21 Late 90’s Early 2000’s Rap/Hip Hop Stars: Where Are They Now?

Hip-hop and rap stars typically don’t have long careers – unless, of course, they’re Beyonce and Jay Z. Typically, these stars maintain some form of career in the spotlight but they peak very young and spend much of their adult lives trying to seek the same level of popularity they had at the beginning of their careers. We decided to follow up on some of these former (and in some cases current) stars and see where they are now. Here is our list of 12 Hip-Hop and Rap Stars From The Late 90’s and Early 2000’s: Where Are They Now? Take a look:

21. Kelis

Kelis achieved mainstream success with her hit single “Milkshake” in 2003. She released a couple of albums after that and then took a break from the recording studio to become a chef. She also aired her own cooking TV special called “Saucy and Sweet” on the Cooking Channel this February. Her sixth album Food is due out for release this April.


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20. Nelly

Nelly shot to fame in the early 2000s with his debut album Country Grammar. He has won Grammy Awards, American Music Awards, and trophies from MTV, Billboard, BET and more, and he has continued to release albums. His most recent album M.O. debuted at No.14 on the Billboard 200, selling only 15,000 copies, which makes it his lowest first week showing.

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19. Blu Cantrell

Blu Cantrell only released two albums So Blu and Bittersweet and she was most famous for the hit single “Hit ‘Em Up Style (Oops)” from her debut album. After the success of Bittersweet, she took a bit of a hiatus and rumors regarding a possible cocaine problem began to circulate. A year and a half ago, she teased fans with a new single “S.O.S.” and promised to drop a new album in six months. We’re still waiting.

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18. Lil Jon

Lil Jon released several albums as part of the group Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz between 1997 and 2004 before he decided to go solo. It has been about four years since he released an album, although he did release the single “Turn Down For What,” and he was most recently seen in Las Vegas dumping a cold drink on a female twerker’s backside.

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17. Fabolous

Fabolous garnered mainstream recognition for his hit singles “Can’t Deny It” and “Young’n (Holla Back)” from his debut album. His latest album Loso’s Way 2 was scheduled for release in 2013, but was delayed all year long and is now slated for a 2014 release.

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16. Ginuwine

Ginuwine rose to fame in the ‘90s with the hit single “Pony” and he has continued to release albums ever since. In 2013, he teamed up with R&B singers Tyrese and Tank to form the group TGT and together they released a Grammy-nominated album, Three Kings.

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15. Shaggy

Shaggy was a big deal in the ‘90s and early 2000s. He is best known for his hit singles “Boombastic,” “It Wasn’t Me” and “Angel.” Shaggy is still releasing albums and he recently held a concert/fundraiser in Jamaica, “Shaggy and Friends,” to raise funds for the Bustamante Hospital for Children.

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14. Lil Bow Wow

Lil Bow Wow has grown up since he released his first album Beware of Dog in 2000 and he has dropped the “Lil” from his name. The 27-year-old rapper is now a father and is currently the host of BET’s “106 & Park.” He has also been working on his new album Underrated, but he has put it on hold for another year so he can spend time with his daughter.

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13. Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah had been active on the hip-hop scene since the late ‘80s; however, she became less active once she started acting in movies during the ‘90s. Although she is considered an actress these days, she announced that she was working on a new album a couple of years ago.

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12. DMX

Between 1998 and 2006, DMX was one of the best selling hip-hop artists of all time, selling over 30 million albums; however, he has been in out of prison because of several run-ins with the law, so his career has stagnated. In 2012, he released his seventh album Undisputed, which received mixed reviews, and he is currently working on his eighth studio album.

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11. Dr. Dre

Dr. Dre has been active in the music business since the ‘80s when he was part of the rap group N.W.A. He released his first solo album The Chronic in 1992 and he started Aftermath Entertainment in 1996, signing Eminem and 50 Cent to his label. Dr. Dre was recently in the news because he is suing his former label Death Row Records for $3 million over unpaid royalties.

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10. 50 Cent

50 Cent’s debut album Get Rich Or Die Trying catapulted him to fame in 2003. He recently left his record label, Interscope, and is going to drop his latest album Animal Ambition as an independent artist. A year ago, the rapper was charged with domestic violence and vandalism and might face up to five years in prison if convicted.

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9. Ja Rule

Ja Rule made a name for himself as a rapper back in 1999 with his debut album Venni Vetti Vecci. Between 1999 and 2004, he released an album each year; however, none were as successful as his first album. Most recently he served 20 months of his two year sentence for income tax evasion in prison and is serving the remainder of his sentence in his home.

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8. Ludacris

Ludacris’ second album Back for the First Time with the hit single “What’s Your Fantasy” is what won him fame and fortune. He was recently in the news because he can’t afford to pay his baby mama $15,000 a month for child support because he has not been paid for his work in “Fast and Furious 7.” Production has been put on hold because of Paul Walker’s death.

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7. Faith Evans

Faith Evans released three albums between 1995 and 2001 including Faith (1995), Keep the Faith (1998) and Faithfully (2001); however, she is best known for the 1997 tribute single “I’ll Be Missing You.” Evans has ventured into writing and acting and she attended the 2014 Grammy Awards where she was nominated for her album R&B Divas.

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6. Sean Paul

Sean Paul achieved fame with his second album Dutty Rock, which had the hit singles “Gimme the Light,” “Get Busy” and “Like Glue.” He recently released his sixth album Full Frequency and he is scheduled to perform at Fiestas Palmares 2014 in Costa Rica.

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5. Will Smith

Will Smith’s rap career began in the mid 1980s when he formed the hip-hop duo DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince with his childhood friend. His solo career began in 1997 with the album Willennium and he released another album in 2005. Since then, Smith has been mostly focusing on his acting career and he recently starred in the film “After Earth,” for which he earned a Razzie Award.

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4. Eve

Eve first gained recognition in the late ‘90s for her album Let There Be Eve…Ruff Ryders’ First Lady and she achieved international success with her follow-up album Scorpion. One of her biggest hits “Let Me Blow Your Mind” featured Gwen Stefani. In 2013, she released a new album Lip Lock; however, she seems to be making news nowadays thanks to her tax debt, as well as her recent engagement and pregnancy.

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3. OutKast

OutKast – who is composed of rappers Big Boi and Andre 3000 –  achieved fame with their hit albums ATLiens, Aquemini, Stankonia and Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. As of 2007, Big Boi and Andre 3000 had been focusing on their solo endeavors; however, it was announced in 2013 that they would reunite at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival this year.

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2. Missy Elliott

In the late ‘90s, Missy Elliott made a name for herself as a rapper with her hit albums Da Real World, Miss E…So Addictive, Under Construction, This Is Not a Test, Cookbook and Respect M.E.; however, it has been about nine years since she has released an album. She is said to be planning a comeback and that we should expect a new album this year.

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1. Lauryn Hill

Back in the late ‘90s, Lauryn Hill received massive critical acclaim with her album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Unfortunately she wasn’t able to handle the pressures of being famous and all but disappeared from the spotlight after she released MTV Unplugged No. 2.0. In 2013, she served a three-month prison sentence for tax evasion and a month ago she was a musical guest on “Late Show With David Letterman.”

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Cate has a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature and has been the Managing Editor of Fame10 for more than 6 years. Despite having a love for the works of Thomas Hardy, Leo Tolstoy and Lord Byron, she also has an intense fascination with pop culture. When she isn’t writing for Fame10, she’s planning her next big adventure in Southeast Asia.