We’re all familiar with dance parties that cash in on ‘80s nostalgia and, more recently, the big hits of the ‘90s, but are we ready for a night that celebrates the best music of the early 2000s?
DJs Will Eastman and Brian Billion regularly sell out the 9:30 Club for a riotous all-’90s dance party called No Scrubs, and this Saturday, they’re skipping ahead a decade for Hot in Herre — a night that promises plenty of Nelly, Britney, Justin, Missy, LCD Soundsystem, Outkast, Gorillaz and other artists that may have faded into the corners of your brain but haven’t been forgotten entirely. (For a preview of the guilty-pleasure hits that await, check out the DJs’ new Soundcloud mix.)
To celebrate the upcoming party, we asked the DJs for their favorite forgotten or underappreciated songs of the decade, which have been put in a Spotify playlist for your listening pleasure. Their comments on each of the tracks are after the jump.
Want to win a free pair of tickets to Hot in Herre? Just tell us about your favorite forgotten song in the comments. We’ll pick a winner on Friday, so check back then to see if you’ve won. (We’ll also give a pair away at our happy hour Friday at Penn Social.)
Brian Billion’s picks:
Ne-Yo — “Because of You”
This single reached #2 briefly but didn’t have the staying power of his earlier or later hits — a shame, since this may be his best song. Sure, the harmonies, the beat, and even his dance moves in the video are heavily indebted to “Off the Wall”-era Michael Jackson, but we’re not complaining when it’s done this well.
Brooke Valentine — “Girlfight”
The 2000s were heavy on songs about hanging out in clubs, especially in Atlanta. Based on my years in Georgia, I can confirm that “Girlfight” paints a far more accurate picture than any song about popping bottles.
David Banner — “Cadillac on 22’s”
Mississippi’s David Banner looks at the contradictions between his life and his community in the best sensitive thug track of the decade.
Pink — “There You Go”
It’s easy to forget that Pink was once a generic R&B singer, and “There You Go” shows it’s not easy to be a one-woman Destiny’s Child. But it’s great!
Cherish — “Do It to It”
Snap music, the short-lived successor to crunk, made the best impression when its sparseness lent a crisp edge to R&B (see also Mariah Carey’s “Touch My Body” and T-Pain’s “Buy U A Drank”).
Will Eastman’s picks:
Sophie Ellis-Bextor — “Murder On The Dance Floor”
Indie and Disco met, and Indie Dance/Nu Disco was born. An indie-club dance anthem that went to number 2 in the UK and 26 on the Billboard Dance Chart, but didn’t make Sophie the mega star she deserved to be.
Darude — “Sandstorm”
Technically released Nov 15, 1999, Sandstorm by Finnish producer Darude became one of the first break out Trance tracks in the US (and dance hits of the 2000s) so if you’ve ever put your hands up in a club to Calvin Harris and Rihanna’s “We Found Love,” you need to give Darude a small tip of the hat.
M.I.A. — “Boyz”
Produced by studio genius Dave “Switch” Taylor, “Boyz” didn’t see the near-universal acclaim of “Paper Planes,” but its swag is infectious and a bit disorienting, just like a perfect meld of electronic music and dancehall should be.
Missy Elliott Feat. Ludacris — “Gossip Folks”
In my opinion, the king and queen of prom from the Hip-Hop decade were Luda and Missy, and Gossip Folks is them in top form. Missy gives the haters a what’s up about their gabbin on her sexual orientation and weight. This track has worked every time I’ve dropped it since 2003, and still works every time.
Khia — “My Neck, My Back (Lick It)”
The lyrics are too explicit to print here, but you get the point even if you’ve never heard it before. Lil Kim gets the trophy for the decade, but Khia owns it and arguably did it better on this track.