26. Big Pun, Capital Punishment
Label: Terror Squad/Loud
Release Date: 4/28/1998
Big Pun was out to prove one thing on his debut: That he was a first-rate lyricist. Barely a minute into the first song on the album ("Beware"), he busts out the first of many tongue twisters, "Flawless victory, you niggas can't do shit to me/Physically, lyrically, hypothetically, realistically." Later, on club-friendly cuts like "Still Not A Player," he kept spewing syllables, "Come feel my heartbeat/We can park the Jeep, pump Mobb Deep, and just spark the leaf." Even the skits like "Pakinamac" were lyrical.
The album isn't without its flaws (for one, it runs too long) and Big Pun didn't break much new ground as an MC, but his debut wasn't about that. It was about composition and execution, and no one punished the mic quite like Big Pun.