2004: Outkast's 'Speakerboxxx/The Love Below'
This one garnered some controversy because Andre's disc wasn't much of a hip-hop record at all. Big Boi definitely kept the Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik thing going on, but 3-Stacks was on some other noise.
Despite it's varied soundscapes, it was still arguably best hip-hop album of the year-- arguably, because really, it could have also gone to 50 Cent's Get Rich Or Die Tryin'. Tough pick. Nonetheless thanks to two genius minds, we caught both a traditional southern rap disc and a super-forward-thinking, artsy album, both at the same damn time. The hits like "Hey Ya," "Roses," "The Way You Move" and "Prototype" have withstood the test of time much better than "In Da Club" or "'03 Bonnie & Clyde" have, so we think the Grammys got it right when they chose Outkast over Jay Z, The Roots, 50 Cent and Missy Elliot in 2004.
Plus, not only did Speakerboxxx/The Love Below win best rap album, but it also won the best album of the year, period. Check out the boys of Outkast accept their award here.