2000 - A Year In Rap

The year 2000 of course signals the beginning of a new decade and the end of what many consider to be hip hop's greatest era, the 90s. The year 2000 marked a turning point for the Indie scene with artists such as De La Soul, DJ Premier and others proving to the so called 'back pack' fraternity that credibility and club friendly / commercial music could co-exist. It's a landmark year for us here at Classic Material since it was the last year covered by our initial series of events and mixes. There have of course been a number of follow up projects, but it's the year that closes our year by year run down. Below is a snapshot of some of the year's key mainstream events, produced this time with the assistance of Dream Door's hip hop timeline:

- Outkast continues to sit at the cutting edge of mainstream hip-hop with their fourth LP, 'Stankonia'. As praised as their previous work and containing their two biggest commercial hits thus far, the group graduate from critics' darlings to superstars.

- Eminem's second album, 'The Marshall Mathers LP', is a huge hit, (eventually becoming one of the best-selling rap albums of all-time). A more personal album than his previous one, (but even more inflammatory), it catapults Em into rap superstardom and creates controversy for its homophobic content. Despite a small backlash, he maintains credibility in the hip-hop community while remaining immensely popular (and controversial) outside of it.

- Jay-Z continues his reign as a figurehead of mainstream hip-hop with the release of 'Dynasty: Roc-La-Familia', an album featuring up and coming artists from the Roc-A-Fella Records label, founded by Jay-Z with business partner Damon Dash.

- Building on his semi-reunion with Snoop Dogg on 1999's successful comeback effort '2001', Dr. Dre reunites with former NWA bandmates Ice Cube and MC Ren on the single, 'Hello,' from Cube's album, 'War & Peace, Vol. 2'.

- St. Louis-based rapper Nelly debuts with 'Country Grammar'. The album is a monster hit, it's success (and that of other rappers from New Orleans, Houston, and Detroit) prove that hip-hop has moved farther away from bi-coastal domination.

- Superstar Latino rapper Big Pun (pictured) dies of heart attack aged just 29.

- Shunning fame and the spotlight, acclaimed MC/singer/songwriter Lauryn Hill goes into self-imposed seclusion.

 
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