Run-D.M.C.

This was the debut studio-recorded album, dropped in 1984. It broke ground – it was hip hop but it was aggressive, it was hard, it lacked the funky light carefree style of the time. And the music could be sparse behind the vocals – or the vocals could be sparse behind the beat. There was a natural balance between the elements.

This album did as much for style and culture as it did for hip hop. Their style was and remains oft-imitated, their introduction to the world of B-boy culture, and their lack of controversy made them a universally appealing.

I was in the car shipping business when this record dropped and man, I spent hours and hours driving and listening.