The first decade of the 21st century is coming to an end in a few days. We decided to reflect on some of the moments that made the decade what it was…
Top Ten Music Highlights of the Decade
parts 1 & 2
10. King of Hip-Hop
Somehow in the last decade Jay-z found a way to claim the vacant throne in Hip-Hop. He kept his name in the minds of Hip-Hop aficionados by setting trends and stepping up as an executive. The Roc-a-fella dynasty crumpled but Jay managed to survive through it. He also remained above water through a Hip-Hop battle among heavyweights that many believe he lost, a retirement and a marriage. Seems it doesn’t matter what he does, he is mister consistent and until further notice: King!
9. The Emergence of Eminem
Although his debut album was released before the turn of the millennium, Eminem still made a huge impact on music in the last decade with all he was able to accomplish. He actually dominated the decade with overall album sales of any genre selling 32.2 million copies despite taking 5 years off. The five year lay-off may be the only reason he is so high on this list.
Upon his return with Relapse, this year he has already sold 1.56 million copies, and that was before the re-release was issued last week. Only Jay-z has sold more Hip-Hop albums this year.
Eminem didn’t just dominate Hip-Hop, he also found a way to dominate the box office with his movie 8 mile released in 2002. The movie soundtrack single ‘Lose Yourself’ won two Grammy Awards in addition to 7 other Grammy wins for Eminem and several other award nomonations and wins throughout his career.
He was even voted by fans as being the greatest MC of all time in a poll done by MTV. Not bad for a white rapper from Detroit.
8. Reality T.V. Consumes Us
I’m not sure why anyone thought it was a good idea to do reality television shows, but in the first ten years of the millennium reality shows were a must have and it was only a matter of time before artists jumped on the trend. It started with American Idol in 2002, then Making The Band, which were both cool because their goals were to try to find new talent. When the reality shows evolved and Flavor of Love happened, T.V. changed forever and artists promotion took a turn for the worse. Flavor Flav of Public Enemy was actually looking for “love” on national television for 2 years! And people watched it!!!
In the last ten years Missy Elliott, Ray J, MC Search, Yo Yo, Lil’ Mama, The entire Simmons’ Family, Nas, Kelis, Lil’ Kim, Keyshia Cole, Mario, Monica, Lil’ Wayne’s first baby mama, and 50 Cent have all been involved in reality shows in one way or another. And in years to come you can expect more including new shows from Mary J. Blige, Fantasia and more!
7. Mimi Returns
It’s hard to find R & B moments that are big enough to fit into this list, but if there is one, it has to be what Mariah Carey was able to do with her career via the comeback album, The Emancipation of Mimi. After Glitter, the horrible movie/album critics had counted Mariah out and with a flop for her album Charmbracelet a year later it looked as if there was no saving her career. But in 2005 Carey teamed with L.A. Reid signing to Def Jam and hooked up with Jermaine Dupri for her lead singles and just like that Mariah got her groove back.
The Emancipation of Mimi sold 6 million albums in the United States alone, and went 10X platinum worldwide. With three number one singles from the album she reached 17 number one singles overall tying her with Elvis for the most number one singles ever.
Mariah has since released two more successful albums and with her critically acclaimed role in Precious, it seems her acting career is back on track as well.
Everybody loves a good comeback story and Mariah gave us one.
6. The South Takes Over Hip-Hop
Although there were always artists representing the South, their impact reached new heights in the late 90’s, specifically around ’99 with the emergence of Southern lyrical artists like Ludacris. At the turn of the millennium the South kept the momentum they had created and increased their demand more than ever.
The movement caught wind when Lil’ Jon seemed to link everyone from below the Mason Dixon line together via his production and guest appearances. From there the movement was simply unstoppable. From Dj Khaled and Rick Ross in Florida to UGK and the whole Houston, Texas movement, to the stronghold on New Orleans by Cash Money back to the King of the South T.I. in Atlanta supported by the likes of Jeezy and the aforementioned Ludacris, the South is truly dominating music. So much so even R & B artists are all representing the South more than ever.
Used to be a strike against you if you were from the South, who would have thought a few years later it would be the other way around?