49. Ice-T, Power (1988)
Label: Sire, Warner Bros.
Power was where Ice-T really refined his whole persona. Where much of Rhyme Pays was musically and conceptually primitive, despite Tracy's obvious enthusiasm, his second record presented a more sophisticated picture of the hustler lifestyle, set to more accomplished loops and tighter programming.
"I'm Your Pusher" was an early incarnation of the now clichĂ© "Rap Game Is Like The Crack Game" comparison, while managing to sneak a shot in at his rival LL Cool J while he was at it. "High Rollers" was pure music to drive-by, as Ice established himself as the premier MC hustler and undisputed leader of the L.A. rap attack. He also took time out to rail against the lack of radio support for hardcore hip-hop, drop cautionary tales for young players without forgetting to tell the ladies "Let's Get Butt Naked and Fuck."
Let's not forget that the genius that was the front (and back!) cover design, as it showcased the many talents of Syndicate Queen Darlene to perfection.