The 30 Greatest Months in Rap History

9. September 2001

Notable Events:
- J.Lo's "I'm Real (feat. Ja Rule)" is released on 9/4/2001 
- Jay-Z's The Blueprint is released on 9/11/2001
- Fabolous' Ghetto Fabolous is released on 9/11/2001
- Aesop Rock's Labor Days is released on 9/18/2001 - N.E.R.D.'s In Search of... is released on 9/28/2001

Yes, the month of what's possibly the most infamous tragedy in American history is also indisputably one of the greatest months in hip-hop history. First and foremost, Jay-Z released what many consider to be his best album, The Blueprint—on September 11, no less. The same day, Fabolous released his debut, Ghetto Fabolous, which also found notable success, despite its correlation with the terrorist attacks and competition from Hov. Ja Rule was also in the midst of a dominating run, and his pop smash with Jennifer Lopez, "I'm Real," was No. 1 on the Hot 100 for most of the month. The Neptunes, who were no stranger to mainstream success by September 2001, broadened their horizons with the release of their N.E.R.D debut, In Search Of... But it wasn't just a month for the mainstream: It was also a landmark for underground hip-hop, with Aesop Rock releasing his first Definitive Jux record, Labor Days. —Ernest Baker

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