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The 100 Best Hip-Hop Albums of The 2000s

By Best Rap Albums of 2003

3 of 10

Best Rap Albums of 2002
The 100 Best Hip-Hop Albums of The 2000s

Scarface - The Fix

© Def Jam

10. Blackalicious - Blazing Arrow
The reason to root for Gift of Gab and Chief Xcel is that occasionally they show you things you didn't know were possible within the confines of hip-hop. Hardcore, grown-ass rap bathed in breezy soul rhythms, for example. Compare Prices

9. Mr. Lif - I-Phantom
Lif's Def Jux-powered debut is an album for well-dressed poor people who wish to strangle their boss. Compare Prices

8. RjD2 - Deadringer
RJD2 insists on stuffing a gumbo pot-size surrealistic sounds in one tube no matter how artistically illogical. Looking back, it's now obvious that the trick worked wonders. Compare Prices

7. Devin The Dude - Just Tryin' ta Live
Amid a cloud of marijuana twice the size of the Milky Way, Devin the Dude makes a soundtrack for the working class, striking some comedy notes along the way. Compare Prices

6. GZA - Legend Of The Liquid Sword
GZA dribbles words around with relative ease and proves why he's the Wu's most underrated lyricist. Compare Prices

5. The Roots - Phrenology
After winning a Grammy for the Erykah Badu-assisted rap ballad "You Got Me," The Roots show they're neither gangstas nor punks. Sometimes you can't tell if they're trying to break trends or kneecaps. Compare Prices

4. El-P - Fantastic Damage
In a post-911 U.S.A., El-P is more interested in painting dark portraits of apocalyptic clouds than in shopping for new shoes. Compare Prices

3. Talib Kweli - Quality
If skills sold, truth be told, Quality would be one of the highest selling hip-hop albums of all-time. Just ask Jay. Compare Prices

2. Nas - God's Son
There comes a time when a man must put youthful idiocy aside and grow the f-ck up. For some, it happens in their mid 20s to early 30s. For others, it happens in their 80s. For Nas, it happened on God's Son. The timing of this album (it arrived on the heels of his mother's death) couldn't have been more brutal. It forced Nas to look within and, in the process, revealed a soul learning to deal with new vulnerabilities ("Warrior Song") while simultaneously seeking closure on old rivalries ("Last Real N---a Alive"). Compare Prices

1. Scarface - The Fix
Forget everything you've ever learned about southern rappers when traversing Scarface territories. He attacks the mic with a brazen poise. He's one of the greatest storytellers in the game. And he commands a cult-like following from the east coast to the west coast. Face's heightened spiritual awareness and ominous street tales on The Fix helped make this a southern classic and an essential album for all hip-hop heads. Compare Prices

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