The 30 Greatest Months in Rap History

30. October 2000

Notable Events:
- The NBA beefs with Allen Iverson over his rap song
- Jedi Mind Tricks' Violent By Design is released on 10/3/2000
- M.O.P.'s Warriorz is released on 10/10/2000
- Ja Rule's Rule 3:36 is released on 10/10/2000
- Reflection Eternal's Train of Thought is released on 10/17/2000 
- Ludacris' Back for the First Time is released on 10/17/2000 
- Jay-Z's The Dynasty: Roc La Familia is released on 10/31/2000 
- Binary Star's Masters Of The Universe is released on 10/31/2000 
- OutKast's Stankonia is released on 10/31/00  

October 2000 was one of those months where, depending on what part of the country you were in, the headlines were dramatically different. In New York, Jay-Z’s The Dynasty: Roc La Familia took the sheen of Vol 3… and amplified it to the nth power: No longer were rappers-with-oil-money-rapped fantasies enough, but songs now had to sound like they were produced with oil money, too.

Back in Brooklyn not too far from Hov’s origin, M.O.P. knew they were about to get every block party, fight, and teenage locker room turnt up as they readied Warriorz for release, and Ja Rule got ready to occupy every teenage bedroom and radio with Rule 3:36, his attempt at pop stardom that went a little too well. Talib Kweli—coming off of one of the hottest collaboration albums in rap via Black Star—teamed up with producer Hi-Tek to form Reflection Eternal and deliver one of the greatest OkayPlayer 1.0-era rap albums (and one of the most underrated collaborations in rap history) with Train of Thought.

In Philadelphia, the talk wasn’t OkayPlayer so much as not-OK Allen Iverson beefing with the NBA over his homophobic raps and the release of next-next-next level rap group Jedi Mind Tricks’ Violent By Design. Even further off the mainstream hip-hop grid was Pontiac, Michigan’s Binary Star, who dropped their Masters Of The Universe at the end of the month.

But in the fall of 2000, the action was spelled A-T-L: Hotlanta DJ-turned-MC Cris Bridges turned out his first proper studio release, a hypercharged thugsplosion that was the spiritual rap album descendant of Richard Pryor’s That Ni**er’s Crazy, which isn’t to say it wasn’t serious: It was. The city was on something different. And everyone knew it when, on Halloween, Atlanta produced no tricks, just treats, as OutKast released their highly-anticipated Aquemini follow-up Stankonia, the likes of which nobody had ever heard before in hip-hop, and nobody ever would again—it would be the group’s last, full proper collaboration (subsequent follow-ups were either repackaged material or barely involved both members). —Foster Kamer

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