Totally agree. It's really tough to recommend anything to you without you first letting me know what it is you want to hear. Hip-hop is just too diverse to narrow it down to the top ten. With that said, you're really new to hip-hop, so it'll be tough for you to tell us what you like. So here are some 'fresh to hip-hop' albums that are safe to listen to and won't scare you away (they're in no particular order):
1. Common - Resurrection
2. DJ Jazzy Jeff - Hip Hop Forever 2 & 3 (mixtape)
3. DJ Premier - Inside Lookin' Out (mixtape)
4. Dr. Dre - The Chronic
5. Dr. Dre - 2001
6. Gift of Gab - 4th Dimensional Rocketships Going Up
7. Method Man & Redman - Blackout!
8. Mos Def & Talib Kweli - Blackstar
9. NaS - Illmatic
10. Outkast - southernplayalisticadillacmuzik
That list is a decent start and it contains a wide range of styles of hip-hop, IMO. Also, those mixtapes are the s$$t. Anything by DJ Premier is really good as well because not only does he make phat beats, but he also brings people from every style of hip-hop.
Originally Posted by FunToys
A lot of good suggestions here, but I think it would be important to know, what aspects of hip-hop appeal to you? Why Biggie but not Public Enemy? Hip-hop is a pretty diverse genre (and I despise the fact that everyone dumbs it down into a mainstream vs. underground battle). If you like hip-hop that deals with social/political issues, try Dead Prez, Common, Talib Kweli, or Mos Def. If you like gritty storytelling and tales of street life, Freddie Gibbs, Wu-Tang Clan, Royce Da 5'9", and Jean Grae are fantastic. If you're into jazzy beats, look for producers like Pete Rock, DJ Premier, J Dilla, and Nujabes. Learning to appreciate hip-hop definitely requires a different perspective from that of rock, but with patience you'll discover how rich it is.