For the 99s and 2000s: A Compilation of the Biggest Rap Bangers Released at the Turn of the Century

The 99s and 2000s were the greatest eras of rap music. Chances are — you had this list of the best 2000s rap songs on your playlist.


Dec. 19 2023, Published 3:46 p.m. ET

Discover Proudly Amplifies Diverse Voices

The Y2K era brought us a plethora of rap songs that resonate with listeners even today.

These hits not only showcased the artists' incredible talent and creativity, but they also captured the essence of a transformative time in music history.

From iconic anthems such as OutKast's "Hey Ya!" to Kanye West's "Jesus Walks," the Y2K rap songs below will undoubtedly make an impact on rap culture for years to come.

Article continues below advertisement

"Hey Ya!" — Outkast

andre  performs hey ya at the grammys
Source: Getty Images

Andre 3000 of Outkast performs their song "Hey Ya" during the 46th Annual Grammy Awards

“Hey Ya!” by OutKast was one of the 2000s' greatest hits. It is an undeniably catchy earworm, its addictive melody and snappy hook have been filling dancefloors for the best part of the last twenty years.

The hip-hop duo André 3000 and Big Boi had already established themselves in the Atlanta music scene when “Hey Ya!" was released.

What you may not have known is that rapper André 3000 previously revealed that "Hey Ya!" isn't the club banger we thought it was. Instead, it's a sad ballad about love.

The song illustrates a narrative that's familiar to many — being in a relationship that is not progressing and just getting by for the sake of tradition.

Article continues below advertisement

"Hot In Here" — Nelly

nelly hot in here music video
Source: YouTube/@NellyVEVO

Nelly in the "Hot in Here" music video.

"Hot in Here" by Nelly is about a woman and her partner in a club where the temperature is very high, and the suggestion is to take off all their clothes. The single was inspired by Chuck Brown and The Soul Searchers' "Bustin Loose," which was released in 1978.

Needless to say, ladies' night was never the same after this song dropped.

According to Nelly, this was one of the last songs he created for Nellyville. Along with "Hot in Here," the summer smash hit "Dilemma" was also featured on the 2002 album.

Article continues below advertisement

"It's Goin' Down" — Yung Joc

yung joc onstage runway fashion show
Source: Derek White/Getty Images for Curls On The Runway

Yung Joc speaks onstage at the CURLS On The Runway 2023 Celebrity Charity Fashion Show.

"It's Going Down" by Yung Joc was a popular rap song and the lead single from his debut album, New Joc City. The 2006 bop quickly climbed up the charts and became an anthem for party-going hip-hop enthusiasts.

"Jesus Walks" — Kanye West

kanye west  coachella scarf mic tattoo
Source: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Kanye West performs during the 2006 Coachella at Valley Music and Arts Festival

Ye has always been known to be a socially conscious celebrity. He dropped "Jesus Walks" in 2003 as part of his debut studio album, The College Dropout.

"Jesus Walks" speaks about society, racism, and war within ourselves. It condemns what rappers at the time typically talked about — sex, drugs, and money.

Article continues below advertisement

The song holds significant cultural and artistic significance. Through the use of spiritual metaphors, "Jesus Walks" encourages listeners to reflect on their journeys through life.

By presenting faith as a source of strength and salvation, West ultimately conveyed the importance of connecting with a higher power in the face of adversity.

West sang a gospel version as part of his Sunday Service project, which he started in January 2019 at his Calabasas, Calif. home.

The author’s content and opinions have not been pre-reviewed, approved or endorsed by Discover.

It’s not just a magazine. It’s a lifestyle!

Sign up for our newsletter for early access to content, special promotions and giveaways.

Dope content. No spam. We promise.

More from Bleu Mag

Opt-out of personalized ads

© Copyright 2024 Bleu Mag. Bleu Mag is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.