On this day, Dec. 18, in hip-hop history...

2001: Following the success of the group's first two compilation albums, the Ruff Ryders drop Ryde or Die Vol. 3: In the "R" We Trust, which marked their third official LP as a crew, on Dec. 18, 2001.

Like its predecessors, Ryde or Die Vol. 3: In the "R" We Trust is a collaborative effort. Years before Jadakiss questioned why everybody was so mad at the South, he and his Ruff Ryder cohorts put their Southern connections on front street for Vol. 3. Contributions from Southern playas like Ludacris, Petey Pablo, David Banner and Bubba Sparxxx, the latter of whom spits alongside Jadakiss and Timbaland on the Timbo-produced single, “They Ain’t Ready,” appear throughout the 17-track LP. Keeping up the stream of mixing and matching, the East Coast and West Coast united on “Eastside Ryders,” which paired Styles P with the Long Beach tandem, Tha Eastsidaz.

During a period when DMX was engaged in a war of words with Ja Rule, Double R’s pitbull in a skirt, Eve linked up with Murder Inc. boss, Irv Gotti for the break-up anthem,“U, Me & She.” Well before he was sending invites to his hotel room, a young Cassidy appeared on the R' We Trust’s bonus cut, “Ruff Ryders All-Star Freestyle.”

The Ruff Ryders were one of the stronger hip hop crews of the late 1990s and early 2000s. Led by the multi-platinum, rap mega-star, DMX, the record label was comprised of a selection of top-rated lyricists, hard hitters and hit-makers, like Eve, Swizz Beats, Lox members Jadakiss, Sheek Louch and Styles P and others. Individual offerings, coupled with group compilations such as the Ryde or Die series, not only kept the Ruff Ryders on the charts, but also helped to cement their legacy. The third installment of the Ryde or Die franchise was later followed by a couple of Ruff Ryder squad reunions, including 2005’s Vol. 4: The Redemption and last year’s 20th Anniversary reunion tour.

Ruff Ryders/Interscope
Ruff Ryders/Interscope

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