The Rise of Rap in the 2000s

In this “Golden Age of Music,” many black music fans saw this as the time for rap to become mainstream and popular. Leading this change were names like Kanye West, Jay-Z, and Justin Timberlake, and Eminem. The popularity of hip-hop and rap music was also criticized for its sexual lyrics and violent themes, while some felt that rap and hip-hop encouraged violence against the police and others. Despite the criticisms, rap, and hip-hop were able to become popular in the early 2000s with breakthrough artists such as Kanye West, who quickly revolutionized his name and became a common theme on many people’s playlists.

5). Hot in Here

Performed by rapper Nelly, this song was featured on his second album Nellywille (released on April 16th, 2002). This song served as his first number 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and featured as number three in the Year-End Hot 100 Singles Chart for 20002.

4). In da Club

The song was written by rapper 50 Cent in his debut album Get Rich or Die Trying and spent 8 weeks on the Billboard Top 100. The Source describes the song as “a guaranteed party starter” with its “blaring horns and funky organs, and guitar riffs, and sparse hand claps”.

3). Drop It Like It’s Hot

Performed by Snoop Lion (formerly known as Snoop Dog) and featuring Pharrell, this song topped the Billboard charts for three weeks and was known as Snoop Lion’s first number one and his fourth top ten as a solo artist.

2). Crank That (Soulja Boy)

As his debut single, Soulja Boy managed to incorporate a timeless dance with his catchy lyrics. Crank That (Soulja Boy) spent three weeks at the Billboard Top 100 and was featured as number twenty-one on the Rolling Stone magazine’s “List of 100 Best Songs of 2007”. On January 6th, 2008, it became the first song to sell three million digital copies in the U.S. In 2009 it was named the twenty-third most successful song of the 2000’s on the “Billboard Hot 100 Songs of the Decade”.

1). Gold Digger

Recorded and performed by Kanye West (featuring Jamie Foxx) this is the second song on West’s second album Late Registration. Gold Digger peaked at number one on the “US Billboard Hot 100” on September 6th, 2005. At the 2006 Grammy Awards, Gold Digger was nominated for Record of the Year and won the award for Best Rap Solo Performance. This song was also listed at number sixty on Billboard magazine’s “All-Time Top 100” and got number nine on Billboard Hot 100 Songs of the Decade.