The 100 Best Songs That Came Out Between 2002 And 2006, Ranked

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Long before Justin Bieber, Drake, and The Chainsmokers were topping the charts, top 40 music looked a little different. Well, actually, not long before. I mean, was 2006 a long time ago? It might feel like it was just yesterday (at least to me), but 2006 was over 10 years ago. I was in high school then, and the music I listened to in high school was nothing like the music that is popular today.

The 2000s were a time where we decided if we liked a song based on how good it would look in our AIM profiles and away messages. For me and many of my peers, my AIM profile music selection consisted of a whole lot of DMB, Pearl Jam, Oasis, and Third Eye Blind. But there were  actually a whoooole lot of other artists and bands out there that I listened to. Like, the music that was actually released during the four years I was in high school (2002 – 2006, represent).

In order to make all ya’ll nostalgic for those days, I devised a list of 100 awesome songs that were released between 2002 and 2006, and then put them in official ranking because of course I did.

I should note, this list originally had over 400 songs on it, but after carefully getting rid of songs for five hours (mostly I just didn’t include the same artist/band twice) I brought it down to 100 songs. I admit — it’s missing a few gems. And I also admit — it’s extremely biased. I was a girl who loved rap music and ‘scene’ music (and thought I was from California, but I wasn’t, I was from Boston), so those songs do take up the majority of the list…

ANYWAY, here’s the list: 100 songs I thought were REALLY FUCKING GREAT in high school:


100. Pump It Up – Joe Budden (This was actually a horrible song)

99. Cold Hard Bitch – Jet

98. I’m Not Okay (I Promise) – My Chemical Romance

97. Switch – Will Smith (why — WHY — did Will Smith attempt a musical comeback?)

96. Just Want You To Know – Backstreet Boys (yeah, they tried to come back for a hot minute)

95. Over My Head (Cable Car) – The Fray

94. Time To Dance – Panic! At The Disco (Okay — I was obsessed with P!ATD for a few months and I can honestly now say I have no idea why. This song is not that good. UGH)

93. The Future Freaks Me Out – Motion City Soundtrack

92. Seven Nation Army – The White Stripes (the easiest song to play on guitar… because I tried to play for, like, a week and gave up)

91. Diddy – P. Diddy

90. Can’t Let You Go – Fabolous ft. Lil Mo and Mike Shorey

89. Lose My Breath – Destiny’s Child

88. Since U Been Gone – Kelly Clarkson (1. What’s with the U? 2. This was the anthem of every single teenage girl. I will never forget when they played this at cheerleading camp. So. many. screaming. girls. AHH.)

87. Air Force Ones – Nelly ft. Kyjuan, Ali, & Murphy Lee (can you believe Nelly is singing autotuned songs now? Hey Porsche…)

86. Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It – Dem Franchize Boyz ft. Peanut and Charlay

85. Snap Yo Fingers – Lil Jon ft Sean Paul & E-40

84. As Lovers Go – Dashboard Confessional

83. The Suffering – Coheed and Cambria

82. All That I’ve Got – The Used (Two words: teenage angst)

81. In This Diary – The Ataris

80. Shake – Ying Yang Twins ft. Pitbull

79. 12:51 – The Strokes

78. Best of Me – The Starting Line

77. Slow Motion – Juvenile ft. Soulja Slim (One word: sex)

76. I Like That – Houston ft. Chingy, I-20, & Nate Dogg

75. P.I.M.P (Remix) – 50 Cent ft. Snoop Dogg

74. The First Single (You Know Me) – The Format (Nate was way better in The Format, right?!)

73. The Curse of Curves – Cute is What We Aim For

72. My Goodies – Ciara ft. Petey Pablo

71. Lean Back – Terror Squad (AKA Fat Joe)

70. Welcome Back – Mase (So, like, Mase made a comeback song and then went, umm, where did he go?)

69. Why You Wanna – T.I.

68. You’re So Damn Hot – Ok Go

67. Hate It Or Love It – The Game & 50 Cent

66. A Lack of Color – Death Cab for Cutie (Seth Cohen loved this song so naturally, I did too)

65. Right Thurr – Chingy

64. Skeptics and True Believers – The Academy Is

63. Move Along – The All-American Rejects

62. Call n’ Return – Hellogoodbye

61. Goodnight Goodnight – Hot Hot Heat

60. 1, 2 Step – Ciara ft. Missy Elliot

59. Signs – Snoop Dogg ft Charlie Wilson & Justin Timberlake

58. Overnight Celebrity – Twista (HE RAPPED SO FAST)

57. Numb/Encore – Jay-Z & Lincoln Park (Hello mashups)

56. Milkshake – Kelis (This might be the most annoying song in the world, but it was in Mean Girls, so it’s basically a staple by default)

55. Laid – Matt Nathanson (American Wedding anyone?)

54. Burn This City – Cartel

53. Beating Hearts Baby – Head Automatica

52. Fresh Azimiz – Bow Wow

51. Roses – Outkast

50. Everytime We Touch – Cascada

49. Dirty – Christina Aguilera

48. Make Damn Sure – Taking Back Sunday (Remember when TBS had a new CD?)

47. Magic Stick – Lil Kim ft 50 Cent

46. Without Me – Eminem

45. Lover I Don’t Have To Love – Bright Eyes

44. Soco Amaretto Lime – Brand New

43. Meant To Live – Switchfoot

42. Gimme That – Chris Brown ft. Lil Wayne

41. How We Do – The Game ft 50 Cent

40. Let Me In – Young Buck ft. 50 Cent

39. Laffy Taffy – D4L

38. My Humps – Black Eyed Peas

37. Candy Shop – 50 Cent ft. Olivia

36. What Da Hook Gon’ Be – Murphy Lee ft. Jermaine Dupri

35. Gold Digger – Kanye West ft Jamie Foxx (get down girl, go head, get down. that is all)

34. The Remedy – Jason Mraz

33. King Without a Crown – Matisyahu (People freaked out over Matis because he was, like, a rabbi with a long beard and that was/is sooo cool)

32. Pass That Dutch – Missy Elliott (Mean Girls)

31. The Diner Song – State Radio

30. Dark Blue – Jack’s Mannequin

29. Leave – JoJo (The female’s anthem — who doesn’t still love this song?)

28. We Are All On Drugs – Weezer (oh yes… Weezer made a comeback… Bev Hills anyone? This song was better)

27. Wait (The Whisper Song) – Ying Yang Twins (WHY don’t they make music like this anymore?)

26. The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows – Brand New

25. Holidae In – Chingy ft. Ludacris and Snoop Dogg

24. My Band – D12 (My salsa? Thank you, Eminen)

23. Ms. New Booty – Bubba Sparxxx ft. Ying Yang Twins and Mr. Collipark

22. This Love – Maroon 5 (I had no idea who Maroon 5 was when this came out — but I effing loved it)

21. I Believe In A Thing Called Love – The Darkness

20. Through The Wire – Kanye West 

19. Hold Up – Murphy Lee ft. Nelly

18. Sweetness – Jimmy Eat World (Yup —  also one of my favorite songs ever)

17. Blinded – Third Eye Blind (Well, this is actually one of my favorite songs… so including it)

16. Float On – Modest Mouse

15. What You Know – T.I. (I miss you, T.I.)

14. I Want To Save You – Something Corporate (Okay — basically any SoCo song would do. Thanks to The OC, I really believed I was from California and would listen to this on repeat with my eyes shut dreaming of palm trees. Umm, why do I still live here?)

13. Cute Without The E – Taking Back Sunday (High school anthem? yes? no? Also, the acoustic version = yas)

12. Hey Ya – Outkast

11. Ridin’ Dirty – Chamillionare

10. Mr. Brightside – The Killers

9. Disco Inferno – 50 Cent

8. Badd – Ying Yang Twins ft. Mike Jones and Mr. Collipark (I’m looking for a dime…)

7. The New Workout Plan – Kanye West

6. Ocean Avenue – Yellowcard (I seriously thought I was in California… I would always put this on in Hollister. Always)

5. Tipsy – J-Kwon

4. Get Low – Lil Jon and the East Side Boyz ft. Ying Yang Twins (Who were the East Side Boyz and what happened to them?)

3. Sugar We’re Going Down – Fall Out Boy

2. In Da Club – 50 Cent

1. Ignition (Remix) – R. Kelly

Samantha Matt

Hi I’m Sam. I made this website in 2011 and it’s still going. My first book, AVERAGE IS THE NEW AWESOME, is coming out in January (you can buy it right now on Amazon or from your fave bookstore!). I like pizza, French fries, barre, spin, more pizza, more French fries, and buying clothes. Writing is fun. Follow me on twitter & Instagram at @samanthamatt1... and on this site's meme account on IG at @20somethingproblems. OKAY GREAT THANKS BYE.

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