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The noughties were an outstanding decade for hip-hop with artists including Eminem, Kanye West, Jay Z and Outkast dominating the charts, constantly reinventing hip-hop's sound and feel. These are the 10 noughties albums that changed hip-hop for the better.
Mike Skinner's debut album received large amounts of critical acclaim upon its release in 02' as a work that emerged from the late 90's UK garage scene. Skinner credits Nas and Wu-Tan Clan as influences for his style, though claims his lyrics are made up of the everyday circumstances and experiences of in life.
Without doubt Jay Z's The Blueprint was one of the strongest, if not the strongest, hip hop album of the noughties, with Jay himself even rating it as his best work. The album had Kanye West written all over it with tons of soulful samples. After its release there was an unavoidable shift to a more soul centric and sample-reliant sound in hip-hop.
It was the fastest selling album by a solo artist in American music history, won the 'Best Rap Album' Grammy and has since sold more than 21 million copies worldwide. Released in May 2000, Eminem used his third studio album to tell the world he was going nowhere.
17-year-old East London boy Dizzee Rascal blew everyone away with his debut album 'Boy In Da Corner', released in '03. The album didn't shift as many records as some of the others on the list, but it unavoidably raised the bar for British rappers.
When Big Boi and Andre 3000 released 'Speakerboxxx/The Love Below' in 2003, the two had already been in the game for a decade and had five albums behind them. But this album was different - it caught the world's attention and put Outkast on the map as they became the second hip-hop artists to ever win the 'Best Album' award at the Grammys.
Kanye West's debut album was four years in the making and every second turned out worth it. Prior to its release 'Ye was known only as a producer and his music often not considered hip-hop, but he proved the world wrong when he brought his unique sampling-style to life through 'The College Dropout.'
N.E.R.D's debut album didn't move mountains when it was released back in 2001, but the impact of Chad Hugo, Shay Haley and most notably Pharrell Williams' ahead-of-its-time album is felt in 2014 with Skateboard P putting his unique sound on hip hop songs all over the place.
It is not often a new album is instantly labelled as a classic but Eminem's protege 50 Cent stepped on to the scene in 2003 with his debut album 'Get Rich Or Die Tryin' and it debuted at number one and spawned four singles, two which hit number one. With 12 million records sold that year, it was named one of the best selling albums of the noughties.
Released in the second half of the decade, many say Q-Tip's self-produced sophomore album (released almost a decade after his debut one) was the best of 2008. 'The Renaissance' received acclaim from music critics upon its released, gaining praise for Q-Tip's production aesthetic and lyricism.
In 2001 Missy Elliot secured her place as the most prominent female artist in hip-hop when she released 'Miss E… So Addictive', homing singles including 'Get Ur Freak On' and '4 My People.' There's been nothing new from Missy for a while, yet this album lives on today and sounds as fresh as ever.
Nas' sixth studio album is notable mostly for its incredible lyricism, with the rapper covering everything from religion to violence and referring to his own emotional experiences including the death of his mother and his then ongoing feud with Jay Z. Once released, everyone had to up their lyrical game.