool G Rap, Killer Kuts (Mar. 29)

Killer Kuts

Photo: Cold Chillin' Records

The Roots, From the Ground Up (Apr. 5)

From The Ground Up

Photo: Geffen Records

M.O.P., To The Death (Apr. 5)

To The Death

Photo: Select Street Records

Nas, Illmatic (Apr. 19)


Photo: Columbia Records

Outkast, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik (Apr. 26)


Photo: Arista Records

8Ball & MJG, On the Outside Looking In (May 24)

On The Outside Looking In

Photo: Suave House Records/Relativity Records.

Heavy D & the Boyz, Nuttin' but Love (May 24)

Nuttin' But Love

Photo: MCA Records

Master P, The Ghettos Tryin' to Kill Me! (May 24)

The Ghettos Trying To Kill Me!

Photo: No Limit Records

Beastie Boys, Ill Communication (May 31)

Ill Communication

Photo: Grand Royal/Capitol Records

Warren G, Regulate... G Funk Era (Jun. 7)

Regulate.. G Funk Era

Photo: Violator Records

Arrested Development, Zingalamaduni (Jun. 14)


Photo: Chrysalis Records

The Beatnuts, Street Level (Jun. 21)

Street Level

Photo: Violator/Relativity Records

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Creepin' on ah Come Up (Jun. 21)

Creepin on ah Come Up

Photo: Ruthless Records

Da Brat, Funkdafied (Jun. 28)

Coolio, It Takes a Thief (July 29)

It Takes A Thief

Photo: Warner Bros. Records.

Public Enemy, Muse Sick-n-Hour Mess Age (Aug. 23)

Muse Sick-n-Hour Mess Age

Photo: Def Jam Recordings

UGK, Super Tight (Aug. 30)

Super Tight

Photo: Jive Records

The Notorious B.I.G., Ready To Die (Sept. 13)

Ready To Die

Photo: Bad Boy Records

Rappin' 4-Tay, Don't Fight the Feelin' (Sept. 13)

Don't Fight The Feelin'

Photo: Chrysalis Records/Rag Top Records

Craig Mack, Project: Funk da World (Sept. 20)

Project: Funk da World

Photo: Bad Boy Records

Keith Murray, The Most Beautifullest Thing in This World (Sept. 20)

The Most Beautifullest Thing in This World

Photo: Jive Records

Common Sense, Resurrection (Oct. 4)


Photo: Relativity Records

Death Row Records, Murder Was The Case (Oct. 18)

Murder Was The Case

Photo: Death Row Records

Twista, Resurrection (Oct. 18)


Photo: Atlantic Records

Scarface, The Diary (Oct. 18)

The Diary

Photo: Rap-A-Lot Records

Method Man, Tical (Nov. 15)


Photo: Def Jam Recordings

Three 6 Mafia, Smoked Out, Loced Out (Nov. 25)

Smoked Out, Loced Out

Photo: Three 6 Mafia

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content