Janet Jackson released her fourth album “Rhythm Nation 1814” in 1989.

Public Enemy might have had the best lyric of 1989 when Chuck D said, “1989, the number, another summer, sound of the ‘Funky Drummer.’”

Nevertheless, Public Enemy did not officially release an album in 1989 because only the single “Fight the Power” appeared on the soundtrack to the movie “Do the Right Thing.”

However, many classic albums dropped in 1989.

Some albums put certain cities on the map, nationally.

Some albums showed that certain record labels could do more than just one genre.

And some albums showed that certain families had more than one megastar on the family tree.

Therefore, RegalMag.com decided to highlight some of the best urban albums that came out right before the calendar turned to a new decade.

  1. “Grip It on That Other Level” by Geto Boys—Sure, “Mind Playing Tricks on Me” is Geto Boys’ best song and “The Resurrection” is their best album. However, “Grip It on That Other Level” was the album that changed Rap-a-Lot Records and Houston hip-hop forever because if it had not worked, Rap-a-Lot CEO J. Prince would have given up on the music business. Their breakthrough album had hood classics like “Scarface,” “Do It Like a G.O.” and “Gangsta of Love.”
  1. “3 Feet High and Rising” by De La Soul—People do not give De La Soul enough credit because they brought a new style to hip-hop that opened the doors for other artists like A Tribe Called Quest, Digable Planets and Us3. People remember their debut album for the hit, “Me, Myself and I.” But their first album also included bangers like “The Magic Number,” “Eye Know,” “Say No Go” and the anthem, “Buddy.”
  1. “As Nasty As They Wanna Be” by 2 Live Crew—For people of a certain age, Two Live Crew’s 1989 album “As Nasty As They Wanna Be,” was the album you went to the record store just to look at it because of the explicit cover. But many children knew their parents would never buy it for them because of the album cover. And if a child somehow got their hands on it and the parentals heard the lyrics, it was going in the trash can. As a matter of fact, RegalMag.com can only mention the single “Me So Horny” because all the other song titles would prevent the publication from remaining family friendly.
  1. “Affection” by Lisa Stansfield—Teena Marie walked so that blue-eyed female soul singers like Lisa Stansfield could run. And when Stansfield got the baton, she definitely ran full-speed ahead towards the finish line with classics like “All Around the World.” That song became such a big hit, that the currently embattled Puff Daddy made it a huge hip-hop hit out of it featuring Mase and The Notorious B.I.G. The “Affection” LP also featured the hit, “You Can’t Deny It.”
  1. “Michel’le” by Michel’le—If people thought that Eazy-E’s Ruthless Records imprint only released hip-hop, this album showed them that they were wrong. And if people had not heard her vocals on The World Class Wreckin’ Cru’s hit “Turn Off The Lights” and thought Michel’le sung with the same squeaky voice as she talked, they were definitely wrong. Her debut album proved that she could sing with the best of them. With Dr. Dre producing, Michel’le had hits like “No More Lies,” “Nicety” and “Something in My Heart.”
  1. “Attitude” by Troop—California-based R&B group Troop had it all in the late 1980s and 1990s. They had some great vocalists. They had the dance moves. And they had great songs thanks to the legend Chuckii Booker because he gave them one of the greatest R&B songs of the late 1980s with “Spread My Wings.” Furthermore, Booker produced Troop’s version of “All I Do Is Think Of You,” previously sung by The Jackson Five. Not many people can outdo Michael Jackson. But Troop out sang Michael and Jermaine Jackson with their cover of “All I Do Is Think of You.”
  1. “Batman Soundtrack” by Prince—By 1989, Prince faced stressful times financially because he lost money on his extravagant “Lovesexy” tour. So, when the opportunity came to make the soundtrack to “Batman,” he jumped at the opportunity and delivered. Sure, radio loved songs like “Party Man,” “Scandalous” and “Batdance.” But do not sleep on tracks like “Lemon Crush” and “The Arms of Orion” featuring Sheena Easton.
  1. “Club Classics Vol. One” by Soul II Soul—Another British Invasion happened in the 1980s via R&B music. Leading that movement were groups like Soul II Soul. Who could forget classics like “Keep on Movin’” featuring Caron Wheeler and “Back to Life” also featuring Caron Wheeler. The album received rave reviews from critics and eventually went triple platinum.
  1. “No One Can Do It Better” by The D.O.C.—One of the greatest what ifs in music history must be what would The D.O.C.’s career looked like if not for his tragic automobile accident that damaged his golden voice? The Dallas native teamed up with producer Dr. Dre to release one of the greatest debuts in hip-hop history in 1989. Unlike Dre’s group N.W.A, The D.O.C.’s album was the opposite of gangsta rap. But he did not need to cuss much or talk about crime to be one of the greatest rappers of 1980s. The album was perfection thanks to hits like “It’s Funky Enough,” “The Formula, “Mind Blowin’” and “D.O.C and The Doctor.”
  1. “Rhythm Nation 1814” by Janet Jackson—If Janet Jackson’s third album “Control,” released in 1986, did not prove she was more than just the baby sister of The Jacksons, her fourth album definitely did the trick. Entertainment writer Flo Anthony once said that “Control” showed that Jackson was a grown woman. And “Rhythm Nation” showed she was a woman with a mind as the youngest Jackson tackled social issues like racism on the album. With the help of songwriters/producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Jackson dropped hit singles like “Miss You Much,” “Love Will Never Do,” “Alright,” “Escapade,” “Black Cat,” “Come Back to Me” and the title track, which featured actor Tyrin Turner (“Menace II Society”) in the video.
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