OK, maybe 16: Kylie, Johnny Cash, Justin Timberlake, Cher, Green Day, Cee Lo, more
Next gallery »10 landmark Phil Ramone musical collaborations
« Previous galleryExclusive: The Staves' photo diary from a successful SXSW run
Nobody will argue that Nas' 1994 album "Illmatic" is a rap classic. But the sets directly after that? The steady decline in quality from "It Was Written" (1996) to "I Am... The Autobiography" (1999) to "Nastradamus" (1999) made it seem like Nas struck lyrical gold only once. When Jay-Z made it a point to diss Nas' descending sales numbers in his record "Takeover" in 2001, that's when it seemed Nas was ready to put the gloves back on, hitting Hov back with hot track "Ether" and 2001 album "Stillmatic" with a second punch on 2002's excellent "God's Son." His first No. 1 album came in 1999: he waited 'til 2006 to get his next chart-topper. And there have been two more after that.
- Katie Hasty