It’s time to discuss Totally Hits, the red-headed stepchild of the Now That’s What I Call Music! collection. With a meek 11 volumes compared to the Now! collection’s 50, the series was clearly the Michelle Williams to Now!’s Beyonce. I’ve decided to revisit some of the standout songs from Totally Hits 2004 (V1 and V2) in honor of their 10-year anniversary and to offer a shout out to forgotten souls who never made it past one Total(ly) Hit.
1. Overnight Celebrity – Twista
I actually really love Twista and offer him kudos for breaking into the previously-untapped Speed Rapping market. I’m not sure where he Twista’d off to, but I sure wish he’d come back.
2. Turn Me On – Kevin Lyttle ft. Spragga Benz
Somewhere between Sean Paul’s dancehall music and Daddy Yankee’s reggaetone sits Kevin Lyttle with his one hit. I hope his voice finally dropped at some point.
3. On The Way Down – Ryan Cabrera
In 2004, Ryan Cabrera wandered over from somewhere between Laguna Beach and The OC and brought us this song that spoke to Abercrombie and Fitch-wearing teens everywhere. His career unfortunately continued On [It’s] Way Down as he shifted from touring the East Coast to touring the East Quad of Pennsylvania liberal arts colleges (true story).
4. Sorry 2004 – Ruben Studdard
Thanks for the sincere apology, Ruben, but in reality we owe YOU an apology for voting you American Idol and then not buying your album.
5. Invisible – Clay Aiken
Stalker-anthem “Invisible” was clearly the better single of the Season 2 American Idol finalists, but it’s still not great. Luckily, Aiken stopped “[watching] you in your room” and moved onto greater feats such as starring on Broadway, disappointing Claymates, and running for Congress and winning the primaries by default.
6. Save a Horse, Ride A Cowboy – Big n Rich
This is still one of my go-to country jams: maybe it’s because country jams never really get old (seriously — when was the last time you heard a country jam referred to as a “throwback”), or maybe the previous statement proves how uninformed I am about country music. Regardless, it’s great.
7. Milkshake – Kelis
Year 10 – Still no boys; still no idea what she’s talking about.
8. Salt Shaker – Ying Yang Twins ft. Lil’ Jon and the Eastside Boyz
Speaking of songs named after objects in your kitchen, this song makes me want to immediately take a bath and/or get tested for venereal diseases, not unlike the other songs in the Ying Yang Twins’ catalog.
9. Pass That Dutch – Missy Elliott
I’m a huge Missy Elliott fan — she’s been out of the game too long, and the early 2000s songs like “Pass That Dutch” feature her in her prime. Thank you, Missy Elliott, for expanding my vocabulary to include phrases such as “ain’t no shame ladies do your thang,” “get your hair did,” and “pumps in the bunk make you wanna hurt something.”
10. You And I Both – Jason Mraz
Jason Mraz is the poster child for “pop artists moms feel good about.”