XXL Lists The Best Hip-Hop Songs And Albums Of The Last 40 Years – XXL Issue 152


2000 Albums
Stankonia, OutKast
The Marshall Mathers LP, Eminem
Country Grammar, Nelly
Back For The First Time, Ludacris
Supreme Clientele, Ghostface Killah

2000 Singles
“Country Grammar (Hot…),” Nelly
“The Next Episode,” Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Dogg and Nate Dogg
“Whoa!,” Black Rob
“Shake Ya Ass,” Mystikal
“Bad Boyz,” Shyne featuring Barrington Levy

2001 Albums
The Blueprint, Jay Z
Stillmatic, Nas
Pain Is Love, Ja Rule
Broken Silence, Foxy Brown
Word Of Mouf, Ludacris

2001 Singles
“Area Codes,” Ludacris featuring Nate Dogg
“Always On Time,” Ja Rule featuring Ashanti
“Izzo (H.O.V.A.),” Jay Z
“Bia’ Bia’,” Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz featuring Ludacris, Too $hort, Big Kapp and Chyna Whyte
“Music,” Erick Sermon

Lil Jon

2002 Albums
The Fix, Scarface
Lord Willin’, Clipse
Come Home With Me, Cam’ron
The Eminem Show, Eminem
Kings Of Crunk, Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz

2002 Singles
“Hot In Herre,” Nelly
“I Need A Girl (Part 1),” P. Diddy featuring Usher and Loon
“What’s Luv?,” Fat Joe featuring Ashanti
“Oh Boy,” Cam’ron featuring Juelz Santana
“Move Bitch,” Ludacris featuring Mystikal and I-20

2003 Albums
Get Rich Or Die Tryin’, 50 Cent
Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, OutKast
Chicken-n-Beer, Ludacris
Beg For Mercy, G-Unit
The Black Album, Jay Z


2003 Singles
“In Da Club,” 50 Cent
“Get Low,” Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz
“Right Thurr,” Chingy
“Magic Stick,” Lil Kim featuring 50 Cent
“P.I.M.P.,” 50 Cent

2004 Albums
Encore, Eminem
The College Dropout, Kanye West
Kamikaze, Twista
Crunk Juice, Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz
Straight Outta Cashville, Young Buck

2004 Singles
“Lean Back,” Terror Squad
“Slow Motion” Juvenile featuring Soulja Slim
“99 Problems,” Jay Z
“Tipsy,” J-Kwon
“Slow Jamz,” Twista featuring Kanye West and Jamie Foxx

50 Cent

2005 Albums
Late Registration, Kanye West
Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101, Young Jeezy
The Documentary, Game
Tha Carter II, Lil Wayne
Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ Soundtrack, 50 Cent

2005 Singles
“Still Tippin’,” Mike Jones featuring Slim Thug and Paul Wall
“Stay Fly,” Three 6 Mafia featuring 8Ball & MJG and Young Buck
“Candy Shop,” 50 Cent featuring Olivia
“Gold Digger,” Kanye West featuring Jamie Foxx
“I’m A Hustla,” Cassidy

2006 Albums
King, T.I.
Fishscale, Ghostface Killah
Doctor’s Advocate, Game
The Inspiration: Thug Motivation 102, Young Jeezy
Tha Blue Carpet Treatment, Snoop Dogg


2006 Singles
“Hustlin’,” Rick Ross
“It’s Goin’ Down,” Yung Joc featuring Nitti
“Snap Yo Fingers,” Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz featuring E-40 & Sean Paul
“What You Know,” T.I.
“It’s Okay (One Blood),” Game featuring Junior Reid

2007 Albums
Graduation, Kanye West
Below The Heavens, Blu & Exile
American Gangster, Jay Z
Lupe Fiasco’s The Cool, Lupe Fiasco
T.I. Vs. T.I.P., T.I.

2007 Singles
“Can’t Tell Me Nothin,’” Kanye West
“Stronger,” Kanye West
“Shawty,” Plies featuring T-Pain
“This Is Why I’m Hot,” Mims
“Crank That,” Soulja Boy

Kanye West

2008 Albums
Tha Carter III, Lil Wayne
808s &Heartbreak, Kanye West
Paper Trail, T.I.
Trilla, Rick Ross
The Recession, Young Jeezy

2008 Singles
“Lollipop,” Lil Wayne featuring Static Major
“Swagga Like Us,” T.I. and Jay Z featuring Lil Wayne and Kanye West
“Love Lockdown,” Kanye West
“Live Your Life,” T.I. featuring Rihanna
“A Milli,” Lil Wayne

2009 Albums
The Blueprint 3, Jay Z
Man On The Moon: The End Of Day, Kid Cudi
Deeper Than Rap, Rick Ross
Relapse, Eminem
Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… Part II, Raekwon

Jay Z

2009 Singles
“Empire State Of Mind,” Jay Z featuring Alicia Keys
“Best I Ever Had,” Drake
“Forever,” Drake featuring Kanye West, Lil Wayne and Eminem
“Maybach Music 2,” Rick Ross featuring T-Pain, Kanye West and Lil Wayne
“Nothin’ On You,” B.o.B featuring Bruno Mars

2010 Albums
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Kanye West
Teflon Don, Rick Ross
Pilot Talk, Curren$y
Thank Me Later, Drake
Recovery, Eminem

2010 Singles
“Love The Way You Lie,” Eminem featuring Rihanna
“All Of The Lights,” Kanye West
“Monster,” Kanye West featuring Jay Z, Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross and Bon Iver
“B.M.F.,” Rick Ross featuring Styles P
“No Hands,” Waka Flocka Flame featuring Roscoe Dash and Wale


2011 Albums
Take Care, Drake
Watch The Throne, Jay Z and Kanye West
Cole World: The Sideline Story, J. Cole
Section.80, Kendrick Lamar
Rolling Papers, Wiz Khalifa

2011 Singles
“Niggas In Paris,” Jay Z and Kanye West
“Ima Boss,” Meek Mill featuring Rick Ross
“Rack City,” Tyga
“I’m On One,” DJ Khaled featuring Drake, Rick Ross and Lil Wayne
“Black And Yellow,” Wiz Khalifa

2012 Albums
good kid, m.A.A.d. city, Kendrick Lamar
Life Is Good, Nas
R.A.P. Music, Killer Mike
Trouble Man: Heavy Is The Head, T.I.
Dreams And Nightmares, Meek Mill

2012 Singles
“Thrift Shop,” Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz
“Stay Schemin’,” Rick Ross featuring Drake and French Montana
“All Gold Everything,” Trinidad Jame$
“Mercy,” Kanye West featuring Big Sean, 2 Chainz and Pusha T
“Swimming Pools (Drank),” Kendrick Lamar

2013 Albums
Yeezus, Kanye West
Magna Carta… Holy Grail, Jay Z
The Marshall Mathers LP 2, Eminem
My Name Is My Name, Pusha T
Nothing Was The Same, Drake

J. Cole

2013 Singles
“Type Of Way,” Rich Homie Quan
“Versace,” Migos
“Started From The Bottom,” Drake
“Control,” Big Sean featuring Kendrick Lamar and Jay Electronica
“Power Trip,” J. Cole featuring Miguel ♠

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  • icon kain

    Are you serious . NOT 1! tupac song on the whole list. But This same mag gave him his own issues and declared him the grates raper of all time. but yet he isn’t on this list. How can you make a list of the best songs and albums and not add the grates rapper of all time. That makes no scenes. you contradicted your-self. And u Call yourself a hip-hop mag. Witch one of yall don’t like pac in the XXL mag office (lol).


      because pac is overrated .

      • Thomas M. Rowe Jr.

        What makes him overrated? You mean he got too much recognition and adornment ?

  • ┼ JOE GERKƎN ┼

    not a single pac mention? wtf xxl

  • R-Lene Beaulieu

    ware the hell is Pac?? ya’ll got this shit messed up! he shuda been on this list! VERY DISSAPOINTED!

  • Mr. Hall

    No Pac? TERRIBLE!!

  • biccchhh

    yall nggaz candy no pac?fuccc yall niggaz

  • Kenshinxxx

    No 2Pac, fuck your list!

  • C

    no G Thang, but like 5 Lil Jon albums n songs?

  • Ja3s0n22

    LOL, no tupac, but a lot of Lil’ Jon….weird. Nice for the older stuff though.

  • DC95

    So XXL gives Hell Hath No Fury a classic “XXL” rating, yet it doesn’t make the list for best albums in 2006?!??! Yea, that just makes perfect sense…

  • mason

    you guys seriously put soul on ice over it was written in 1996, and left off If iruled the world. And where the hell is made you look? Pass the couvoseir? Seriously.

    • Marcus Thomas

      ras kass “soul on ice” is a classic Hip Hop album. take the time and listen to it. songs like “nature of the threat”. that is what u call genius. unbelievable. also “sonset” is a dope track. just listen to the album. it is very deep. if u like nas, i think u would really like this shit.

  • Ill Tune

    you have no 2pac no eazy e and they didnt even put B.G song BLING BLING isnt even on the list for singles or lil wayne go dj

  • Ill Tune

    you have no 2pac no eazy e and they didnt even put B.G song BLING BLING isnt even on the list for singles or lil wayne go dj

  • derek

    No Tupac? wth? XXL your overated!

  • Sniffle’s Friend

    I don’t understand this list. Is this supposed to be the best albums of those years? There’s a lot of wack ish on here. Like why is Encore on the list?

  • John Raymond

    Listen guys, these lists started in the 1970s, and at the time, there were more commercial stuff than 2Pac’s music, which is what they’re looking for

  • Anthony Luis Maldonado

    No Big Pun? WTF

  • Crooked as a Lawyer

    2K99 Samples of Evaporation


  • Alleyesonme86

    Agree with a lot of the comments posted, no tupac?! Absolute shocker!! How can you have a list of all time great hip hop songs and not have one of the illest hip hop artists of all time on it?! What not even changes? Dont get me wrong some great tracks on your list but you let yourselves down xxl!! lol

  • VJ

    No 2Pac on the list really irks me. That’s an insult and travesty in and of itself. Also, I’m a die hard Eminem fan and even I know Encore shouldn’t be on that list.

  • TeaTree

    Thrift Shop?! LMAO!!! Never heard it on only Urban /Hip-Hop and R&B stations seems like you niggas just gotta appease your white masters. No Pac? EVERY Eminem album? Relapse, Recovery, and Encore shouldn’t be anywhere near this list!

  • Thomas M. Rowe Jr.

    Yea I dnt need to repeat it really but I am, yall on some bullshit.

  • Kevin DiMitre’s Pop Harrison

    This list is a horrible Misrepresentation of the west coast in the 90s I’m embarrass to share this list I need facts behind some of these choices

  • Marcus Thomas

    im glad they had my boy ras kass in there for his classic 1996 album soul on ice, but i was surprised they listed it. no 2pac, what about salt n pepa “black magic”? not even a single? they had quite a few singles that was hot off that album. no rap a lot records material either except “minds playin tricks on me” by geto boys. i thought artist was limited to one album on here cuz i woulda expected to see both dmx’s platinum albums in 1998, but then i seen almost every eminem’s albums. last thing. where the fuck was CANIBUS? 40 years of Hip Hop? u KNOW canibus was that man in his prime.