Fifty is a big number, right?

Yet in surveying the vast output of rap music over the past 20 years, narrowing down a list of 50 truly great hip-hop albums worth highlighting proves to be a more challenging task than some might think.

Sure, there are several no-brainers—it’d be foolish to ignore The Blueprint, The Marshall Mathers LP, Get Rich or Die Tryin’, or good kid, m.A.A.d city, right?—but in an era where releases come fast and furious, and from all angles, there are a ton of dope projects that still demand replay value, from underground classics to mainstream monsters to regional royalty.

In narrowing down the field, we searched for the undeniable, the end-to-end burners, and the influential, and drummed up a shelf full of (relatively) recent records that we can vouch for, unequivocally.

The past double decades have served up a heap of hot releases. These are the best of the best. Add these to you preferred streaming list. Recommended listening below. —Luke Fox

See 50 of the Best Hip-Hop Albums Since 2000

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