The Top 20 NYC Rap Albums of All Time

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20. 50 Cent Get Rich or Die Tryin' (2003)
The coin drop. You know the one. Right off the top, before tape clicks and cues the building beat of "What Up Gangsta," 50 Cent makes his presence known--and it only takes a short seven second burst of sound. That's what 50 Cent does: He makes himself known. And with his debut studio album Get Rich Or Die Tryin', released in 2003, the rapper said hello to the entire world. Under the direction of Dr. Dre and Eminem, the record--which sold just under 900,000 copies in four days and has since been certified six-times platinum--has become a blueprint in how to create success in the rap game. It's also how 50 Cent became a name recognized by your grandpa. The lead singles "In da Club" and "21 Questions" are bouncy, radio-friendly jams, but tucked away are cuts that embody the attitude of the streets of 50's Jamaica, Queens. "Many Men (Wish Death)" carries obstinacy. "If I Can't" shows swag. "Heat" illustrates struggle. Get Rich's diversity of sound, combined with the rapper's mass appeal, speaks to 50 Cent's quality as a musician and a brand. -- Eric Sundermann

Any list of the Greatest New York Rap Albums of All Time is, essentially, a list of simply the Greatest Rap Albums of All Time. The genre was invented here, after all, and over the years -- from early days to Golden Age and onward-- the city's hip-hop history has been an embarrassment of riches. Fashioning this list, then, was no easy task, and though some of the albums on it are of the "DUH" variety, a couple may surprise you. Here now, our list of the Top 20 NYC Rap Albums of All Time, the complete list.

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Published on May 16, 2013

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