N.O.R.E. has made an audacious claim about his popularity. Comparing himself to rap royalty, the rapper brought the numbers with him to back up his claim.

N.O.R.E. recently appeared with some former NFL pros on I Am Athlete. During the appearance, he compared himself favorably to a bevy of rap legends. The rapper said that in 1998, he was at the top of the rap game.

“In 1998? Who was it? Me, DMX, Big Pun, Cam’ron. I was the hottest at the time I signed. And, other than DMX, I sold the most in my first week. DMX did 220[K], I did 163[K] — plus the other 18,000 that they pre-sold from me! Because they bootlegged it and they still counted it!”

N.O.R.E. was pulling sales numbers from his 1998 self-titled release. The album spawned several hit singles and the rapper’s collaboration with The Neptunes was extremely well-received.

N.O.R.E. was able to favorably compare to DMX‘s using his numbers. It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot wasn’t the only DMX release of the year. Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood sold more units than any rap album that year.

Jay-Z won Best Rap album at the Grammy Awards for Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life. A lot happened in the rap world in 1998. Success is relative in the music industry. While N.O.R.E. sold a lot of albums, the emergency of DMX and the arrival of Jay-Z make discussing the best rapper of 1998 a very interesting topic.

In your opinion, who was the hottest rapper of 1998? Let us know in the comments!

Michael Perry

Journeyman human. Stints with 247Sports, F4WOnline, and RingsideNews. Taking bumps and paying my dues. Pittsburgh loyalist.

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