The Record Report is a special feature in the publication in which journalists rate albums. Ratings range from one to five mics', paralleling a typical five-star rating scale. An album that is rated at four-and-a-half or five mics is considered by The Source to be a superior hip hop album. Over the first ten years or so, the heralded five-mic rating only applied to albums that were universally lauded hip hop albums. A total of 44 albums have been awarded five mics; a complete, chronological list is below.
Albums that originally received five mics:
People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm ☆ A Tribe Called Quest
Let The Rhythm Hit 'Em ☆ Eric B. & Rakim
AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted ☆ Ice Cube
One for All ☆ Brand Nubian
De La Soul Is Dead ☆ De La Soul
The Low End Theory ☆ A Tribe Called Quest
Illmatic ☆ Nas
Life After Death (disc 1) Life After Death (disc 2) ☆ Notorious B.I.G.
Aquemini ☆ Outkast
The Blueprint Jay-Z
Stillmatic ☆ Nas
The Fix ☆ Scarface
The Naked Truth -- Lil' Kim
Trill O.G. ☆ Bun B
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy ☆ Kanye West
Albums that were not rated upon their releases, but were later rated five mics in 2002:
Run-D.M.C. ☆ Run-D.M.C.
Radio ☆ LL Cool J
Licensed to Ill ☆ Beastie Boys
Raising Hell ☆ Run-D.M.C.
Criminal Minded ☆ Boogie Down Productions
Paid In Full ☆ Eric B. & Rakim
By All Means Necessary ☆ Boogie Down Productions
It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back ☆ Public Enemy
Long Live the Kane ☆ Big Daddy Kane
Critical Beatdown ☆ Ultramagnetic MC's
Straight Out The Jungle ☆ Jungle Brothers
Strictly Business ☆ EPMD
The Great Adventures Of Slick Rick ☆ Slick Rick
Straight Outta Compton ☆ N.W.A.
No One Can Do It Better ☆ The D.O.C.
All Eyez on Me (disc 1: Book 1) All Eyez on Me (disc 2: Book 2) ☆ 2Pac
Albums that originally received 4.5 Mics, and were later re-rated to five:
Breaking Atoms ☆ Main Source
Death Certificate ☆ Ice Cube
The Chronic ☆ Dr. Dre
Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) ☆ Wu-Tang Clan
Ready to Die ☆ Notorious B.I.G.
The Infamous ☆ Mobb Deep
Only Built 4 Cuban Linx ☆ Raekwon
2001 ☆ Dr. Dre
Albums that originally received four mics, and were later re-rated to five:
Grip It! On That Other Level ☆ Geto Boys
Doggystyle ☆ Snoop Dogg
The Diary ☆ Scarface
Me Against the World ☆ 2Pac
The Score ☆ Fugees
Reasonable Doubt ☆ Jay-Z