The 2000s were a good time to be alive. Everything was a lot less complicated without the internet and there were great movies, artists and shows to enjoy. But best of all, there was simply great rap music.
Celebrating Eminem's The Eminem Show got us feeling a little nostalgic, so we compiled some of the best rappers from over a decade ago who made crazy nights crazier and whose songs will always be a part of our favorite playlists no matter what.
1) Ja Rule
What’s my m*therf*ck*ng name? Rapper Jeffrey Atkins, better known as Ja Rule, was a break out artist from the early 2000s, with hits like the “I’m Real” remix featuring Jennifer Lopez, “Always on Time” with Ashanti, and “Mesmerize.”
Where is he now: Ja Rule's name was recently mired in controversy after the epic fail that was the Fyre Island Music Festival.
2) Fat Joe
If you've got love problems then Joseph Cartagena a.k.a. Fat Joe is your man. This Mexican-American rapper dominated the late ‘90s and the early 2000s as both an artist and the CEO of Terror Squad Entertainment, having people in the clubs dancing with singles like “What’s Luv?” with Ashanti and “Lean Back” with Remy Ma.
Where is he now: Even if he hasn’t been in the limelight a lot lately, he was able to release a new album entitled Plata O Plomo last February with fellow hip-hop artist Remy Ma.
This guy is the king when it comes to speed rapping. Carl Terrell Mitchell or Twista once held the title of fastest rapper and can still drop triple time raps without breaking a sweat. One of his best rap songs back in the early 2000s was “Slow Jamz,” where he collaborated with Kanye West and Jamie Foxx.
Where is he now: He was arrested in 2016 over a misdemeanor charge for illegal possession of marijuana and was later released on a $500 cash bond.
4) 50 Cent
Curtis James Jackson III or 50 Cent for short got his big break in the early 2000s after he was discovered by fellow rapper and mentor, Eminem. He was then signed to Shady Records and the rest, as they say, is history.
Where is he now: Despite his fame and earnings, 50 Cent filed for bankruptcy in 2015. The good news is he was able to pay off his debts amounting to over $22 million this year. Now, he once again wants to get rich or die tryin’.
Despite facing legal difficulties, Aliaume Damala Badara Akon Thiam, a.k.a. Akon, had a good run in the last decade following his breakout his “Locked Up” single.
Other notable songs from Akon include “Smack That,” “I Wanna Love You” and “right Now.” Aside from this, he is one of the most featured artists with over 300 song guestings.
Where is he now: In 2014, Akon proved he was a changed man after starting a project that helped provide electricity to African families via solar power. He then released his Stadium album that featured five different genres the year after.
Welcome to Nellyville. Cornell Iral Haynes, Jr., more popularly known as Nelly, is one of the few rap artists that have remained relevant since rising to fame.
From “Country Grammar” in 2000, to “Dilemma” featuring Kelly Rowland two years after that, and to “Just a Dream” in 2010, Nelly has proven to be one of the most consistent artists in the 2000s.
Where is he now: Sixteen years after his debut album’s release, Nelly’s “Country Grammar” got a diamond certification in 2016 after selling over 10 million copies. In recent years, Nelly has also found a career in TV shows.
7) Snoop Dogg
Cordozar Calvin Broadus, Jr., also known as Snoop Dogg, is probably the most chill rapper in town, but he’s also the most gangster of them all. He has branched out into acting and has appeared in numerous movies throughout the years. Unfortunately, he is also known for being nominated for 18 Grammy, none of which he has won.
Where is he now: After being in the music industry for 25 years, Snoop Dogg is still at it, releasing new songs like “Neva Left” just two weeks ago.
Will the real slim shady please stand up? Marshall Bruce Mathers III a.k.a. Eminem is one of the most iconic American rappers in recent history, not only due to his unquestionable rapping skills and unique style, but also because he went against all odds despite being a white rapper in a genre dominated by African Americans.
Where is he now: Eminem keeps himself occupied by producing singles while helping out aspiring rappers start their career. He is also particularly vocal in criticizing political figures like President Doanld Trump.