If you're not familiar with at least Nation of Millions, Straight Outta Compton, Critical Beatdown, Raising Hell, Aquemini, Illmatic, Ready to Die, Paid In Full, and the like, do yourself a favor and listen.

from Rap Genius Editors – Shawn's Guidelines Lyrics on Rap Genius

Meaning

You can get a decent idea of a generally-agreed-upon rap canon by looking at these lists, especially the first one

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