At a mid-October 2013 show at the Metro Chicago, Earl Sweatshirt, then 20 years old, polled his audience as to whether they were into Wu-Tang Clan when they came out. When the crowd responded in the affirmative, Earl snapped back that no one there was old enough for that to be true. “No one’s nine years old trying to hear about science and being pork-free,” he said. “I was running that Bow Wow when I was nine.”
It was an amusing, but valid point. There’s a lot of music out there that we take for granted that everyone knows about, but that may not necessarily be the case for those born in the mid-1980s and later, as this stuff came out before their time or when they were too young to pick up on it. Further, even after a fairly wide survey of music history of the last 50 years, there are gems lurking that require combing over discographies, perhaps too painstakingly.
With that in mind, here are 30 albums people under 30 might not know, but should.