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It all started last year when your humble hip-hop editor (that's me, Shaheem Reid) was discussing Biggie's first two albums with MTV News correspondent Sway. Sway and I love Big and both of his magnum opuses, Ready to Die and Life After Death, but we couldn't agree on which was better. Sway chose Big's first album, Ready to Die, but I was partial to Life After Death, which I will still argue is, song for song, the best hip-hop album ever made.

  Here's what all y'all had to say about our list
The debate attracted so much attention amongst all the music heads here that we decided to expand: We'd put together our own list of the 10 best hip-hop albums of all time, as voted on by our colleagues who are also MTV's most serious hip-hop fans. It seemed so simple; the criteria was that there was no criteria. Everyone was told to pick their list of 10 based on their own taste and preference. Once we had all the lists, we added them all up (giving 10 votes for each #1 choice, nine for each #2, etc.) and ended up with The List. Arguments broke out immediately, and some highlights of those debates are included here.

We don't claim this list is perfect. We do claim that it's the result of the voting and debating of people who know, live and love their hip-hop. We invite you to check out the list (as well as the thinking behind some of the choices) and weigh in, because you surely are going to have your own ideas about which hip-hop albums are the greatest of all time.

Without further ado, here they are.





NEXT: Believe the hype — Public Enemy land at #10 on our list ...
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Photo: MTV.com

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