13. KMD, Bl_ck B_st_rds (1994)
Label: ReadyRock/Subverse Music
For years the sophomore LP by brothers Daniel and Dingilizwe Dumile, aka Zevlove X and Subroc (Onyx, KMD’s third, non blood-related, member left the group after ‘91’s Mr. Hood) is one of hip-hop’s most storied lost albums. Shelved by Elektra Records due, in part, to provocative cover art depicting a Sambo figure being lynched, Bl_ck B_st_rds wouldn’t be released in its entirety until 2000, six years after Subroc was killed in a car accident and two years after Zevlove's re-emergence as the masked supervillain MF DOOM. The sound quality on the version of the album assembled by ReadyRock Records in 2000 was muddy in patches but, if anything, these deficiencies actually add to the dark LP’s eerie, haunted armosphere. It's a shame it took the world so long to hear KMD's masterpiece, but it was worth the wait.