- Scarface's Mr. Scarface is Back is released on 10/3/1991
- Public Enemy's Apocalypse 91...The Enemy Strikes Black is released on 10/3/1991
- Freestyle Fellowship's To Whom It May Concern... is released 10/5/1991
- The U.M.C.'s Fruits of Nature is released on 10/14/1991
- Black Sheep's A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing is released on 10/22/1991
- Del the Funky Homosapien's I Wish My Brother George Was Here is released on 10/22/1991
- Organized Konfusion's Organized Konfusion is released on 10/29/1991
- Ice Cube's Death Certificate is released on 10/29/1991
October '91 wasn't as groundbreaking as some other months in rap history; there weren't any releases that completely shifted the playing field like July 1997 or April 1994. But when grumpy old rap heads talk about the Golden Era, and how much damn fun it was to be a rap fan in the early '90s, this is one of the months they're referring to.
Let's say you turn 15 in October 1991. You've got a part, part-time job washing dishes for $4.25/hour (that was the minimum wage in '91 *cue the world's smallest violin*). You're taking home about $60 a week. What to spend it on? Well, you've got to pick up Public Enemy's new album, they're the biggest rap group in the world (you'll be a little disappointed, although the beat for "By the Time I Get to Arizona" will always give you chills). If you know what's up, you'll nab Scarface's debut on the very same day (you won't be disappointed at all). Three weeks later, you're back at the record store to cop a couple more debuts, A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing (because of the Native Tongues co-sign) and I Wish My Brother George Was Here (because of the Ice Cube co-sign). And then one week later you're back to get Ice Cube's Death Certificate (be honest: you didn't even no what the phrase "No Vaseline" meant back then) and Organized Konfusion (be honest: you're lying through your fucking teeth if you tell us that you were 15 and bought OK the day it dropped, but that's cool, rap is used to a little embellishment).
For those of you scoring at home, that's three certified classics (Mr. Scarface, Death Certificate, Organized Konfusion), one near-classic (A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing), a cool oddity (I Wish My Brother George Was Here), and a good (but not great) effort from the world's most important group (Apocalypse 91...The Enemy Strikes Black). Sure, you've spent all your hard-earned dishwashing loot, but with that musical haul, who needs to leave the house anyway? —Jack Erwin