THROWBACK: Best Rap albums of the 2000’s

2000 - The Marshall Mathers LP - Eminem


The Marshall Mathers LP is the third studio album by Eminem. It was released May 23, 2000 and was mainly produced by Dr. Dre and Eminem along with collaborations by the Bass Brothers, Mel Man and The 45 King. The lyrics written by Eminem are about how he dealt with his sudden rise to fame. Notable singles on the album are Stan, The Real Slim Shady and The Way I am. The album won a Grammy for Best Rap Album and sold 1.8 million copies in it’s first week in the U.S. making it the fastest selling record by a solo artist at the time. 

2001 - The Blueprint - Jay Z

Jay z.jpg

Released on September 11, 2001, The Blueprint is Jay Z’s sixth studio album. Despite being on the same day as The 911 terrorists attacks on The World Trade Center its sold 427,000 copies in its first week. Jay-Z donated a dollar for every one of his up coming tour tickets to aid in relief after the attack. The album went on to be double platinum and was number one in the U.S for three weeks. 

2002 - The Eminem Show - Eminem 

eminem grabbing crotch.jpg

Eminem was back at it again for another fire album released May 26th 2002. The Eminem Show went 10x platinum which is also called Diamond. It was the top album in 19 countries and won a Grammy for Best Rap Album, making it the third album of his in 4 years to win. Popular singles on it include Superman, Cleanin’ Out My Closet, Sing for the Moment and Without Me.

2003 - Get rich or Die Tryin’ - 50 Cent

50 cent.jpg

50 Cent dropped his second studio album Get Rich or Die Tryin February 6, 2003. It was produced by Eminem’s record label Shady Records. The most popular songs on the album are In Da Club, P.I.M.P. and 21 Questions. The album sold 872,000 copies in its first week and was number 1 on the Billboard 200. It would go on to become 6X Platinum. It was nominated for a Grammy as well. 

2004 - The College Dropout - Kanye West 

kanye west fashion.jpg

Kanye West released his first studio album The College Dropout on February 10, 2004. It received widespread acclaim and started his career as a rapper instead of just being a producer. He collaborated with Jay-Z, Jamie Foxx, Ludacris and Mos Def. West was praised for his lyricism and depth about themes like racism, religion, self doubt and materialism. The album sold 441,000 copies in its first week and was number 2 on the Billboard 200. West won a Grammy for Best Rap Album. Notable songs from the album include Jesus Walks, All Falls down, Through the Wire and Slow Jamz. 

2005 - Late Registration - Kanye West 

Kanye West 3.jpg

Kanye West was on fire when he released Late Registration as it would go on to win him another Grammy for Best Rap Album. It went triple platinum and sold 860,000 copies in its first week. The themes of the album are similar to his previous one The College Dropout and include poverty, racism, healthcare and even the blood diamond trade. Some guests on the record include Adam Levine of Maroon 5, Jay-Z, Jaime Foxx and Common. The notable singles are Touch The Sky, Gold Digger and Heard ‘Em Say. 

2006 - Release Therapy - Ludacris


Released on September 26, 2006, Release Therapy is the sixth album by Ludacris. Guest collaborators include R Kelly, Pharrell, Young Jeezy and Pimp C. The record sold 309,000 copies in its first week and debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200. Ludacris won two Grammys, one for Best Rap Album and one for Best Rap Song for “Money Maker.” 

2007 - Graduation - Kanye West

Kanye West in Glasses.jpg

If you’re wondering why Kanye West is so gosh darn famous it’s because his music is so unbelievable successful. It seems that everything that guy touches turns to gold… or more accurate platinum. Graduation, the third studio album from Kanye West was released on September 11, 2007. It features other artists such as Lil Wayne, Mos Def, Chris Martin of Coldplay and T-Pain. It sold 957,000 copies in its first week and became number 1 on the Billboard 200. It went double platinum and gave Kanye his third Grammy Award for Best Rap Album. Hits from the album include Good life, Stronger and Homecoming.

2008 - Tha Carter III - Lil Wayne 

Lil Wayne.jpg

Being one of the most anticipated record releases in 2008, Tha Carter III was Lil Wayne’s sixth studio album. It debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200 and sold over a million copies in its first week and went on to become triple platinum. The album has many appearances by other successful artists such as Jay-Z, Busta Rhymes, Robin Thicke, T-Pain and Kanye West.  Popular songs include Lollipop, Mrs. Officer and Got Money. It was the album that launched Lil Wayne into international mainstream success. 

2009 - Man on the Moon: The End of Day - Kid Cudi 

Kid cudi.jpg

Making his first studio album, Kid Cudi saw great success with Man on the Moon: The End of Day. Released on September 15, 2009 it is a concept album narrated by the rapper Common. Kanye West helped produce some of the beats as well. The record went to number 4 on the Billboard 200 and would later become double platinum. It made three hit singles; Day ’N’ Nite, Make Her Say and Pursuit of Happiness. Day ’N’ Nite became a hit platinum single. 

Peter O'Melia