Best Songs of the 2000’s
Some critics choose to complain about the current state of hip-hop. As this decade comes to an end, we decided to take a different route and celebrate the best songs that have kept the genre alive. OutKast kicked off the decade with the frenetic ‘B.O.B.,’ Jay-Z held on to his throne with ’99 Problems’ and Kanye West’s ‘Jesus Walks’ paved the way for a new school of MCs to create unimpeded, non-formulaic music. Here’s to another decade of great music!
10. ‘Get Ur Freak On,’ Missy Elliott (2001)
As one of the most inventive artists of the new millennium, Missy topped herself with the dizzying ‘Get Ur Freak On.’ Lucky for all you club-goers, singing along to this one is an easy way to disguise that slur.
9. ‘The Light,’ Common (2000)
The Chi-town rapper is one of the few that can sound this romantic on a track and get away with it. Good thing “pause” wasn’t invented around the time this dropped.
8. ‘Get By,’ Talib Kweli (2002)
As one of the few underground songs to cross the mainstream threshold this decade, ‘Get By’ is still a song for the everyman, even if it put its everyman creator in a higher tax bracket.
7.’What You Know,’ T.I. (2006)
The self-proclaimed King of the South released this slow-rolling, epic jam in 2006, upping the bar for all Southern rappers that came after him. What you know about that?
6. ‘Crazy,’ Gnarls Barkley (2006)
Cee-Lo Green and producer Danger Mouse joined forces to create this sonic whirlwind, which plays like the audio equivalent of a hippie rainbow.
5. ‘Lose Yourself,’ Eminem (2002)
Of all the Eminem joints to make the list, this anthem captured the raw intensity and emotion that comes with performing. This one put ‘8 Mile’ in the history books in spit of its visual association with Mekhi Phifer’s dreads.
4. ‘A Milli,’ Lil Wayne (2008)
Over a stuttering Bangladesh-produced beat, Weezy F. Baby throws head-spinning rhymes on top of an instrumental as challenging as it is intoxicating. Best enjoyed with a fine glass of sizzurp.
3. ‘Jesus Walks,’ Kanye West (2004)
It’s not every day you hear the name “Jesus” in a rap song, but ‘Jesus Walks’ was inspiring enough to make you catch the Holy Ghost.
2. ‘B.O.B.,’ OutKast (2000)
Fervent, absurd, frantic — just a few words to describe OutKast’s ‘B.O. B.,’ a melting pot of all the influences that went into hip-hop over the past decade. Just don’t try to karaoke this one.
1. ’99 Problems,’ Jay-Z (2004)
Hova took it to stadium status with this Rick Rubin-produced beast, knocking harder than five Memphis Bleek albums combined. Bonus points for the storytelling.