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The Best Hip Hop Songs of the 2000s

The 2000s were wild for hip hop – new heads blowin’ up, old-school legends still droppin’ heat, the whole game shifting, from NYC to L.A., Houston to Atlanta, even Chicago and Detroit had their moment in the sun.

But the biggest shift in the ’00s was the South takin’ over. OutKast, Luda, T.I. – they brought a whole new vibe, new flows, new sounds, and put their cities on the map. The South stole the crown from New York, and they ain’t given it back yet.

And don’t forget about the internet changin’ the game in the ’00s. Suddenly cats didn’t need labels to drop fire, they could go straight to the fans. MySpace, then Facebook and Twitter – that’s how artists built their own empires, connectin’ with heads worldwide and droppin’ heat when they wanted. The 2000s were a turning point for hip hop, no doubt.

So let’s get into it. From Clipse’s “Grindin'” and Lupe Fiasco’s “Kick, Push”, to OutKast’s “B.O.B.” and Eminem’s “Stan”, here’s the 50 best hip hop songs of the 2000s as ranked by our community of hip hop heads.

50 Cent – “Many Men (Wish Death)”


Best Hip Hop Album Every Year Since 1986 Get Rich Or Die Tryin

Released: January 7, 2003
Album: Get Rich or Die Tryin’

There are few songs that encapsulate an artist’s essence and resilience as vividly as 50 Cent’s 2003 masterpiece “Many Men (Wish Death).” With Darrell “Digga” Branch and Eminem orchestrating the haunting production, 50’s raw storytelling delves deep into his near-fatal encounter and unrelenting drive for success that trancends 2000s hip-hop. A testament to the Queens rapper’s incredible journey from the unforgiving streets to the pinnacle of the hip hop world, “Many Men” has withstood the test of time perhaps better than any other song off Get Rich or Die Tryin’ . As the years go by, the track continues to resonate with the rap game – being sampled by Pop Smoke and 21 Savage – and is a blunt reminder of 50’s chokehold on hip hop at one point in time.

Clipse – “Grindin’”


Best Hip Hop Album Every Year Since 1986 Lord Willin

Released: May 14, 2002
Album: Lord Willin’

Pushing sonic boundaries, Clipse’s hypnotic anthem “Grindin’” emerged in 2002, forever changing the hip hop landscape. The Neptunes’ minimalist, percussion-heavy beat created an irresistible rhythm that perfectly complemented Pusha T and Malice’s unapologetic tales of hustling. “Grindin’” not only became an anthem for the dope boys, but it also signaled the arrival of Clipse as the hottest thing in the coke rap subgenre.

Nas – “Made You Look”


Top Five Best Hip Hop Songs Each Year Since 1985 Nas Made You Look

Released: September 10, 2002
Album: God’s Son

After an epic battle with Jay-Z the year prior, one in which many thought Nas had won, the Queensbridge prodigy returned in 2002 with the lead single for his upcoming album God’s Son . “Made You Look” is as hard a rap song as it gets. Salaam Remi’s beat, which samples the Incredible Bongo Band’s “Apache”, provides Nas with the perfect canvas to reassert his claim for the King of New York crown.

Common – “The Light”


50 Best Hip Hop Songs That Sample Soul Music Common

Released: July 18, 2000
Album: Like Water for Chocolate

A heartfelt ode to love, “The Light” is a timeless track that exemplified COmmon’s knack of crafting introspective lyricism and pure poetry in motion. The soulful production courtesy of J Dilla, featuring a mesmerizing Bobby Caldwell sample, provided the perfect backdrop for Common’s heartfelt verses.

OutKast – “B.O.B.”


Biggest Hip Hop Album First Week Sales Of 2000 Stankonia

Released: September 19, 2000
Album: Stankonia

OutKast turned the hip hop world upside down with their explosive 2000 hit, “B.O.B. (Bombs Over Baghdad)”. The duo’s rapid-fire flow and innovative blend of genres, coupled with a high-energy beat, created an unforgettable, genre-defying sound. “B.O.B.” perfectly encapsulates OutKast’s creative genius and their fearless approach to pushing boundaries, earning this track a well-deserved spot among the best rap songs of the 2000s.

Eminem – “Stan”


50 Greatest Hip Hop Singles Of All Time Eminem Stan

Released: May 23, 2000
Album: The Marshall Mathers LP

With “Stan,” Eminem crafted a haunting narrative that showcased his unparalleled storytelling abilities amongst his top rap singles. Delving into the mind of an obsessive fan, Em’s chilling lyrics and gripping delivery were masterfully woven over the haunting sample of Dido’s “Thank You.”

Mike Jones ft. Slim Thug and Paul Wall – “Still Tippin’”


Top 25 Best Hip Hop Albums Of 2005 Mike Jones

Released: November 23, 2004
Album: Who Is Mike Jones?

Mike Jones, Slim Thug, and Paul Wall joined forces in 2004 to deliver the Houston classic “Still Tippin’.” This track, off Mike Jones’ debut album Who Is Mike Jones? , features a haunting string sample and hypnotic beat that perfectly complements the rappers’ laid-back, syrupy flows. “Still Tippin’” is an ode to the Houston hip hop scene and a testament to the city’s unique contributions to the culture.

Jay Electronica – “Exhibit C”


100 Greatest Rap Lines In Hip Hop History Exhibit C

Released: December 18, 2009
Album: N/A

Jay Electronica’s debut of “Exhibit C” in 2009 was nothing short of a revelation. Featuring his unparalleled lyricism and thought-provoking narratives over Just Blaze’s anthemic, soulful production, the New Orleans rapper had everyone in the rap world thinking he was the one. Although it never appeared on an album, “Exhibit C” has gathered a cult-like following and remains a crucial reference point for fans eagerly tracking Jay’s enigmatic trajectory.

UGK ft. OutKast – “Int’l Players Anthem (I Choose You)”


Ugk Intl Players Anthem

Released: June 18, 2007
Album: Underground Kingz

Uniting the South’s finest, UGK and OutKast’s “Int’l Players Anthem (I Choose You)” is nothing short of a classic. As a love letter to commitment and the hip hop lifestyle, this track stands out with its catchy Willie Hutch sample and the unforgettable verses from Bun B, Pimp C, André 3000, and Big Boi. Stacks, in particular, spits one of the greatest guest verses in rap history .

Kanye West – “Jesus Walks”


Ranking Kanye West First Week Album Sales College Dropout

Released: May 25, 2004
Album: The College Dropout

Shattering expectations, Kanye West’s “Jesus Walks” from his debut album The College Dropout is a daring exploration of faith and social issues in hip hop. Merging gospel elements with provocative lyrics, Kanye deftly tackles themes of redemption and the African American experience. As a trailblazing track that challenged the norms, “Jesus Walks” signaled the beginning of Kanye’s ever-evolving and genre-defying career.

Lil Wayne – “A Milli”


100 Greatest Rap Lines In Hip Hop History A Milli

Released: June 10, 2008
Album: Tha Carter III

Coming off the mega-hit that was “Lollipop”, Lil Wayne took it back to the streets with the follow-up single. Bursting with bravado, “A Milli” showcases the Young Money rapper at his absolute peak, with the track standing as a cornerstone of Tha Carter III . The hypnotic beat, courtesy of Bangladesh, and Wayne’s mind-bending flow all contribute to a track that’s as catchy as it is lyrical. “A Milli” remains a testament to Lil Wayne’s impact on hip hop and his uncanny ability to capture the zeitgeist.

Eminem – “Lose Yourself”


Most Important Moments Events In Rap Hip Hop History Lose Yourself Oscar

Released: October 28, 2002
Album: 8 Mile (soundtrack)

Undeniably gripping, Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” emerged as the centerpiece of the 8 Mile soundtrack, offering an adrenaline-fueled, motivational anthem that defined 2000s hip-hop. Em’s powerful storytelling and the heart-pounding beat create a track that transcends music, capturing the essence of the movie and Eminem’s own life story. Today, “Lose Yourself” stands as a cultural milestone for pushing past adversity and reaching new heights.

Snoop Dogg ft. Pharrell Williams – “Drop It Like It’s Hot”


Rappers First Number One Song On The Billboard Hot 100 Snoop

Released: September 12, 2004
Album: R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta): The Masterpiece

Snoop Dogg and Pharrell Williams’ 2004 smash hit “Drop It Like It’s Hot” from Snoop’s album R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta): The Masterpiece proved to be a match made in hip hop heaven. The minimalist, infectious beat crafted by The Neptunes, paired with Snoop’s smooth delivery and Pharrell’s melodic hook, made this track an instant classic. Upon its release on September 27, 2004, “Drop It Like It’s Hot” shot to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 where it stayed for the next three weeks.

The Game ft. 50 Cent – “Hate It or Love It”


Hate It Or Love It

Released: February 28, 2005
Album: The Documentary

Featuring quite possibly the best 50 Cent verse of all time, “Hate It or Love It” is an unfortunate reminder of how rap beefs and egos can get in the way of making timeless music. The smooth, summery production courtesy of Cool & Dre provides the perfect backdrop for The Game and 50 Cent’s introspective verses, illustrating their rags-to-riches journeys. “Hate It or Love It” remains an unforgettable track that highlights the undeniable chemistry between these two hip hop heavyweights.

Talib Kweli – “Get By”


50 Best Hip Hop Albums Of The 2000S Talib

Released: March 11, 2003
Album: Quality

With its soulful production and thought-provoking lyrics, Talib Kweli’s “Get By” from his 2003 album Quality remains a shining example of conscious hip hop. Kweli’s intricate wordplay and the uplifting Nina Simone-sampling beat crafted by Kanye West blend seamlessly, creating an anthem for perseverance in the face of adversity. “Get By” continues to resonate with fans, solidifying Talib Kweli’s status as a lyrical powerhouse in the conscious rap world.

Jay-Z – “Public Service Announcement (Interlude)”


Ranking Jay Z First Week Album Sales Black Album

Released: November 14, 2003
Album: The Black Album

Serving as a testament to his lyrical prowess, Jay-Z’s “Public Service Announcement (Interlude)” shines bright on his iconic 2003 release, The Black Album . Just Blaze’s majestic production and Hov’s commanding delivery turn this interlude into a standout moment, proving that even a brief appearance can leave a lasting impression. “Public Service Announcement” is yet another example of Jay-Z’s seemingly endless ability to captivate listeners and dominate the hip hop landscape.

Rich Boy – “Throw Some D’s”


50 Best Hip Hop Remixes Of All Time Rich Boy

Released: November 21, 2006
Album: Rich Boy

Oozing with Southern charm, Rich Boy’s 2006 hit “Throw Some D’s” from his self-titled debut album quickly established itself as a feel-good anthem. The infectious beat and Rich Boy’s relaxed flow turned this track into an unforgettable favorite that still embodies the allure of Southern hip hop. “Throw Some D’s” is an enduring testament to the power of a catchy hook and a smooth beat.

50 Cent – “In Da Club”


Top 250 Best Rap Songs Of All Time 50 Cent In Da Club

Released: January 7, 2003
Album: Get Rich or Die Tryin’

It’s impossible to ignore the impact 50 Cent’s “In Da Club” had on the hip hop scene when it dropped in 2003 as part of his monumental debut album Get Rich or Die Tryin’ . Thanks to Dr. Dre’s top-tier production ( with assistance from DJ Quik ) and 50’s irresistible hook, this club anthem became an instant classic. Today, “In Da Club” continues to define 50 Cent’s legacy and remains a mainstay on party playlists worldwide.

Dead Prez – “Hip Hop”


50 Best Hip Hop Albums Of The 2000S Dead Prez

Released: October 14, 2000
Album: Let’s Get Free

Dead Prez’s “Hip Hop,” from their 2000 album Let’s Get Free , remains a powerful critique of the music industry and the social issues faced by the Black community. With its hard-hitting production and politically charged lyrics, the track captured the attention of listeners and sparked conversations about the role of hip hop in society.

Lupe Fiasco – “Kick, Push”


Ranking Lupe Fiasco First Week Album Sales Food

Released: February 28, 2006
Album: Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor

Lupe Fiasco’s “Kick, Push,” released in 2006 from his debut album Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor , introduced a breath of fresh air to the hip hop scene. With its innovative storytelling about love and skateboarding, “Kick, Push” showcased Lupe’s ability to craft narratives that resonated with audiences beyond traditional hip hop themes.

Three 6 Mafia ft. UGK & Project Pat – “Sippin’ on Some Syrup”


Three Six Mafia

Released: February 6, 2000
Album: When the Smoke Clears: Sixty 6, Sixty 1

An undeniable banger, Three 6 Mafia’s “Sippin’ on Some Syrup” from their 2000 album When the Smoke Clears: Sixty 6, Sixty 1 set the tone for Southern hip hop in the new millennium. Featuring legends UGK and Project Pat, the track’s hypnotic production and laid-back flows created an atmosphere that embraced the culture’s unique style and showcased the distinct sound of Memphis meets Houston.

Kanye West – “Can’t Tell Me Nothing”


Top 250 Best Rap Songs Of All Time Kanye Cant Tell Me Nothing

Released: May 15, 2007
Album: Graduation

Kanye West’s defiant anthem “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” from his 2007 magnum opus Graduation remains a powerful testament to self-confidence and perseverance. Driven by a haunting beat and Kanye’s signature introspection, the track captures the essence of an artist determined to carve his own path in the industry.

Jadakiss ft. Styles P – “We Gonna Make It”


100 Rappers Their Age Classic Album Jadakiss

Released: January 15, 2002
Album: Kiss tha Game Goodbye

Jadakiss and Styles P joined forces on this timeless track “We Gonna Make It”, a triumphant anthem of perseverance and determination. Over Alchemist’s timeless production, the duo’s hard-hitting bars and relentless flow captured the essence of East Coast hardcore hip hop.

Young Jeezy ft. Bun B – “Trap or Die”


Greatest Three Album Runs In Hip Hop History Jeezy

Released: July 26, 2005
Album: Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101

There hasn’t been a stronger mission statement from a rapper since Young Jeezy uttered the words: “Last time I checked I was the man on these streets.” The ATL trapper-turned-rapper and Bun B joined forces in 2005 for “Trap or Die,” a raw and unapologetic ode to hustling from Jeezy’s debut album Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101 . The track’s gritty production and the duo’s relentless flows captured the essence of street life, making “Trap or Die” a powerful representation of the trap music movement and an enduring anthem for those who embrace the hustle.

Missy Elliott – “Get Ur Freak On”


Top 50 Greatest Hip Hop Beats Of All Time Missy Get Ur

Released: April 3, 2001
Album: Miss E… So Addictive

Missy Elliott’s innovative spirit and unparalleled creativity shone bright on “Get Ur Freak On,” the electrifying hit from her 2001 album Miss E… So Addictive . With Timbaland’s genre-bending production and Missy’s infectious energy, the track created a hypnotic soundscape that left listeners captivated. “Get Ur Freak On” continues to be celebrated as an iconic and groundbreaking moment in hip hop history.

Jay-Z – “U Don’t Know”


Best Hip Hop Album Every Year Since 1986 Blueprint

Released: September 11, 2001
Album: The Blueprint

Hailing from Jay-Z’s seminal 2001 album The Blueprint , “U Don’t Know” exemplifies Hov’s unrelenting ambition and unmatched lyrical prowess. Driven by Just Blaze’s thunderous production, Jay-Z’s confident flow and braggadocious wordplay left no doubt that he was a force to be reckoned with in the hip hop world. Released at the peak of his game, “U Don’t Know” remains a testament to Jay-Z’s unwavering dominance in the game.

Bun B ft. Jay-Z, Pimp C, Z-Ro & Young Jeezy – “Get Throwed”


Top 25 Best Hip Hop Albums Of 2005 Bun B

Released: October 18, 2005
Album: Trill

When Bun B assembled a powerhouse lineup for “Get Throwed” from his 2005 album Trill , the result was a gritty, swagger-filled anthem that showcased the best of Southern hip hop. With an all-star cast of Jay-Z, Pimp C, Z-Ro, and Young Jeezy, the track delivered an infectious beat and memorable verses that left an indelible mark on the culture and solidified Bun B’s status as a Dirty South legend.

Madvillain – “All Caps”


50 Best Hip Hop Albums Of The 2000S Madvillain

Released: March 23, 2004
Album: Madvillainy

When Madvillain, the iconic collaboration between MF DOOM and Madlib, released “All Caps” in 2004, it was clear that they had created something extraordinary. The track’s off-kilter beat and MF DOOM’s cryptic, intricate wordplay combined to form an enigmatic soundscape that left listeners entranced. “All Caps” stands as a testament to Madvillain’s unique chemistry and their lasting impact on underground hip hop.

OutKast – “Ms. Jackson”


Top 50 Best Outkast Songs Of All Time Ms Jackson 987X1024

Released: October 3, 2000
Album: Stankonia

OutKast’s “Ms. Jackson,” released in 2000 from their genre-defying album Stankonia , showcased the duo’s unparalleled creativity and versatility. The track’s smooth, melodic production and earnest lyrics about complicated relationships resonated with listeners, while Big Boi and André 3000’s distinctive flows demonstrated their ability to masterfully tackle any subject matter. “Ms. Jackson” remains a beloved classic that solidified OutKast’s place in hip hop history.

T.I. – “What You Know”


Biggest Hip Hop Album First Week Sales Of 2006 Ti King

Released: January 29, 2006
Album: King

T.I. cemented his place as the King of the South in 2006 with his anthemic hit “What You Know.” The track’s booming production, combined with T.I.’s infectious hook and confident flow, created a larger-than-life sound that commanded attention. “What You Know” exemplifies T.I.’s enduring influence on the ATL rap landscape and his ability to consistently deliver unforgettable bangers.

Ludacris ft. Pharrell Williams – “Southern Hospitality”


Ranking Ludacris First Week Album Sales Back

Released: October 4, 2000
Album: Back for the First Time

Bursting onto the scene in 2000 with “Southern Hospitality” from his album Back for the First Time , Ludacris brought a fresh and charismatic energy to hip hop. Featuring Pharrell’s undeniable touch on production, the track showcased Ludacris’s animated delivery and humor-filled lyricism, creating a bona fide anthem that put the Dirty South on the map in the new millennium.

The Diplomats – “Dipset Anthem”


50 Best Hip Hop Songs That Sample Soul Music Diplomats

Released: March 25, 2003
Album: Diplomatic Immunity

The Diplomats struck gold in 2003 with their swagger-filled “Dipset Anthem” from their debut group album Diplomatic Immunity . The track’s triumphant production, coupled with Cam’ron, Juelz Santana, and Jim Jones’s charismatic flows, epitomized the group’s flair for crafting anthems that resonate with fans. “Dipset Anthem” continues to be a beloved symbol of Dipset’s influence and their unyielding place in hip hop culture.

M.O.P. – “Ante Up”


Mop Warriorz

Released: October 10, 2000
Album: Warriorz

Delivering an adrenaline rush straight to the heart of hip hop, M.O.P.’s “Ante Up” from their 2000 album Warriorz captured the raw energy and aggressive spirit of the genre. Driven by an infectious beat and the duo’s unmistakable, high-octane delivery, “Ante Up” remains an undeniable anthem for those who crave intensity and unapologetic ferocity in their rap music.

Nas – “One Mic”


Top 50 Best Nas Songs Of All Time One Mic

Released: December 18, 2001
Album: Stillmatic

With its raw intensity and stripped-down production, Nas’ “One Mic” remains a powerful testament to the impact of simplicity in hip hop. The Queensbridge MC’s impassioned delivery and thought-provoking lyrics reveal an artist unafraid to bare his soul, making “One Mic” an unforgettable and deeply resonant track for fans who appreciate lyrical prowess and vulnerability in equal measure.

Big Tymers – “Still Fly”


Big Tymers

Released: October 29, 2002
Album: Hood Rich

Flashy and brimming with swagger, Big Tymers’ 2002 hit “Still Fly” from their album Hood Rich captured the essence of early 2000s hip hop extravagance. Manny Fresh’s infectious production and the duo’s playful, boastful rhymes crafted an anthem that embodied the larger-than-life personas of the era. With its undeniable catchiness and unapologetic opulence, “Still Fly” firmly etched Big Tymers’ names into hip hop history.

Little Brother – “Lovin’ It”


80 Best Produced Hip Hop Albums Of All Time Little Brother

Released: August 24, 2004
Album: The Listening

Soulful and smooth, Little Brother’s “Lovin’ It” from their 2004 debut The Listening served as a refreshing antidote to the mainstream rap landscape. Phonte and Rapper Big Pooh’s impeccable chemistry and thoughtful lyricism, complemented by 9th Wonder’s lush production, created a track that resonated with hip hop purists. “Lovin’ It” remains an enduring testament to Little Brother’s commitment to authentic, heartfelt hip hop storytelling.

El-P – “Deep Space 9mm”


50 Best Hip Hop Albums Of The 2000S El P

Released: March 19, 2002
Album: Fantastic Damage

El-P blasted into the hip hop cosmos in 2002 with the innovative and dystopian “Deep Space 9mm,” a standout track from his debut solo album, Fantastic Damage . The song’s gritty, futuristic production, paired with El-P’s sharp lyricism and relentless flow, introduced the world to his unique vision of hip hop. Pushing the envelope, “Deep Space 9mm” exemplifies El-P’s trailblazing spirit and solidifies his status as a creative pioneer in the genre.

Beanie Sigel ft. Melissa Jiménez – “Feel It in the Air”


Top 25 Best Hip Hop Albums Of 2005 Beanie Sigel

Released: February 3, 2005
Album: The B. Coming

Beanie Sigel tapped into the emotional core of hip hop in 2005 with his introspective track “Feel It in the Air,” featuring the mesmerizing vocals of Melissa Jiménez. Exploring paranoia and the tumultuous reality of street life, Beanie Sigel’s vivid storytelling resonated with listeners, showcasing the depth and vulnerability that the finest rappers can achieve. As a powerful display of introspection, “Feel It in the Air” underscores Beanie Sigel’s lasting impact on the rap game.

Royce Da 5’9″ – “Boom”


Royce Boom Rock City

Released: April 26, 2002
Album: Rock City (Version 2.0)

With a raw energy that shook the hip hop world in 2002, Royce Da 5’9″ unleashed “Boom,” one of the finest examples of the Detroit lyricists’s microphone skills. DJ Premier’s head-nodding production set the stage for Royce’s intricate wordplay, announcing his arrival as a formidable force in the rap game. “Boom” serves as a reminder of Royce Da 5’9″’s sheer talent, cementing his position among hip hop’s lyrical elite .

Ja Rule ft. Fat Joe & Jadakiss – “New York”


Ranking Ja Rule First Week Album Sales Rule

Released: October 27, 2004
Album: R.U.L.E.

The Big Apple was celebrated in style in 2004 when Ja Rule, Fat Joe, and Jadakiss dropped the hard-hitting anthem “New York.” Known for being the song that prompted 50 Cent to attack Fat Joe and Jadakiss, the song’s infectious hook and confrontational verses nevertheless served as a love letter to the rapper’s hometown.

Chamillionaire ft. Krayzie Bone – “Ridin’”


Greatest Rapper Hooks Of All Time Chamillionaire

Released: November 12, 2005
Album: The Sound of Revenge

When 2005 gifted us Chamillionaire and Krayzie Bone’s infectious anthem “Ridin’,” hip hop fans knew they were witnessing something special. The combination of Chamillionaire’s witty wordplay and Krayzie Bone’s velvety flow, all set against a catchy beat, led to Grammy recognition and an unforgettable place in 2000s hip hop history.

Elzhi ft. Royce Da 5’9″ – “Motown 25”


50 Best Hip Hop Albums Of The 2000S Elzhi

Released: August 12, 2008
Album: The Preface

Detroit’s finest, Elzhi and Royce Da 5’9″, teamed up to deliver “Motown 25” in 2008, a lyrical masterpiece that paid homage to their Motor City roots. The track’s soulful production, courtesy of Black Milk, provided the perfect backdrop for the duo’s intricate wordplay and razor-sharp flow. “Motown 25” not only showcased the undeniable talent of these two lyrical titans but also cemented their status as two of the best Detroit rappers of all time .

Immortal Technique – “Dance With The Devil”


Immortal Technique

Released: September 18, 2001
Album: Revolutionary Vol. 1

The dark, piano-driven production on “Dance With The Devil” set the stage perfectly for a harrowing tale of crime, betrayal, and moral decay. This underground classic not only solidified Immortal Technique’s place in hip hop history, but also served as a powerful reminder of the MC’s pristine storytelling abilities .

Kid Cudi – “Day ‘n’ Nite”


Kid Cudi Day N Nite Inspired By Geto Boys Mind Playing Tricks On Me

Released: September 15, 2009
Album: Man on the Moon: The End of Day

“Day ‘n’ Nite” hit the scene in 2008, and it was a breath of fresh air in the hip hop world. Blending Cudi’s signature hums with a hypnotic beat, the song captured the essence of loneliness and inner turmoil. Inspired by Geto Boy’s “Mind Playing Tricks on Me” , Cudi’s vulnerability on this track paved the way for a new wave of emotive hip hop that would rule the 2010s.

Freeway ft. Jay-Z & Beanie Sigel – “What We Do”


Top 25 Best Hip Hop Albums Of 2003 Freeway

Released: September 3, 2002
Album: Philadelphia Freeway

This was peak Roc-A-Fella right here. When Freeway joined forces with Jay-Z and Beanie Sigel for “What We Do” in 2002, they gave us a raw, unapologetic glimpse into the street hustle of Brooklyn meets Philly. Produced by Just Blaze, the track’s cinematic beat laid the foundation for the trio’s gritty storytelling and fierce lyricism.

Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz ft. Ying Yang Twins – “Get Low”


Top 250 Best Hip Hop Songs Of All Time Part 1 Lil Jon

Released: February, 18, 2003
Album: Kings of Crunk

When “Get Low” dropped in 2002, Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz and the Ying Yang Twins turned every club into a wild, crunk-fueled party. That infectious beat and those rowdy call-and-response lyrics had everyone on the dancefloor getting low. This anthem not only put crunk music on the map, but also made sure Lil Jon’s iconic ad-libs would never be forgotten.

Nelly ft. City Spud – “Ride wit Me”


Ranking Nelly First Week Album Sales Country Grammar

Released: February 13, 2001
Album: Country Grammar

You remember 2001, right? Nelly’s “Ride wit Me” was inescapable, and we loved every second of it. Teaming up with City Spud, Nelly gave us that chill, feel-good vibe that rap fans couldn’t help but sing along to. Thanks to its catchy rhymes and that DeBarge sample, “Ride wit Me” is still a hit that reminds us of Nelly’s ability to rule the charts .

Cam’ron ft. Juelz Santana – “Oh Boy”


50 Best Hip Hop Songs That Sample Soul Music Camron

Released: April 2, 2002
Album: Come Home with Me

Dripping with Harlem swagger , “Oh Boy” saw Cam’ron and Juelz Santana deliver a timeless street anthem in 2002. Just Blaze’s banging, soulful production laid the groundwork for Cam’s slick wordplay and Juelz’s exuberant rhymes, as the duo flexed their lyrical chemistry. This certified hit not only became Cam’s biggest hit, it also cemented Dipset as 2000s New York rap icons.

Drake – “Best I Ever Had”


Drake So Far Gone

Released: February 13, 2009
Album: So Far Gone

In 2009, a young Toronto captivated us with his smooth, melodic bars and heartfelt-yet-earnest feelings on “Best I Ever Had.” Combining an R&B-infused beat with Drake’s signature introspective rhymes, “Best I Ever Had” laid the groundwork for the Canadian rapper’s inevitable rise to superstardom.

Busta Rhymes ft. P. Diddy & Pharrell – “Pass the Courvoisier, Part II”


50 Best Hip Hop Songs Of The 2000S Busta

Released: February 12, 2002
Album: Genesis

The turn of the millennium saw Busta Rhymes unleash his effervescent flow alongside P. Diddy and Pharrell on this Neptunes-produced banger. “Pass the Courvoisier, Part II” was more than just an ode to the high life; it became an intoxicating anthem that had everyone raising a glass in celebration.

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