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Unlike the 1990s which were heavily dominated by a single style of rap music – gangsta rap, the 2000s rap songs are much more diverse in sub-genres and vibes. Also, there has been a lot more artists in the previous decade, and therefore a lot more tracks, so it was really hard narrowing the choice to just 10 best, most iconic, or genre defining tracks of the 2000s.
Keep in mind that the songs are listed in no particular order as that would’ve been too hard to do and too infuriating for some. Everyone could make a different list, but check out our picks and reasoning and write what you think in the comments section below.
Best 2000s Rap Songs
If you didn’t get that catchiest beat in your head as soon as you read “In da Club” you’ve must have been an infant in the 2000s. This is the track that single-handedly brought rap back into the mainstream and turned 50 Cent into the biggest rap star of the decade. It’s also surely the smoothest and the strongest debut track on the big scene. Also, if someone asked who will be more relevant in 10 years back in 2003, 50 or Jay Z, everyone would be choosing the 50.
Eminem’s importance to hip-hop culture can’t be overstated as he drew a lot of young listeners to the genre and brought bags of different to it. He has countless hits during his very long career, but none can match the catchiness, the cultural importance, and explosiveness of Lose Yourself. A soundtrack to Eminem’s movie 8 Mile, Lose Yourself probably has the most constantly quoted lines and is at the same time the most elegant hype up song ever.
50 Cent vs. The Game never became the 2000s Pac vs. Biggie, and thankfully so, not just because of the obvious reasons but also because they would’ve tainted this beautiful rap track. A mellow vibe is accomplished effortlessly with an unintrusive beat and rappers’ soft delivery. How We Do was also a pretty popular song of the 2000s rap MVPs, but Hate It Or Love It carries better messages.
While Wu-Tang is primarily recognized as a 1990s rap group, its perhaps most popular song was released in 2000. Gravel Pit drew significant attention even from fans of other genres. A funky, upbeat song, it stormed the radios and music videos TV channels thanks to the special style of the video and the catchiness of the song. The long and complex track is tied together greatly by soothing singing in the chorus.
Besides 50 Cent, Kanye West was one of the main players in the 2000s rap game, and out of the pure rap tracks he put out during his career, Flashing Lights is the best and the most popular. It was also a game changer when it comes to production as Kanye introduced the modern electronic samples to rap, while also having a striking music video which heavily improved the song’s popularity. Flashing Lights signalizes the beginning of the new age of rap, same as In da Club did.