3. ATLiens (1996)
Andre raises his freak flag and Big Boi establishes the streetwise balance on this classic sophomore set. Indeed, the spacey, futuristic connotations of this bold record’s album title is no mere gimmick. “Elevators (Me & You)” sounded unlike anything on radio with its by-way-of-Mars dub reggae fix. “Putting the South up on the map was like Little Rock to banging,” Big Boi effortlessly surmised of the duo’s impact as 3000 added a dose of reality to what being a rising rap star is really like (“True, I've got more fans than the average man but not enough loot to last me to the end of the week…”). Hip-hop would never be the same.