The Best of 2001 Hip Hop: A Comprehensive List

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


A comprehensive list of the best hip hop albums of 2001.


In 2001, the hip hop scene was booming. There were a slew of great albums released that year, spanning a wide range of styles and genres. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best hip hop albums of 2001.

Best Hip Hop Albums of 2001

2001 was a watershed year for Hip Hop. We saw the release of some of the most influential and significant albums in the genre, from both established artists and newcomers. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the best Hip Hop albums of 2001.

Outkast – Stankonia

Outkast’s fourth studio album, Stankonia, is one of the most influential hip hop albums of all time. It is a sprawling, ambitious work that seamlessly blends southern rap with a variety of other genres, including R&B, funk, and electronica. The result is an album that is both catchy and experimental, commercially successful and critically acclaimed.

Released in October 2000, Stankonia debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 chart and went on to be certified quadruple platinum by the RIAA. It won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album in 2002, and is widely considered to be one of the best hip hop albums of all time.

Jay-Z – The Blueprint

The Blueprint is the sixth studio album by American rapper Jay-Z, released on September 11, 2001, by Roc-A-Fella Records in the United States. Its release was set a week earlier than initially planned in order to combat music piracy. Recording sessions for the album took place during 2001 at laboratories in New York City.

The album is particularly notable for featuring production from Kanye West, who composed and produced three tracks on the album, including its lead single “Izzo (H.O.V.A.)”. The Blueprint received strong reviews from critics and was a commercial success, debuting at number one on the Billboard 200 and selling over 3 million copies in the United States. It became Jay-Z’s most critically acclaimed album and led to him being proclaimed as “the new king of hip hop”.

Nas – Stillmatic

Nas’ Stillmatic is one of the best hip hop albums of 2001. The album features Nas’ trademark flow and lyrics, and includes some of his best tracks, such as “Ether” and “Nas Is Like.” Stillmatic is a classic Nas album and one of the best hip hop albums of 2001.

Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP

The Marshall Mathers LP is the third studio album by American rapper Eminem. It was released on May 23, 2000, by Aftermath Entertainment, Interscope Records, and Eminem’s newly founded label, Shady Records in the United States, and on September 11, 2000, by Polydor Records in the United Kingdom. The album features more political commentary than his previous albums. The lyrics are often misogynistic and homophobic. The album was recorded over a two-month period in several studios. Dr. Dre and Eminem produced the majority of the tracks, while Mel-Man and The 45 King contributed to four songs each.

The Marshall Mathers LP debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 1.76 million copies, becoming the fastest-selling solo album ever in America at that time. In its second week, it remained atop the chart selling more than 323,000 copies. It produced three chart-topping singles – “The Real Slim Shady”, “Stan” and “The Way I Am” – that were some of Eminem’s most successful songs; they were responsible for raising his popularity outside of hip hop circles. As of 2019,owing to sales equivalence (2:1 CDs sold equivalent to oneLP record sold),the album was ranked as one of only 21 diamond-certified albums – Diamond being awarded for shipments over 10 million units – during Nielsen SoundScan history with shipments exceeding twelve million copies in America alone; in 2015 globally it had surpassed thirty million copies shipped .

Missy Elliott – Miss E… So Addictive

Missy Elliott’s third album is a master class in futuristic funk, with the Virginia rapper using her production skills to full effect. Backed by the Neptunes – who were on top form in 2001 – Elliott mixes elements of R&B, pop, and hip-hop to create a sound that’s both accessible and experimental. The result is one of the best hip-hop albums of the 21st century.

Best Hip Hop Songs of 2001

It’s been almost 20 years since 2001, but the music from that year still holds up. In fact, many consider 2001 to be one of the best years for Hip Hop. There are a ton of great songs from that year, but here are our picks for the best of the best.

Outkast – “Ms. Jackson”

“Ms. Jackson” is a song by American hip hop duo Outkast. It was released on October 3, 2000, as the second single from their fourth studio album, Stankonia. The song’s title refers to the mother of one of the rappers, André 3000 (André Benjamin), with whom she had a troubled relationship. “Ms. Jackson” is credited as having helped broaden the popularity of hip hop among music audiences, and is often cited as one of Outkast’s signature songs.

The original version of the song appeared on Outkast’s previous album, 2000’s Stankonia. “Ms. Jackson” was released as a single on October 3, 2000 and reached number one on both the Billboard Hot 100 chart and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, staying atop the former for five weeks and the latter for six weeks. It was Outkast’s second consecutive top 40 hit on the pop chart (following “B.O.B.”), peaking at number 35; to date it is their second biggest pop hit after 2006’s “Idlewild Blue (Don’t Chu Worry ‘Bout Me)”. The song additionally topped Billboard magazine’s Top 40 Tracks airplay chart for seven weeks straight from November 2000 to January 2001, making it one of only two songs in history to spend that many weeks at number one (the other being Destiny’s Child’s “Bootylicious”, which did so in 2001-2002). The single went on to win a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group in 2002.”

“Ms. Jackson” has been featured in various films and television episodes, including The Lego Movie (2014), Where’d You Go, Bernadette (2019), CBC Television sitcom Mr. D (2012) and Lip Sync Battle Philippines (2016).

Jay-Z – “Izzo (H.O.V.A.)”

“Izzo (H.O.V.A.)” is a song recorded by American rapper Jay-Z for his sixth studio album The Blueprint (2001). It was released as the album’s lead single on September 11, 2001, two days before the album was released. The song’s title is a reference to the word “hova”, one of several nicknames used to refer to Jay-Z. The song peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Jay-Z’s second consecutive top ten hit from The Blueprint.

Nas – “One Mic”

“One Mic” is a song by American rapper Nas. It was released on April 16, 2002 as the lead single from his fifth studio album, Stillmatic (2001). The song was produced by DJs Premier and the Alchemist. The song’s chorus samples ” survival of the fittest” by Mobb Deep.

Eminem – “The Real Slim Shady”

“The Real Slim Shady” is a song by American rapper Eminem from his third album The Marshall Mathers LP (2000). It was released as the lead single a week before the album’s release. The song features Dr. Dre and introduces Eminem’s alter ego, Slim Shady. “The Real Slim Shady” was very well received by music critics and is often cited as one of Eminem’s best songs. The single peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100 and number two on the UK Singles Chart. In June 2001, the song won an MTV Video Music Award for Best Rap Video. “The Real Slim Shady” would go on to reach platinum status in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States.

The song’s accompanying music video was directed by Joseph Kahn and features a cartoon version of Eminem in various humorous situations.

Missy Elliott – “Get Ur Freak On”

Missy Elliott’s “Get Ur Freak On” was one of the most popular hip hop songs of 2001. The song features a mix of elements from various genres, including: R&B, dance, electronic, and hip hop. “Get Ur Freak On” was nominated for Best Rap Solo Performance at the 2002 Grammy Awards.


Here are the best hip hop albums of 2001, as selected by the editors of XXL Magazine. This was a great year for hip hop, with a wide variety of sounds and styles represented.Among the standouts are Jay-Z’s “The Blueprint,” which is widely considered one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time, Eminem’s “The Marshall Mathers LP,” which won the Grammy for Best Rap Album, and Outkast’s “Stankonia,” which won the Grammy for Album of the Year. Other notable albums include Nas’ “Stillmatic,” Mos Def’s “Black on Both Sides,” and Missy Elliott’s “Miss E… So Addictive.”

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