Imagine if you were to encounter someone who either a) fell asleep starting from the '70s and missed the rise of hip hop, b) never bothered to pick up a hip hop CD, or c) just somehow didn't know a single thing about the genre.
Your task: educate that person by recommending one album from the genre's 40-year history.
While it may seem impossible to narrow down the options, members of Fuse's Absolute Hip Hop: From Tupac to 2 Chainz panel managed to single out four LPs that perfectly define the artistry of the New York-born genre.
Former MTV News senior editor Jayson Rodriguez took it back to 1987 with Eric B. & Rakim's Paid in Full. "Once Rakim arrived, you could draw the line between the modern MC and all the rappers who came before him, and I just think that's the perfect example of what a rapper is," he said.
Hip hop journalist B. Dot paid homage to The Notorious B.I.G., whose second and final album Life After Death featured an ideal balance of storytelling and introspection. DJ Bobby Trends and TV host/producer Valerie Lora both tipped their hats to the one and only Jay Z.
Check out the exclusive clip above, and tune in to Absolute Hip Hop: From Tupac to 2 Chainz for 10 straight hours of hip hop's most memorable videos this Friday, May 23 at 6/5c. Find Fuse in your area using our Channel Finder.