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The 100 Best Hip-Hop Albums of The 2000s

By Best Rap Albums of 2003

5 of 10

Best Rap Albums of 2004
The 100 Best Hip-Hop Albums of The 2000s

10. Masta Killah - No Said Date
The spectacle of in-fighting will never tarnish the fearsome intensity of Wu-Tang Clan. This wasn't quite the collective effort a la Only Cuban Linx, but it was a stunningly impressive debut by the Clan's most underrated lyricist. Compare Prices

9. Brother Ali - Champion Sound EP
"There’s a thin line between anger and hunger, my man, and I ride a unicycle down the middle," Ali proclaims on Champion Sound's "Self Taught." That's Brother Ali in a nutshell -- cautiously passionate yet unmistakably vicious.

8. Masta Ace - A Long Hot Summer
Tired of being overlooked, Ace cranked up the intensity on his movie-like narratives, making this weightier than earlier albums. The skits became irritating after 3 go-rounds, but the music aged well. Compare Prices

7. Murs - Murs 3:16: The 9th Edition
Nothing better illustrates the nature of Murs' appeal than this 9th Wonder-helmed album. The west coast rhymelord brought smoky, dreary, hauntingly introspective hip-hop to the forefront with Murs 3:16. Compare Prices

6. Royce da 5'9" - Death Is Certain
On the heels of his fallout with Eminem, Nickle Nine went into the lab and came out with an album so dark most people simply avoided it. It's an indestructible document of human emotion gone wild. Compare Prices

5. Madvillain - Madvillainy
The predictably unpredictable rap poets Doom and Madlib greeted the new millennium with a dreamy instant classic. Compare Prices

4. Cam'ron - Purple Haze
This 2004 opus featuring the Kanye-aided "Down and Out" and a bevy of hilariously scabrous skits remains Cam'ron's definitive statement. Compare Prices

3. De La Soul - The Grind Date
Even on their worst day, De La still effortlessly ran circles around the young'uns. Compare Prices

2. MF Doom - Mm..Food
In a year that saw Daniel Dumile drop three stellar albums under three different monikers. Mm...Food was the star of the show. Doom employed food metaphors almost as wildly as he employed samples, cribbing everything from Mashmakhan to the Sesame Street closing credits theme. Compare Prices

1. Kanye West - College Dropout
This was one of the decade's most anxiously anticipated debut albums and Kanye delivered one for the ages. His warm and witty storytelling made College Dropout an all-round favorite that appealed to both mainstream and underground ears. Compare Prices

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