The “top five” conversation is one of the most enduring debates in hip-hop (so much so, Chris Rock even made a movie about it). Part of the reason for that is its adaptability; with just one or two tweaks, the question can open up infinite avenues of discussion. For instance, rather than applying the question to rappers, it can be applied to albums; it can also be given conditions that make it a more complex question than it seems on the surface.
That’s what Just Blaze and Katty Customs do in this week’s episode of Fresh Pair, prompting their guest T.I. to divulge his list of the top five most influential Atlanta rap albums. As one of the godfathers of trap rap, T.I. is one of the best folks to ask, and since he’s so fiercely loyal to his soil, it means his answers have the potential for a lot of depth.
Right off the bat, he names OutKast’s SouthernPlayalisticCadillacMusik, the group’s debut and the album most widely credited with putting Atlanta rap on the map, then OutKast’s Dungeon Family compatriots Goodie Mob’s first album, Soul Food. Both are easy picks, but not exactly obvious ones, especially since so much time has passed it’d be easy to forget their influence. Both groups have had bigger albums, as well; OutKast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below is one of only a handful of rap albums to ever earn Diamond status from the RIAA.
Tip gets into some more surprising, more recent picks, but you’ll have to watch the clip above to find out.
Watch a clip from the latest episode of Fresh Pair above and catch the full episode Wednesday 10/12 at 3 pm ET / 12 pm PT.