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The 50 Greatest Sophomore Albums in Hip-Hop History

34. Boogie Down Productions, By All Means Necessary (1988)

Label: Jive, RCA

It's a testament to KRS-One's resilience that this album was even finished. Having just landed a major label deal with Jive/RCA following the funny money situation at B-Boy Records, DJ Scott La Rock was fatally shot while assisting BDP's youngest member D-Nice in a dispute over a girl.

With only some basic ideas laid down by Scott for "My Philosophy," "I'm Still #1," and "Stop the Violence," KRS and DJ Doc battled on to complete the project to honor the legacy of their friend and mentor. Where Criminal Minded had focused on crushing The Bridge and pioneering new styles of rhyme flows, the second LP introduced stronger social and political messages to compliment the state-of-the-art Brag Rap.

With its unmistakable Malcolm X inspired cover shot to the mighty Deep Purple guitar riff that drives "Ya Slippin'," everything about this LP was right on target. The mere fact that Tha Blatmasta managed to make a song promoting condoms sound good ("Jimmy") is proof that BDP could not be stopped.

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