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. I like pizza, French fries, barre class, spinning, more pizza, more French fries, and clothes. I have a serious shopping problem. Writing is fun. Follow me on the twitter - @samanthamatt1.

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