Early 2000's Pop, R&B, and Hip-Hop will stay in imprinted in our memories forever. This era of pink paisley jackets, sweatbands, and frosted tips brought some of the most iconic sounds and beats in living memory. As such, the early 2000's are very much a hip cultural aesthetic. Many of these classics are recycled as samples or appear in lyrical references (if you can catch them). You'll be surprised that several of the current musical giants made their debuts or hit albums in the first five years of the millennium.
From Britney Spears and NSync to D'Angelo and Outkast the music scene was alive for us nineties kids just developing our musical repertoires. Sharing the cool portable MP3 players, we were able to pick and choose a smorgasbord of songs to listen to across several albums without having to skip over our least favourites. We could cater our musical experiences to listen to only singles. It was the pivotal years of us deciding what jams we thought were cool or not. Just as our parents have their old-time favourites, early 2000's singles and albums will live on in the millennial memory.
This quiz will focus on Pop, R&B, and Hip-Hop hits that were released between 2000-2005.
"It Wasn't Me"
This Jamaican-American artist is definitely remembered for his smash hit "It Wasn't Me". The song denotes a steamy few evenings between the artist and his neighbour before his spouse catches him red-handed. He confides in a friend and asks him for advice. The best method, as counseled by his friend, is to deny his wife's correct accusations despite the mounting tangible evidence. This hit song is certainly comical and it reminds listeners how sometimes in an argument you say whatever lets you off the hook.
Another sensual and smooth song is this R&B single that uses onomatopoeic and metaphorical methods to describe a memorable evening. Released in 2002, "Ignition (Remix)" gained international recognition and mounted to number two on the Billboard Hot 100 list. The original of this song surprisingly did not even make the Billboard list and was played mostly on national radio. This is one of the great early 2000's songs where even if you don't know the artist you are sure to know the words and the beat.
This artist's most well known single, "Milkshake" was released in 2003. Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo originally wrote the song for Britney Spears but this artist won out and released it on her second album, Tasty. It immediately gained international success, mounted Billboard's top 100 at number three, and was nominated for a Grammy. Since then it has been popularized via movies, samplings and lyrical repetition. Of course, the metaphorical meaning of "Milkshake" has been debated but the producers and artist leave it up to the listener's imagination.
This hit peaked Rolling Stone's "100 Best Songs of the 2000s" at number two. It also won a Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance. It's harsh beat and bad*ss narrative fits this rapper extremely well. He laments the difficulties of being a rapper and how African Americans are profiled in the U.S. Memorably, the hook claims that although this guy has a lot of problems, a b*tch ain't one. The song is referenced in all contemporary rap despite it being originally released in 2003.
"Oops!..I Did it again"
This song has a serious nineties feel to it, from the auto-tune to the embedded conversation between artist and dream boy. Released in 2000, it was an immediate follow-up from the original single that shot her to stardom: "...Baby One More Time". Both gained the artist international acclaim and made this lady a face of the early 2000s. She was also a part of The Mickey Mouse Club that facilitated stardom for actors and artists like Ryan Gosling and Justin Timberlake.
Featuring Lil Jon and Ludacris, this single has an immediate flow and dance-appeal. Like many early 2000s artists, this R&B singer could dance well, which made the music video all the more famous. As well as being a danser and singer the artist acts. However, this song is easily the most recognized piece of this artist's repertoire. Odds are you know this artist because of his single "Yeah!". It was a huge favorite of nightclubs around the world and its production began a stream of music called crunk'n'b.
"Hot in Herre"
This rapper definitely helped popularize the casual sweatband. Perhaps that's why his hit single "Hot in Herre" is so appropriate when sung by him. The song is none too serious and certainly something to groove with. This artist was no one hit wonder. He collaborated singles "Work It" and "Dilemma" with Justin Timberlake and Kelly Rowland respectively. His first two recognized albums were released between 2000-2005, making him a face of the early 2000s. He has continued to produce singles and albums, winning platinum recognition in the U.S.
This single off the album Mama's Gun was released in 2000. This song talks about deep themes like the state of society and the baggage emotional it piles onto individuals. With the title "Bag Lady" it also can be seen as a social critique, the popular artist empathizes with someone society generally casts aside. The song won a Grammy for the best R&B song. This artist is an angel and the music from her oeuvre as well as her influence well deserves remembrance.
From the album Stankonia, this song made a huge impact on the Hip-Hop community. The beat integrates rock and other genres while keeping the song light and memorable. Andre 3000 was actually addressing Erykah Badu's mom in this song. Aside from the personalized message, the hit is also a societal critique by the talented duo as they discuss themes like generational differences, absent fathers, and custody battles. It won an MTV award for the best Hip Hop music video in 2001.
"It's Gonna Be Me"
This hit single was also released with a memorable music video. There was some serious choreographed boy band dancing and a marionette skit like the band's previous single "Bye Bye Bye". "It's Gonna Be Me", however, topped the Billboard Hot 100 list and was from their second studio album "No Strings Attached". The song title and hook pronounced by the lead vocalist sounds like "May!" in place of "Me". This has had the effect of the classic being recommemorated every end of April.
"Rock the Boat"
This song won the Soul Train Music Award for Best R&B/Soul Single and has a fantastic harmony. This singer began very young and her first LP gained a following in "Age Ain't Nothin' But a Number". These songs are consistently resampled for their lyrical uniqueness. Tragically, scenes from the music video "Rock the Boat" were shot in the Bahamas right before a fatal accident that took the singer's life at age 24. She disappeared at the height of her career leaving R&B lovers to savour her work and wonder what could've been.
Singing over a Dr. Dre beat, this artist perfectly pitches the message of leaving emotional baggage and woes at the door of the club. The self-proclaimed Hip Hop Queen exemplifies how unbothered a woman can be on the "No More Drama" album that featured this single. It is recognized by Rolling Stone as one of the best 100 songs from the 2000's was an international success. It's beat will remind you of the type of light pop you listened to in the car head-nodding away.
"By Your Side"
Released in 2000, this romantic soulful song is about supporting a partner. There was a lot of thought and metaphorical interplay between the release of the single and the flower lady appearing in the music video. The single was nominated for a Grammy of Best Female Pop Performance. The artist's British accent brings a distinctness to her lyricism. The singer and band have been producing since the eighties and do not rush their art, as proven by the number of classics in the following decades.
"In da Club"
This catchy rap song was nominated for a Grammy and played exhaustively in clubs around the world. Its simplistic lyrics are easily rememberable and ESL people can similarly follow along. He won Best New Artist from the MTV awards due to the linked debut album "Get Rich or Die Tryin'". The album title reflects a heavily sampled verse from the single, "...go ahead switch the style up and if they hate then let 'em hate and watch the money pile up".
The beautiful young artist showed off her vocal range with this single and it gives first-time listeners goose-bumps. It won a Grammy for Song of the Year and she has been credited with meshing classical soul with contemporary hip-hop. Her style and pose in the music video are an iconic representation of early 2000's swag from beaded hair to the black leather trench. "Fallin'" has been recreated since by many up and coming artists like Jordan Sparks or Dr. Sax Love.
This all female R&B group popularized the term "bootylicious" that had been previously coined by Snoop Dog. The song was a hit single in 2001 and in 2004 the term made it into the Oxford English Dictionary. The content of the song is certainly a positive reclaiming of the body-centric sexuality in the early 2000's. These women are both proudly claiming their femininity and questioning their potential partner's masculinity. The song remains the last all female produced single to top U.S. charts.
"We Be Burnin'"
This artist's Jamaican background can be heard his lyrics and they definitely enhance the beat. Their sing-song rap hybrid adds to its uniqueness and gives it a Rasta sound (especially given the title and embedded references). The single was a 2005 international favorite and four other hits came off of the same album, "The Trinity". While certainly marijuana-friendly, the lyrics of these songs were often changed to be radio appropriate. Several artists like Kanye and Tinashe have sampled "We Be Burnin'" in recent songs.
Over an epic beat this artist launched this song as part of his first album "The College Dropout" in 2004. When "Jesus Walks" climbed the charts and won a Grammy he became a recognized national presence who would continue his drama-filled prolific career. This song explores themes of doubt, the racial plight of Americans, and the power of faith. Paired with the patterning drums and the background harmony, the song becomes a serious question of the role of religion in America.
Written by the artist, Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo, this playful song aired in 2004. Its minimalistic beat and lyrics captured audiences in the U.S. and Australia. It climbed the list Billboard Hot 100, was nominated for a Grammy, and won the Billboard Music Award for Top Digital Song. This hit was produced to reflect the fun and off-brand personality of the singer, she wanted her first album to embody who she was. It is instilled in early 2000 favorites that are spunky and original.
"Since U Been Gone"
This singer totally epitomizes early 2000's pop style with her cropped black vest and highlighted hair. Not to mention she won American Idol, gaining her a record deal with RCA Records. In 2004 she changed "Since U Been Gone" by adding louder guitar and drums, making it a song that elicits full-hearted emotional relief right after a break-up. The artist drew success from this song on her second album "Breakaway" and it has been sampled and covered by numerous rock artists.
This hit includes all types of onomatopoeic references including the reversed lyrics of the artist's voice. This female rapper is an extremely successful artist with four Grammy Awards and a personalized musical style. She is not only a rapper but a songwriter, dancer, and producer. As such she worked closely with Timbaland and produced many of the Aaliyah songs in the "One in a Million" album. "Work It" is a memorable music video that stars this artist dancing and goofing around enjoying her success.
Released in 2000 off the album "Voodoo", this interesting song talks about excess and consumerist practices. It was collaborated on with Questlove and Christopher Martin and was actually the single released first off the album although it did not gain commercial success. Though explicit, the song is metaphorical and talks about the tangible temptations the devil manipulates on earth. This artist does not release albums frequently Instead, he is a perfectionist with all of his releases having multiple classics and enjoying national recognition.
"Drop It Like It's Hot"
Featuring Pharrell Williams, this song was the artist's first U.S. Number one hit. Though the hook is repetitive and minimalist the rhyming and rapping throughout the verses is intricate. The song is a great representation of the West Coast rapper because he is constantly credited with being smooth. As such, "drop it like it's hot" is a list of scenarios and advice of how to act appropriate to the circumstances. Often seen as the chill uncle, this rapper is a remembered presence even if his own work isn't well known.
"Get The Party Started"
The artist performs this song with a punk hairstyle, a few studded belts, and a distinct attitude. She had already begun to collaborate with artists like Lil Kim and opened for NSYNC's tour. Released in 2001 off her album "Missundaztood" the hit was a success in several countries and would pave the way to her stardom. Her subsequent singles and top hits would reflect the same brash and angsty demands like "Get the Party Started". It is certainly original and fun, inviting people to go out and dance.
Yet another member of the Mickey Mouse club was an up-and-comer by the turn of the millenium. She broke the 2000's pop music scene wide open with her hit "Dirrty" which was a far cry from the clean and innocent image she'd had with her previous album. Though these days pop stars are almost expected to show as much skin as possible and sing about explicit activities, this artist was highly criticised for emphazing her body instead of her amazing voice.