Contact Us

New York’s Losing the Lion’s Share – 2008 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 past few days, we’ve given 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. Today, we touch on 2008.

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

In 2008, 22 hip-hop albums debuted in the top 10 of Billboard’s top 200, 4 of which came from New York artists.


The Elephant In The Room, Fat Joe

T.O.S. (Terminate On Sight), G Unit

Untitled, Nas

Exit 13, LL Cool J


Trilla, Rick Ross

Still Da Baddest, Trina

Definition Of Real, Plies

We Global, DJ Khaled


Ego Trippin, Snoop Dogg

Raw Footage, Ice Cube

LAX, The Game

Shwayze, Shwayze


The Recession, Young Jeezy

Paper Trail, T.I.

Theater Of The Mind, Ludacris


Tha Carter III, Lil Wayne

Savage Life 2, Webbie


808s & Heartbreak, Kanye West


Rising Down, The Roots


Brass Knuckles, Nelly


II Trill, Bun-B


The Greatest Story Ever Told, David Banner

Out of the 22 hip-hop albums to debut in the top 10 of Billboard’s top 200 in 2008, none were from new New York artists dropping their first album.


In 2008, 10 hip-hop singles reached the top 10 of Billboard’s Hot 100, none of which came from New York artists.


“Lollipop” – Lil Wayne Featuring Static Major

“A Milli” – Lil Wayne

“Got Money” – Lil Wayne Featuring T-Pain

“Mrs. Officer” – Lil Wayne

“Independent” – Webbie


“Bust it Baby” – Plies


“Whatever You Like” – T.I.

“Live Your Life” – T.I.


“Sensual Seduction” – Snoop Dogg


“Dangerous” – Kardinal Offishall

Out of the 10 hip-hop singles to reach the top 10 of Billboard’s Hot 100 in 2008, none were from a new New York artists.

Recommended For You

Around the Web

Best of XXL

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for XXL Mag quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!