“FML” might as well be the official slogan for twenty-somethings. Relinquishing astronomical rents on your own for the first time? Parents and peers wondering when you’ll finally get it together? Call it growing pains. While stress strikes at every age, that pre-midlife angst—the span of time when everything feels muddled and epic fails are made (and conquered)—is a whole other beast. You’re still learning, experiencing and settling on who "I" really is. With that in mind, VIBE compiled these 50 essential albums sure to soundtrack the passion, pleasure and pain of your 20s. If any of the following aren't currently scoring repeat spins in your music library, cue up your iTunes and Spotify right now and re-load.
Compiled by Carmen Shardae Jobson, Stacy Ann Ellis and Rachel Francois