2000-2009 was possibly one of the hottest eras for hooks. The introduction of the ringtone era sparked a quick capture of the hottest songs on our phones. Music slowly, but surely switched from physical copies to digital copies. Mp3's, iPod's, Limewire, Myspace, and so much more was a big advancement for a new era of music. There were many more ways that you can play your music compared to the previous decades before.
These artists grew throughout this decade. That's what made them my top picks. For my honorable mentions, it was tough to curate this list without them. With that being said, I'm going to list them below.
Honorable Mentions: T-Pain, Ne-Yo, The Dream, Mary J. Blige, Rihanna, John Legend, Pharell.
Usher had his musical imprint all over this decade. 8701 (2001), Confessions (2004), and Here I Stand (2008) sat Usher at the top of the Male R&B throne. Coming in to the decade, his album My Way (1997) propelled him to be a future star. Usher was a strong consideration for my 2010's list, but 2000's was truly his stomping ground.
He shares hits such as 'My Boo', and 'Love in this Club Pt.2' with fellow All Decade hook team artists Alicia Keys and Beyoncé. Here some of Usher's biggest hits/hooks of the 2000's below.
Beyoncé was for sure a heavy case for my 2010's list along with Usher. I had to highlight her in the 2000's for launching her solo career as well as helping Destiny's Child achieve great heights through the 90's into the 2000's. Take a glance at her debut solo album Dangerously In Love. The album sold 317,000 copies in the first week. Tracks like 'Me Myself, and I', 'Dangerously in Love 2', and Crazy in Love was just the start of her solo career.
It's crazy to think how far she came from the 90's until now. Beyoncé shined bright alongside Kelly Rowland and LeToya Luckett in Destiny's Child. 'Soldier', 'Cater 2 U', and more of their hits got them recognized as some of the best women in the R&B game. Ms. Knowles was a steady choice for one of my five icons throughout the 2000's. Tap into the playlist below of some of her hits/hooks throughout the decade.
Kanye West dropped four studio albums in the 2000's. In that time period, he was producing tracks for the likes of Jay-Z, Nas, Common, and many more. All this while dropping some of the best albums of the decade. He collaborated with artists such as Lil Wayne, T-Pain, Jamie Foxx, and more during this time. I wish I knew how he managed all of his time in the 2000's.
The College Dropout, Late Registration, and Graduation were staples in his early career. Graduation sold 957,000 units in it's first week. That is when Kanye was at the top of his game. Tracks like 'Cant Tell Me Nothing', 'Good Life', and 'Flashing Lights' premiered on this album. The rest was history.
808's and Heartbreaks was just a whole, new sound from Kanye. It held songs such as 'Heartless' and 'Love Lockdown', which held bumping hooks. The 2000's brought out a successful run from Kanye to say the least. Check out some of his best hooks and singles below.
Neo-Soul/R&B artist Alicia Keys held her own throughout this time period. She debuted in 2001 with Songs in A Minor, and finished off the decade with The Element of Freedom in 2009. It's safe to say she ran her course with the best of them in R&B during this time. From 'Fallin' to 'Unthinkable', there's so many hooks and sounds from Keys that deserve praise.
Keep in mind that Alicia Keys was only 20 when Sounds in A Minor dropped. Only 22 when Diary of Alicia Keys dropped. So much impact through the airways at such a young age. These are songs that'll still come on and resonate the room today. Check out some of Alicia's biggest hits/hooks below.
50 Cent came in the game as a force to be reckoned with in the 2000's. Get Rich or Die Trying was a highly anticipated debut album. He released under Dr. Dre (Aftermath) and Eminem (Shady) and didn't disappoint. The album sold 872,000 copies in the first week. 50 only got hotter leading in to his next album. The Massacre sold 1.15million copies in the first week. 'P.I.M.P', 'Candy Shop' 'In Da Club', 'Piggy Bank', and more all resided on both of those albums. Those songs came along with some heavy hooks.
During this time period, 50 was active with artists such as The Game and G-Unit members Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo, and Young Buck. He was also in video games in movies. The guy was all over the place, and he was having fun with it. His hooks on tracks like 'Many Men', 'Wanksta', and 'How We Do' spinned heavy cycles throughout the streets. Even all the way up to Before I Self Destruct, 50 was a prominent figure in rap. Check out a playlist of some of his biggest songs and hooks below.