Well of course it depends on how you define "concept album"; my definition would be that it would be meant to be listened to as a cohesive work of art, rather than a collection of individual songs, and - in so doing - should address a consistent theme throughout. So overall I would agree with Geoff that it was "Three Feet High & Rising", in that ... See Morethey used the game show skits (generally considered to be the first use of skits on a hip-hop album) to tie the whole thing together. A counterargument, though, would be that the songs themselves didn't really contribute to the theme, only the running skits. Another contender would be PE's "Fear of a Black Planet," which to my memory was the first hip-hop album to be promoted as a concept album by its creators, though I never really understood how the songs actually reflected the supposed concept (the works of Francis Cress Welsing).
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