Steal These Albums

The 10 most radical hip-hop albums of all time, featuring Public Enemy, NWA and...Mos Def?

10. Mos Def,Black on Both Sides (1999)

Black on Both Sides is filled with black positivity that doesn't fire off shotgun blasts like NWA, but instead drops its knowledge to cool jazz loops--a breath of fresh air, rather than a hail of bullets. Sometimes deep and sometimes just blabbing, Mos Def manages to pack a classic Russian novel's worth of verbiage into each song. As far as positive hip-hop goes, Tribe Called Quest, Black Eyed Peas and Jurassic 5 are responsible for groovier tunes, but Mos Def had a little more to say here.

They don't make no damn Mickey Mouse music: Public Enemy (top), NWA, Ice-T and  Mos Def.
They don't make no damn Mickey Mouse music: Public Enemy (top), NWA, Ice-T and Mos Def.

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Public Enemy plays as part of Zen Fest on Saturday, July 10, at the American Airlines Center.

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