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. Last week, we covered 2003 and 2004’s stats, now we dig into 2005.

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

In 2005, 25 hip-hop albums debuted in the top 10 of Billboard’s top 200, 6 of which came from New York artists


The Massacre, 50 Cent

All Or Nothing, Fat Joe

Harlem: Diary Of A Summer, Jim Jones

Thoughts Of A Predicate Felon, Tony Yayo

The Naked Truth, Lil' Kim

What The Game's Been Missing!, Juelz Santana


Boyz N Da Hood, Boyz N Da Hood

U.S.A.: United State Of Atlanta, Ying Yang Twins

Wanted, Bow Wow

Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101, Young Jeezy

25 To Life, T.I. Presents The P$C


Be, Common

Late Registration, Kanye West

The Day After, Twista


The Peoples Champ, Paul Wall

Trill, Bun-B

The Sound Of Revenge, Chamillionaire


Fast Money, Birdman

Savage Life, Webbie

Tha Carter II, Lil' Wayne


The B. Coming, Beanie Sigel

I'm A Hustla, Cassidy


Three 6 Mafia Presents Choices II: The Setup, Soundtrack

Most Known Unknown, Three 6 Mafia


The Documentary, The Game

Out of the 25 hip-hop albums to debut in the top 10 of Billboard’s top 200 in 2005, only 1 was from a new New York artist dropping his first album.

Tony Yayo