Many will argue that the 1990s were the heyday of rap and hip-hop, when rap music was on-point. Some will also say that contemporary rappers and rap music aren't very good and that they just can't measure up to the '90s. I mean, did they forget that the early 2000s happened?
Many people do, as far as rap music goes. However, some of the greatest rap albums of all time were released during this era. You have "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" by 50 Cent and "The College Dropout" by Kanye West. Forget how you feel or think of Kanye now; this album is one of the best, and Yeezy did that.
With some of the rap greats being released in the early 2000s, that means we have some killer lyrics to freestyle. So, we will get things started with a lyric, and you have to finish it. Do you think you can get all these songs right? If you call yourself a true rap fan, then you should be able to. If not, you might need to go back and re-listen to some of the classics. Either way, it's time to celebrate the often-overlooked rap music of the early 2000s.
"Lose Yourself" was one of the biggest rap songs of the decade. Written and recorded by rapper Eminem, the song was featured on the soundtrack for the film "8 Mile." The critically acclaimed song won the rapper a Grammy for Best Male Rap Solo Performance and an Oscar for Best Original Song.
"Izzo (H.O.V.A.)" is the 2001 song by Jay-Z. The song was featured on his hit album "The Blueprint." The song sampled "I Want You Back" by the Jackson 5.
"Hot in Herre" is the popular 2002 song by Nelly. The song is featured on his album "Nellyville." The album was produced by The Neptunes, which includes artist, Pharrell.
"Ms. Jackson" is the 2000 song by duo OutKast, comprised of Andre 3000 and Big Boi. The song helped catapult the duo's career and was featured on the 2000 album "Stankonia."
These lyrics come from the 2001 song "What Would You Do?" by City High. The song was featured on the soundtrack for the film "Life." The song peaked at number eight in the Billboard Hot 100.
50 Cent collaborated with the late Nate Dogg on "21 Questions" in 2003. It charted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
"Tipsy" was a one-hit wonder for J-Kwon back in 2004. It peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.
"It Wasn't Me," featuring RikRok, was released in 2000 and was the first single from Shaggy's album "Hot Shot." The song was actually inspired by a bit from Eddie Murphy's comedy special "Raw."
"My Baby" was the first and most successful song from Lil' Romeo and was released in 2001. The song samples "I Want You Back" by The Jackson 5.
"Raise Up" was a single released in August 2001 by Petey Pablo. After the September 11 attacks in 2001, Pablo released a remix to this song dedicated to those who lost their lives in the attacks.
"Lights, Camera, Action!" was the first and only hit for Mr. Cheeks as a solo artist. The song was released in August 2001 and topped the Billboard R&B charts for one week.
"Feels Good (Don't Worry Bout a Thing)" was the only single from Naughty By Nature's sixth album. The song features the R&B group 3LW and made it onto six Billboard charts.
"I Need A Girl (Part One)" is a song from P. Diddy in collaboration with Usher and Loon. P. Diddy achieved something rare with this song, as both parts of a song become chart hits.
"Work It" came from Missy Elliott's fourth studio album and was released in September 2002. If you look at this specific lyric, it's the previous lyric put in reverse, like it states.
"Right Thurr" by Chingy was released in 2003. It topped out at number two on the Billboard Hot 100, as Beyonce and Jay-Z kept it from getting that top spot.
"Get Low" was released in 2003 and is a song by Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz, featuring the Ying Yang Twins. In "The Proposal," Sandra Bullock's character raps this song.
"Stand Up" is a song by Ludacris featuring Shawnna that was released in 2003, on which Kanye West served as a producer. It was the first song by Ludacris to become number one on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B/Hip-Hop songs charts.
"Dilemma" was the third single from Nelly's second studio album. It featured Kelly Rowland and was featured on her first solo album.
"Slow Jamz" is a song by Twista featuring Kanye West and Jamie Foxx. The song made it to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 charts in 2004, which was the first number-one song for all three artists.
"Slow Motion" is a song by Juvenile featuring Soulja Slim, who died in November 2003. This was the first number-one song for Cash Money Records, but also the first song to reach number one posthumously for an artist under the label.
"Lean Back" was released in 2004 by the hip-hop group Terror Squad. The song has a club feel to it and topped the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks and the R&B charts for more than a month.
"Drop It Like It's Hot" is a song by Snoop Dogg featuring Pharrell released in 2004. This was the first number-one song for Snoop Dogg on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was named the most popular Rap Song of the decade by Billboard.
"Country Grammar" was the debut single and album from rapper Nelly, released in 2000. The melody and chorus come from the children's clapping game "Down Down Baby."
"Wobble Wobble" debuted in 2000 from the 504 Boyz, which included Master P, C-Murder, Silkk the Shocker, Mac, Magic, Krazy and Mystikal. It was one of the biggest hits for No Limit Records, as it topped the Hot Rap Singles.
"In Da Club" was released by 50 Cent in 2003 and went on to become his first number-one song on the Billboard Hot 100. He went on to win Best Rap Video and Best New Artist at the MTV Video Music Awards that year.
"Bow Wow (That's My Name)" was released in 2000 from Lil' Bow Wow featuring Snoop Dogg. This was the second single off Lil' Bow Wow's debut album and the video was named number one on BET's 106 & Park.
"Purple Pills" is a song from rap group D12, which featured a rap verse from Eminem. The song got a radio edit called "Purple Hills."
"Salt Shaker" is a song released in 2003 from The Ying Yang Twins featuring Lil John and The East Side Boyz. This is the biggest hit for The Ying Yang Twins, as it hit number nine on the Billboard Hot 100.
"Magic Stick" is a song performed by rappers Lil' Kim and 50 Cent. There was no physical release or music video done for this song, but it still made it to number two on the Billboard Hot 100.
"Air Force Ones" is a song by Nelly, which was released in 2002. The song is about buying Nike Air Force Ones shoes, and the video features athletes Marshall Faulk, Torry Holt, D'Marco Farr, Ray Lankford and Ozzie Smith, and hip hop artists Big Tymers and WC.
"My Projects" was the first single from Coo Coo Cal's second album "Disturbed." It received a lot of success in the rap world, as it reached the number-one spot on the Billboard Hot Rap Singles and lead to a remix version with Kurupt and Trick Daddy.
"Candy Shop" is a song from 50 Cent featuring Olivia. Despite reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100, it got mixed reviews and many compared it to his "Magic Stick" song with Lil' Kim.
"The Way You Move" is a song by OutKast released in 2003. This was OutKast's third number-one pop single, and it made Billboard Hot 100 Songs of the Decade for the 2000s.
"Shake Ya Tailfeather" is a song from rappers Nelly, P. Diddy and Murphy Lee that was released in 2003 on the "Bad Boys II" soundtrack. The song made it to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and won the 2004 Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a duo or group.
"Bounce with Me" was the debut single from Lil' Bow Wow (before he grew up and dropped the Lil'). It was featured in the movie "Bi Momma's House" and the trailer for "Hardball."