After three weeks of voting and tallying up over 40,400 ballots, the people have made their choice for XXL’s Best Cover of the Millennium. And the winner is… The March 2003 cover featuring Eminem, 50 Cent and Dr. Dre.
Although the Shady/Aftermath trio snagged top honors, it wasn’t an easy victory. Easily making it out of the first round with 64% of the popular vote, the March 2003 cover took an early lead in the top 10 poll. Still, 2002’s winning cover boys, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony (June 2002), had a firm grasp of the second place spot and as more loyal fans came through to vote, the legendary Cleveland lyricists were catapulted ahead of the pack at the start of the final day of voting.
However, Em, 50 and Dre’s fan base was too much for the Midwestern rhyme spitters as a last minute surge pushed the “three headed monster” back to the top before polls closed at 5 p.m. EST. When the dust settled, the March 2003 cover secured 34% of the popular vote with 3,264 ballots, while Bone Thugs kept things interesting with 2,934 ballots giving them 30% of the popular vote.
Congratulations to all the winners for their respective years—Wu-Tang (2000), 2Pac (2001), Bone Thugs-N-Harmony (2002), Em, 50 & Dre (2003), Aftermath (2004), Roc-A-Fella (2005), G-Unit (2006), Jay-Z (2007), Nas (2008) and Eminem (2009)—and to all the fans that participated in this celebratory reader’s poll.