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The 100 Best Hip-Hop Albums of The 2000s

By Best Rap Albums of 2003

4 of 10

Best Rap Albums of 2003
The 100 Best Hip-Hop Albums of The 2000s

10. T.I. - Trap Muzik
You could argue that Trap Muzik was T.I.'s middle finger to Arista, which dropped him after his first outing, the consciously unprofessional I'm Serious, tanked. Trap Muzik supplemented the grimy sound of T.I.'s debut with polished layers that underlined his versatility. Compare Prices

9. CunninLynguists - Southernunderground
Southern-fried beats and gripping narratives were all in a day's work for this forward-thinking Kentucky group. Compare Prices

8. Danger Mouse & Jemini - Ghetto Pop Life
The funny thing about Danger Mouse is that he never really altered his aesthetic. The same populist production style that graced his collaborations with Jemini is present on his latter projects with Cee-Lo, MF Doom, and others. It's amazing what a little exposure can do for a starving artist. Compare Prices

7. Viktor Vaughn - Vaudeville Villain
Hip-hop's most beloved victim of multiple-personality disorder lets another identity (and moniker) take centerstage on Vaudeville Villain. Compare Prices

6. Little Brother - The Listening
Little Brother's masterful debut hearkens to a musical lineage that traces all the way back through A Tribe Called Quest. 9th Wonder's soul-heavy beats served as the perfect backdrop for Pooh's swift narratives and Phonte's words of wisdom. Compare Prices

5. Dizzee Rascal - Boy In Da Corner
Unheralded East London wunderkind Dizzee Rascal crafts bewildering odes to navigating life in the path of resistance. At the ripe age of 18, he was already wise beyond his peers. Compare Prices

4. JayLib - Champion Sound
It's hard to imagine Dilla Dawg and Madlib ever having a single dispute during the recording of Champion Sound; their similarities were strong and it showed on their first and only collaborative album. The genius of the concept was that Dilla produced half the songs with Madlib on vocals, while Madlib produced the other half with Jay on vocals. Compare Prices

3. 50 Cent - Get Rich or Die Tryin'
Before he got rich and stopped tryin', 50 Cent made this fierce masterpiece under the watchful eyes of Dr. Dre. Compare Prices

2. Jay-Z - The Black Album
Ah, the much trumpeted swan song that wasn't. If Jay stopped rapping after The Black Album, he would have gone out with the loudest bang hip-hop has ever heard. Jay's 8th studio LP gave us instant hits like "99 Problems" and "What More Can I Say," as well as the concert favorite "P.S.A." Compare Prices

1. OutKast - Speakerboxxx/The Love Below
The double-disc — Speakerboxxx for traditional OutKast fans, The Love Below for the eccentric Kast fans — yielded two disparate but equally striking sides of the ever-evolving duo. The glorious, nervy strut of "The Way You Move" and wrenching vulnerability of "Roses" all in one place? Epic. Compare Prices

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