Notice I titled this “10 songs” and not “Top 10” because there can’t be an order with these classics. I was fortunate enough to live my adolescence during the 2000’s - arguably the greatest decade of music. These are some tracks that I know you can relate to so specific genres do not apply here. Some of these will take many of you back to your “first time for ____” and others may take you back to your first heart break - or what you thought was heart break.
Single Ladies - Beyonce (2008)
On the tail end of the 2000’s, Beyonce delivered a classic that arguably remains the most played on this list. Incorporating a dance with this jam too? Forget it. If this song was not played at our middle school dances or gatherings, then it wasn’t a party. I was all for watching my middle school crush wave her hand back and forth signaling me to “put a ring on it”.
Drop it Like its Hot - Snoop Dogg ft Pharrell (2004)
Ah yes, the tongue clicks! Even if you didn’t know the words, you could be the one who would tongue click along the entire time. Rolling weed and having a flag only on my left side because that was the crip side was naturally on my mind all the time at age 9, lyrics came natural to me. And this song taught us we what to do when the pimp’s in the crib ma. Simply drop it like it’s hot.
Bye Bye Bye - NSYNC (2000)
Pop bands in the early 2000’s were idolized because of the young fan interaction. These basic heartbroken lyrics delivered with a dance was everything the world did not know it needed. The members of NSYNC dancing with strings attached to their limbs like they were puppets was so incredible it'll probably never be performed again. And how could you not like the frosted tips?!
Remember The Name - Fort Minor (2005)
If you wanted to be physically active in some way shape or form, this was what you wanted to listen to. Even if you wanted to get off the couch and do SOMETHING active, you needed to be reminded that it would take 10% luck, 20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will, 5% pleasure and 50% pain. This is also when you thought you were really good at math and you had to make sure these percentages added up to 100% (which they do - I double checked).
Lose Yourself - Eminem (2002)
I’m happy to say that this was the first song I ever listened to with headphones on. The first song to give me goosebumps. Another classic that got me up, moving and motivated me - I colored the shit out of my coloring books at age 7 listening to this song. This song made any kid like me, (white male from the suburbs) believe he could become a rapper. This song is forever cemented as the first song that introduced me to hip hop. Definitely was not ready to watch 8-Mile at 7 years old though.
Work It - Missy Elliot (2002)
Little trivia for you here.
After Missy goes “I put my thing down, flip it and reverse it”, what are the next two lines? Does something like “Ti esrever dna ti pilf, nwod gniht ym tup”, ring a bell? Yes - she says the previous line BACKWARDS. Even if you knew that, it was fun to make the sounds of what we heard in songs even though we didn't fully understand the lyrics. This is another timeless dance track that would determine who was brave enough to cut a rug.
Lollipop - Lil Wayne (2008)
“So I let her lick the wrapppperrrrr”. The messages in this song could not have been more obvious. What a perfect time for this song to be released than when our hormones started to kick in. This song is THE song that made a lot of us sexually curious in our teenage years and still remains as Lil Wayne’s most popular song - worldwide.
In Da Club - 50 Cent (2003)
When it was your birthday, someone you knew hit you with the “Go shawty, ishya birthday”. You knew when your parents were raising the roof and dropped that line , the embarrassment was in abundance on your special day. Lip syncing about doing drugs and having sex at 8 years old was pretty cool too. Go. Go. Go.
Photograph - Nickelback (2005)
What got me immediately with this song was the music video. Nickelback did a great job at pulling heartstrings with this one. The smooth guitar strums in the beginning still get me every time. This was also peak Nickelback in the mid 2000’s. Eventually, they became an ongoing joke and the easiest memes to create but as someone who didn’t choose rock music as their main genre, I would still listen to this song every time it was played on MTV Hits.
Crank That - Soulja Boy (2007)
I was such a huge fan of this song I performed it at my middle school talent show. Yep, the whole song. Choreographing parts of the song was a breeze. This song may not sound the same now because you skip it every time you hear the “YOUUUUU” as soon as the song comes on. Regardless, this song broke the internet and had people all over the world Supermanning. It was such an easy dance for everyone perform, that a “Crank That” for various Superheroes were released shortly after. Thats when we knew it time to move on.
Let me know the ones i missed! Leave yours in the comments.
Thanks for reading!