I've occasionally dipped my toe into hip-hop. Like rock, there are a few original voices and a lot of interchangeable imitators. These are some of the original voices from this genre this decade:
"I'm Like a Bird" by Nelly Furtado. Her first hit and the only one with which I've connected. Her voice still stands out, even when the music she made the rest of the decade started to sound like everything else. She definitely has the talent to try moving in another direction.
"In da club" by 50 Cent. Can't imagine me liking something like this? It's more of a soft-spot for most anything Dr. Dre produced/written/backed, etc. Like a few others in the genre, he's starting to parlay his rapping into other forays. It gets pretty tough to do just one thing in the entertainment business, so good for 50!
"Who's gonna save my soul" by Gnarls Barkley (though the video is not the "official" video). Yeah, everyone and their brothers knows their more popular song, "Crazy". But this is where you get the full blast of vocal talent and everything else about this duo that really makes them great. Check out this song, add it to "Crazy" and the other act this decade that Danger Mouse had a hand in producing and it's easy to understand why a lot of music lovers really like them.
"Naughty Girl" by Beyoncé. She's had a ton of hits this decade and this one just rattles around my brain and hasn't left my iPod since the song was released.
"Feel Good, Inc." by Gorillaz. Only two albums released in their career and the two men behind this cartoon band are in no particular hurry to get album #3 out the door. Like Linkin Park, I'm happy that they are taking their time to put something new out.
The video is just cool looking and the song is simply infectious. The album, "Demon Days", has a few other equally infections dance/hip-hop style tunes, but largely goes where it wants. As weird as it sounds, I'm not a big fan of the band from which Gorillaz originates, but if it takes many years of Blur-music to get one Gorillaz album together, it's a small price to pay to get this kind of interesting, genre-blurring music out.