Label: Def Jam/Columbia

Released at the height of the Strong Island representer's fame and influence in 1990—and against the backdrop of heightened racial tensions in New York and Professor Griff’s dismissal from the group over alleged anti-Semitic remarks—Public Enemy’s third album played off of current events in a way that no other rap album had before.

The three songs for which PE is best known—“911 Is a Joke,” “Fight The Power” (originally featured on the soundtrack to Do the Right Thing) and “Welcome to the Terrordome,” are all contained on Fear of a Black Planet, not to mention Chuck D.’s most oft-quoted lyrics, from that infamous line about Elvis to "hear the drummer get wicked!"