Cornell Haynes and Marshall Mathers dominated 2002 in a way few rappers have ever dominated a 12 month span. "Nellyville" went six times platinum and spawned SIX hit singles. "The Eminem Show" spawned five singles and went TEN times platinum. From St. Louis to Detroit both rappers had the swagger, the flow and (to the ladies) boyishly good looks to gain widespread appeal.
Of course this presents a conflict when you're compiling "the fifteen important videos" in hip-hop for one year, when one album from the summer of 2002 has SIX singles. Nelly and Eminem could take over almost on their own. Fortunately for me I could disqualify two Nelly entries automatically - both "Work It" and "Pimp Juice" did not drop as singles until 2003. For Eminem it was even easier as only "Without Me" and "Cleanin' Out My Closet" came out as videos in '02. I've opted to limit the list to one video from each artist, while simultaneously acknowledging they overwhelmed pop culture with mainstream success the likes of which most rappers dream of (and should probably also be afraid of).
1.) Nelly - "Hot In Herre"
2.) Eminem - "Without Me"
3.) Jurassic 5 - "What's Golden"
4.) Clipse - "Grindin'"
5.) Scarface - "On My Block"
6.) Xzibit - "Multiply"
7.) Styles P - "Good Times (I Get High)"
8.) Ja Rule f/ Case - "Livin' It Up"
9.) Missy Elliott f/ Ludacris - "Gossip Folks"
10.) Fabolous - "Young'n (Holla Back)"
11.) Nappy Roots f/ Jazze Pha - "Awnaw"
12.) Cam'Ron f/ Juelz Santana - "Hey Ma"
13.) Busta Rhymes f/ P. Diddy, Pharrell - "Pass the Courvoisier, Part II"