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> R&B & Hip-Hop Number Ones (00's), 2000-2009
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LewisGT
post May 9 2020, 06:21 PM
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Hello and welcome to a rundown of the songs that would have topped the UK Charts from 2000-2009 if only varients of the R&B & Hip-Hop genre were allowed to chart. These terms are fairly broad so I'm sure there will be plenty of discussion over the inclusion (or lack of) for some songs. I've tried to be fairly loose (especially in 2008 where every hit seemed to blend genres) but I do hope you agree with the songs that have been selected.

This idea was of course inspired by the equivalent threads for dance music in the 90's and 00's that were expertly run in the chart forum a couple of years ago. I would highly recommend checking them out if you have never done so before (or even if you have because it's still fun to recollect). Here's links to them: 90's 00's.

Who will have the most appearances? Who have you forgotten about? Mama Who Da Man? Who Let The Dogs Out? Let's find out tongue.gif

At the moment I'm planning on trying to post 2 of these a week so we'll see how that goes.

(PS if anyone would like to help me with this in any way feel free to let me know)


2000:

Len - Steal My Sunshine (2 weeks)
Donell Jones - U Know What's Up (3 weeks)
Fierce - Sweet Love 2K (2 weeks)
Jay-Z - Anything (1 week)
Kelis - Caught Out There (1 week)


Spotify:
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LewisGT
post May 9 2020, 06:21 PM
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2000


Len - Steal My Sunshine



1st Single from 'You Can't Stop The Bum Rush'

2 Weeks (2nd January 2000 - 15th January 2000)

8-16-15-12-9-9-11-14-20-22-32-43-72-x-96-95 (15 weeks)





Len are a Canadian brother-sister duo consisting of Marc & Sharon Costanzo alongside a revolving lineup of touring members. While they began as a punk band in 1991, their 1999 album “You Can’t Stop The Bum Rush” combined elements of many different genres, including hip-hop and indie-pop. This album spawned their first, and unfortunately, only significant hit ‘Steal My Sunshine’, which is what appears here. They managed one more top 40 hit later in the year (Cryptik Souls Crew, #28) and were never heard of again in any major international charts. Their final album was ‘It’s Easy If You Try’ which made little-to-no impact in 2012.

Steal My Sunshine is a difficult song to pin down, it's a slightly off-kilter inclusion here but the song refuses to sit neatly in any broad genre with elements of alternative hip-hop, rock, pop and dance all present. I've seen it frequently been described as ‘trip-hop’ which makes it eligible here. The first couple of charts of the millennium were not the friendliest for R&B acts and largely consisted of a mix of pop (Westlife, Steps) and dance (Artful Dodger, Cuban Boys). Marc said he was inspired to write this song after attending a rave and hearing the song ‘More More More’ by Andrea True Connection. He went on to loop the bridge of that song and voila, Steal My Sunshine was born.

This was featured on the soundtrack to the 1999 comedy film “Go” which is what originally led to the song receiving airplay in the USA but it was its laidback, lazy sound that is perfect for the summer, Rolling Stone agrees awarding it as the 33rd “best summer song of all time”, which is what makes it weird that it was a hit over here in winter 99/00. The lyrics are certainly random with abstruse and perplexing references to depression and eight-foot slurpies but that not what anywhere is listening to this song for. The looped-sample is what makes this song what it is. The beat is infectious and alongside Sharon’s “if you steal my sunshine” refrain, is the only part of the song you remember when its finished.

This is certainly a unique way to start the millennium, so unique in fact that there will no other songs in a similar style to this in the entire countdown (although Fun Lovin Criminals - Loco was close to being included).
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Mack.
post May 9 2020, 08:26 PM
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Good start to this, I will definitely be following this.
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Bré
post May 10 2020, 12:22 AM
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A cool idea for a thread! Shall try and make sure to follow it along as well cool.gif

Definitely a bit of a curious song to start with though, not exactly the first song I think of when thinking of early 00s hip-hop/R&B songs but I suppose I can sort of see it laugh.gif
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LewisGT
post May 10 2020, 01:10 AM
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QUOTE(Bré @ May 10 2020, 01:22 AM) *
A cool idea for a thread! Shall try and make sure to follow it along as well cool.gif

Definitely a bit of a curious song to start with though, not exactly the first song I think of when thinking of early 00s hip-hop/R&B songs but I suppose I can sort of see it laugh.gif


I compiled this by trying to separate every song into 3 broad categories with a song either falling in ‘R&B/Hip-Hop’, ‘Dance’ or ‘Rock & Pop’ and ultimately Len was in the border of hip-hop/rock but the lack of any other big R&B hits made me lean for it to be included here.

The first few charts were incredibly bad for R&B & Hip-Hop in general. Thankfully we have a very definite R&B track next.
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Riser
post May 10 2020, 02:05 AM
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Steal My Sunshine doesn't easily fit into any genre, but I absolutely love the song and would've loved for it to be #1 wub.gif
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dan-G
post May 10 2020, 05:13 AM
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interesting to see the Dance #1s idea finally make it to another genre chart, that first song is a great start too even if I consider the song to be more alternative pop than hiphop.
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Gerald
post May 11 2020, 02:05 PM
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Love this idea Lewis! Will definitely be following it.
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LewisGT
post May 12 2020, 11:48 AM
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Donell Jones - U Know What’s Up



1st Single from ’Where I Wanna Be’

3 Weeks (16th January 2000 - 5th February 2000)

2-2-5-8-15-23-28-40-44-52-67-79-(x)-87-76-97 (15 weeks)





Donell Jones is an R&B singer from Chicago who has released six albums from 1996-2013. While he made some impact in the UK in 1997 with his cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Knocks Me Off My Feet” reaching #58, it wasn’t until the opening month of 2000 when the first single off his sophomore album, ‘U Know What’s Up’ smashed the charts, landing at #2 for consecutive weeks behind new entries from Manic Street Preachers and Britney Spears. Jones only ever graced the top 40 twice more; his follow-up “Shorty (Got Her Eyes On Me)” peaked at #19 and his feature on True Steppers’ #25 hit “True Step Tonight” where his vocals were paired with those of ex-East 17 member Brian Harvey. He also had one final near miss when “You Know That I Love You”, the lead single from his 3rd album, spent a week at #41. Jones had a slightly elongated period of success in his native USA with songs still making the R&B charts until 2011.

‘U Know What’s Up’ is an incredibly chilled and smooth slice of R&B, emulating the sound that was popular in the ’90s. Of course, this is no surprise as it was originally released as part of his album in October 1999. Lyrically the song is a pretty typical love-jam where Jones tells a girl how much he is “diggin” her and how he’s ready for the two of them to get together. The official video, perhaps wisely, is for the remix that includes a feature from the late TLC-member Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, who steals the show with her effortlessly cool verse. However, it’s not just Lopes who makes an appearance in this video, the cameo game is very strong with a who’s who of LaFace Record labelmates also showing up. We have Usher with some cornrows, the YoungbloodZ, T.I & most excitingly for me, OutKast member Big Boi, three of which we will be hearing from again as this rundown progresses. The video does feel a bit dated with emphasis placed firmly on the flat-screen TV’s that all show close-ups of Jones singing. They might have looked impressive at the time but now it’s obvious that they were there just to mask the fact that Jones didn’t even turn up for his own video shoot. laugh.gif

I wish I had more to say about this one but I don’t recall ever hearing it before this. After hearing it a few times now, I am surprised to discover it was such a big hit. It’s a perfectly nice slice of R&B but does feel a little bit nondescript and seems to lack anything to make it truly stand out amongst the other R&B hits of the time (apart from Lisa Lopes’s verse). I am enjoying it though and will probably add it to my old-skool playlist.

Next up we have the biggest hit from a three-piece girl group.
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Izzy
post May 12 2020, 01:46 PM
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I love 'Steal My Sunshine', and when I eventually do the rock version of this, that's going to be the first one there as well magic.gif

I must say I've honestly never heard Donell, I'm very rarely interested in that sort of slow RnB style, I expect more of my involvement in this thread will be learning about records I haven't paid any attention to since they were out, if I even heard them in the first place.
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LewisGT
post May 12 2020, 06:49 PM
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QUOTE(Izzy @ May 12 2020, 02:46 PM) *
I love 'Steal My Sunshine', and when I eventually do the rock version of this, that's going to be the first one there as well magic.gif

I must say I've honestly never heard Donell, I'm very rarely interested in that sort of slow RnB style, I expect more of my involvement in this thread will be learning about records I haven't paid any attention to since they were out, if I even heard them in the first place.


Donell Jones is not somebody I was familiar with at all before this either to be fair. The next few entries are all similarly forgotten about until we begin to get into some big hitters by about April.

Thanks to everyone that's commented so far biggrin.gif

~

This thread will now be updated every Tuesday/Saturday and I've started a Spotify playlist for the songs which can be found here if anyone is interested.

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Riser
post May 13 2020, 12:14 AM
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Omg, I only just re-discovered U Know What's Up in the past couple months and I'm enjoying it a lot more now than before wub.gif Great production on it!
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LewisGT
post May 16 2020, 01:23 PM
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Fierce - Sweet Love 2K



4th Single from ’Right Here Right Now’

2 Weeks (6th February 2000 - 18th February 2000)

3-11-19-29-44-61-61-58-(x)-76-79 (10 weeks)





Fierce were a British R&B girl group consisting of Chantal Alleyne, Aisha Peters & Sabrina Weathers. They managed four top 40 singles, the final of which, ‘Sweet Love 2K’ was their only top 10 hit. It is a cover of Anita Baker’s “Sweet Love” which had won a Grammy for ‘Best R&B Song” in 1987 and peaked at #13 in the UK. I’m not sure what happened to Fierce post this because, after finally scoring a big hit, they completely disappeared, not to be heard of again.

Fierce actually recorded two version of this track. The cover which kept the same name as the Anita Baker song originally appeared on their album and was produced by Jeremy Wheatley & Magnus Fiennes. But for the single release they tacked “2K” on the end of the title and recruited Norwegian production team 'Stargate' to jazz it up a bit. While they have now produced an impressive 14 UK #1 singles, their only credits at the time were on back-to-back #2 hits for S Club 7 (S Club Party, Two In A Million) which may not have screamed credibility but it worked, giving Fierce their biggest hit and opening up Stargate to a new market. This may not be the last we see of them this year.

The song itself is more upbeat than the original and features some nice vocals and cool harmonies. However, It does sound even more nondescript than the Donell Jones track so I’m not sure how it became such a hit. Although, admittedly, after a few listens it's starting to become a bit of an earworm for me. We certainly don’t get many chart hits that sound like this anymore, I guess Summer Walker would be the closest in recent times. The video is fairly standard and intercuts between shots of them dancing and watching some guys playing volleyball at a beach.

Next up we have the first appearance from a rapper who will pop up quite a few times in this rundown.
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Mack.
post May 17 2020, 12:09 PM
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I wonder what happened to the members of Fierce.

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Jack
post May 17 2020, 08:05 PM
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I loved Sweet Love 2k, even bought it on cassette (!!) back in the day wub.gif

Fierce were probably the M.O of the early 2000's.
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Tangela
post May 17 2020, 09:58 PM
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3 great songs to start - though doesn't "Rise" by Gabrielle count? (One of my all-time favourite songs wub.gif )
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LewisGT
post Monday, 11:32 AM
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I also wonder what happened to Fierce too. It seems weird that they would just completely disappear.

I've started to really like Sweet Love 2K now so I might have to give their other tracks a listen. M.O seem like an apt comparison.

QUOTE(Tangela @ May 17 2020, 10:58 PM) *
3 great songs to start - though doesn't "Rise" by Gabrielle count? (One of my all-time favourite songs wub.gif )


I was caught in two minds with Rise. It certainly does have a lot of R&B elements but I always considered it pop and wikipedia (very reliable source laugh.gif ) agreed so I stuck with that. I certainly wouldn't argue if you think it should have been included though. It would have a 4 week run ahead of Donell Jones's final week, the 2 weeks of Fierce and the next song to be posted.
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LewisGT
post Tuesday, 01:44 PM
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Jay-Z - Anything



1st Single from ’The Truth’ & 3rd Single from ’Vol. 3… Life and Times of S. Carter’

1 Week (19th February 2000 - 26th February 2000)

18-31-46-65-(x)-93 (5 weeks)





I’m sure Jay-Z needs no introduction but I will give him one anyway. Shawn Corey Carter (Jay-Z) is a musician and businessman from New York that is widely considered to be one of the greatest rappers of all-time. In 2019, he became the “first hip-hop billionaire” and is married to another artist who will be appearing here many times (even sometimes together), Beyoncé. Jay-Z will actually appear another 7 times after this and would have for sure popped up in the 90’s version of this thread (which, who knows, might happen one day) with “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)”.

Hard Knock Life is the apt comparison for this song. After sampling Annie to his breakout UK hit, he tried the same trick again with ‘Anything’ to diminishing returns. The musical of choice this time was Oliver with the song 'I'll Do Anything' and I think therein lies the problem. IDA is nowhere near as iconic as it’s Annie equivalent, in fact it’s not even one of the most popular songs in Oliver! . The end result is something that just doesn’t sit right on the ear as the sampled chorus and Jay-Z’s verses sound eerily disparate. After the verse you’re expecting a big chorus and you get… that.

Lyrically the song acts as a love letter to his family and friends. The first verse is a celebration of the success he and his friends have achieved. The 2nd verse is a thank-you to his mother for raising him well and also an apology to her for how bad his father was. The 3rd and final verse is directed to his 4 nephews where he shows his unclely instincts as he promises to always look after them and gives them advice for their future. There is some genuinely touching lyrics amongst the verses but each one has at least one unsure.gif lyric. He's a sample of some of the weirdest lyrics.

Verse 1: “when you ain’t around I'll spank ya son, keep him in line”
Verse 2: “Thanks for letting me bloom, for your wisdom, for your womb”
Verse 3: “If it comes a time when you ain’t feelin' your real dad, put my face on his body”

Perhaps more interesting than the song itself, is that it wasn’t even recorded for a Jay-Z album. 'Anything' was actually the album-closer to Beanie Sigel’s 2000 debut-album “The Truth” which was released under Jay’s Rock-A-Fella record label. I guess this was the song that was meant to s introduce Sigel to the world and sell the album but that wasn’t the case. It also featured as a bonus-track on Jay-Z ‘Vol. 3…”, an album which has surprisingly never charted in the UK.

That write-up does seem a bit negative for a song that I’m, admittedly, only talking about as it did reach #1 in this R&B/Hip Hop chart. laugh.gif

Next up we go back to R&B with a female singer who pops up sporadically through the rundown.

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LewisGT
post Saturday, 12:05 PM
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Kelis - Caught Out There



1st Single from ’Kaleidoscope’

1 Week (27th February 2000 - 4th March 2000)

94-77-52-(x)-4-11-15-22-31-40-53-52-61-67-(x)-75-64-100 (16 weeks)





Kelis is an American singer from New York who will make four appearances in this rundown. This was her debut single and was released when she was just 20 years old. It didn’t make much of an impact in the USA, only reaching #54, but became a top 10 hit in Sweden, the Netherlands and the UK. After getting dropped from her label, which resulted in her 2nd album not getting a US release, she reached her peak popularity with her third album, 2003’s ‘Tasty’ which included three top-3 singles.

Caught Out There is a bold track to debut with. The verses are sung in the typical debonair manor you’d associate with R&B at the time (see Donell Jones & Fierce), but as it reaches the chorus it turns, into something else entirely. Just as you’re getting used to the calm, smooth flow to the song, you get caught off guard as the whole vibe of the song changes. her vocals become much harsher and shriller as she forcefully repeats the exclamatory “I hate you so much right now” before letting out a scream that tonally resembles a metal track rather than an R&B jam. She may not have been the "first woman to scream on a track" like she claimed, but it's certainly disconcerting and felt fresh and exciting at the time. Maybe you could make some metaphorical connection to the title of the song ‘caught out there’ and the way the chorus catches you out the first time you hear it but I’m not going to be that pretentious.

It’s only fitting then that the video is full of striking imagery to accompany the song. Kelis’s style in the video, with her pink afro and colourful make-up grabs your attention from the start. This is necessary because the spoken intro certainly doesn't and feels like it goes on for hours. The video begins with an unresponsive man in hospital getting shocks while Kelis looks on through a screen. We then see what happened as Kelis trashes their apartment while he lies still on the floor, takes a bath and looks at photographic evidence of him cheating and then finally confronts her already beaten-up boyfriend. The only time her boyfriend moves is to humorously perform the high-pitched adlibs to the track. These scenes are intercut with a protest that Kelis inspired where a group of women with picket signs boycott their undeserving partners.

This song was produced by The Neptunes and was originally made for Busta Rhymes, but he turned it down. I could really imagine him producing a classic over this but at least it found a good home in the end. But that's not the reason why the song blew. The song smartly had a catchy hook that felt ripe for a meme even before the idea was popularised. It certainly has had a life outside of this song. I'd heard the line so much in media that I'd forgotten what song it was actually from. One things for sure, this song would smash Tik Tok if it was to have been made today.

Next up we have our second R&B girl group.
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Mack.
post Saturday, 10:41 PM
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Anything that was strange from Jay-Z, 'Caught Out There ' a great debut single from Kelis.
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Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 25th May 2020 - 08:13 AM