Label: 1017 Brick Squad, Asylum, Warner Bros.

Flockaveli was a furious, explosive record, definitive of both an era and an artist. Waka's energy, accompanied by an army of combative Brick Squad compatriots and framed by Lex Luger's incomparable sonic aggression, reoriented the sound of hip-hop, and Flockaveli was the signature moment.

Initially conceived as just a mixtape, it became a statement of purpose, a reinvigoration of gangster rap long since written off by hip-hop elites, and implacable proof that sometimes the most striking portraits are painted with primary colors. - DD