I, like GlennK, grew up on the west coast. I grew up listening to Dre, Snoop, Ice Cube, and even E-40 (yay area!!). My problem with rap/hip hop is that there just isn't the depth to an album. I love certain songs, but never the whole album. Way too much filler.
That being said, I'd say my favorite album is Hello Nasty by the Beastie Boys. But if I had to name my favorite rappers/bands, I'd have to say listening to the Wu Tang Clan will get me fired up the most (the song Triumph has to be my favorite rap song of all time). Beyond them, I think Kanye (though I extremely dislike his persona), Eminem, and Jay Z are the best rappers out there. J-5 also needs a shout out, as I think they was the best hip hop band out there, along with the Roots.