It's hard to believe that 1998 was 20 years ago. But in the time that has passed, the '90s have undoubtedly been deemed the golden age of hip-hop and R&B as many of the artists we view as legends today released with their breakout albums and singles during this period.

In particular, 1998 holds a special place as one of the most important years for hip-hop and R&B. It was the year Lauryn Hill made her departure from The Fugees and released the classic album, The Miseducation of Lauryn HillThat same year, Big Pun released his debut album, Capital Punishment, which became the first album by a solo Latino rapper to go platinum.

The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, made her return to music after a six-year break, teaming up with Puff Daddy, Lauryn Hill, and Jermaine Dupri to release her hit album, A Rose Is Still A Rose. And the south had become a major influence in hip-hop, with OutKast and Juvenile releasing two hip-hop classics in Aquemini and 400 Degreez, respectively.

Additionally, 1998 was the year JAY-Z dropped Vol. 2...Hard Knock Life, pushing him further into the mainstream spotlight with "Hard Knock Life," "Can I Get A," and "Money Cash Hoes."

That year, while Destiny's Child released their first studio album and had everyone singing, "No, No, No," Brandy and Monica had teenage girls fighting over who would sing their part in, "The Boy Is Mine." The two young singers both released their sophomore albums, Never Say Never and The Boy Is Mine less than one month apart in 1998, causing a media frenzy around their rumored teenage rivalry.

All in all, the year 1998 will always be known as a progressive year for both hip-hop and R&B. Take a trip down memory lane and check out some of the hottest albums that dropped that year.


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