2003 Rap Albums

20 Y/O: Iconic Rap/Hip-Hop Music Albums Celebrating 20th Anniversaries In 2023

By Waddie G. August 31, 2023

2003 was an incredible year for rap and hip hop, with some of the biggest names in the genre releasing iconic albums. Ludacris released Chicken-n-Beer, which included hits like “Stand Up” and “Splash Waterfalls.” The album showcased his clever lyrics and infectious beats and solidified his status as one of the leading rappers of the 2000s. Missy Elliott also released This Is Not a Test!, which included hits like “Pass That Dutch” and “I’m Really Hot.” The album showcased her unique style and her ability to push hip-hop music’s boundaries with frequent collaborator Timbaland.

Lil Kim released La Bella Mafia, which featured hits like “The Jump Off” and “Magic Stick.” The album showcased her unapologetic lyrics and ability to hold her own in a male-dominated industry. 50 Cent also released Get Rich or Die Tryin’, one of the most successful rap albums ever. The album featured hits like “In Da Club” and “21 Questions” and showcased his gritty lyrics and powerful persona.

OutKast released Speakerboxxx/Ta double album showcasing that showcased the duo’s versatility and creativity. The album featured hits like “Hey Ya!” and “The Way You Move” and won numerous awards, including Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards. Jay-Z released The Black Album, which was meant to be his final album before retirement. The album featured hits like “Dirt off Your Shoulder” and “99 Problems” and showcased his incredible lyricism and storytelling.

The Black Eyed Peas, with new band member and singer Fergie, released Elephunk, which featured hits like “Where Is the Love?” and “Hey Mama.” The album blended hip-hop, pop, and dance music elements to create a unique sound that became incredibly popular. D.M.X. released Grand Champ, which showcased his hardcore lyrics and intense delivery. St. Louis rapper Chingy also released his debut album, Jackpot, which featured hits like “Right Thurr” and “Holidae In.” The album showcased his catchy hooks and party-ready lyrics and became one of the biggest rap albums of the year. Overall, 2003 was a year that solidified rap and hip hop’s place in popular music and showcased the incredible talent of the genre’s biggest names.

In this article, we celebrate the 20th anniversary of several game-changing rap albums released in 2023 and reflect on their hit singles, fan-favorite tunes, and acclaimed deep cuts that made their lasting impact on the genre.

Get ready to revisit the early 2000s with these iconic rap albums celebrating their 20th anniversaries in 2023. From East Coast to West Coast styles, these albums captured the sounds and nuances of the era and helped shape the direction of the genre for the next decade.

Speakerboxxx/The Love Below

album: Speakerboxxx/The Love Below
artist: OutKast
release date (USA): September 23, 2003
notable songs: “Hey Ya!” “The Way You Move” “Prototype” “Roses” “Ghetto Musick” “Church”


album: Jackpot
artist: Chingy
release date (USA): July 15, 2003
notable songs: “Right Thurr” “One Call Away” “Holidae In” “Gettin’ It” “Represent”

La Bella Mafia

album: La Bella Mafia
artist: Lil’ Kim
release date (USA): March 4, 2003
notable songs: “The Jump Off” “Magic Stick” “Thug Luv” “Came Back for You”

Get Rich Or Die Tryin'

album: Get Rich Or Die Tryin’
artist: 50 Cent
release date (USA): February 6, 2003
notable songs: “In Da Club” “21 Questions” “P.I.M.P.” “If I Can’t” “Wanksta” “What Up Gangsta” “Many Men (Wish Death)”

Grand Champ

album: Grand Champ
artist: DMX
release date (USA): September 16, 2003
notable songs: “Where The Hood At?” “Get It On The Floor” “Bring the Noize” “Don’t Gotta Go Home” “We Go Hard” “Give ‘Em What They Want”


album: Chicken-N-Beer
artist: Ludacris
release date (USA): October 7, 2003
notable songs: “Stand Up” “Splash Waterfalls” “P-Poppin'” “Diamond In The Back” “Blow It Out”

Trap Muzik

album: Trap Muzik
artist: T.I.
release date (USA): August 19, 2003
notable songs: “Rubber Band Man” “Be Easy” “Let’s Get Away” “24s” “T.I. vs. T.I.P.” “Kingofdasouth”

Joe Budden

album: Joe Budden
artist: Joe Budden
release date (USA): June 10, 2003
notable songs: “Pump It Up” “Fire (Yes, Yes Y’all)” “Focus”

This Is Not A Test!

album: This Is Not A Test!
artist: Missy Elliott
release date (USA): November 25, 2003
notable songs: “I’m Really Hot” “Pass That Dutch” “Wake Up” “Let It Bump” “Pump It Up”


album: Attenchun!
artist: Bone Crusher
release date (USA): April 29, 2003
notable songs: “Never Scared” “Back Up” “Puttin’ in Work”

Drankin' Patnaz

album: Drankin’ Patnaz
artist: YoungBloodZ
release date (USA): August 26, 2003
notable songs: “Damn!” “Lean Low” “Whatchu Lookin’ At” “Cadillac Pimpin'”

Blood In My Eye

album: Blood In My Eye
artist: Ja Rule
release date (USA): November 4, 2003
notable songs: “Clap Back” “The Crown” “Niggas & Bitches”

The Preacher's Son

album: The Preacher’s Son
artist: Wyclef Jean
release date (USA): November 4, 2003
notable songs: “Party To Damascus” “Take Me As I Am” “Industry”

The Neptunes Present...Clones

album: The Neptunes Present…Clones
artist: The Neptunes
release date (USA): August 19, 2003
notable songs: “Frontin'” “It Blows My Mind” “Light Your Ass on Fire” “Popular Thug” “Hot Damn”

The Black Album

album: The Black Album
artist: Jay-Z
release date (USA): November 14, 2003
notable songs: “Change Clothes” “Dirt Off Your Shoulders” “99 Problems” “Encore” “What More Can I Say” “Justify My Thug”

Street Dreams

album: Street Dreams
artist: Fabolous
release date (USA): March 4, 2003
notable songs: “Into You” “Can’t Let You Go” “This Is My Party”


album: Elephunk
artist: Black Eyed Peas
release date (USA): June 24, 2003
notable songs: “Shut Up” “Let’s Get It Started” “Hey Mama” “Where Is The Love?”


album: Deliverance
artist: Bubba Sparxx
release date (USA): September 16, 2003
notable songs: “Jimmy Mathis” “Deliverance” “Back In The Mud”

Philadelphia Freeway

album: Philadelphia Freeway
artist: Freeway
release date (USA): February 25, 2003
notable songs: “Flipside” “What We Do” “Alright” “All My Life” “On My Own” “Don’t Cross the Line

From Me To U

album: From Me To U
artist: Juelz Santana
release date (USA): August 19, 2003
notable songs: “Dipset (Santana’s Town)” “Now What” “One Day I Smile” “How I Feel”


album: Cheers
artist: Obie Trice
release date (USA): September 23, 2003
notable songs: “Shit Hits The Fans” “The Set Up” “Got Some Teeth” “Don’t Come Down”

Murphy's Law

album: Murphy’s Law
artist: Murphy Lee
release date (USA): September 23, 2003
notable songs: “Wat Da Hook Gon’ Be” “Luv Me Baby” “Shake Ya Tailfeather” “Hold Up” “Don’t Blow It”

Vaudeville Villain

album: Vaudeville Villain
artist: MF Doom
release date (USA): September 16, 2003
notable songs: “Mr. Clean” “Saliva” “Rae Dawn”

He's Keith Murray

album: He’s Keith Murray
artist: Keith Murray
release date (USA): July 15, 2003
notable songs: “Yeah Yeah U Know It” “Candi Bar” “Sucka Free”

Diplomatic Immunity

album: Diplomatic Immunity
artist: The Diplomats
release date (USA): March 25, 2003
notable songs: “Dipset Anthem” “Built This City” “Ground Zero”

Which of these albums did you play in heavy rotation during their popularity? Which of these albums do you have in your current music streaming rotation? Let me know in the comments section.

Written By

Waddie G. is the Founding Editor of The G-Listed. Based in New York City, Waddie G.’s writing shows off his biggest passions for pop and gay cultures. Born in Sacramento, raised in Kansas City, developed in Atlanta, and matured in Chicago, Waddie G. is an unabashed foodie, proud R&B junkie, adventurous traveler, serial scribbler, and textbook Virgo. Waddie G. and his content has been featured on the "Wendy Williams Show," TMZ, Grindr, Vice, I-D, Windy City Times, and The Gothamist.