Vibe's April/May issue is all about lists, and in keeping with the "Big List" theme the magazine has taken up the task of ranking what it deems "The Greatest 50 Albums Since '93." As far as the top 10 goes, the selection includes R&B and rap releases from all the artists you probably expected, including Jay-Z, Lauryn Hill, D'Angelo, Mary J. Blige and at #1, the Notorious B.I.G.
Analyzing albums for their impact, and penalizing sets for skippable tracks, Vibe named Biggie's second and final studio album, Life After Death, the greatest release in the past two decades. According to the magazine, B.I.G.'s 1997 release is "a transformative album so diverse that its 25 songs play as fluidly as 13, setting a double-disc bar that’s tempted -- yet evaded -- G.O.A.T. candidates like Jay-Z and Nas."
At #2 is D'Angelo's 1995 debut, Brown Sugar. Vibe counts "S*t D**n Motherf**ker" as the album's standout track, and writes this about D'Angleo: "D possessed himself with the black church, blues, jazz and R&B then let his cocoa voice and vintage pen write the soul album (no neo) of a generation."
Nas' 1994 album Illmatic is #3. "Scored with gritty instrumentals by all-star beat makers, this quintessential hip-hop classic plays like a Queensbridge surveillance video..." Vibe writes, referring to Nas' ability to paint a picture of his Queensbridge, Queens, New York stomping grounds.
The #4 spot is taken by Mary J. Blige's sophomore album, My Life. Produced by Puff Daddy and Chucky Thompson, the set features Mary's "imperfect vocals" over Thompson's "rhythm-hop production, which provides enough space for her transparent depression," Vibe writes.
Justin Timberlake's 2006 release FutureSex/LoveSounds comes in at #5, and Vibe heralds the disc as the greatest album of the 2000s. The set is credited with taking the music of its time to the next level, "remaking much of the pop landscape in its image," Vibe writes.
Kanye West's most recent solo studio album, 2010's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, is ranked #6. R. Kelly's TP-2.COM, released in 2000, is #7, followed by Jay-Z's 2001 album, The Blueprint, at #8.
Lauryn Hill's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is #9, and Usher's 2004 album Confessions is #10.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio