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The Best of 2001
As 2001 comes to a close, the focus is definitely not on hip-hop. The world is a changed place because of the events of September 11, but the best thing we can do is press on. At The 411 Online, that means present "The Best of 2001" at this time of year. Jay-Z once again turned out a classic, The Blueprint, which was released on that fateful day. The album is a showcase for Jigga, who for the most part lets his own talent take the spotlight and keeps a limit on the guest appearances. Hopefully, hip-hop's top artists will take the title literally and use the album as a guide on how to make great records.

Best album
JAY-Z, The Blueprint

Best single
BUSTA RHYMES, "Break Ya Neck"

Best sample
JAY-Z, "Takeover" -- using The Doors' "Five to One"

Best sample of an entire verse
JA RULE, "So Much Pain" -- inexplicably using 2Pac's final verse of "Pain" after basically performing a cover of it up to that point

Best soundtrack
How High

Best video
NELLY, "Batter Up"

Most underrated album
BUSTA RHYMES, Genesis

Best hip-hop/R&B collaboration
ERICK SERMON & MARVIN GAYE, "Music"

Worst singer
JA RULE

Best producer
KANYE WEST

Best new artist
FABOLOUS

Best comeback
FOXY BROWN

Artist of the year
JAY-Z


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