Nostalgia Noise – Top 101 Early 2000’s R&B and Rap/Hip-Hop hits (50-01)

Here goes the second part of the Top 101 Early 2000’s R&B and Hip-Hop Hits…

Number 50: 50 Cent “Window Shopper” (2005)

Not 50 Cent’s biggest track but deserves a place in the Top 50. The track went Gold in the US and charted in the UK and US as well as other countries such as Germany and France.

49: Fabolous featuring Mike Shorey and Lil Mo’ “Can’t Let You Go” (2003)

Peaked at number 4 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and at number 2 on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles and Tracks and the US Billboard Hot Rap Tracks.

48: 50 Cent “Wanksta” (2002)

50’s first single to chart after signing to Eminem’s and Dr. Dre’s labels Shady Records and Aftermath Entertainment. The song featured on the film, 8 Mile, soundtrack. There are/were rumours that the lyrics were directed at Ja-Rule. The track did not chart in the UK but peaked at number 3 on the US.

47: Twista featuring Kanye West “Overnight Celebrity” (2004)

The first of two collaborations between Twista and Kanye West to feature on this list. The song featured in two video games, those being Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition and Saints Row.

46: Nelly featuring Paul Wall, Ali and Gipp “Grillz” (2005)

Again, no where near Nelly’s biggest hit but the track went Platinum in the US and peaked at number 1 in the US Billboard Hot 100 an US Billboard Rhythmic Charts.

45: Outkast “Ms Jackson” (2000)

The song is rumoured to be inspired by Andre 3000’s relationship with Erykah Badu. Very famous chorus that is still known very well today.

44: Sean Paul “Like Glue” (2003)

As with, Twista and Kanye West’s “Overnight Celebrity”, this track also featured on the game Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition. The track went Gold in Canada and it’s highest chart position was number 3 in the UK Singles Charts.

43: Fat Joe featuring Ashanti “What’s Luv” (2001)

Finished at number 8 on the US Billboard Hot 100 End-of-Year Charts. The track also went Gold in the UK and Australia.

42: The Game featuring 50 Cent “How We Do” (2004)

This was The Game’s first Top 10 hit as an artist. The track went Gold in the US.

41: Ludacris featuring Shawnna “Stand Up” (2003)

Luda gained another Grammy nomination for a “Best Rap Solo Performance” for this track.

40: Kanye West “Through The Wire” (2003)

Arguably one of Kanye’s best songs of one of his best pieces of work, College Dropout. The song focuses on his recovery from a near fatal car accident that he was involved in, in 2002. The whole recording of the track was done whilst Kanye was still going through recovery and had his mouth wired shut.

“I spit it though the wire man, it’s too much stuff on my heart right. I gladly risk it all right now. It’s a life or death situation man, ya’ll don’t really understand how I feel right now man….”

39: Kelis “Milkshake” (2003)

Kelis’s biggest hit with the track going Gold in three countries and Platinum in Australia. Peaked at Number 1 on four different charts as well. It was also nominated for a Grammy at the 2004 Awards for Best Urban/Alternative Performance.

38: Chris Brown “Yo, Excuse Me Miss” (2005)

Two times Platinum in the US, Silver in the UK and Platinum US but still not Chris Brown’s biggest hit during this era.

37: Mario Winans “I Don’t Wanna Know” (2003)

The song samples Fugee’s popular 1996 track “Ready or Not” which entail was sampled from Enya “Boadicea”. Gained number 1 in the UK but was stuck behind Ushers “Yeah!” and “Burn” in the US Charts. This is really Mario Winans hit and potentially, had it not been for the Fugee’s sample, this song may not have been lower.

36: Chris Brown featuring Juelz Santana “Run It” (2005)

Chris Brown’s debut single was by far his biggest hit of this time. The track went Platinum a total of three times in the US, Silver in the UK, Gold in four other countries and Platinum in another. The track and Chris endured a very good introduction to the music scene. Due to Chris’s long list of hits and longevity in the music scene, this sometimes gets overshadowed as a throwback and big hit of its time.

35: Usher and Alicia Keys “My Boo” (2004)

This is Ushers third most successful single from his Confessions album with “Yeah!” and “Burn” being the two above it. The track went Platinum in the US and Canada and Silver in the UK.

34: Ne-Yo “Sexy Love” (2006)

One of Ne-Yo’s biggest hits during this era with this track going three times Platinum in the United States and Gold in the UK.

33: Sean Paul “Get Busy” (2003)

Nominated for Best Dance Video and the Best New Artist at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards.

32: Ne-Yo “So Sick” (2005)

Just above “Sexy Love” as “So Sick” went Platinum four times in America and Platinum in the UK and Japan. It also went Gold in three other countries.

31: Kanye West featuring Jamie Foxx “Gold Digger” (2005)

The song that contains a sample from Ray Charle’s “I Got A Woman” also gained Kanye a Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance and was also nominated for Record of the Year in 2006.

30: Ja-Rule featuring Ashanti “Mesmerize” (2002)

This was Ja-Rule’s and Ashanti’s fourth Top 10 hit as a duet. The song samples Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross’s 1974 hit, “Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart)”. Ja-Rule and Ashanti were a formidable force in the early 2000’s for sure.

Ashanti and Ja-Rule – Credit: Getty

29: D-12 “My Band” (2004)

One of D-12’s biggest hits and most successful in the UK with the single peaking at number 2 and also went Silver in the UK. The track charted in over 15 other countries.

28: Ja-Rule featuring Ashanti “Always On Time” (2001)

In the words of DJ Khaled…“Another one” for Ja-Rule and Ashanti.

27: Missy Elliot “Get Ur Freak On” (2001)

In 2010, the magazine Rolling Stone put “Get Your Freak On” at number 466 in the list of The 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time.

26: Twista featuring Kanye West and Jamie Foxx “Slow Jamz” (2003)

Nominated at the Grammy’s for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.

25: Jay-Z featuring Beyonce “03′ Bonnie and Clyde” (2002)

The song and video played on the infamous story of crime couple Bonnie and Clyde. The song also played on/sampled Tupac’s 1996 song, “Me and My Girlfriend”.

24: 50 Cent featuring Nate Dogg “21 Questions” (2003)

“21 Questions” got number 1 on three different US Charts and peaked at number 6 on the UK Singles Charts and number 2 on the UK R&B Charts.

23: Nelly featuring City Spud “Ride Wit Me” (2001)

The track ended up on 5 different countries End of Year Charts and went Platinum in the UK and Australia and Gold in the US.

22: Kanye West featuring Lupe Fiasco “Touch The Sky” (2006)

Curtis Mayfield’s huge “Move On Up” is sampled in the track but the horn has been slowed down in “Touch The Sky”. Added to this, the video of the song ranks as one of the most expensive music videos with the whole thing costing around $1 million to make and produce.

The music video for “Touch The Sky”

21: Jay-Z “Dirt Off Your Shoulders” (2003)

The track ended up at 21 on the End of Year Charts for the US Billboard 100. The track was a clear success and the “brush the dirt” off his shoulders has gone down as quite a significant motion with even Barack Obama adopting it during a speech whilst President in 2008.

20: Justin Timberlake “Cry Me A River” (2002)

Timberlakes most widely known hit with the song going Gold in four countries and Platinum in the UK. It ended up in five different countries End of Year Charts. It was also the first song in which Timberlake and Timbaland worked together on a track.

19: Blu Cantrell featuring Sean Paul “Breathe” (2003)

Eyebrows may be raised at high this song ranks. One of those songs that still gets played and recognised today even though Blu Cantrell’s career did not really carry on in the same vein. The song did a lot better in Europe than it did in the US. It was a Top 10 hit in the UK for a total of 4 weeks during the summer of 2003.

18: DMX “X Gon’ Give It To Ya” (2003)

Used as one of the leading soundtrack songs for the 2003 film Cradle 2 The Grave in which DMX is one of the lead characters. It is also the official soundtrack of the 2016 film, Deadpool, highlighting the longevity of the song.

17: 50 Cent “Just A Lil Bit” (2005)

This was yet another hit during 50’s years of dominance in the Rap and Hip-Hop scene over the world. The song would go Gold and Platinum in Australia and America.

16: Terror Squad “Lean Back” (2004)

15: Eminem “The Real Slim Shady” (2000)

Eminem won a Grammy for the Best Rap Solo Performance for this track. The music video also won Best Video and Best Male Video at the MTV Video Music Awards. It has been ranked at 396 on NME’s 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time.

14: Nelly “Hot In Herre” (2002)

At the 2003 Grammy’s a nee category called Best Male Rap Solo Performance was introduced, in which Nelly won for “Hot In Herre”. Arguably Nelly’s most famous solo hit.

13: Sean Paul “Temperature” (2006)

12: Kanye West featuring Syleena Johnson “All Falls Down” (2004)

Kanye was nominated for another Grammy for this track in the Best Rap/Sung Collaboration at the 2005 Awards. The song was Kanye’s first Top 10 single in the US.

11: Usher featuring Lil Jon and Ludacris “Yeah!” (2004)

The same award that Kanye’s “All Falls Down” was nominated for, was won by this track instead. “Yeah!” Was also nominated for Record of the Year at the same Award shows.

Usher in the video for “Yeah!”

10: Outkast “Hey Ya!” (2003)

Out of all of their hits, this is arguably OutKast’s most known and widely heard track. The track won a Grammy for Best Urban/Alternative Performance in 2004. The music video won Video of the Year at the BET Awards and the MTV Video Music Awards, as well as Best Video of the Year at the Soul Train Music Awards. In total, the song and the music video was nominated for a combined 20 Awards and Outkast won 11 of them.

9: The Game featuring 50 Cent “Hate It Or Love It” (2005)

The song was nominated for 4 different awards, with two of those being Grammy’s and the other two being a BET Award and a MTV Music Video Award. More famously known for the feud between 50 and The Game that occurred afterwards.

8: Jay-Z “99 Problems” (2004)

Along with “Dirt Off Your Shoulder”, this is one of Jay-Z’s biggest hits and most well known. The track sits higher in this list compared to “Dirt Off Your Shoulder” due to it going two times Platinum and also Gold. The song highlights key issues with Jay cleverly rapping an interaction with the Police and highlights racial profiling:

“So I pulled over to the side of the road, I heard ‘son, do you know why I’m stopping you for?’ ‘cause I’m young, and I’m black and my hats real low, so I look like a mind reader sir, I don’t know? Am I under arrest or should I guess some more?”

7: Mario “Let Me Love You” (2004)

The first and only hit for Mario on this list. In 2009, Billboard released their Decade Charts, in which “Let Me Love You” charted at number 8.

6: Rihanna “Pon De Replay” (2005)

Charted in twenty different countries and over twenty different charts. It also charted for fifteen different End of Year Charts. The song went two times Platinum in the US and Gold in four other countries. A hugely successful debut single an artist that has gone onto have huge success.

5: Chamillionaire featuring Krayzie Bone “Ridin'” (2006)

A huge sensation at the time. The track ended up getting ten different remixes/parodies. It went four times Platinum in the United States, Silver in the UK and Gold in Germany. It also peaked in the Top 10 of ten different charts. It would be interesting to consider how much more successful this song could have become and turned into had it come out during a time when social media was a lot more prominent.

4: 50 Cent “In Da Club” (2003)

50 Cent’s most widely known hit. Ranked among Rolling Stone’s Best Songs of the Decade and in 2010, the same magazine placed it at 448th in their 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time list. The track was nominated for two Grammy’s and won two MTV Video Music Awards.

3: Beyonce featuring Jay-Z “Crazy In Love” (2003)

The song won two Grammy’s in 2004 for Best R&B Song and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. The Rolling Stone magazine ranked it at 118th in their Best Songs Of All Time in 2010.

2: Nelly and Kelly Rowland “Dilemma” (2002)

The song won a Grammy for the Best Sung/Rap Collaboration and is Nelly and Kelly Rowland’s biggest hit to date. By the end of 2009, the song had become the 11th most successful song between the years 2000-2009.

1: Eminem “Lose Yourself” (2002)

The soundtrack to the popular film, 8 Mile in which Eminem stars in. The track became the first Rap song to ever win the Academy Award for The Best Original Song. Along with two Grammy Awards, it went Platinum a total of five times and was ranked at 166th on the Rolling Stones ‘500 Greatest Songs Of All Time’.

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