The best hip hop albums of the 2000s.
Or the most important. Or my favorites. I’ll pick one album for each year from 2000-2010. It might just be one I listened to a lot, or one that changed the landscape of hip hop. Let’s get to it.
Scope the best hip hop albums: 2000s (2011-2014) here.
Country Grammar – Nelly
Country Grammar spawned a lot of the songs you still listen to after all these years. Nelly single-handedly brought St. Louis to the stoplight, and dictated the next 5 years of hip hop.
Stillmatic – Nas
Stillmatic came out 7 years after Illmatic (so shut up Jay-Z) and wasn’t as complete as an album as Illmatic (but what is?), yet still fire. Rewind is maybe the greatest storytelling feat in rap.
Blazing Arrow – Blackalicious
Blazing Arrow is the second album from Blackalicious (out of 3, all good) and establishes them as the most versatile rap hip hop duo of the decade, somehow sounding old school and modern at the same time.
Get Rich or Die Tryin’ – 50 Cent
Get Rich or Die Tryin’ was a movement. I really shouldn’t have to write anything here, so I won’t. Instead, here’s a video.
Madvillainy – Madvillain (MF Doom & Madlib)
Madvillainy is one of the most unique hip hop albums you will ever hear. One of hip hop’s greatest rappers teaming up with one of hip hop’s greatest producers for a rapid fire gallery of 2 minute songs is pure bliss.
The Carter II – Lil Wayne
Long before the garbage mixtapes (not all Weezy’s mixtapes were trash, just the codeine chronicles), Lil Wayne claimed he was the best rapper alive, and after listening to this album a few times you started to believe him.
Game Theory – The Roots
Some think the kings of band hip hop (with real instruments) hit their peak with Game Theory. Either way, The Roots (pre-Jimmy Fallon) will keep you thinking long after the record stops spinning.
Graduation – Kanye West
Graduation made me proud to be from the Midwest. College Dropout and Late Registration were fire, but Yeezus began here. The CD was also a must buy because of the included art alone.
Paper Trail – T.I.
After years of making albums that almost established him as the king (including King, 2006), T.I. went ahead and made a record as if he was already on top of the game… while on house arrest.
So Far Gone – Drake
It’s hard to imagine a time when Drake wasn’t one of the most famous people on the planet. A lot of that started right here.
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy – Kanye West
Kanye is the only one to make the list twice, but I have no other choice. The production on this album constantly battles the lyrics for your attention, and 4 years later, the battle continues.
Treat yourself and pick up one of these albums today!
And if you disagree with anything, make sure to let me know. I expect 2001, 2004 and 2005 to raise some debate 🙂 And if you wanna know what I think about the last few years: