But everybody knows Public Enemy and N.W.A. and "The Show", so let's throw in some more obscure stuff too.
What about an early female rapper, when there weren't many yet?
Sweet Tee — I Got Da Feelin' (1987)
Or some more conscious hip-hop?
Stetsasonic - A.F.R.I.C.A. (1986)
British rap was relatively slow to gain its confidence, starting off just by imitating the Americans and such. So by those standards, this was some pioneering:
Derek B — Get Down (1988)
And then these guys took it a bit more hardcore
Silver Bullet – 20 Seconds To Comply (1989)
In Holland, obviously rap was even slower to get its feet. I've got D.A.M.N.'s Don't Accept Mass Notion, apparently the first Dutch hip-hop album to be released on vinyl (1989), but it does sound a bit hokey now.. not bad, just also not great.
A year later, 24K's No Enemies had at least a killer riff though: