if following some imaginary script, from 04 07, artists began to fall in
line with their roles, Kanye West became the kid in school destined for
greatness, but was way too concerned with his greatness, 50 Cent took on the
title as the Hip-Hop bully who can’t help but still be charismatic and popular,
Snoop was that guy whos been around forever but is still cooler than 99% of
the new kids, and the list goes on.
isn’t much to reminisce about seeing that 2004-2007 are still in the rearview
mirror, but there were definitely some defining moments. Who can forget the
disappointment that set in when people realized after a tease from The Fugees
that any probability of a full-fledged return is pretty much non-existent.
the first time, Southern rap acts dominated the charts, almost seizing every
single top 10 spot in some instances. However, somewhere along the way people
started declaring that Hip-Hop was dead (not sure who gave out that memo), how
many ringtones you sold foretold your popularity and Lil Wayne started
referring himself as the best rapper alive. Thats a lot in four years.
the floodgates were wide open and if you could make a song instructing
listeners to lean back, shoulder lean’, pop, lock and drop it, or shake
something, there was a reserved slot for you on the Top 100. A decline in
record sales had been occurring for years, but it didn’t stop artists from
snagging their shine elsewhere. During this time, more Hip-Hop oriented shows
than ever invaded television. From Flavor Flav, Missy Elliot, Salt-N-Pepa, Irv
Gotti, Lil Kim, and of course, Diddy; everyone was getting love from the tube.
Right now, when nearly every decent rapper is contemplating
retirement theres no telling what the next four years will bring. Luckily,
the Hip-Hop is dead sentiment seems to lose credibility each and every time a
solid album is released reminding us theres been no funeral and Hip-Hop dying
is NEVER an option.
2004 – Twista enjoys the biggest commercial success of his music career
when he drops, Kamikaze which includes
singles like “Overnight Celebrity”, and “Slow Jamz”
with Kanye West and Jamie Foxx.
2004 You Got Served, starring Omarion
and Marques Houston in an energetic film that focused on Hip-Hop
dance battles comes to theaters.
2004 – After years behind the beats, Kanye West drops his hit album, College
Dropout. College Dropout registers him in as the next rapper to blow up due to his ability
to touch on topics everyone can relate to. Through the Wire, Slow Jamz,
Jesus Walks were number one singles.
2004 – Madvillian (Comprised of MF Doom, and Madlib) drops Madvillainy, which was the wild card of the year possessing innovative tracks
and garnering critical acclaim for the tandem.
2004 After many delays dead prez drops their proper sophomore album RBG: Revolutionary
But Gangsta .
2004 Ghostface Killah having no qualms about staying consistent releases
The Pretty Toney Album.
May 11, 2004
– Pete Rock recruits some of Hip-Hop’s most talented to feature on his Soul
Survivor II. Slum Village, Talib Kweli, Kardinall
Offishall, and Little Brother are only a few of the artists who appear on
May 11, 2004
8Ball & MJG release Living Legends via Bad Boy Records.
June 1, 2004
– Masta Killa becomes the last Wu-Tang Clan member to release solo album
when he drops No Said Date.Summer 2004
– T.I and Ludacris both appear on Young Bucks, “Stomp” taking
obvious jibes at one another. Shortly after, representatives for T.I try
to urge Ludacris to change his verses for the track to be cleared for
Young Buck’s, Straight Outta Cashville but the rapper refuses. The original version of
“Stomp” that had found its way to several mixtapes was later
replaced with a remix that did not feature T.I.
2004 – Jadakiss uses a heavy selection of producers for his sophomore
album Kiss of Death, known for the
introspective hit, “Why” featuring Anthony Hamilton.
2004 – Lil Wayne releases Tha Carter; the album that truly puts him on the mainstream radar with the hit
single Go DJ.
2004 – Lloyd Banks releases drops The Hunger for More, making him the most widely acclaimed G-Unit member next to 50
2004 The Roots release, The Tipping Point, a ten track album featuring, Dont Say Nuthin, and
2004 – Terror Squads second album, True Story produces, Lean Back, one of the hottest anthems of the summer
2004 – Three years after his last album, Masta Ace drops A Long Hot
Summer. One of the year’s most creative
albums tells the story of “Ace”, an underground rapper during a
summer in Brooklyn.
10, 2004 Mobb Deep drops Amerikaz Nightmare on Jive
2004 Pitbulls debut M.I.A.M.I drops, instantly exposing the world to the Miami natives use of
fast paced beats, a hint of reggaeton, and Hip-Hop.
2004 – Retreating from retirement Mason Mase Betha releases his third
album, Welcome Back. However,
even after trying to connect with G-Unit he doesnt stay around long.
2004 G-Unit recruit Young Buck drops his debut, Straight Outta
2004 is a
busy year for rapper, Foxy Brown after she signs on with Roc-a-fella in a
deal with former mentor, Jay-Z; Around that time on August 29th
she finds herself in legal trouble after two manicurists accuse her of
physically attacking them over an unpaid bill.
28, 2004 After a two year hiatus, Talib Kwelis returns with A
Beautiful Struggle where he works
with Jean Grae, Common, and Mary J. Blige.
2004 – De La Soul’s The Grind Date arrives to the scene, shortly after, BET refuses to air
their Shopping Bags video claiming that the group doesn’t appeal to the
networks target audience.
2004 Mos Def drops his sophomore album, The New Danger. Mos Def’s controversial verses on “The Rape Over”,
exposing his opinions on who’s running Hip-Hop is taken off the final
2004 – VH1 begins its honorary Hip-Hop Honors show to celebrate the contributions
of legendary artists.
2004 He may have been retired (at the time) but that didnt stop Jay-Zs
documentary Fade to Black.
2004 Eminem’s Encore is released;
although still holding tight to the same style that hes infamous for, the
album also presents his more contemplative side on, “Mosh”,
“Mockingbird”, and “Like Toy Soldiers.”
2004 – ‘Ol Dirty Bastard collapses and is later pronounced dead, at first
it was thought to be heart failure until autopsy results indicated the
Wu-Tang Clan member had died of an accidental overdose.
2004 – During the VIBE awards, Dr. Dre is punched by Jimmy James Johnson
after refusing to grant an autograph, the following events take a turn for
the worst when Young Buck allegedly stabs the man in the chest, with a
2004 Snoop Dogg releases R&G: Rhythm and Gangsta.
16, 2004 – Lil Jon &The East Side Boyz release
Crunk Juice which capitalizes
on the success of the crunk sound that was infiltrating Hip-Hop.
30, 2004 – Nas Street Disciple, his first double disc studio album.
2004 Jay-Z teams up with rock group Linkin Park
for their highly successful, EP, Collision Course.
6, 2004 – Its in 2004 that the Stop Snitching campaign gains attention
when a man named Rodney Bethea released his DVD, called Stop
Snitching! to try and intimidate those who report
illegal activities to the authorities; after the DVD, Stop Snitchin
t-shirts hit the streets, including a version made by The Diplomats. Although
the maker claims it was strictly for entertainment the stop snitching
mentality doesn’t stray far from the attitude of some in Hip-Hop.
2004 – Camrons second solo album, Purple Haze re-emphasizes the Harlem rappers ability to make hits despite
audacious songs where he clearly portrays that lyrically hell say
whatever he wants.
2004 Ludacris releases The Red Light District which
features Number One Spot and Get Back.
2004 Xzibit drops Weapons of Mass Destruction.
2005 Missy Elliot seeks the next big female star in her reality TV show,
The Road to Stardom where 13
contestants compete for a chance at becoming a superstar (unfortunately,
we never saw much from the winner, Jessica Betts)
2005 – Pete Rock’s 2005 album The Surviving Elements: From Soul
Survivor II Sessions is released
without Pete Rock’s consent resulting in Pete suing the label for not
clearing some of the samples used on the album.
2005 – The Games highly anticipated debut, The
Documentary, is released and goes Gold in its first
2005 – 50 Cent announces, The Game has been kicked out of G-Unit and begin
a feud stemming from 50s disapproval of the Compton rapper stating he
refuses to take part in any drama 50 Cent has with other Hip-Hop artists;
following months later would be a litany of diss records made until a
press conference in Harlem seemed to end the rivalry, but the truce was
short lived as they went back after each other shortly after denouncing
one another’s credibility.
2005 – 50 Cents highly anticipated sophomore album, The
Massacre hits shelves.
2005 – Stepping away from the big screen, Will Smith returns with Lost and
Found, his fifth album.
2005 State Property 2 revisits, street
hustler Beans (Beanie Sigel) who struggles to regain his lock on the drug
game after being released from prison, like the original, several Hip-Hop
artists appeared in the film directed and produced by Damon Dash.
2005 With Who is Mike Jones? , Mike
Jones finally gains more notoriety than with his debut album.
2005 The Outlawz release, Outlawz 4 Life:2005 A.P, the A.P referring to After Pac.
May 2, 2006
Mobb Deep drops their first album as G-Unit artists Blood Money. Prodigy gives Jesus the finger on Pearly Gates
while many of their longtime fans get past their new affiliations.
24, 2005 Common drops BE and
everyone get on board with the lyricist again after the iffy reception of Electric
Circus. Kanye West executive produces.
Mobb Deep and M.O.P. announce they have signed to 50 Cents G-Unit
2005 Fat Joes All or Nothing featuring heavy production from Cool & Dre and DJ Khaled hits
the streets, the Bronx rapper’s album
also arrives around the same time the war of the words between himself and
50 Cent starts to ignite.
2005 The Ying Yang Twins fourth album, U.S.A
(United States of Atlanta) is
released in time for hardcore summer airplay with Wait (The Whisper
Song) and Shake featuring Pitbull.
2005 – Karrine Steffans, better known as Superhead releases her tell-all
book, Confessions of a Video Vixen where
she rattles of names her sexcapades with several of Hip-Hop and Hollywood leading
men in candid detail; the book became a best seller.
July 2005 –
Khia says that she considers herself the Queen of the South downplaying
the success of Trina and Jackie-O who she claims use sex to sell, this
launches a series of songs aimed toward each other between Khia and Trina.
July 2, 2005
The film Hustle and Flow stars Terrence
Howard as DJay, a down on his luck drug dealing pimp who dreams of making
it big as a rapper. The soundtrack for the movie featured Three Six
Mafias “It’s Hard Out Here For a Pimp, which earns the group an
July 5, 2005
– Missy Elliot serves up new material with The
Cookbook, her sixth album with, Lose Control
featuring Ciara and Fatman Scoop, and We Run This heightening its
July 6, 2005
– Lil Kim is sentenced to a year and a day in prison for perjury stemming
from her testimony regarding a shooting outside of Hot 97s offices.
2005 – Young Jeezy drops, Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101, his first “studio” album.
2005 P. Diddy does a switch up again. Appearing on The Today
Show he announces hes now known as Diddy.
2005 – The last of the G-Unit crew to drop his own solo album, Tony Yayo’s
Thoughts of a Predicate Felon is
2005 – Following the disaster of Hurricane Katrina, an incensed Kanye West
appears on a NBC fundraising concert special where he steers away from the
status quo by erupting on TV with his dismay at the portrayal of black
victims of Hurricane Katrina before ultimately stating George Bush
doesnt care about black people.
20, 2005 Paul Wall drops his debut album, The
25, 2005 Lil Kim releases The Naked Truth.
27, 2005 – Most Known Unknown, by Three
Six Mafia drops; “Stay Fly”, at that time became the Tennessee
group’s most successful hit, along with “Poppin My Collar.”
2005 MTV premiers Runs House, a reality
TV show that focuses on Joseph Reverend Run Simmons family life.
2005 Bun Bs solo album Trill is released.
2005 During Howard Us Homecoming weekend Camron is shot at the wheel
of his car after refusing to give up his Lamborghini to a carjacker;
Camron later goes on record saying he would not cooperate with police to
investigate who shot him because he doesnt believe in snitching.
27, 2005 – After a nasty rivalry that had begun in ’01, Jay-Z and Nas stun
an audience during one of Jay-Zs I Declare War concerts by performing
together a rendition of Jay-Zs classic, Dead Presidents and other songs
officially calling a truce between two of Hip-Hops most influential
2005 The film Get Rich or Die Tryin , 50 Cents semi-autobiographical life story, is released in
theaters; although it manages to illustrate the harshness of the street
life, the film wasnt without controversy over 50s movie posters which
show the rapper with a gun, also high profile actor, Samuel L.
Jackson spoke out this time citing his disapproval in general with artists
who move from the mic to film.
2005 The Boondocks, Aaron McGruders
smart, witty, and line pushing satirical cartoon premiers. Based off
Aaron McGruders comic strip, the cartoon cleverly exposes cultural
stereotypes with little restraint. The animated series features the
voices of Samuel L. Jackson, Xzibit, Sway, Mos Def, Kat Williams and
Charlie Murphy as recurring characters (Its pretty sad when a
cartoon is the realest show on TV).
2005 – The Sound
of Revenge, Chamillionaires first album,
ultimately would go platinum off the top single, “Ridin.”
2005 – Irving “Irv Gotti” Lorenzo and his brother Chris are
cleared of money laundering charges after nearly two years of
investigation. Prior to the ruling, The Inc. was heavily
investigated for its dealings with high profile drug dealer, Kenneth
2005 Lil Waynes Tha Carter II is released.
2005 News circulates that rapper, Foxy Brown has gone partially deaf
stunting the progress of her impending project, Black Roses.
2006 – Flavor Flav of Public Enemy gets his own reality TV show, Flavor of
Love, where dozens of young beautiful women
compete to capture the hypemans heart.
2006 – Remy Ma releases her debut Theres Something about Remy: Based on a True Story.
10, 2006 James Jay Dee/J Dilla Yancey passes away only three days
after his birthday and the release of his instrumental album, Donuts.
2006 – Dave Chappelle’s Block Party was the comedian’s documentary following a block party he threw in
Brooklyn in 2004 where he invited dozens
of artists such as Dead Prez, Kool G Rap, Bilal, The Fugees, Kanye
West, and more to perform.
2006 – BET follows the days of Lil Kim before she begins serving her
prison sentence on Countdown to
2006 T.Is King comes out around
the same time as the film, ATL
(March 31), both which shone the light of T.I as a rapper and budding
2006 – Ghostface drops another heater of an album with Fishscale.
2006 ATL, a coming of age story about four
friends preparing for life after high school hits theaters, T.I, Big Boi,
Lauren London, Evan Ross all appear in the film.
2006 – Proof of D-12 is shot in the head and killed outside of the CCC
Club in Detroit.
DJ Drama and Lil Wayne drops the highly successful Dedication 2 mixtape.
May 30, 2006
Shawnna drops her sophomore album Block Party which features the Too Short sampling “Gettin Some.”
2006 Jay-Z launches a boycott against Cristal and also bans the
champagne from being sold at his 40/40 Club establishments after the head
of the company that makes Cristal eludes to the fact that rappers drinking
and promoting Cristal can have a negative impact on the brands
July 3, 2006
Lil Kim is released from the Philadelphia Federal Detention Center following
her 2005 guilty conviction for perjury involving the 2001 shooting outside
2006 Pharrell of The Neptunes releases his solo album, In My Mind.
2006 – DMX’s Year of the Dog…Again makes it to
number two on the charts proving despite legal troubles, fans still were
feeling DMX’s rugged style of rap; however for the rapper, it broke his
streak of having all five of his first albums reaching number one.
2006 – 4:21: The Day After by Method
Man is released.
2006 – Rick Ross steps on the scene with his debut album, Port of
August 25, 2006 Big
Boi and Andre 3000 star in the film/musical Idlewild.
26, 2006 Ludacris drops the Grammy winning Release Therapy; the album presents a more introspective Ludacris.
17, 2006 – Diddy was ready to get back on music charts when he released, Press Play, his third solo album.
2006 – Lil Wayne and his surrogate father Birdman released their
collaborative project, Like Father, Like Son.
2006 Jay-Z goes on the record with 105.1s Egypt and denies any devil
worshipping allegations after C. Craige Lewis from EX Ministries
interprets lyrics as such in a Jay-Z song from The Black
Album (Note: Craige Lewis is the same minster
who has a Truth Behind Hip Hop DVD where he claims to expose the dark side
2006 AZ, whose never leaves the rap scene for too long,releases
his sixth album, The Format.
2006 The Game, sets out on his own without the help of 50 Cent or Dr.
Dre for his second album, The Doctors Advocate.
November 21, 2006 – Jay-Z drops his first post-retirement album,
2006 – Following in the footsteps of Karrine Steffans, Carmen Bryan’s tell
all book, It’s No Secret hits stores.
Carmen, Nas’ ex-girlfriend and mother of his daughter who was at the
center of his feud with Jay-Z elaborates in the book on her relationships
with both artists.
2006 The Clipse finally release the groups much delayed album, Hell Hath
18, 2006 – Hip Hop is Dead, Nas’s first
album with Def Jam arrives; the inspiration for the title is due to the lack
of power he feels rap artists have in their own careers, however many
Southern rappers responded to the veteran rapper’s title negatively as
they perceived Nas to be referring to the South.
2007 The Aphilliates offices are raided and DJ Drama and Don Cannon are
arrested on racketeering charges stemming from their sales of mixtapes.
Nice use of taxpayer money.
2007 Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five become the first rap acts in
history to be inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame.
3, 2007 – Taking a break from just bein the man behind the beats,
Timbaland releases his second solo album, Shock Value filled with chart toppers like The Way I Are, and Apologize.
2007 Rich Boys self entitled first album is released ; his first single
is Throw Some Ds that drew tremendous attention to the Alabama rapper.
2007 – Radio talk show host, Don Imus causes controversy when he refers to
the Rutgers Womens basketball team, who are predominantly black, as
nappy headed hoes, following the controversy and his boot from his
position (which he later acquired back months later) he issues an apology
for offending anyone, and goes on to say that Hip-Hop was to blame for his
comments (yeah, ok) as the genre promotes derogatory statements about
2007 – Before getting down with Dr. Dre and Aftermath Entertainment, Joell
Ortiz releases The Brick (Bodega Chronicles).
April 2007 –
Atlanta Falcons football player, Michael Vick finds himself in deep
trouble when police probe an investigation into a dog fighting ring that
ran from his VA home.
27, 2007 Young Buck drops his sophomore album, Buck The World.
Confirming rumors of a split, rapper Jim Jones tells Miss Jones of Hot 97
he hasnt spoken to Camron in a year.
May 22, 2007
After nearly twenty years of rivalry, KRS-One and Marley Marl attempt to
refute the Hip-Hop is chatter with a collaborative album titled Hip Hop
2007 – Stack Bundles, widely known for his association with The Diplomats,
is shot and killed outside his house in Queens at the age of 24.
2007 – Miami’s DJ Khaled drops his album We The Best featuring an all star roster of talent including Trick Daddy, Lil
Wayne, Cassidy, Rick Ross, Young Jeezy, Akon and T.I.
2007 As a result of a feud that never quite dissolved between T.I and
Ludacris, T.I punches Ludacris manager, Chaka Zulu in the face at a
luncheon, T.I later apologizes and it’s reported the two rappers squash
their rivalry for once and all.
3, 2007 T.I. releases his new album, T.I vs T.I.P, within a year of his last one
2007 Remy Ma surrenders herself to authorities following a shooting
outside a Manhattan pizzeria. She is sought on charges of shooting a
friend over a financial dispute.
2007 Rappers Ja Rule and Lil Wayne are both arrested within hours of one
another for separate gun charges.
2007 Common drops another fresh album with Finding
2007 – UGKs album Underground Kingz is released, featuring the single International Player’s Anthem
(I Choose You) featuring Outkast.
2007 Plies drops The Real Testament which includes the 100 Bars, one of the realest and harshest Hip-Hop
songs about the correctional system in years.
2007 – It was evident that Hip-Hop is doing something right when Forbes Magazine
has a Hip Hop Cash King section; Jay-Z tops the list for his 2006
2007 – Swizz Beatz releases his solo album, One
2007 – Despite, reuniting for a TV performance on the 2005 BET awards and
a European tour, Pras of The Fugees confirms there will be no Fugees album
in the near future or distant future and attributes it to Lauryn ahem, Ms.
2007 It hasnt seemed like the 2007 has been the year for female
rappers; Foxy Brown is officially charged for several incidents including
breaking probation by assaulting a Florida
11, 2007 50 Cent and Kanye West engage in an album sale competition,
each one claiming they can sell more than the other their first week with Curtis and Graduation, respectively. 50
Cent even felt so confident as to say if Kanye beat him hed retire from
rap (comments he later took back), while Kanye changed his release date
for the friendly battle. The winner in the competition was Kanye Wests Graduation, though both albums have done successful numbers on the charts.
18, 2007 – Not caring if he lost cool points or not, Chamillionaire
releases, The Ultimate Victory, which
contains no curse words as the rapper explains he doesnt need them
to shine on wax.
2007 – Soulja Boys Crank Dat (Soulja Boy Tellem) stays at the top of
charts for weeks while sweeping the nation provoking everyone to do
the Soulja Boy, after speculations began about just what the 17 year-old
meant by superman that h**, Soulja Boy claimed that his song was just a
song and had no sexual connotations at all.
– In what was eventually termed Fiascogate, Lupe Fiasco messes up the
words to A Tribe Called Quests, Electric Relaxation during a
performance at VH1s Hip Hop Honors Award show. Following criticism of his
performance, Fiasco goes on to claim he never listened to ATCQ and was
inspired by west coast rap and was asked by Q-Tip to perform, in a chain
reaction of events including Q-Tip stating he never asked Lupe to perform
and Lupe threatening to sue VIBE in reference to an interview, the
situation eventually dies down well before the rapper’s sophomore album is
2007 – Soulja Boys debut, souljaboytellem.com
2007 – Casting calls begin for a movie about the life of the Notorious
B.I.G., slated for a 2009 release.
2007 – At a time when T.I should have been celebrating his rank as one of
the biggest artists in Hip-Hop, hes facing gun charges that stem from an
incident when the Atlanta rapper tried to pick up machine guns and
firearms outside of an Atlanta Walgreens; T.I was concurrently being
investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol. Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
due to a tip off from one of T.Is bodyguards who was delivering
information to law officials.
2007 – Salt-n-Pepa reunite for their VH1 show, The Salt N
Pepa Show that centers on the twosome
redeveloping their friendship after years apart.
2007 – Gotti’s Way premiers on VH1
following Irv Gotti’s quest to rebuild up The Inc. as well as his struggle
to balance between the demands of the music business and dealing with his
2007 Denzel Washington portrays former drug lord, Frank Lucas in American
Gangster alongside Russell Crowe as the adamant
detective seeking to bring down his drug ring.
2007 Excelling at what he does best, Jay-Z churns out another album
named and inspired by the film, American Gangster; the tracks on American Gangster reinvent the enthusiasm for his music that some seem to have lost
following Kingdome Come.
2007 – Kanye Wests mother, Dr. Donda West, passes away from complications
resulting from cosmetic surgery.
2007 – Pimp C, of UGK is found dead in a Los
Angeles hotel room, mystery clouds his death until autopsy reports later
indicate the Texas rapper’s death was caused by an accidental overdose of
codeine and promethazine and sleep apnea.
2007 – Wu Tangs 8 Diagrams is released
featuring all eight member, minus Ol Dirty Bastard to which they dedicate
a song to called, Life Changes. Raekwon doesnt like the beats.
2007 – Lupe Fiascos sophomore album, The Cool, exudes with introspection, stunning tracks and well thought out
themes. Superstar, Dumb it Down, and Hip Hop Saved Me are the tracks
which help push along The Cools sales.