Say whatever the hell you want about the 2000s—they were a mess, everyone lacked a fashion sense, the frosty makeup was beyond cringe-worthy, etc.—but the one thing that you can’t talk sh*t about is the quality of the music. While we were being spoon-fed bop after bop by powerhouses like Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani, Fergie and more, we were also getting top notch content from other stars in the pop, rock and rap space that have since faded into obscurity. That’s right, I am talking about the glorious one-hit wonders of the Y2K era.
So since you clearly are ready to fall down the rabbit hole with all the songs from 2000 to 2009 that you forgot about (you did click on this highly nostalgic article, after all), here’s a recap of the artists that burned ridiculously bright before not-so gradually fading away from the public’s collective consciousness. And yes, asking yourself “Where are they now?” on a loop is completely encouraged. Did we forget one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments!
“I Wanna Be Bad” by Willa Ford
IDK about you, but slutty Y2K pop is something that I truly miss. I had absolutely zero business listening to this when I was six, but it’s okay—I turned out juuuust fine. 😏
“Girlfight” by Brooke Valentine
“It’s about to be a WHAT???” — Brooke Valentine/10-year-old me who has absolutely never been in a girlfight (it’s catchy, okay?)!
“Just the Girl” by The Click Five
Kurt Cobain once said “it’s better to burn out than to fade away.” While he was *technically* talking about himself, he could’ve been talking about The Click Five too. In 2005 (holy cow), “Just the Girl” reached 11 on the US Billboard 100 Chart and became certified gold (i.e. hitting 500,ooo in sales) by the RIAA. Too bad they never had a hit single ever again!
“Hit ‘Em Up Style” by Blu Cantrell
“Teenage Dirtbag” by Wheatus
Pop rock was HUGE in the 2000s, and one of the many songs that would eventually rise to become a cult classic was this iconic Wheatus track. Though the song enjoyed moderate success in the States, it was a chart smash worldwide and ended up selling five million units globally. Not bad for a bunch of self-proclaimed teenage dirtbags.
“You’re a Jerk” by New Boys
Raise your hand if you heard this song on a ringtone commercial (LOL, remember those?) while waiting for the newest Degrassi: The Next Generation episode to air on The N! 🙋♀️
“A Bay Bay” by Hurricane Chris
With “A Bay Bay,” Hurricane Chris came, saw, and conquered, only to never been seen or heard of again. ‘Kay, well that last part isn’t exactly true. This year, Chris got arrested for second degree murder and is currently serving time in jail. 😬
“Never Leave You (Uh Oh)” by Lumidee
You might recall this as the song that was playing before Carla Santini—from Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, duh—fought Lola Step to learn what role she got in the school play. But “Never Leave You” so much more: It’s R&B and dancehall at its best.
“Crush” by David Archuletta
“Don’t Think I’m Not” by Kandi
It’s so easy to forget that Kandi had a singing career before starring in The Real Housewives of Atlanta, but homegirl was out there! Before making music on her own, she was a member ’90s girl group Xscape. “Don’t Think I’m Not” was Kandi’s debut solo single—it peaked at number four on Billboard’s Rhythmic Chart back in 2000. And 20 years later, it still slaps.
“Are You Gonna Be My Girl” by Jet
(Somehow I never seemed to question the very random black cartoon woman dancing in the middle of the video, but that’s probs because this song was too cool for me to care.)
“Stacy’s Mom” by Fountains of Wayne
“I Love College” by Asher Roth
“I want to go to college for the rest of my life” said nobody—aside from Asher Roth—ever, but given how popular this song was in its heyday (2009, wow), I’m pretty sure a bunch of soon-to-be college freshmen bought into the “best four years of your life” hype.
“You’re Beautiful” by James Blunt
“This Is Why I’m Hot” by MIMS
To quote Mr. MIMS: “I’m hot ’cause I’m fly, you ain’t ’cause you not.” Quality 2000s rap, riiiight here.
“Bad Day” by Daniel Powter
I definitely recall requesting this on Radio Disney as a wee lassie, don’t judge! “Bad Day” was THE melancholic bop we all needed to get through another shitty day in the life, which is probssss why the song ended up going three times platinum, selling over three million copies in the United States alone. That’s a lot of sad tears!
“Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley
In case you didn’t know: Gnarls Barkley was the effort of Cee Lo Green and producer Danger Mouse. While “Crazy” received widespread praise, the duo never had another hit song. At least they both had other major successes on their own!
“Pop, Lock, and Drop It” by Huey
Yep, all the hot girls that have vibranium knees now like Megan thee Stallion spent a nice chunk of the 2000s trying to perfect their pop, lock, and drop it technique. Do you see the how low the girls in the video dipped it to the floor? Dance kweens, the whole lot of them.
“Collide” by Howie Day
Allow me to set the scene: The year is 2004, the person you’ve been crushing on forever plays you this song, confirming their like for you, and you both ride off together in the sunset because voilà! Your relationship? #Confirmed. That’s the power this song has.
“All the Things She Said” by t.a.T.u.
Russian duo t.a.T.u was serving you emo, angsty teen girl realness back in 2000 that TBH, you are probably in desperate need of right now because everything is awful and the world seriously sucks. It wasn’t a phase then, and it surely isn’t a phase now. 😤
“He Loves U Not” by DREAM
Did you even experience the 200os if you didn’t hear this at least once @ your local Limited Too store? (Probably not.) What I’m saying here is that DREAM’s “He Loves U Not” was basically inescapable in 2000/2001 after peaking at number two on the Billboard Hot 100. Sadly, they never secured the top spot because Destiny’s Child was too busy dominating with “Independent Women.”
“Bulletproof” by La Roux
The introduction of “Bulletproof” to the world left us all hungry for more electropop in the years following its release. In fact, the song was so legendary that TikTok has made it popular again over a decade later…by using it to soundtrack their personal traumas in video form. The power of the internet, amirite?
“Do It to It” by Cherish
Snap music music from Atlanta (i.e. a subgenre of hip-hop music derived from crunk) had a SERIOUS moment in the mid late-2000s. Cherish’s “Do It to It” was one of the girlier, cuter songs to achieve hit status in the genre—and how could it not? That chorus was (and still is) *chef’s kiss*.
“Laffy Taffy” by D4L
It’s been a good decade and a half since D4L’s “Laffy Taffy” became a snap music hit, but I was literally today years old when I unfortunately found out that “laffy taffy” is a slang term for a person’s labia minora. So basically, the dudes in the song are requesting that girls shake their WAP. [insert “the more you know” GIF here]
“Chicken Noodle Soup” by Webstar, Young B ft. AG aka The Voice of Harlem
As gross as a chicken noodle soup and soda combo sounds IRL, this song was just too good resist. If you didn’t have a childhood moment witnessing two people dance battle to this song, I am sorry to inform you that you, my friend, have missed out.
“Who Let the Dogs Out” by Baha Men
I spent the rest of the 2000s trying to forget this song even existed. Tried to scrub it from my brain, even! But “Who Let the Dogs Out” relentlessly burned up the charts in 2000 to my dismay…regardless of it being named one of the most annoying songs ever by Rolling Stone. Thankfully, this was Baha Men’s first (and only) hit.
“According to You” by Orianthi
“Flavor of the Weak” by American Hi-Fi
19 years later and I’m still trying to figure out if the lyrics say “He’s too stoned to know” or “He’s too stoned, Nintendo.” You hear it, right? Right???
“Inside Your Heaven” by Bo Bice
Back when American Idol actually made stars out of people, Bo Bice ascended to the top of the Billboard charts after performing his “Inside Your Heaven” in the show’s finale. Sure, Bo ended up losing to Carrie Underwood, but at least he secured a number two hit out of it!
“Absolutely (Story of a Girl)” by Nine Days
You can’t talk about massive hit songs of the 2000s without mentioning “Absolutely (Story of a Girl)” by Nine Days. You just can’t. This song was so important to teen friendly pop at the time, that it’s almost hard to believe the band’s guitarist essentially wrote the entire thing in one day after getting into a fight with his girlfriend. The rest, as they say, is history!
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