The idea of rap and rock comingling tends to feel like oil and water. I mean, if the nu metal stench is any indication, it's not like these genres were necessarily made for each other in the first place. Then again, there's always that rare album that's able to please both sides of the aisle.
Instead of just playing to its own genre's strengths, these hip hop albums approached their style on rock terms, which made for some of the most adventurous music to come out at the time. Though there are generous flirtations from the likes of jazz and soul on some of these records, you can still hear that mutual respect for rock and roll seeping through, either through the production style or just the way they manage to weave in and out of their different bars. There are even a handful of decent guitar breaks on these albums, where they step back a bit and let the music do the talking.
For a genre that was all about channeling your inner wordsmith, these records certainly have a respect for the musical side of the spectrum just as much as their bars. It might not be the typical musical cocktail you're used to, but damn if these don't go down smooth just the same.
10. Raising Hell - Run-DMC
No real genre exists in a vacuum. Even from the beginnings of classical music and jazz, every single genre has just been piggybacking off of the many generations of traditional music that has come before it. Run-DMC was no exception to the rule by laying the ground for hip hop...only with a Marshall stacks' worth of volume.
After leaving a strong impression with earlier singles like King of Rock and It's Like That, Raising Hell was the culmination of everything that Run-DMC were about, taking the streetwise mentality to the masses. Aside from the massive amount of chemistry between Run and DMC, the true mastermind behind this whole thing is Jam Master Jay, who turned every rock sample into pure gold, from sounds of AM radio hits to the hard hitting riffs of Led Zeppelin.
Even the lead single on here, Walk This Way, was incredibly innovative for the time, bringing together two distinctly different genres and managing to get the guys from Aerosmith to guest on it. Not only did this reignite Aerosmith's career going forward, but also turned rap into a household name, with the band soon graduating to arenas as opposed to the clubs they were filling at the time. Rap was no longer an urban thing anymore...things were definitely starting to feel a lot bigger around the block.