When it rains, it pours. In 2003, we got a torrential downpour of Hip-Hop albums that would go onto become iconic. In fact, some of the greatest Hip-Hop albums of all-time turned 20 in 2023.
Much of Hip-Hop is up for debate. Every fan will have their own Top 5 favorite artists, albums, and collabs–and everyone is entitled to their opinion. However, some albums are just undisputed. When you look at some of the best albums of the 2000s, oddly most of them were dropped in 2003.
Hip-Hop Albums That Turned 20 In 2023
The music landscape was totally different 20 years ago. MTV was still playing music videos, the style was different, and we were buying CDs, or…we should have been…some of us were occupying our time on sites like Limewire. Shame on all of us! Shame! Tsk tsk.
Today, the biggest names in the game are artists like Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott, and a bunch of mumble rappers. Back in 2003, we had Eminem, Jay-Z, and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson had just become a household name. It seems like all of the biggest names in Hip-Hop decided to drop an album in 2003…and they all delivered.
It’s insane how many timeless albums we were gifted in 2003. We definitely took it for granted. It was a challenge putting together a list of 5 because that meant leaving a ton of excellent albums on the cutting room floor. I reckon it would have made much more sense, and honestly have been easier on me, to share 20 epic hip-hop albums that turned 20 in 2023. Instead, I chose to go with 5 in an effort to save us both time (you’re welcome) but going with such a limited number meant not including some real gems.
Happy 20th Birthday To These Albums
Below, you’ll find my list of 5 favorite albums that turned 20 in 2023. Like I said, it was no easy project. You’ll find some great albums weren’t included in the list, so let’s go over some honorable mentions. The fact that some of these massive albums are merely honorable mentions goes to show how strong the competition was in 2003, and what these artists were up against.
I wasn’t able to include Fabolous’ Street Dreams album on the list. That’s a bummer because there were some iconic hits that defined the time on that record, like “Into You” and “Can’t Let You Go.” Joe Budden’s debut album dropped in 2003, that didn’t make the cut. Fantastic albums by Bubba Sparxxx, Missy Elliott, and Killer Mike also failed to make the list. Those are some big names! So, what did make the final 5? Let’s get to the list!