Ever since I was first tagged in this, I’ve been thinking about my personal 15 most influential albums.  And, yes, I kind of cheated since there are actually 21 albums here (and I didn’t even get to Pink or The Police who I also have much love for).  I defined “influential” a couple of ways:  either they taught me something about myself (for example, Public Enemy and Ice Cube), taught me what it means to take people on a personal journey (Lauryn Hill), I write to (Miles Davis and Annie Lennox), admire as genius (Prince and Stevie Wonder), move me (Sounds of Blackness), or simply are must haves (read: always loaded on my computer).  You’d be surprised how many of my novels/short stories sprang from the music on this list.  Or, maybe you wouldn’t.

1.  Public Enemy – It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back / Fear of a Black Planet

2.  Lauryn Hill – The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

3.  Annie Lennox – Diva

4.  Prince – Sign O’ the Times / Purple Rain

5.  Stevie Wonder – At the Close of a Century

6.  Sounds of Blackness – The Evolution of Gospel

7.  James Brown – Star Time

8.  Bob Marley – Songs of Freedom

9.  De La Soul – 3 Feet High and Rising

10.  Parliament – Tear the Roof Off / Funkadelic – The Best of Funkadelic

11.  Outkast – Stankonia / Speakerboxxx/The Love Below

12.  NWA – Straight Outta Compton

13.  Miles Davis – Kind of Blue

14.  Sly and the Family Stone – Anthology / Jimi Hendrix – Experience Hendrix

15.  Ice Cube – Amerikkka’s Most Wanted / Death Certificate