16. Leaders of the New School, A Future Without A Past (1991)
Label: Elektra Records
Leaders of the New School are remembered today primarily as the group that launched Busta Rhymes, but their debut effort hinged on the collective chemistry and rambunctious energy shared by all three Uniondale High School classmates: Busta, Charlie Brown and Dinco D (along with cutmaster Milo of course). A concept album structured around one day of school, A Future Without A Past addressed topics any young listener could relate to—cutting classes, brushes with bullies, that damn P.T.A.—while reviving the barbershop quartet-style group dynamics of early hip-hop crews like the Treacherous 3 and the Cold Crush Brothers. A clash of egos eventually led LONS to self-destruct, but not before they dropped their highly slept-on '93 follow-up, TIME: The Inner Mind’s Eye.