#6 LL Cool J - Mama Said Knock You Out (1990)

The beauty of LL's Mama Said Knock You Out is that it's like the Secret deodorant: strong enough for a man, but made for a woman. It's hard gangsta shit. But at the same time, I could put the CD on with my mother in the car and drive from New York to Philly. It's also the first comeback in rap. It's the real blueprint: if people think you're done, this is how you come back. It's one of my favorite albums ever. It's LL at his best and Marley Marl at his best. It's LL as Madonna, in the sense of Madonna saying, "Who's the hot producer? Let me get that person." LL was the first rapper smart enough to do that. Now it's what everyone does.