1998 Rap Albums

25 Y/O: Iconic Rap/Hip-Hop Music Albums Celebrating 25th Anniversaries In 2023

By Waddie G. August 31, 2023

1998 was a golden age for rap music, as an impressive roster of artists released genre-defining albums. DMX’s It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot was one of the year’s biggest debuts, cementing his status as a prominent rapper. The album’s gritty lyrics, aggressive delivery, and unrelenting beats were a stark contrast to the hip-hop standards of the era, featuring hits like “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem” and “Get at Me Dog,”. DMX was a young icon and laid the groundwork for future rappers.

Lauryn Hill’s debut solo album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, is widely regarded as one of the best hip-hop albums ever. While known for her soulful singing, Hill’s rap skills are also on full display throughout the album, particularly on tracks like “Lost Ones” and “Final Hour.” “Doo Wop (That Thing)” became a chart-topping hit, thanks in no small part to Hill’s dynamic flow and sharp lyricism. She even flips the script and spits bars over a reggae beat on “Forgive Them Father,” solidifying her reputation as a versatile and talented rapper.

Jay Z continued to show why he was one of the most iconic rappers ever with the release of Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life. The album featured some of Jay-Z’s biggest hits, including “Can I Get A…,” which cemented his street style mixed with commercial hip-hop success. The album’s beats were produced by Timbaland and Swizz Beatz, making it an instant classic and earning Jay-Z a Grammy nomination.

Redman’s fourth album, Doc’s Da Name 2000, is widely regarded as one of his best works. The album showcases Redman’s trademark humor and energetic lyricism and features collaborations with Method Man, Busta Rhymes, and more. Method Man’s second solo album, Tical 2000: Judgment Day cemented his status as one of the most prominent members of the Wu-Tang Clan. The album features a mix of gritty, boom-bap production and more polished, radio-friendly tracks, and includes guest appearances from D’Angelo, Redman, and Mary J. Blige.

OutKast’s Aquemini showcased the duo’s unique blend of hip-hop, funk, and jazz, featuring tracks like “Rosa Parks” and “SpottieOttieDopaliscious.” Meanwhile, Cam’ron’s Confessions of Fire signaled the rise of the Harlem rapper-entrepreneur. Busta Rhymes’ “E.L.E. (Extinction Level Event): The Final World Front” and Juvenile’s “400 Degreez” equally helped define that year’s rap sound, with Juvenile’s album becoming the biggest-selling Cash Money Records album to date.   

Goodie Mob’s “Still Standing” showcased their Southern influence and brought their genre-bending sound to the forefront of rap in 1998, proving that they could stand with the rest at the top. 1998 became a year of great rap albums, with titles that still resonate and impact the genre of music today.

In this article, we celebrate the 25th anniversary of several game-changing rap albums released in 2023 and reflect on their hit singles, fan-favorite tunes, and acclaimed deep cuts that made their lasting impact on the genre.

Get ready to vibe to these classic rap albums celebrating their 25th anniversary in 2023, showcasing the rawness and authenticity of hip-hop in the ’90s. These albums are a testament to the genre’s cultural significance and impact, and they continue to inspire and influence new generations of rappers today.

It's Dark And Hell Is Hot

album: It’s Dark And Hell Is Hot
artist: DMX
release date (USA): May 19, 1998
notable songs: “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem” “How’s It Goin’ Down” “Get at Me Dog” “Stop Being Greedy” “Prayer (skit)” “Look Thru My Eyes”

MP: Da Last Don

album: MP Da Last Don
artist: Master P
release date (USA): June 2, 1998
notable songs: “Goodbye to My Homies” “Hot Boys and Girls” “Thinkin’ Bout U” “Thug Girl” “Make ‘Em Say Uhh! #2”

400 Degreez

album: 400 Degreez
artist: Juvenile
release date (USA): November 3, 1998
notable songs: “Back That Azz Up” “Ha” “Follow Me Now”


album: Aquemini
artist: OutKast
release date (USA): September 29, 1998
notable songs: “Rosa Parks” “Da Art of Storytellin’ (Pt. 1)” “Skew It on the Bar-B”

Vol. 2...Hard Knock Life

album: Vol. 2…Hard Knock Life
artist: Jay-Z
release date (USA): September 29, 1998
notable songs: “Can I Get A…” “Money Ain’t a Thang” “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)” “Money, Cash, Hoes” Nigga What, Nigga Who (Originator 99)” “Paper Chase” “It’s Alright” “Reservoir Dogs”

The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill

album: The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill
artist: Lauryn Hill
release date (USA): August 25, 1998
notable songs: “Lost Ones” “Doo Wop (That Thing)” “Everything Is Everything”

Doc's Da Name

album: Doc’s Da Name 2000
artist: Redman
release date (USA): December 8, 1998
notable songs: “I’ll Bee Dat!” “Da Goodness” “Let Da Monkey Out”

Extinction Level Event: The Final World Front

album: Extinction Level Event: The Final World Front
artist: Busta Rhymes
release date (USA): December 15, 1998
notable songs: “What’s It Gonna Be?!” “Party Is Goin’ on Over Here” “Tear da Roof Off” “Gimme Some More” “Do the Bus a Bus” “Against All Odds”

Tical 2000: Judgement Day

album: Tical 2000: Judgement Day
artist: Method Man
release date (USA): November 17, 1998
notable songs: “Judgement Day” “Break Ups 2 Make Ups” “Perfect World” “Sweet Love” “Party Crasher”

Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star

album: Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star
artist: Mos Def & Talib Kweli
release date (USA): September 29, 1998
notable songs: “Definition” “Respiration” “Thieves in the Night” “Brown Skin Lady” “Hater Players” “K.O.S. (Determination)”

Greatest Hits

album: Greatest Hits
artist: 2Pac
release date (USA): November 24, 1998
notable songs: “Changes” “Unconditional Love” “God Bless the Dead”

Flesh Of My Flesh, Blood Of My Blood

album: Flesh Of My Flesh, Blood Of My Blood
artist: DMX
release date (USA): December 22, 1998
notable songs: “Slippin'” “No Love 4 Me” “Coming From” “Blackout “We Don’t Give a Fuck” “It’s All Good”

War & Peace, Vol. 1: The War Disc

album: War & Peace, Vol. 1: The War Disc
artist: Ice Cube
release date (USA): November 17, 1998
notable songs: “Pushin’ Weight” “Ask About Me” “Fuck Dying”

Hello Nasty

album: Hello Nasty
artist: Beastie Boys
release date (USA): July 14, 1998
notable songs: “Intergalactic” “Body Movin'” “Remote Control” “Three MC’s and One DJ” “The Negotiation Limerick File”

Still Standing

album: Still Standing
artist: Goodie Mob
release date (USA): April 7, 1998
notable songs: “They Don’t Dance No Mo'” “Black Ice (Sky High)” “The Damm” “Gutta Butta” “See You When I See You”

Confessions Of Fire

album: Confessions Of Fire
artist: Cam’ron
release date (USA): July 21, 1998
notable songs: “Horse & Carriage” “Feels Good” “357” “Glory” “Me, My Moms & Jimmy” “Me & My Boo”

Moment Of Truth

album: Moment Of Truth
artist: Gang Starr
release date (USA): March 31, 1998
notable songs: “You Know My Steez” “The Militia” “Royalty” “Above the Clouds”

Pieces Of A Man

album: Pieces Of A Man
artist: AZ
release date (USA): April 7, 1998
notable songs: “What’s the Deal” “Hey AZ” “How Ya Livin'” “Trading Places” “Pieces of a (Black) Man”

My Homies

album: My Homies
artist: Scarface
release date (USA): March 3, 1998
notable songs: “Homies & Thuggs” “Sex Faces” “Win Lose Or Draw”

Ghetto Superstar

album: Ghetto Superstar
artist: Pras
release date (USA): October 27, 1998
notable songs: “Ghetto Supastar” “Avenues” “What’cha Wanna Do” “Blue Angels”

Behind The Front

album: Behind The Front
artist: Black Eyed Peas
release date (USA): June 30, 1998
notable songs: “Joints & Jam” “Karma” “Fallin’ Up” “What It Is” “Head Bobs”


album: N.O.R.E.
artist: Noreaga
release date (USA): July 7, 1998
notable songs: “Superthug” “Banned from T.V.”” “N.O.R.E.” “I Love My Life” 

Charge It 2 Da Game

album: Charge It 2 Da Game
artist: Silkk The Shocker
release date (USA): February 17, 1998
notable songs: “Just Be Straight With Me ” “It Ain’t My Fault” “Let Me Hit It” “What Gangstas Do”

Da Game Is To Be Sold, Not To Be Told

album: Da Game Is To Be Sold, Not To Be Told
artist: Snoop Dogg
release date (USA): August 4, 1998
notable songs: “Still a G Thang” “Woof” “Slow Down”


album: Foundation
artist: Brand Nubian
release date (USA): September 29, 1998
notable songs: “Don’t Let It Go to Your Head” “The Return” “Let’s Dance”

El Niño

album: El Niño
artist: Def Squad
release date (USA): June 30, 1998
notable songs: “Full Cooperation” “Y’all Niggas Ain’t Ready”” “Def Squad Delite”

Capital Punishment

album: Capital Punishment
artist: Big Punisher
release date (USA): April 28, 1998
notable songs: “Still Not a Player” “I’m Not a Player” “You Came Up” “Super Lyrical”

Bobby Digital In Stereo

album: Bobby Digital In Stereo
artist: RZA
release date (USA): November 24, 1998
notable songs: “B.O.B.B.Y.” “Love Jones” “N.Y.C. Everything” “Kiss Of A Black Widow”

40 Dayz & 40 Nightz

album: 40 Dayz & 40 Nightz
artist: Xzibit
release date (USA): August 25, 1998
notable songs: “What U See Is What U Get” “Los Angeles Times” “3 Card Molly”

Money, Power & Respect

album: Money, Power & Respect
artist: The LOX
release date (USA): January 13, 1998
notable songs: “Money, Power & Respect” “We’ll Always Love Big Poppa” “If You Think I’m Jiggy”

Which of these albums did you play in heavy rotation during their popularity? Which of these albums do you have in your current music streaming rotation? Let me know in the comments section.

Written By

Waddie G. is the Founding Editor of The G-Listed. Based in New York City, Waddie G.’s writing shows off his biggest passions for pop and gay cultures. Born in Sacramento, raised in Kansas City, developed in Atlanta, and matured in Chicago, Waddie G. is an unabashed foodie, proud R&B junkie, adventurous traveler, serial scribbler, and textbook Virgo. Waddie G. and his content has been featured on the "Wendy Williams Show," TMZ, Grindr, Vice, I-D, Windy City Times, and The Gothamist.