I’ll freely admit writing this piece made me feel exceptionally (and officially) old. To think these songs were downloaded to our MP3s and Nano’s 10+ years ago feels almost nonsensical.
The music scene of the 2000’s saw a significant change in the charts leading genre. Britney Spears and The Backstreet Boys began fighting for chart positions against hip-hop artists Nelly and Eminem. What’s more, the new millennium spurred the mass expansion of the internet. Music files were able to be easily shared and transferred, and ‘shuffling’ your playlist became a huge aspect of how we ingested music. The ‘shuffle’ feature meant albums became less about their running order and more about the singular tracks themselves. Self-curated playlists gave power of choice to the listener.
We’ve put together a wee countdown of our favourite 2000 throwback tracks.
10. 50 Cent – “In Da Club”
In the years preceding 2003, the majority weren’t entirely certain of who 50 Cent was as an artist. When “In Da Club” hit, it was seemingly blasted on the radio, became our flip-top ringtones, and was the first song I got my girlfriend Cindy to ‘Bluetooth’ to my phone right before ‘Suga Suga’ by Baby Bash. If I saw this live, I’d no doubt break out in a few tears of nostalgia. The track focuses on 50’s artist aspirations, having a damn good time, and living the high life.
9. Kid Cudi – “Day n Night”
A phenomenal production, ‘Day n Night’ is a song crafted for night-time car drives with cold wind and bright headlights, I swear it sounds better through the car stereo than the air pods. Cudi’s flow is rather slow on the record, but the song doesn’t call for lyrics that jam down your throat. This is an easy-breezy tune that will forever settle nicely on your eardrums.
8. Avril Lavigne – “Complicated”
This one brings back vivid memories of sitting on our caravan bunk beds with my sister and belting out the words like we didn’t have neighbours that were less than a metre away on all sides. Avril’s success in the 2000 blew up during these 9 years with her unique fusion of pop and rock, yet her maturation was anything but linear. We’ve seen Avril’s signature tank top and jet-black eyeliner soften to something of grace and return to the pop-princess-look and back round again at least three times over.
7. Justin Bieber – “One Time”
Ah, the hallmark pop-song from the drop-dead gorgeous Canadian talent just freshly scouted by Usher, on the way to a career that would have Bieber selling out stadiums in minutes. ‘One Time’ was an adorable no-brainer to put on the playlist and despite the amount of times you’d listened to it, you’d never shake the Nano to skip forward. It most certainly made you delve into thought of your significant other at the time and you’d be singing it well after the track played its last beat.
6. Katy Perry – “I Kissed A Girl”
If this played at a party and you weren’t wearing a Kathmandu/Macpac puffer jacket in the middle of the lounge floor ignorantly ensuring noise control would be back for the third time, where were you? Katy Perry was the total pop-icon of the 2000’s and her fan-base was a phenomenal stretch of all genders. I distinctly remember us boys and girls getting to know both the versus and the chorus alike. We could sing “I Kissed a Girl” seamlessly from intro to outro. (Tune not mandatory)
5. OutKast – “Hey Ya”
“What’s cooler than cool?” “Ice cold”!
Andre 3000 and OutKast created a masterful blend of funk, soul, and pop with this hit. The track went straight to the top of the Billboard Hot 100, chilled out for nine weeks up there before being nominated for the Grammy Award for Record of the Year. ‘Hey Ya’ has its rightful place in our hearts, listening bringing back enough memories to last a lifetime.
4. Rihanna – “Pon de Replay”
Whoever this Mr DJ person was could never quite seem to turn the music up loud enough for Rhi, or us; but it did serve to turn up her career. Caribbean rhythm ‘Pon de Replay was a big cup of straight up sass back in its day, calling all the quiet ones from the corner into the centre to get it on with the dance moves. It was the first single from Riahnna’s debut album, ‘Music of the Sun’ and provided us with a beat that got you up off the couch faster than the smell of 2-minute Maggi noodles beeping in the microwave.
3. The Killers – “Mr Brightside
Electric chills is the chemical reaction ‘Mr Brightside’ will continue to give you for generations to come. The song transcends well beyond it’s time. This is music that is human, that knows who we are, reflects us, and is everything we want to say. I was too young for boys in the days where it was trending hard, but boy did it mean something when the time finally came around – both when something new was starting out AND when something had just broken up. The Killers are that band that give you a net to fish for a lifetime rather than the fish itself. It’s the sensational gift that’ll keep on giving.
2. Eminem – “Stan”
Angry-boy Eminem really came to the forefront in the 2000s. ‘Stan’ was by-far a standout. The complexity of the lyrics paired with Eminem’s ridiculously talented way of naturally wrapping up explosive words into poetic statements confirms he’ll be known as a rap legend long after our time. It told the story of a super-fan that dedicated his life looking up to Matthews alter ego, ‘Slim Shady’. But as you already know, Eminem would never just keep a storyline that simple. Refresh yourself on its incredible development:
1. Nelly – “Ride Wit Me”
You knew it was coming. Ride Wit Me will be the sensual and delicious number one from the 2000’s forever. Nelly drastically changed the face of the music industry with his blockbuster debut ‘Country Grammar’. R&B and rap began to make its way to the top of the charts and Nelly’s name was plastered everywhere, ‘Ride Wit Me’ making number three on the top 100 charts in a day. It will never EVER, be removed from my playlist. If it’s not on yours, trust me, the nostalgic throwback shall not disappoint.