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The Best of 1996
All eyes were on 2Pac in 1996, and rightly so. Pac came out of jail on a mission, dropping All Eyez On Me and some scathing attacks on his competition. Now with Death Row, 2Pac seemed more than happy to unleash the angry side of his often split personality on his double disc. Many say putting out a classic two-CD set is a tough task, but Pac pulled it off. However, it might explain how a rookie slipped in and took best album honors. Or perhaps it was because Eyez was released so early in the year. But most likely, it's because Jay-Z took the hip-hop world by storm with an incredible offering his first time out. Sadly, the year ends on a down note, with hip-hop still in a fog after 2Pac died on Sept. 13, six days after being shot in Las Vegas. So pour out a little liquor, pause for a moment of silence and take a look at The 411 Online's picks for "The Best of 1996."

Best album
JAY-Z, Reasonable Doubt

Best double album
2PAC, All Eyez On Me

Best single
2PAC & SNOOP DOGGY DOGG, "2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted"

Best video
PHARCYDE, "Drop"

Best producer
DR. DRE

Best sample
THE FUGEES, "Ready or Not" -- using the music from the closing credits of Stephen King's Sleepwalkers

Most underrated album
OUTKAST, ATLiens

Best hip-hop/R&B collaboration
2PAC, DR. DRE & ROGER TROUTMAN, "California Love"

Best new artist
JAY-Z

Artist of the year
2PAC


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