Watch theGrio Top 3: Hip-hop artists who hit the scene in the 2000s

Bring out the Polo shirts, baggy jeans and oversized T's! Listen in as millennials discuss the best artists to emerge in the 2000s

With roots in African-American and Latino communities, hip-hop music has been a cultural phenomenon for decades. 

It has been one of the most influential music genres in the world since its inception in the 1970s. In the 2000s, however, hip-hop’s influence on popular culture began to ratchet up as it never had before. From fashion to slang, it permeated every aspect of society. Let’s briefly explore some impacts during this period up to the present day. 

Among the top three hip-hop artists of the time were Ja Rule, T-Pain and Kanye West. Ja Rule had a fantastic run, especially with his collaborations with Ashanti. 

 Lil Wayne performs on Feb. 4 during the Pre-Grammy Gala & Grammy Salute to Industry Icons honoring Julie Greenwald and Craig Kallman in Los Angeles. He was among the artists dominating the charts in the 2000s. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

T-Pain’s unique style and use of autotune set him apart and he proved his vocal prowess. West’s “College Dropout” and “Graduation” albums were iconic and he became a style icon. 

Other notable artists of the time include 50 Cent, Lil Wayne and Andre 3000. 50 Cent’s “In Da Club” was everywhere; Lil Wayne dominated the charts, and Andre 3000 had his share of hits. 

Rappers like 50 Cent and West popularized streetwear brands such as G-Unit and Bape, making them staples in urban fashion and symbols of status and wealth.

Hip-hop also had a significant impact on the way people spoke in the 2000s. Slang words like “bling,” “crunk” and “yo” became part of the mainstream vernacular. Rappers also popularized the use of autotune, which changed the sound of hip-hop music and influenced other genres like pop and R&B.

Even though these artists have had their time in the brightest glare of the spotlight, their contributions to hip-hop are timeless and have paved the way for future generations of artists.

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