All hip-hop fans can point to certain albums and mixtapes that got played to the point where the CD skipped. You know, the must-haves that got listened to for free on sites like DatPiff, for a few dollars on applications like iTunes or even illegally through now-deceased platforms like LimeWire. Morray shares with XXL the top five albums that led to him falling in love with hip-hop.

The first project, which is actually a mixtape, that the versatile artist makes mention of is the polished effort that made Drake rich, So Far Gone. Morray lets it be known, “That’s probably like my favorite one ever.”

Another LP that makes the cut is one of the best sophomore albums of the modern era. “J. Cole, Born Sinner,” the 2021 XXL Freshman says surely. “The whole thing was just like a wake up call to new rap. Like, you ain’t gotta rap about the same stuff. Like, he just really came and gave smart bars. Smart bars are always needed.”

The North Carolina-bred MC hits Logic’s debut album, Under Pressure, with the prayer hands for the third election. “The fact that he’s on the outside looking in and has his own opinion is fire," Morray begins. "’Cause I’m pretty sure he don’t gang bang.”

“Fourth, I would say Chris Brown, Indigo.” To add context to that choice, Morray explains that he chose to embrace the whopping 30-plus songs instead of being turned off by so many different sounds. “You could put it on and feel a vibe whether you want to have sex with your wife, go party with your homies, get into a fight, dance to techno,” he explains. “You don’t know what you’re gonna do to Indigo.”

Last but certainly not least, the self-proclaimed family man gives himself a shameless plug by mentioning his very first project, Street Sermons, released in the top half of this year. “I made it for you,” Morray says of the effort. You heard the man. Have some respect and go spin that.

Peep Morray name his top five favorite hip-hop albums and mixtapes below.

Travis Shinn for XXL

See the 2021 XXL Freshman Class

Welcome 42 DuggIann DiorCoi LerayPooh ShiestyFlo MilliMorrayRubi RoseBlxstToosiiLakeyah and DDG to the 2021 XXL Freshman Class.