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New York’s Losing the Lion’s Share – 2004 Recap

In the wake of XXL’s 10 Freshmen for ’10 cover, one question kept coming up: What happened to New York? For hip-hop’s first 25 years, the music’s birthplace created dozens of stars. From the Bronx’s KRS-One to Manhattan’s Doug E. Fresh, Brooklyn’s Notorious B.I.G., Queens’s 50 Cent and Staten Island’s Wu-Tang Clan, each borough produced its own legends. Even outlying provinces like Long Island and Yonkers got in on the act, expanding New York rap’s borders with the likes of Public Enemy and DMX.

But that was then. Over the past seven years, the well has gone dry. Since 50 Cent detonated onto the scene with his eight-million-selling megabomb Get Rich or Die Tryin’, New York newcomers have been having a hard time blowing up. In fact, since 50 made his mark in 2003 with both his solo debut and G-Unit group album (Beg For Mercy), only a handful of local rappers have managed to debut in the top 10 of Billboard’s Top 200 albums chart: Juelz Santana (2003’s From Me to U), Sheek Louch (2003’s Walk Witt Me), Loon (2003’s Loon), Lloyd Banks (2004’s The Hunger for More) Tony Yayo (2005’s Thoughts of a Predicate Felon) and Mims (2007’s Music Is My Savior). And only Lloyd Banks (2004’s “On Fire”), Mims (2007’s “This Is Why I’m Hot,”) and Lil Mama (2008’s “Lip Gloss”) have had a first single break the top 10 of the Hot 100 singles.

In XXL’s May issue, which is on stands now, we went searching the five boroughs, as well as Long Island and Yonkers, in search of some answers as to how New York fell into a hip-hop drought. But over the course of the next few days, we’ll give a year-by-year breakdown of the music that came out of the Big Apple and how it stacked up against the rest of the hip-hop nation. Yesterday, we covered 2003’s stats, now we dig into 2004.

Men lie, women lie, but numbers don’t…

In 2004, 34 hip-hop albums debuted in the top 10 of Billboard’s top 200, 14 of which came from New York artists


The Pretty Toney Album, Ghostface

Tical 0: The Prequel, Method Man

To The 5 Boroughs, Beastie Boys

Kiss Of Death, Jadakiss

The Hunger For More, Lloyd Banks

True Story, Terror Squad

Godfather Buried Alive, Shyne

Amerikaz Nightmare, Mobb Deep

Welcome Back, Ma$e

The DEFinition, LL Cool J

The New Danger, Mos Def

Real Talk, Fabolous

R.U.L.E., Ja Rule

Street’s Disciple, Nas


Suit, Nelly

Sweat, Nelly

Hood Hop, J-Kwon

Powerballin’, Chingy


Crunk Juice, Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz

Urban Legend, T.I.

The Red Light District, Ludacris


Kamikaze, Twista

The College Dropout, Kanye West


Split Personality, Cassidy

The Tipping Point, The Roots


D12 World, D12

Encore, Eminem


Still Writing In My Diary: 2nd Entry, Petey Pablo


Living Legends, 8Ball & MJG

Straight Outta Ca$hville, Young Buck


U Gotta Feel Me, Lil’ Flip


Tha Carter, Lil Wayne


Thug Matrimony: Married To The Streets, Trick Daddy


R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta): The Masterpiece, Snoop Dogg

Out of the 34 hip-hop albums to debut in the top 10 of Billboard’s top 200 in 2004, only 1 was from a new New York artist dropping his first album.

Lloyd Banks



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