2. Cam'ron, Purple Haze (2004)
Label: Roc-A-Fella, Diplomat, Def Jam
In the lead-up to Purple Haze, Cam'ron was becoming a rap kingpin the likes of which New York had never really seen before, from his sartorial decisions to his rhyme style. Come Home With Me had been a mainstream smash, The Diplomats were running the streets, and anticipation was through the roof. But after the ill-fated Cyndi Lauper interpolation "Girls" flopped and Cam left the acrimonious situation at Roc-A-Fella on the eve of the album's release, Purple Haze's sales were soft. Regardless, Cam's status as a cult hero was cemented. In the following years, Juelz Santana and Jim Jones had an easier time making hits, but they never made songs as effortlessly perfect as "Killa Cam" or "Down and Out."