Comparing Jay Z, 50 Cent And LL Cool J At Age 35

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New York has spawned some of the biggest rap stars on the planet since the genre was born in the Bronx in the 1970s. But despite the wide-ranging success of groups like A Tribe Called Quest, Wu-Tang Clan, Beastie Boys and De La Soul—among a host of others—the city’s most commercially successful artists have usually been solo rappers such as LL Cool J, Jay Z and 50 Cent, all of whom have enjoyed sustained careers into their late 30s, at least, and all of whom have claimed the status as the top rapper in the game at some point along the way.

XXL decided to dig a little deeper into the matter, taking a microscopic look at three of New York City’s best MCs, letting the facts speak for themselves and running down the highlights of LL, Jay and 50′s careers by the the time they turned 35, using age as a benchmark. The results are a lot closer than you’d expect. Suffering from success. —Miranda Johnson (@Randa_Writes)

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  • Lisa M

    men lie, women lie, numbers don’t…. GOAT = HOVA

    • Craig

      yeah with the number ones, but jay has had more dud an throwaway songs than 50 Cent, the GUnit mixtapes could have been albums, plus he only just started dropping terrible songs and it all started with “I’m On It” his worse song.

      And LL Cool J aint coming back from that accidental racist song, theres no denying his past work, but it seems his mindset has gotten worse along with 50. But Yeah I would say Jay is the top Guy Until kanye takes his spot, Kanye is better than jay anyway. I’d love to see Kanye on this list cause he belongs.

      1. Jay 2. 50 3. Kanye 4. LL

      • kandy830

        My Uncle Zachary recently got a 9
        month old Mercedes-Benz CL-Class CL63 AMG only from working off a home pc… go
        now F­i­s­c­a­l­P­o­s­t­.­ℂ­o­m

        • Mr Smarty Pants


          • Truth Teller

            Thank you . I’m Getting tired of that nigga man

      • osterberg501

        Even though “I’m on it” was terrible he has been going back to his old style and making quality material. 50 also pretty much made the mix tape formula used now a thing.

    • dumb bitch

      I love jayz but, Shut. Tha. Fuck. Up.

  • cheesecurl

    did this mutheflippa just say rap started in the bronx naa naa you so wrong

  • Clondyke Classic

    Chamillionaire never had no beef wit 50 punk ass. 50 just made a weak ass comment about Cham not cursing in his music and Cham responded like a G

    • Ned Flanders

      what the hell, does that have anything to do with this ?

      • Clondyke Classic

        Cuz it listed the so-called “beefs” they had in their careers and Cham was on there

        • Ned Flanders

          oh ok, I see it now.. I didn’t see that there were more pages…my bad bro

  • jködjidisdnöas

    50 was 24-25 when potd dropped not 27

    • Ghost

      GRODT was his first album. POTD wasn’t released

  • Kaleo Heavyweightchamp Griffin

    No nas? Really not true list of nyc top mc clearly. 50 matches jayz commercial success. But his mix tapes rule the underground. And they are free.

  • Gilbert Gortarez

    OH How I would love to challenge the “Author” of this ridiculous article. This person has no or very little knowledge of Hip Hop. If you are going to make a comparison please make it fair and give accurate stats. You put that LL Cool J had only 6 platinum albums by 2003. Very inaccurate. Let me educate you. Album 1. “Radio”….Platinum, Album 2. “Bigger & Deffer”…. Platinum, Album 3. “Walking with a Panther”…. Platinum, Album 4. “Momma said Knock You Out”…. Platinum, Album 5. 14 shots to the dome….. Gold, Album 6. “Mr Smith”….. Platinum, Album 7. “All World”…. Platinum. (quick note) That’s 6, Hope he doesn’t have anymore platinum albums. Sorry but Phenomenon, G.O.A.T. & 10 all went Platinum. Hmmmmmm I’m counting 9, if you want to take out “All World” like you did that’s 8!!! Also you have Jay Z being born in 1969 then dropping his first album at 25 that would be 1994. So if he started in 1994 and turned 35 in 2004 that would be 10 years. Look they are all Great and all deserve the respect of a more qualified reporter giving accurate facts.