The 100 Top Songs From 2002-2006, Ranked

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


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

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

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, 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?

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

2. In Da Club – 50 Cent

1. Ignition (Remix) – R. Kelly


Hi I’m Sam. I made this website in 2011 and it’s still here! I'm the author of the humorous self-help book AVERAGE IS THE NEW AWESOME. I like pizza, French fries, barre, spin, more pizza, more French fries, and buying clothes. Follow me on twitter & Instagram at @samanthamatt1... and on this site's meme account on IG at @averagepeopleproblems. OKAY GREAT THANKS BYE.

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