For the past couple of weeks, five songs to get you through the week has been running with a particular theme — hip-hop throughout the decades. It has already covered both the formative years of the ‘80s and the golden age that was the ‘90s. This week, it’s five rap songs from the 2000s to help get you through the week.
Nelly - ‘Ride Wit Me’
An often underrated artist from the decade, Nelly was just as big of a powerhouse when it came to making club hits as just about anyone else the decade had to offer. While his relevance has waned in recent years, minor feuds with the likes of Drake and A$AP Rocky have helped revitalize Nelly’s image as a trendsetter to a whole new generation. “Ride Wit Me” may be an obvious choice, but it shows just how catchy some of his earliest hits really were.
Ludacris - ‘Rollout (My Business)’
Keeping with the trend of recognizing underrated rappers from the 2000s, Ludacris is a name that often gets overshadowed. However, the Atlanta MC was able to balance funny rhymes with catchy hooks that show why he was so popular back in the day. Case in point: “Rollout (My Business).” Produced by the legendary Timbaland, the track showcases everything that Ludacris does best all in one song.
T.I. - ‘What You Know’
In the 2000s, trap music as we know it today really began to take shape. Artists like Jeezy and Gucci Mane May have helped popularize the genre, but T.I. makes a considerable case as the king of it. This track off of 2006’s “King” album is one of his most well-known songs, and it shows why T.I. was so vital to the rise of trap music from the 2000s onward.
50 Cent - ‘What Up Gangsta’
There’s no denying that 50 Cent is a bit of a troublemaker. Having been one since he first started his career, it’s hard to disconnect his antics from his music. That being said, however, 2003’s “Get Rich or Die Tryin’” was the fastest selling debut studio album since Snoop Dogg’s “Doggystyle”, so he must have been doing something right. While a song like “In Da Club” is the clear album hit, the opener “What Up Gangsta” may be the best song in the 50 Cent catalogue.
The Diplomats - ‘Dipset Anthem’
Many rappers claim to be the king of New York. For the duration of this track, The Diplomats are the kings of that concrete castle. Comprised of stars such as Cam’ron, Jim Jones and Juelz Santana amongst others, The Diplomats don’t get enough credit for their brief, yet influential, time together.