Eminem’s lyrics are still amongst the best in the game 20 years after dropping, “The Eminem Show” in 2002.
Wanna feel old?
Cam’ron signed to Roc-a-Fella Records two decades ago.
Eminem dropped “The Eminem Show” two decades ago.
Justin Timberlake went solo two decades ago.
Scarface ran Def Jam South Records.
Twenty years ago, 50 Cent dropped his first commercial hit single “Wanksta” on the “8 Mile” soundtrack.
Infants at the time are now old enough to legally purchase alcohol.
Furthermore, all the aforementioned artists are now considered old school or O.G.’s
However, many O.G.’s made some classics in 2002.
Now, 20 years later RegalMag.com looks back to the beginning of the new millennium and honors the 10 best albums of 2002.
- “Watermelon, Chicken and Gritz” by Nappy Roots—Youngsters, Jack Harlow is not the first big hip-hop artist from the Bluegrass State. Nappy Roots were the first artists from Kentucky to release hit rap songs. In 2002, the six emcees from Kentucky State University embraced everything poor and country, dropping classics “Awnaw” and “Po Folks” featuring a young Anthony Hamilton.
- “Nellyville” by Nelly—Yeah, haters said that Nelly did not represent real hip-hop. But half of the time, it was people whose album flopped. Real hip-hop or not, Nelly dropped anthems and sold millions. The biggest hip-hop heads know they jammed hits like “Hot in Herre,” “Air Force Ones” and “Pimp Juice.” And the ladies loved “Dilemma” with Kelly Rowland of Destiny’s Child.
- “The Fix” by Scarface—Say what you want about the South. But no one can say that Scarface is not one of the best emcees of all time. Although Face was the flagship solo artist at Rap-a-lot Records, J. Prince let him drop an album on Def Jam South. And the Houston emcee dropped a classic album with “The Fix,” featuring production by Kanye West and features from Jay-Z. Beanie Sigel, Nas, Kelly Price, WC and Faith Evans.
- “Come Home With Me” by Cam’ron—Roc-a-Fella Records already had one of the best rosters in hip-hop when Dame Dash signed Cam’ron and the Diplomats to the Roc. In 2002, people could not go to the club and not here “Oh Boy,” produced by Just Blaze. “Killa Cam” made sure his album was not a one hit wonder though, also dropping the hit “Hey Ma” featuring Juelz Santana and the street anthem, “Welcome to New York City” with boss and labelmate, Jay-Z.
- “God’s Son” by Nas—Some critics say that before Nas linked with producer Hit Boy, he chose some of the worst beats ever. But beats aside, very few can challenge Nasir Jones lyrically. Furthermore, very few can challenge him subject-matter wise either. On “God’s Son,” Nas had songs for the streets with “Made You Look.” The Queens, N.Y. emcee had inspirational songs for the kids with “I Can.” And he had songs that tugged at people’s heart like “Thugz Mansion (N.Y.)” with 2Pac and J. Phoenix. Throw in a feature from newcomer Alicia Keys and Nas had another hit album.
- “Lord Willin’” by Clipse—Like Cam’Ron, people hitting up the clubs in 2002 could not escape songs by the Clipse. When “Grindin’” came out, it sounded like nothing else on the radio thanks to megaproducers, The Neptunes. Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo of The Neptunes teamed up with two brothers from Virginia Beach, Va. and provided the soundtrack of Virginia street hustlers with “Lord Willin’.”
- “Justified” by Justin Timberlake—When Justin Timberlake took a brief hiatus from boy band NSYNC, it was only supposed to be temporary. However, when the hits kept coming from his solo debut album like “Rock Your Body,” “Senorita” and “Cry Me a River,” it became clear that his boy band days were over and his career as an R&B solo star was upon us.
- “Quality” by Talib Kweli—When a rapper calls their debut solo album “Quality,” nothing more needs to be said. And with a young Kanye West, DJ Quik, DJ Scratch and the legend J Dilla producing on the project, quality proved an understatement. Greatness would have been more apropos. “Get By,” produced by West was an instant classic that still bumps to this day. Furthermore, the positive subject matter is just as relevant today as it was 20 years ago. The album contained features from DJ Quik, Black Thought, Pharoahe Monch, Mos Def, Bilal and superstar comedian, Dave Chappelle.
- “Under Construction” by Missy Elliot—One of the most unique and talented artists of all time is Missy Elliott, hands down. Co-producing the album with Timbaland, “Under Construction” included hit songs like “Work It,” “Gossip Folks” featuring Ludacris and “Back in the Day” featuring Jay-Z. The album went double platinum in the United States with two million copies sold, peaking at number three on the Billboard pop charts. “Under Construction” stayed on the charts for 36 weeks and inspired a sequel album “Under Construction: Part II” the following year by her “brothers” from Virginia, Timbaland and Magoo.
- “The Eminem Show” by Eminem—People can call Marshall Mathers a culture vulture all they want. They can say that his music does not get airplay at cookouts. But they cannot say, in good faith, that he is not one of the illest to ever bless the mic. Furthermore, very few can say that “The Eminem Show” was not a complete masterclass of lyricism and subject matter. Eminem tackled family turmoil on “Cleanin’ Out My Closet.” The Detroit emcee talked politics on “White America.” He attacks his haters on “Without Me.” And “Sing for the Moment” deals with the fear that modern music induces in parents from Middle America.