The Year In Hip Hop: 2000

Introduction By @TrueGodImmortal
-There are some years that don't necessarily stick out as much in hip hop. To many, the year 2000 is one of those. Now, sure, there's no Nas, DMX, and a few other legends dropping albums, but when we sat down and took a look at the entire year as a whole, we found that this might actually be the most underrated year in hip hop in some ways. Let's get into it.

2000 was crazy for Hip Hop! So many gems were released that year that I still rock with heavy to this day. I'd even go as far as categorizing that year as iconic for Hip Hop. Walk with me for a moment.

Eminem released his third project, The Marshall Mathers LP. His dark tone and distinct imagery left this album engraved in our brains. "The Way I Am" is amazing as well as "Stan" because of his approach. On a much lighter note, Afroman reached a different audience with his album, Because I Got High. For weed smokers everywhere, it was bit of an anthem.

Lil Kim made sure we understood she was still her rugged self with The Notorious K.I.M. She's always been very open about her sexuality and this album was no different. St. Louis rapper Nelly made his debut with Country Grammar. He brought a different sound to the game, adding a bit of melody to his rhymes.

Lil Jon & The Eastside Boyz kept the south's movement alive with their album, We Still Crunk! "I Like Dem Girlz" is one of my favorites for various reasons. No matter where I am, I'm back in my younger days when I hear that track. "Bia' Bia'" will have you ready to fight in a minute. That added to the authenticity of that era.

Trick Daddy also put on for the south with his project, Book of Thugs: Chapter AK Verse 47. Coming from Miami, he had a more gutter sound than Uncle Luke and the 2 Live Crew. Trick's label mate, Trina, dropped her debut album, Da Baddest B***h. Her raunchiness mirrored that of Lil Kim's. There's enough room in the game for everybody.

Over in New Orleans, the 504 Boyz had something to say as well. "Wobble Wobble" had girls in clubs everywhere doing just that. No Limit was busy that year as Mystikal put out his sophomore album, Let's Get Ready. He teamed up with Pharrell on his hit single, "Shake Ya Ass." Man, it was just a great year musically for everybody.

If we gonna keep it a 100, 2000 wasn't really one of the most special years of hip hop, like on some 1994 type shit. We got a ton of irrelevant and unimportant music that year. It wasn't really memorable. Why? Because it was the end of an era. 90's rap is over. And that was the end. Now the generation of club hits and car songs start. But, in some ways, it is memorable, because of the few classic albums released that year. Now, some, if not most of my followers, know I'm not a fan of Outkast at all. I've never really enjoyed their music. However, I did like Stankonia. All of this hype over the production and lyricism, I didn't really recognize it until I listened to that album. It's still the only album I like by Outkast. Again, most of my followers also know I don't like Eminem's music. Part of the reason why was because his music got worse as he stopped taking drugs. But I also really enjoyed Marshall Mathers LP. His storytelling was on another level, and I surely appreciated the production. Now, when a person who hates both artists and tells you these albums are classics, if you personally haven't checked it out, you should go listen. Here are the other important albums of 2000 along with these 2 I mentioned.

Marshall Mathers LP
The Dynasty: ROC La Familia
Tha Last Meal
Country Grammar 
Yeeeah Baby

I also dislike Nelly, but you can't deny the importance of his debut album. I personally bump some songs when I'm in the car with my friends. He did help start that era.

I remember Juvenile was quoted saying "Cash Money taking over, for the '99 and the 2000"...and he wasn't lying. 2000 was an alright year in Hip hop in general, but Cash Money had the most presence that year from any label. With 5 album releases from Lil Wayne, B.G, The Millionaires (collectively) and Big Tymers, they kept things popping for sure, but it wasn't all about Cash Money.. there were a few other good releases so let's take a look...

"Supreme Clientele" was released early in the year and this would be one of my favorite releases! I think any time a Wu member releases an album it's a fantastic year in Hip hop and this was no different. Ghost features fellow Clan members on this joint, so as far as tracklist goes it was great. Obviously, my favorite track on the album is "Cherchez La Ghost", as I pretty much love everything about this song, Madam Majestic is perfect and adds a different dynamic to Ghost and U-God, even the title is awesome (of course I love it) and overall this track was received well. It was one of two singles off this album, and ranked no. 3 on the charts for hot rap single. Honestly, all the tracks are good so I won't list them off here. "Supreme Clientele" didn't stop there, as production wise it's different, it's got a bit of everyone, RZA (of course) but also Wu-Math and Deck to keep in style with the Wu sound, but there were others on production who brought an entirely different style also. It may sound a little all over the place, but of course, Ghost and RZA would make this sound cohesive! All in all, this was a highlight, it was lyrical, features were great and production was dope.

This next one is easily my most favorite and the absolute highlight of this year for me. Common's "Like Water For Chocolate" honestly was a perfect masterpiece, with Questlove, J Dilla, AND DJ Premier on production (there were a couple others), the tracks are incredible. To me, "The Light" is easily the best track on this album (and one of my all time favorite rap songs) and I was about to list off the tracks that are great, but I found myself literally listing all of them. With features from Mos Def, MC Lyte, Jill Scott and D' can this go wrong? Here's the other thing I love, because Common is incredibly smart and very calculated in all his projects, and this one was no different, as the title of this album has a whole entire story and is the perfect choice for this. Each song brings an element that reiterates the relevancy of the title, and this is always what I expect from Common and he always delivers. Without fail. I love '00 for blessing us with this album!

Another great album that stands out for me is Lil Kim's "The Notorious K.I.M" and this album is solid. Definitely in true Kim form in every way. The songs here are racy and explicit, lyrical in the way she does, but this one had a more toned down feel than her "Hardcore" album. I attribute that largely to the change in producers. On this album, we see Kanye, Puffy and Mario Winans along with a couple others. Features include Sisqo, Mary J, etc for more of a R&B presence on this one. I like that she had "Queen Bitch Part II" and that she had Cease on a few tracks, because for me it tied it back to her debut which I loved. All in all, this album was a noteworthy one, but what I miss the most is BIG's presence on it, lyrically and as one of the actual executive producers.

And there's NO WAY I can end this without mentioning Outkast and their release of "Stankonia". I've said this every time I've mentioned these guys that they are utter geniuses that push the envelope and manage to make everything they touch gold. Outkast managed to take the nation by storm with "Ms. Jackson", and that song was a chart topper and everybody's favorite. They also had "So Fresh So Clean", "B.O.B"...basically the entire tracklist was hit after hit. These guys changed the game when they released their debut in '94 and they maintained that momentum with every release. "Stankonia" was no different. This album was everything the fans wanted from Andre and Big Boi and once again they executed it flawlessly.

Although 2000 wasn't nearly as good as previous years, there was enough to keep Hip hop going and the fans excited. I think I mentioned the best ones but other noteworthy releases were releases from Busta Rhymes, Nature, Cam'ron, Drag-on, Bone Thugs, Ice Cube, Jay-Z, Big L, well you get the point. This wasn't a boring year by any means. The fans were still blessed with album after album of awesome songs, so yes, once again we will thank the Hip Hop Gods for making this year a good one!

Outro by @TrueGodImmortal 
-2000 brings back sweet and bittersweet memories for me. Firstly, the year has so many albums to discuss that flew under the radar in some ways, like Reflection Eternal and their epic Train of Thought album. Kweli and Hi-Tek are such a solid team and this album truly was amazing. How about the Madlib project as Quasimoto titled The Unseen, or the Lyricist Lounge Vol. 2 album that featured the classic Mos Def, Pharaohe Monch and Nate Dogg track "Oh No". How could one forget Prodigy from Mobb Deep releasing his first solo album "H.N.I.C.", or M.O.P. being Cold As Ice and making the world Ante Up via their album Warriorz. Imagine being a fan of Gangstarr, right? Guru dropped his Streetsoul Jazzmatazz album this year as well. How about the West Coast? Ice Cube dropped his War & Peace Vol. 2 album with the NWA Reunion "Hello" on it, Xzibit dropped Restless, Snoop put out The Last Meal and the super underrated DJ Quik released his Balance and Options album. Slum Village released Fantastic Vol. 2, De La Soul put out their Art Official Intelligence album, Scarface dropped Last Of A Dying Breed and Dead Prez arrived on the scene with the revolutionary Let's Get Free album. Busta Rhymes rarely disappoints and while his Anarchy album didn't reflect the animation in his 90's music, it is still a good album to me. While on the subject of East Coast MCs, both Harlem based rappers Big L (RIP) and Cam'ron had albums come out, as The Big Picture and S.D.E. respectively impacted the streets.

The south had something to say as always and you can start with Cash Money and No Limit. Louisiana was still thriving as the 504 Boyz album Goodfellas was a banger, and Cash Money would prosper via Big Tymers and the platinum I Got That Work album, as well as Lil Wayne's Lights Out, B.G.'s Checkmate, the Baller Blockin Soundtrack and more. Mystikal would see his biggest success too via his Let's Get Ready album, which worked wonders for his career teaming up with the Neptunes. Three 6 Mafia had their dope When the Smoke Clears album drop and this was when they began taking off in the mainstream, and giving Tennessee yet another rap movement to gravitate to. The Atlanta based Ludacris would make his big impact with his official debut album Back For The First Time as well, going triple platinum. See how stacked 2000 is so far? I haven't even got to the bigger releases.

Jay-Z put out the underrated Dynasty album, Eminem put out the diamond selling Marshall Mathers LP, Outkast released a near classic in Stankonia, Wyclef would tell someone to please call 911 on The Ecleftic, Nelly debuts with his 9 million selling Country Grammar album, Ja Rule and his new style of pop rap hits would hit 4 million sales of his Rule 3:36 album, The Roc had Beans, Amil and Bleek all release albums, Wu-Tang released their often slept on album The W, Ghostface held it down with the true classic Supreme Clientele, and of course Common dropped what I still feel is his best album (BE a close second), Like Water For Chocolate. 2000 was an amazing year for hip hop on just about every level with the perfect amount of balance.



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