97' saw the East Coast dominate in Rap/Hip-Hop, we had notable releases from The Notorious B.I.G "Life After Death", Wu-Tang Clan "Wu-Tang Forever", Ma$e "Harlem World", Missy Elliot "Supa Dupa Fly", Puff Daddy & The Family "No Way Out" and Jay-Z "In My Lifetime, Vol. 1" to name a few - Can't lie thou Bad Boy were killing it with the singles too, they had 7 in the Top 40 of the Billboard 100 (6 were in the Top 5).
You have to appreciate the level of lyricism and creativity in the genre at that time, we saw many artistes at their best. In the 90's Competiton was healthy and that's what was great, artistes appreciated what the other brought to the game, keeping many on their toes, even the visuals were on point too! As great as 97' was as a year for Hip-Hop/Rap, unfortunately we also lost Biggie, leaving us with a biter / sweet feeling.
My persoanl favs released that year would have to be Biggie's "Life After Death" and Missy's "Supa Dupa Fly" - I've had these albums of repeat for the longest. The energy they both individually brought to their music was amazing, sonically their aesthetic has gone unmatched throughout the years.
97' wasn't an impressive year for the West Coast in my opinion, we were lacking releases from that side - the East really had it popping off! The most notable drop from the West Coast in 97' was Pac's posthumous release "R U Still Down? (Remember Me)", we heard bangers like "I Wonder If Heaven Got A Ghetto" & "Do For Love" - I'ma just leave you with the singles, real fans will know those deep album cuts! If you ain't a real one here's a taster "I'm Gettin' Money".
I don't know how you feel bout 97' but hopefully this jogged your memory! - It's time for you to start digging thru your collection for those classics.