Somehow, almost *20* years ago, I was in high school. It was loooong before Harry Styles and Lizzo, and top 40 music looked a little different. Back then, we decided if we liked a song based on how good it would look in our AIM profiles and away messages. Most of the music in my AIM profile and away messages consisted of songs by bands like Pearl Jam, Oasis, and Third Eye Blind. But I also featured many lyrics from the songs that came out during the four years I was in high school (2002 – 2006, represent).
After carefully going through a list of 400+ songs I loved during those years, I narrowed it down to the 100 best in the list below. I admit it’s missing a few gems, and I also admit it’s extremely biased. But to each their own! Whether you’re nostalgic for your former life or you’re a youth who is fascinated by all things y2k, this list of 100 top songs from 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006 is for you.
100. Pump It Up – Joe Budden
I hated this song but it’s making an appearance due to popularity.
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
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
What’s with the U? 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
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
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
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
One of my MySpace songs.
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
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
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, Eminem.
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.
13. Cute Without The E – Taking Back Sunday
High school anthem? yes? no? Also, the acoustic version.
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?