103 Best 2000s Hip Hop Songs

Best 2000s Hip Hop Songs

If you already have a playlist of the best 2000s dance songs, you might consider collecting the best 2000s hip hop songs to capture a different musical style. So, let’s explore some of the best 2000s rap songs that capture the energy of the past 20 years!

Contents

“Ms. Jackson” by Outkast

Song Year: 2000

When it comes to the best hip hop songs of the 2000s, there is no better and more popular place to start than Outkast’s “Ms. Jackson,” which almost everybody will know. Released in October of 2000, the track was at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States.

“The Real Slim Shady” by Eminem

Song Year: 2000

The title of this Eminem track should give it away, but if not, you will likely recognize the opening instrumental riff. Released in 2000 on The Marshall Mathers LP, this song was a huge hit and won a Grammy for the Best Solo Rap Performance.

“Paper Planes” by M.I.A.

Song Year: 2007

Released in 2007 on the album Kala, this track by M.I.A. was insanely popular, including the accompanying music video. The song topped many charts, including hitting the number 4 spot in the US on the Billboard Hot 100.

“Pursuit of Happiness” by Kid Cudi

Song Year: 2009

Kid Cudi released the track “Pursuit of Happiness” in 2009 on the album Man on the Moon: The End of Day. The song features contributions from Ratatat and MGMT, and the mood is a mix of psychedelic instrumentals and passionate lyrics.

“Get Ur Freak On” by Missy Elliott

Song Year: 2001

“Get Ur Freak On” by Missy Elliott, released on the 2001 album Miss E…So Addictive, has an instrumental opening that you will most likely recognize. The musical groove and sound effects mimic elements of the Indian dancing style known as bhangra.

“Clap Back” by Ja Rule

Song Year: 2003

Ja Rule released the track “Clap Back” in 2003 on the album Blood in My Eye. This gangsta rap style features aggressive singing styles, and the song’s lyrics serve as an insult to 50 Cent and Eminem, something the hip hop world calls a diss song.

“Work It” by Missy Elliott

Song Year: 2002

Released in 2002 on the album Under Construction, the song “Work It” by Missy Elliot harkens back to the hip-hop style from the 1980s. Considering the track made it to the number 2 spot on the Billboard Hot 100, it is one of Elliott’s most successful songs.

“B.O.B.” by OutKast

Song Year: 2000

Next up is another popular song, “B.O.B.,” by OutKast that they released in 2000 on an album by the same name. The abbreviation stands for “Bomb Over Baghdad,” and the 2003 Iraq War helped propel this track to be popular.

“P.S.A.” by Jay-Z

Song Year: 2003

Released on the 2003 album The Black Album, this track by Jay-Z is short and makes its point directly. With an aggressive beat and singing style, the lyrics call out certain journalists in a direct “public service announcement” style.

“Jesus Walks” by Kanye West

Song Year: 2004

Up next is another track that likely needs no introduction—you are probably already hearing it in your head from the title. Released in 2004 on the album The College Dropout, the song made it to the number 11 spot on Billboard Hot 100 and is one of West’s most performed tracks.

“Back in the Game” by Wu-Tang Clan

Song Year: 2001

The Wu-Tang Clan released their track “Back in the Game” in 2001 on the album Iron Flag. Featuring contributions from Ronald Isley, who sings smooth interludes, the hip-hop style calls back to that from the 80s and 90s.

“This Is How We Do” by Big Tymers

Song Year: 2003

“This Is How We Do” by Big Tymers, released on their 2003 album Big Money Heavyweight, features a great beat and singing by multiple artists. The lyrics are all about communicating how the singer lives according to where he grew up.

“Stan” by Eminem

Song Year: 2000

Eminem’s “Stan,” another track from the 2000 album The Marshall Mathers LP, is an intense track that draws on horror themes, especially in the video. The song features singer Dido, and it won many awards, including the MTV award for Video of the Year.

“The Light” by Common

Song Year: 2000

From Common’s 2000 album Like Water for Chocolate, the track “The Light” samples the song “Open Your Eyes” and “You’re Gettin’ a Little Too Smart.” There is a steady and driving beat, and the lyrics are a love letter to his girlfriend.

“Swagga Like Us” by T.I. & Jay-Z (featuring Kanye West & Lil Wayne)

Song Year: 2008

The song “Swagga Like Us” features many artists, including an opening sample by M.I.A. that sounds like it could come from her song “Paper Planes.” While the critics gave this track mixed reviews, the general population liked the song, which peaked at number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100.

“Hot in Herre” by Nelly

Song Year: 2002

If you were in middle or high school during the early 2000s, there is almost no chance you do not know Nelly’s “Hot In Herre.” Released on the 2002 album Nellyville, the song did well on charts worldwide and peaked at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

“Dr. Carter” by Lil Wayne

Song Year: 2008

Released in 2008 on the album Tha Carter III, this Lil Wayne track plays on the idea that the rapper is a doctor trying to help other rappers who are not making good music and need help.

“Dance With the Devil” by Immortal Technique

Song Year: 2001

Immortal Technique released the song “Dance with the Devil” in 2001 on the album Revolutionary Vol. 1, and the musical style captures the underground hip hop scene. The track samples the piano from Henry Mancini’s “Theme From Love Story.”

“Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z (featuring Alicia Keys)

Song Year: 2009

Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind,” which features singing and piano by Alicia Keys, likely needs no introduction. From the 2009 album The Blueprint 3, this song rivals Frank Sinatra’s “New York New York” for the role of New York City’s musical anthem.

“Drop It Like It’s Hot” by Snoop Dogg (featuring Pharrell Williams)

Song Year: 2004

Even those who are not fans of Snoop Dogg have probably found themselves singing “Drop It Like It’s Hot.” Released in 2004 and featuring Pharrell Williams, this track held the number 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks.

“Black President” by Nas

Song Year: 2008

As the title suggests, “Black President” by Nas is a song about Barack Obama winning the presidential election in 2008. Released in 2008, the track opens with Obama speaking and features choruses with lyrics about a changing world.

“Many Men (Wish Death)” by 50 Cent

Song Year: 2003

50 Cent released the song “Many Men (Wish Death)” in 2003 on the album Get Rich or Die Tryin’. The music video confirms that the track is about 50 Cent’s shooting in 2000. The song is certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.

“Southern Hospitality” by Ludacris (featuring Pharrell Williams)

Song Year: 2000

Released on the 2000 album Back for the First Time, “Southern Hospitality” is a Ludacris song that reached the number 23 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and 5 on the Billboard rap chart. The track also features Pharrell Williams.

“Kick, Push” by Lupe Fiasco

Song Year: 2006

Fiasco released the song “Kick, Push” on the 2006 album Food & Liquor. The track earned a Grammy nomination in 2007 for the best rap song. The lyrics center around two skateboarders who are falling in love.

“Drop It Low” by Ester Dean

Song Year: 2009

Ester Dean’s “Drop It Low,” from the 2009 album More Than a Game, features singing by Chris Brown, although the original recording was without Brown. The remix of this track also features Lil Wayne.

“Take It to the Top” by Freeway, featuring 50 Cent

Song Year: 2007

From the 2007 album Free at Last, Freeway’s “Take It to the Top” has a smooth beat and features 50 Cent. The lyrics are about succeeding in the rap world and the rapper convincing a girl that he will make it to the top.

“Blueberry Yum Yum” by Ludacris featuring Sleepy Brown

Song Year: 2004

If you do not recognize the title of this track, you will likely remember the opening instrumental riff right away. Released on the 2004 album The Red Light District, Ludacris’ “Blueberry Yum Yum” is a chill song and features contributions by Sleepy Brown.

“One Mic” by Nas

Song Year: 2002

From the 2002 album Stillmatic, “One Mic” by Nas features a sample of “In The Air Tonight” by Phil Collins, of who Nas is a big fan. Hip hop producer Chucky Thompson produced the song, and it reached the number 43 spot on the Billboard Hot 100.

“Diamonds (From Sierra Leone)” by Kanye West

Song Year: 2005

Kanye West released the song “Diamonds (From Sierra Leone)” on his 2005 album Late Registration, and it features samples of famous James Bond singer Shirley Bassey’s “Diamonds Are Forever.” The track also won a Grammy in 2006 for Best Rap Song.

“Badd” by Ying Yang Twins (featuring Mike Jones and Mr. Collipark)

Song Year: 2005

From the 2005 album U.S.A. — in this case, the United States of Atlanta — the Ying Yang Twins’ “Badd” is a track that features Mike Jones and Mr. Collipark. This high-energy song performed well in the charts, reaching number 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 6 on Hot Rap Songs.

“U Remind Me” by Usher

Song Year: 2001

Usher released the track “U Remind Me” in 2001, and it features lyrical and passionate singing over a steady beat, something you would expect of Usher. The lyrics are about a man wanting to date someone but later deciding he cannot because she resembled his ex. The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 in the US.

“Grindin’” by Clipse, A 2000s Hip Hop Song Classic

Song Year: 2002

Clipse released the song “Grindin’” in 2002 on the album Lord Willin’, and it was the group’s debut single. Compared to the heavily produced tracks that were typical of the early 2000s, the beat in this track features straightforward drums and woodblock.

“Hip-Hop” by Dead Prez

Song Year: 2000

Released in 2000 on the album Let’s Get Free—the group’s debut studio album—Dead Prez’s “Hip-Hop” is an energetic song that features fast-flowing rap. The lyrics make political statements that harken back to the era of Public Enemy.

“Lip Gloss” by Lil Mama

Song Year: 2008

Lil Mama released the track “Lip Gloss” on her 2008 album Voice of the Young People. If you do not recognize the track by its title, you will immediately recognize the opening line accompanied by clapping sounds that set the track’s beat. This track was Lil Mama’s debut single.

“Int’l Players Anthem” by UGK

Song Year: 2007

Produced by DJ Paul and Juicy J, the track “Int’l Players Anthem” by UGK is a high-energy song that features aggressive beats and rapping with lyrical singing in the background sample tracks.

“All Falls Down” by Kanye West featuring Syleena Johnson

Song Year: 2004

Up next is another hit song from Kanye West’s 2004 album The College Dropout. Featuring passionate background singing by Syleena Johnson that brings in R&B and Soul elements, the track was nominated for a Grammy because of its lyricism.

“Hate It or Love It” by The Game (featuring 50 Cent)

Song Year: 2005

From The Game’s 2005 album The Documentary, the track “Hate It or Love It” has a great beat and solid contributions from 50 Cent. The music samples the song “Rubber Band” by the Trammps, and although it did not win a Grammy, it earned two nominations.

“Cupid’s Chokehold” by Gym Class Heroes (featuring Patrick Stump)

Song Year: 2005

You might not recognize the title of this track by Gym Class Heroes, but you will probably recognize the opening beat and the chorus. Featuring Fall Out Boy’s singer Patrick Stump, the song is from their 2005 album The Papercut Chronicles and will be a great high-energy song for any party playlist.

“What You Know” by T.I.

Song Year: 2006

From the 2006 album King, the song “What You Know” by T.I. served as the lead single for that album. The song performed well on many charts, including peaking at the number 3 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100.

“Lollipop” by Lil Wayne (featuring Static Major)

Song Year: 2008

From Lil Wayne’s 2008 album Tha Carter III, the track “Lollipop” is unique for its heavy usage of the auto-tune feature in the vocals. The song also features contributions from Static Major that were added in after the singer died. “Lollipop” was one of the best-selling singles digitally in 2008.

“Get By” by Talib Kweli

Song Year: 2002

Talib Kweli released the song “Get By” in 2002 on the album Quality, which was his debut studio album. Kanye West produced the track, and there are also samples of Nina Simone’s “Sinnerman” as well as background vocals from many other singers. The song made it to number 29 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.

“Hey Ma” by Cam’ron featuring Juelz Santana, Freekey Zeekey, and Toya

Song Year: 2002

From the 2002 album Come Home With Me, Cam’ron’s “Hey Ma” samples the hit 1977 song “Easy” by The Commodores. Mafia Boy and DR Period produced the track, and it peaked at the number 3 spot on the Billboard Hot 100.

“Royal Flush” by Big Boi

Song Year: 2008

From a 2008 album by the same name, Big Boi’s “Royal Flush” features contributions from André 3000 (a member of OutKast) and Raekwon (a member of Wu-Tang Clan). The track samples The Isley Brothers’ song “Voyage to Atlantis,” and there are lyrics that reference this sampled track as well.

“Tipsy (Club Mix)” by J-Kwon

Song Year: 2004

J-Kwon released the song “Tipsy (Club Mix)” on his 2004 album Hood Hop, which features electronic sounds in the musical accompaniment that sound like club/party music. The lyrics also make many references to drinking and partying.

“Boom” by Royce Da 5’9″

Song Year: 2002

Released on the 2002 album Rock City, the track “Boom” gave Royce Da 5’9” lots of attention in the underground hip-hop community. The track features string samples and record scratching sounds that harken back to earlier decades.

“Magic Stick” by Lil’ Kim (featuring 50 Cent)

Song Year: 2003

Lil’ Kim released the song “Magic Stick” on the 2003 album La Bella Mafia, and it samples Joe Simon’s “It Be’s That Way Sometimes.” The track features 50 Cent, which makes sense considering it was originally going to appear on his album Get Rich or Die Tryin’. It eventually made it to number 2 on Billboard Hot 100.

“Ante Up” by M.O.P.

Song Year: 2000

The hip-hop duo M.O.P. released the track “Ante Up” in the year 2000 on their album Warriorz. The song samples American soul/R&B duo Sam & Dave’s “Soul Sister, Brown Sugar.” In its release year, “Ante Up” made it to the number 7 spot on the UK Singles Chart.

“Whatever You Like” by T.I.

Song Year: 2008

Released as the lead single from the 2008 album Paper Trail, the song “Whatever You Like” by T.I. eventually made it to number 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100. David Siegel co-wrote the track with T.I., and Jim Jonsin produced it. The song is now certified 3 times Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.

“Still Tippin’” by Mike Jones (featuring Slim Thug and Paul Wall)

Song Year: 2005

Mike Jones released the track “Still Tippin’” on the 2005 album Who Is Mike Jones, and it features contributions from Paul Wall and Slim  Thug. Salih Williams produced the beat for this track, which is an intense and slow tempo beat that steadily drives the song forward.

“What We Do” by Freeway, Jay Z, Beanie Sigel

Song Year: 2003

Released on the 2003 album Philadelphia Freeway, Freeway’s “What We Do” is a high-energy track that features Jay Z and Beanie Sigel. Just Blaze produced the beat for this song, and it samples elements from Creative Source’s song “I Just Can’t See Myself Without You.”

“Exhibit C” by Jay Electronica

Song Year: 2009

From a 2009 album of the same name, Jay Electronica’s “Exhibit C” is another track produced by Just Blaze. The background music samples Billy Stewart’s song “Cross My Heart,” and the lyrics describe a time in the rapper’s life when he was homeless and living in New York City.

“It’s Goin’ Down” by Yung Joc (featuring Nitti)

Song Year: 2006

Released on the 2006 album New Joc City, Yung Joc’s “It’s Goin’ Down” is the artist’s debut single that he co-wrote with Chadron Moore. The track features Nitti, who also produced the beat of this southern-style rap song.

“A Milli” by Lil Wayne

Song Year: 2008

Up next is another track from the 2008 album Tha Carter III by Lil Wayne, this song being the album’s second single. The band Gladys Knight & the Pips, who made R&B, soul, and funk music, allowed their song “Don’t Burn Down the Bridge” to be sampled for this track.

“Hip-Hop 101” by Aasim

Song Year: 2005

Aasim might not be as popular as some of the bigger names in this collection, but give this track a listen if you are not familiar with this artist. Released in 2005, “Hip-Hop 101” has lyrics about the fundamentals behind hip-hop culture as well as amazingly lyrical flow over the beat.

“Hey Ya!” by OutKast

Song Year: 2003

OutKast released the song “Hey Ya!” in 2003 as a leading single from their album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. This high-energy track has maintained popularity throughout the 2000s, and it won many accolades. Despite the positive instrumentals and beat, the lyrics tell a more complicated story.

“Touch the Sky” by Kanye West (featuring Lupe Fiasco)

“Touch the Sky” by Kanye West (featuring Lupe Fiasco)

Song Year: 2005

A single from Kanye West’s 2005 album Late Registration, the track “Touch the Sky” launched the career of Lupe Fiasco. Just Blaze produced the track, which was unique considering West produced the other tracks on this album. The track also samples Curtis Mayfield’s song “Move On Up.”

“Angry Black Man on an Elevator” by Rhymefest

Song Year: 2007

The Chicago rapper Rhymefest released the song “Angry Black Man on an Elevator” in 2007. The track features Lil Jon and his beats, and the hip-hop style calls back to the era of Public Enemy.

“In Da Club” by 50 Cent

Song Year: 2003

Up next is another track from 50 Cent’s 2003 album Get Rich or Die Tryin’, and you will likely recognize the instrumental opening and beat right away. Dr. Dre and Mike Elizondo wrote the song along with 50 Cent. The track was 50 Cent’s first number-one single, making it to the top of the US Billboard Hot 100.

“Shakey Dog” by Ghostface Killah

Song Year: 2006

Ghostface Killah released the song “Shakey Dog” on his 2006 album Fishscale, and the aggressive beat and rapping style make this one a high-energy track. The lyrics center around Ghostface and his friend planning a robbery.

“Takeover” by Jay Z

Song Year: 2001

Released on the 2001 album The Blueprint, Jay-Z’s “Takeover” is another example of a diss track, this time aimed at Nas—there was a well-known fight between the two artists. The track also disses the rapper Prodigy, and musically, it samples The Doors’ song “Five to One.”

“The Way I Am” by Eminem

Song Year: 2000

The next track is another great tune from the extremely popular Eminem album The Marshall Mathers LP. Making it to the number 58 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100, this song is intense in both beat and content. The lyrics are dark and emotional, and the rapping style is aggressive.

“Ether” by Nas

Song Year: 2001

Released on the 2001 album Stillmatic, the track “Ether” by Nas is another diss song, specifically written as a response to the previous Jay Z track “Takeover.” The beat and rapping style are aggressive, and the lyrics make direct and personal attacks on Jay Z.

“Lose Control” by Missy Elliott (featuring Ciara & Fat Man Scoop)

Song Year: 2005

Missy Elliott’s sixth studio album The Cookbook came out in 2005, and the track “Lose Control” was the lead single from that album. Making it to the number 3 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, the song samples “Clear” by Cybotron and “Body Work” by Hot Streak.

“Remind My Soul” by Akrobatik

Song Year: 2003

Akrobatik released the song “Remind My Soul” in 2003 on the album Balance. The track has a steady beat, but the lyrics take center stage making many political and personal statements.

“Drive” by El-P

Song Year: 2007

UK rap artist El-P released the track “Drive” on the 2007 album I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead. Despite not being as popular as some of the big names in this collection, this track features a great beat and thoughtful lyrics.

“The Essence” by AZ (featuring Nas)

Song Year: 2002

Released in 2002 and featuring Nas, the track “The Essence” by AZ is structured as a conversation between the two rappers. Although it did not win the award, the track was nominated for a Grammy for best duo rap performance.

“Fix Up, Look Sharp” by Dizzee Rascal

Song Year: 2003

Dizzee Rascal released the song “Fix Up, Look Sharp” on the 2003 album Boy in da Corner. The track performed well in the charts, and it features a sampling of the beat and vocals from Billy Squier’s song “The Big Beat.”

“Izzo (H.O.V.A.)” by Jay Z

Song Year: 2001

It is probably no surprise to see so many Jay Z tracks in this collection of the best 2000s hip hop songs, and this next one is another song from the 2001 album The Blueprint. Kayne West produced the track, and it features a sampling of The Jackson 5’s song “I Want You Back.”

“Forest Whitaker” by Brother Ali

Song Year: 2003

Brother Ali released the track “Forest Whitaker” on his 2003 album Shadows on the Sun, which blends hip-hop styles with R&B/Soul styles. The lyrics address issues surrounding the American actor Forest Whitaker.

“Here I Come” by The Roots

Song Year: 2006

From the 2006 album Game Theory, the track “Here I Come” by The Roots features Dice Raw and Malik B. The album is dark in content and harkens back to the sound of earlier groups like Public Enemy.

“Four Women” by Reflection Eternal

Song Year: 2000

Released in 2000 on the album Train of Thought, this track mainly samples Nina Simone’s 1966 song “Four Women.” After slowly gaining recognition in the underground scene of New York, this album helped spark the duo’s career.

“No Help” by ABN

Song Year: 2008

ABN released the song “No Help” on their 2008 album It Is What It Is. Trae and Z-Ro, two rappers from Houston, make up the duo ABN, and this track’s lyrics pose questions about who your real friends are.

“Eternal Sunshine (The Pledge)” by Jay Electronica

Song Year: 2007

The full version of this Jay Electronica song approaches 15 minutes in length, and it samples many tracks from the soundtrack of the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The track uniquely uses no drums for rhythm. 

“All Caps” by Madvillain

Song Year: 2004

Madvillain released the song “All Caps” in 2004 on their debut album Madvillainy. The track has a mid-tempo beat, including interludes of horns and a lot of background piano playing.

“Rubber Band Man” by T.I.

Song Year: 2003

T.I. released “Rubber Band Man” in 2003 on the album Trap Muzik. David Banner used unique organ sounds when producing the track, and it made it to the number 30 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100.

“Swang” by Trae Tha Truth

Song Year: 2006

From the 2006 album Later Dayz, this track by Trae Tha Truth is another example of the Houston style of rap. The music serves as a tribute to another rapper Fat Pat who had died.

“Time: The Donut of the Heart” by J Dilla

Song Year: 2006

From J Dilla’s 2006 album Donuts, the track “Time: The Donut of the Heart” is a beat that Black Thought used for their song “Can’t Stop This.” With minimal vocals, the instrumental beat is the featured sound.

“How About Some Hardcore” by M.O.P.

Song Year: 1994

While this track was technically released before the beginning of the 2000s, the aggressive rapping style and fast rhythming would be a huge influence on the changing styles as hip-hop music approached a new decade.

“Flashing Lights” by Kanye West (featuring Dwele)

Song Year: 2007

Featuring the Detroit-based singer Dwele, this Kanye West track has electrifying energy. Released on the 2007 album Graduation, the track also uses background vocals from singer Connie Mitchell.

“Day ‘N’ Nite” by Kid Cudi

Song Year: 2008

Kid Cudi originally released the song “Day ‘N’ Nite” on the 2008 album A Kid Named Cudi, but it also appeared on the album Man on the Moon: The End of Day one year later. In total, over 2 million people purchased this song.

“Motown 25” by Elzhi (featuring Royce Da 5’9″)

Song Year: 2008

Released on the 2008 album The Preface, the track “Motown 25” by Elzhi features competing verses by Royce Da 5’9”. The song has a steady beat but exciting and fast-flowing rapping that maintains high energy.

“Big Pimpin’” by Jay Z (featuring UGK)

Song Year: 2000

Officially released in April 2000, Jay-Z’s “Big Pimpin” still appeared on the 1999 album Vol. 3 Life and Times of S. Carter, just days before the turn of the millennium. Timbaland produced the track, and the featuring of Underground Kingz’s members Bun B and Pimp C helped propel southern rap styles into the mainstream.

“Why” by Jadakiss (featuring Anthony Hamilton)

Song Year: 2004

Jadakiss released the song “Why” on his 2004 album Kiss of Death, and the track has lyrics that make intense political statements, particularly around the September 11th attacks.

“Gravel Pit” by Wu-Tang Clan

Song Year: 2000

Up next is another track by Wu-Tang Clan, this time “Gravel Pit” from their 2000 album The W. The song features Dave Pendlebury and Paulisa Moorman, and although it did not perform well in the US, it made many charts in the UK.

“Blinded by the Lights” by The Streets

Song Year: 2004

The Streets—the stage name of English rapper Mike Skinner—released the song “Blinded by the Lights” on their 2004 album A Grand Don’t Come for Free. The British Phonographic Industry certified the track Silver, and it made it to number 10 on the UK Single Chart.

“Daylight” by Aesop Rock

Song Year: 2001

Released on Aesop Rock’s 2001 album Labor Days, the song “Daylight” has a fast beat and rhyming and flow that will probably impress you. The lyrics reflect on childhood memories and other deep life topics.

“Ridin’” by Chamillionaire (featuring Krayzie Bone)

Song Year: 2005

Chamillionaire released the track “Ridin’” on the 2005 album The Sound Of Revenge, and it features Krayzie Bone. The political lyrics center around topics such as police profiling and brutality.

“The Champ” by Ghostface Killah

Song Year: 2006

From the 2007 album Fishscale, this Ghostface Killah track was also featured in the 2007 movie Stomp The Yard. The middle of the song samples dialogue from one of the Rocky movies.

“Uncle Sam” by Brother Ali

Song Year: 2007

Brother Ali released the song “Uncle Sam” on his 2007 album The Undisputed Truth. Anthony Davis (Ant) produced the beat for this track, and as the title suggests, the lyrics contain political commentary on modern America.

“Quiet Dog Bite Hard” by Mos Def

Song Year: 2009

From the album The Ecstatic, this track has a unique beat that regular breaks to change tempos. If you see the song listed under the name Yasiin Bey, it is because Mos Def abandoned the stage name for his real name by 2012.

“What’s Golden” by Jurassic 5

Song Year: 2002

Jurassic 5 released the song “What’s Golden” on the 2002 album Power in Numbers, which was their third studio album. It samples the Clive Hicks song “Look Here” and Public Enemy’s track “Prophets of Rage.”

“Throw Some D’s” by Rich Boy

Song Year: 2007

Rich Boy, on his 2007 album named after himself, featured the single track “Throw Some D’s” as the first single. The music samples the 1979 Switch song “I Call Your Name,” and the track is certified platinum by the RIAA.

“Doobie Ashtray” by Devin the Dude

Song Year: 2002

From Devin the Dude’s 2002 album Just Tryin’ ta Live, the track “Doobie Ashtray” has a slow beat that produces a more depressed mood. The lyrics reflect the mood shift when a party ends.

“Lean Back” by Terror Squad (featuring Fat Joe & Remy Ma)

Song Year: 2004

Released as a second single on the 2004 album True Story, this faced-paced hip-hop track has an energetic beat and articulate rhyming. The song features Fat Joe and Remy Ma, and it was at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks.

“All That You Are” by The Foreign Exchange

Song Year: 2004

The Foreign Exchange released the track “All That You Are” on their 2004 album Connected. The song has a steady beat and inspiring lyrics that can get you through difficult times.

“I Hate My Job” by Cam’ron

Song Year: 2009

From the 2009 album of the same name, Cam’ron’s song “I Hate My Job” captures a sentiment that almost everyone can identify with—disliking their job. The lyrics are also about the challenges of finding a new job.

“Black Mags” by The Cool Kids

Song Year: 2008

The Cool Kids released the song “Black Mags” on their 2008 album The Bake Sale (Radio Version). The track is about the Chicago duo’s two members Chuck and Mike having a conversation about tricked-out bikes.

“10 Bricks” by Raekwon (featuring Cappadonna & Ghostface)

Song Year: 2009

Raekwon’s track “10 Bricks” came out in 2009, and it features both Ghostface Killa and Cappadonna. The repetitive beat is paired nicely with a steady flow from all of the rappers.

“Lights Please” by J. Cole

Song Year: 2009

J. Cole released the song “Lights Please” in 2009, but it also appeared on the 2011 album Cole World: The Sideline Story. The beat is mostly hollow and allows Cole’s rapping to dominate the musical texture. Jay-Z noticed J. Cole after this track.

“Daydreamin’” by Lupe Fiasco (featuring Jill Scott)


Song Year: 2006

Up next is another track from Lupe Fiasco’s 2006 album Food & Liquor, this time featuring the soul singer Jill Scott. The track samples the song “Daydream in Blue” by the English electronic music group I Monster.

“Rising Up” by The Roots (featuring Wale & Chrisette Michelle)

Song Year: 2008

From the 2008 album Rising Down, the track “Rising Up” by The Roots features Wale and Chrisette Michelle. The song’s title is a play on the album title as it is musically the opposite of everything else on the album.

“Classic (Better Than I’ve Ever Been)” by Rakim, Nas, Kanye, & KRS-One

Song Year: 2007

Rakim, Kanye West, Nas, and KRS-One collaborated to release the single “Classic (Better Than I’ve Ever Been)” in 2007. Rick Rubin produced the beat for this track, which samples the song “Give Me the Night.”

“Black Republican” by Nas (featuring Jay-Z)

Song Year: 2006

Considering the amount of diss tracks in this collection that show the fight between Jay-Z and Nas, this collaboration track is a nice way to close this collection. Appearing on the 2006 Nas album Hip Hop Is Dead, the song samples orchestral music from The Godfather.

Top Hip Hop Songs Of The 2000s, Final Thoughts

If you made it to the end of this long collection of rap songs of the 2000s, you are probably appreciating the breadth and diversity of hip-hop music. Perhaps the most of any musical style, hip hop music is an entire cultural movement that affects so much outside of music. If this style is new to you, hopefully, this collection will give you plenty of new artists to enjoy!

P.S. Remember though, none of what you’ve learned will matter if you don’t know how to get your music out there and earn from it. Want to learn how to do that? Then get our free ‘5 Steps To Profitable Youtube Music Career’ ebook emailed directly to you!

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