2003 was the pinnacle of music. Sorry to every other decade. Smack in the middle of the flip-phone era we were dealing with the reign of Britney Spears (wayyy pre-breakdown), worshipping our plentiful boy band deities and blushing as 50 Cent briefly descended from heaven in order to whisper “go Shawty, it’s ya birthday” in our ears.
Ignition (Remix) — R Kelly
I use a lot of hyperboles already so I’m not sure if I can find the right words to describe how big this song was. This song was SO BIG. It was on the radio every time you got into your car, on the TV (when music videos were still on TV), and in permanent rotation on your pre-party playlists.
Chances are, if you dug up your 2003 Spring Break playlist Ignition (Remix) is the very first song.
Rock Your Body — Justin Timberlake
I came to dance with youuuuuuuu.
In Da Club — 50 Cent
This was your jam. Every birthday you celebrated in 2003 (and probably, 2004) was celebrated with this song. You promised every single one of your friends at some point that you were going to party like it was their birthday.
Still Fly — Big Tymers
Hey Ma — Cam’ron
Otherwise known as the best car singing song of all time.
Hot In Here — Nelly
This song was big in 2002 but you know Spring Break is the time of year when it’s just starting to feel like spring and all you want to do is put on “throwback” hits — especially ones that remind you that warm weather and late-night parties are on the horizon.
Bonus points if you and your bestie had a choreographed way you sang, “Checkin your reflection and tellin your best friend,
like “girl I think my butt gettin big.”
Get Low — Lil John
The Anthem — Good Charlotte
Don’t pretend like you didn’t have a phase where you listened to the “skater bands” of the early 00’s.
My Neck, My Back — Khia
Get Busy — Sean Paul
Nothing brings back memories of a Cancun dance club like Sean Paul.
Lose Yourself — Eminem
The biggest song from the previous fall was still going strong. As embarrassed as we all were to love a showtune by a white rapper, it was too hard not to love the song’s underdog theme so we all gave in. And we loved it.
Mesmerize — Ja Rule & Ashanti
Can we all please acknowledge that Ja Rule is nothing without Ashanti?
Picture — Kid Rock & Sheryl Crow
One of the greatest duets of all time, including one of the greatest riffs of all time:
I was headed to church — I was off to drink you away.