5. The Show
Release date: August 15, 1995
Record label: Def Jam
Fun fact: The Show, a 1995 documentary about the hip-hop game, was directed by Brian Robbins, the same hack who's driven Eddie Murphy's career into the ground with unfunny shit-shows like Norbit, Meet Dave, and A Thousand Words. He should've stuck to docs.
Especially if Robbins had anything to do with The Show's sprawling Def Jam soundtrack, a 27-track triumph that balanced full-length, original songs with voiceover skits from the film itself. The Show's big hit was Method Man and Redman's "How High," the smokers' anthem that launched their fruitful, collaborative endeavors together. Covering all spectrums of hip-hop, the album ventured to Cali for "Sowhatusayin,'" a gangsta rap tour-de-force featuring Jayo Felony, MC Eiht, Spice 1, and South Central Cartel.
There's also a stop in Cleveland to catch up with Bone Thugs-N-Harmony ("Everyday Thang") before heading back to the West Coast for Warren G's proteges The Dove Shack to contribute the regional favorite "Summertime in the LBC."