The 21 Best Hip-Hop Albums of the 21st Century

Looking at the best hip-hop albums of this century, who truly ranks as the undisputed king?

According to Business Insider, based on popularity and sales, Drake currently reigns as the ‘King of Hip-Hop.’

With over 100 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as holding Spotify and Apple Music streaming records, it’s not hard to see why.

But, did you know that according to reviews aggregator, Drake’s albums have an average score of 77?

So much for the ‘King of Hip-Hop.’

Breaking down the best hip-hop albums of this century, you won’t find big names like Eminem nor Dr. Dre.  You also won’t find Lil Wayne, Ludacris, Kodak Black, nor Nas.  Instead, you’ll find Kendrick Lamar and Outkast holding the top spots.

Today, Digital Music News ranks the best hip-hop albums according to their Metascore.  You can see the list below in descending order.


21. Jay-Z – The Blueprint


20. The Roots – Undun

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19. Common – Black America Again


18. Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels 3


17. Saigon – The Greatest Story Never Told


16. Clipse – Hell Hath No Fury


15. Vince Staples – Big Fish Theory


14. Missy Elliott – Miss E… So Addictive


13. Run the Jewels – RTJ2


12. Big Boi – Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty


11. The Streets – Original Pirate Material


10. A Tribe Called Quest – We Got It From Here…Thank You 4 Your Service


9. The Streets – A Grand Don’t Come For Free


8. Kendrick Lamar – Good Kid, M.A.A.D City


7. Outkast – Speakerboxxx / The Love Below


6. Dizzee Rascal – Boy In Da Corner


5. Madvillain – Madvillainy


4. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy


3. Outkast – Stankonia


2. Kendrick Lamar – DAMN.


1. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly


Image by Merlijn Hoek (CC by 2.0)

Album images used under ‘Fair Use’ for journalistic reasons.

5 Responses

  1. Tripple Shit Boy

    You have to run through damn near 45 years of mythical poets to get to the top of that list. Fuck the white man and his cracker charts . African music is tired of you trying to own our culture and way of communicating with the internal codes of X the nation . . .

  2. Reality

    This is kind of correct. I’m surprised critics have been getting it right.

  3. Julian

    It’s not too far off, anyway. Not sure how Hell Hath No Fury would beat out Lord Willin’, but what do i know. And The Streets show up twice, really? their 2nd album is not all that. first one is great.

    Also, no big, pac, nas?

    but apparently numbers tell no lies!