Label: Jive/Arista

Whodini made rap history out the gate with their debut single "Magic's Wand," an ode to rap radio pioneer Mr. Magic that became the first song by a rap act to receive a music video, but the duo of Ecstasy and Jalil (with assists from soon-to-be permanent group DJ Grandmaster Dee) really took off on their 1984 sophomore album Escape. The group refined the elite synthpop edge of their Thomas Dolby produced debut album, teaming up with Run-D.M.C.'s producer Larry Smith to bring a hooky R&B flair to the affair.

From the laid back groove of the bluntly titled "Five Minutes of Funk" to "Friends," a cynical story of betrayal sampled everywhere from Nas' "If I Ruled the World (Imagine That)" to 2Pac's "Troublesome '96" and MF Doom's "Deep Fried Frenz," to harder edged singles "Freaks Come Out at Nite" and "Big Mouth," Escape combined state-of-the-art studio tech, effortless melodicism, and Ecstasy and Jalil's streetwise Brooklyn swag into an early high watermark of party rap. For a minute there, the world was theirs. —Craig Jenkins