51 Hip-Hop Albums Turning 20 in 2020
Straight out of the 9-9 and into 2000, the first year of the new millennium was a very different time. The launch of YouTube was just five years away, today's Instagram models were video vixens back then and the rappers regarded now as legends were still writing the most crucial points of their legacies.
Twenty years ago, Eminem, who'd shot up to superstardom with his debut album, The Slim Shady LP, the year prior, continued his ascent with The Marshall Mathers LP, a largely Dr. Dre-produced album that upped the madness and verbal acrobatics. Singles like "The Real Slim Shady" and "Stan" helped the acclaimed LP earn a Grammy for Best Rap Album in 2001. When his first album dropped, Em's skin color and trailer park background led to questions about where he belonged in hip-hop. By the end of 2000, most critics and fans agreed his spot was somewhere near the top.
About a thousand miles away from Em's native Detroit, OutKast continued their legendary run when they dropped Stankonia, an album that earned rave reviews and debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart after selling 500,000 units in its first week. The LP infuses the group's eccentricities with pure southern hip-hop and includes singles like "B.o.B." and "Ms. Jackson." Since being released in Oct. 31, 2000, the album has been certified four-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Em and OutKast were far from the only artists making noise in 2000. Elsewhere in the rap zeitgeist, a rapper by the name of Nelly was about to show the world that St. Louis, Mo. had something to say when he dropped his sing-along-heavy, ultra-twangy debut album, Country Grammar.
Up top in New York City, Jay-Z continued building Roc-A-Fella Records empire by dropping The Dynasty: Roc La Familia, a quasi-Hov solo album that really acted as a label compilation. Meanwhile, Ghostface Killah continued solidifying his cult-favorite status with his critically acclaimed Supreme Clientele album.
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