25 Best Rap Debuts of the 21st Century

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  • Blu & Exile 25 Best Rap Debuts
  • Nicki Minaj 25 Best Rap Debuts
  • Nelly 25 Best Rap Debuts
  • Slum Village 25 Best Rap Debuts
  • J. Cole 25 Best Rap Debuts
  • Beanie Sigel 25 Best Rap Debuts
  • Young Jeezy 25 Best Rap Debuts
  • Little Brother 25 Best Rap Debuts
  • Reflection Eternal 25 Best Rap Debuts
  • Game 25 Best Rap Debuts
  • Drake 25 Best Rap Debuts
  • Lupe Fiasco 25 Best Rap Debuts
  • Kanye West 25 Best Rap Debuts
  • 50 Cent 25 Best Rap Debuts
  • 081312 music kanye west 2chainz game
  • Wiz Khalifa 25 Best Rap Debuts
  • Rick Ross 25 Best Rap Debuts
  • Lloyd Banks 25 Best Rap Debuts
  • Black Rob 25 Best Rap Debuts
  • Big K.R.I.T. 25 Best Rap Debuts
  • Kid Cudi 25 Best Rap Debuts
  • Ludacris 25 Best Rap Debuts
  • Young Buck 25 Best Rap Debuts
  • dead prez 25 Best Rap Debuts
  • Big Sean 25 Best Rap Debuts
  • The Diplomats 25 Best Rap Debuts

12. Nelly, Country Grammar

Love him or hate him, Nelly's 2000 debut was unstoppable — to the tune of nine-times platinum. It was also hugely influential: Hits like "Country Grammar" and "E.I.," with their infectious hooks and producer Jay-E's bouncy beats, proved that regional Dirty South and Midwestern rap styles could ascend to the pop charts in a major way.    

(Photo: Bad Boy Records)

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