First thing I should say is that I am Old School. The fact that I lived through this era proves that. But even from the perspective of 20/20 hindsight this era was when Hip Hop went from a niche interest in and around New York City to a pop culture phenomenon. The art form itself was born in the 1970s, and was catching fire in the underground all over the country. I’m just marking a time when the form broke out into a cultural force that’s run unabated every since.

Here is my list of the Golden Age Canon.

01/21/85: Run DMC - King of Rock

11/18/85: LL Cool J - Radio

04/25/86: Whodini - Back in Black

05/15/86: Run DMC - Raising Hell

7/7/86: Doug E. Fresh - Oh, My God!

11/15/86: Beastie Boys - License to Ill

12/1/86: Schoolly D - Saturday Night! – The Album

12/31/86: Kool Moe Dee - Kool Moe Dee

12/31/86: Just Ice - Back to the Old School

2/10/87: Public Enemy - Yo! Bum Rush the Show

3/1/87: Too Short - Born to Mack

3/3/87: Boogie Down Productions - Criminal Minded

7/7/87: Eric B & Rakim - Paid in Full

7/22/87: LL Cool J - Bigger and Deffer

8/8/87: MC Shan - Down By Law

12/8/87: Kool Moe Dee - How Ya Like Me Now

12/31/87: Just Ice - Kool & Deadly (Justicizms)

1/31/88: Too Short - Life is Too Short

2/17/88: Audio Two - What More Can I Say?

2/23/88: Biz Markie - Goin' Off

3/25/88: Doug E Fresh - The World's Greatest Entertainer

4/14/88: Public Enemy - It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back

5/31/88: Boogie Down Productions - By All Means Necessary

6/21/88: Stetsasonic - In Full Gear

6/21/88: EPMD - Strictly Business

7/25/88: Eric B & Rakim - Follow the Leader

8/8/88: NWA - Straight Outta Compton

8/9/88: Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock - It Takes Two

10/4/88: Ultramagnetic MC's - Critical Beatdown

11/3/88: Slick Rick - The Great Adventures of Slick Rick

11/8/88: The Jungle Brothers - Straight Out the Jungle

3/3/89: De La Soul - 3 Feet High and Rising

3/12/89: Geto Boys - Grip It! On That Other Level

3/14/89: Kool G Rap & DJ Polo - Road to the Riches

4/22/89: Gang Starr - No More Mr. Nice Guy

5/12/89: Kool Moe Dee - Knowledge is King

6/16/89: The D.O.C. - No One Can Do It Better

7/25/89: EPMD - Unfinished Business

7/25/89: Beastie Boys - Paul's Boutique

11/8/89: Jungle Brothers - Done By The Forces of Nature

3/26/90: Digital Underground - Sex Packets

4/10/90: Public Enemy - Fear of a Black Planet

4/16/90: A Tribe Called Quest - People's Instinctive Travels and Paths to Rhythm