This being said, every well-rounded music aficionado occasionally ventures outside of their comfort genre.
Here are a few of my favorite hip-hop albums:
The Roots Homegrown! The Beginner's Guide to The Roots 2005
Notable tracks: Essaywhuman, Pass the Popcorn
Kanye West The College Dropout 2004
Notable tracks: Never Let Me Down, Two Words
Mos Def The New Danger 2004
Notable tracks: Sex, Love, and Money; The Beggar
Hangar 18 The Multiplatinum-Debut Album 2004
Notable tracks: Beatslope, Barhoppin'
Outkast Big Boi and Dre Present...Outkast 2001
Notable tracks: Rosa Parks, Elevators (Me & You), Spottieottiedopalicious
Ludacris Word of Mouf 2001
Notable Track: Saturday (Ooh! Ooh!)
Honorable Mention: Common Be
If you notice, everything I listed came out in the 2000s. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with the older stuff: Naughty By Nature, Boogie Down Productions, Snoop Dogg, Public Enemy, Beastie Boys. I was into hip-hop before 2000, but I find the stuff that I keep coming back to has come out in the last ten years.
What are your favorite hip-hop artists and albums?