35 Hip-Hop Songs Turning 10 in 2018
Hip-hop has survived the test of time. While many thought the genre would plateau following its late 1990's golden era, rap has endured—it's taken over pop culture to become the most consumed music by listeners in the United States. Rappers have broken molds many once believed to be shatterproof, and 2008 was a marker year for the artform that found artists indulging in musical experimentation.
Kanye West was at the forefront of that creative liberation. Following the sudden death of his mother, Donda, and a breakup with his then-fiancée, Alexis Phifer, Yeezy dug deep within and came up with his game-changing album 808s & Heartbreak, a sung, mostly Auto-tuned classic that spawned hits like "Love Lockdown," "Heartless" and "Amazing" featuring Jeezy.
Lil Wayne and T.I. also had remarkable, career-altering moments in 2008 with the releases of their sixth studio albums, Tha Carter III and Paper Trail, respectively. Lil Wayne's sixth solo studio album marked his career peak—every single he dropped charted on the Billboard Hot 100, with the Static Major-assisted “Lollipop” logging in at No. 1 for five weeks. Meanwhile T.I., who was awaiting a sentence after pleading guilty to federal weapons charges, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, selling 568,000 copies of Paper Trail in its first week off the strength of his No. 1 singles, "Whatever You Like" and the Rihanna-featured "Live Your Life."
Ten years ago, artists were creating monster collaborative efforts with more than half a dozen rappers on one track. Long before Snapchat, DJ Khaled was becoming a national figure and shining light on Florida artists with cuts like "I'm So Hood," which features Rick Ross, T-Pain, Trick Daddy and Plies. The song peaked at No. 19 on the Billboard Hot 100, became an anthem in the years that followed, and the star-studded remix placed young stars (Young Jeezy, Ludacris, Wayne) alongside (Busta Rhymes, Big Boi, Fat Joe) in an epic show of multiregional rap solidarity.
Hip-hop popped champagne, turned its swag on and lived its best life as the first Black president took the reins at the White House. Journey on a trip down memory lane and vibe out to 35 of 2008's biggest hip-hop cuts.