A decade ago, hip-hop was in an interesting place. Trap rap was on the rise, the more traditional rap of earlier years was still on an upswing and the internet was establishing itself as a very vital ground for the spread of the genre. The year 2010 was the real entry point for rappers who would become huge stars (Nicki Minaj and Drake) and established names to drop records that were important to their career trajectory (Kanye West and Eminem). Here, XXL highlights 25 of the best hip-hop projects from 2010.
Ten years ago, Young Money was on a crazy run. Led by Drake's debut album, Thank Me Later, and Nicki Minaj's debut LP, Pink Friday, their combined success made it obvious there would be some staying power with these two. Cash Money top dog Lil Wayne was still making waves too, dropping I Am Not A Human Being the same year.
But 2010 wasn't all about that legendary label ran by Baby and Slim. Back then, Waka Flocka Flame was a 23-year-old upstar, with mixtape success already in the bag when he dropped his debut album, Flockaveli. Flocka rose to the occasion and delivered, as did Roc Marciano, who dropped his debut album, Marcberg, launching a career full of elegant street rap. Freddie Gibbs released Str8 Killa and Yelawolf dropped Trunk Muzik 0-60, two XXL Freshmen making quality music in their early days. And no one can forget the bawse. Rick Ross was already three albums in by the time he delivered Teflon Don, his fourth studio album replete with bangers "B.M.F. (Blowin' Money Fast)" with Styles P and "Aston Martin Music" featuring Drake and Chrisette Michele.
Check out the gallery below and look out for some of your favorites.
See the Best Hip-Hop Projects From 2010