5. Outkast, ATLiens (1996)
Eager to flex more creative control on their second album, Dre and Big Boi shared production duties with Organized Noize, resulting in the spaced-out sound of tracks like "Elevators (You and Me)," while "Wheelz of Steel" provided a dizzying display of lyrical gymnastics that even the most hardened New York elitist couldn't deny.
They also took the opportunity to expand their repertoire beyond the player talk and weed anthems that dominated their debut, as their confidence bloomed and they truly set themselves apart from the pack with unorthodox song concepts, honest introspection, and verbal dexterity rarely heard outside of the East Coast at the time. The gamble paid off, paving the way for one of rap's most influential and experimental duos.