On this day, Dec. 21, in hip-hop history...

2009: Lil Wayne and his band of rapper upstarts known as Young Money dropped their first compilation album, We Are Young Money, on Dec. 21, 2009.

Like notable rap compilations that came before it (from The Firm's The Album to The Dungeon Family's Even in Darkness), We Are Young Money combined and displayed all the best parts of the clique and made stars out of the key members.

At a time when Young Money was just 4-years-old, Wayne and Birdman had built up an extensive roster of artists and producers. Wayne, Drake, Nicki Minaj, Jae Millz, Gudda Gudda, Mack Maine, Tyga, T-Streets, Short Dawg, Shanell, Lil Twist and Lil Chuckee were all featured vocalists on the 15-track LP, while production credits included Chase N. Cashe, Cool & Dre, David Banner, Tha Bizness and Kane Beatz.

The album birthed more than a just couple smash hits for the group. "Every Girl," which was released in June of 2009 to tease the project, peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, while "BedRock" peaked at No. 14. Other sleeper hits included "Roger That," which Nicki killed, "Steady Mobbin,'" which was arguably the party anthem of '09, and a track that kept fans on their toes in "Streets Is Watchin'."

The LP as a whole debuted at No. 9 on the Billboard 200 and is certified gold in sales, undoubtedly a commercial success. Critics praised Young Money for giving all of its artists a chance to shine within one concise project and allowing the newer rappers to deliver bars.

In the long run, Drake and Nicki Minaj definitely separated themselves from the pack and would go on to be Young Money's most successful proteges. Of course, Wayne will always be Wayne.

Young Money/Cash Money
Young Money/Cash Money

See Photos of Lil Wayne's Different Looks Over the Years

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