My Top 300 Songs of the 2000s – 150-141

Today I continue my ongoing feature showcasing my personal picks for the best songs of the past decade, posting ten songs at a time.

150. Kanye West – Stronger

The Daft Punk-sampling first single from Graduation not only showed a compelling progression in West’s production, but it showcased his always-improving lyrical prowess.  Kanye’s known for his incessant bragging and unfathomable ego, but with beats and words this precise, this banging, this funny, he continued the consistency of delivering on his Cassius Clay-channeling talk.

149. Gorillaz – 19-2000 (Soulchild Remix)

The debut from Damon Albarn’s new project, featuring four cartoon monkeys and a slew of special guests, was a cultural phenomenon upon its release.  “Clint Eastwood” was a major hit, but it’s this followup single – particularly the upbeat remix – that caught my attention for the kind of musical transformation Gorillaz was producing for the world of pop.  Two albums later, the beats still sound fresh.

148. Paul Wall – Sittin’ Sidewayz

The world was introduced to the swagger of Screwston and Texas-sized Dirty South rap through Slim Thug, Chamillionaire, and others.  But that door was arguably opened with this infectious track from Paul Wall.  The smooth flow and lyrical wit is instantly original from the “undisputed king of the parking lot.”

147. Busdriver – Imaginary Places

Ridiculous rhyming, unique lyricism, and all right alongside a Flight of the Bumblebee-like flute line.  Busdriver’s breakthrough track, featured on some old-school video games, presented to the world a one-of-a-kind rapper with a hilarious message – creative ways to piss off your parents.

146. The Death Set – Around the World

It’s unfortunate how such a badass, fun, rocking band could be so largely unknown.  The Death Set continue to blow minds via their trademark dance beats, punk-rock aesthetic, and crazy live shows.  “Around the World” is a pretty perfect introduction, from the zany Worldwide, to what the Death Set have to offer.  So shake your ass.

145. Ludacris – What’s Your Fantasy?

Some songs have a sweet, love-making, romantic, R Kelly vibe.  This is not one of those songs.  If anything, it’s a sweet, dirty ode to fucking.  In public, preferably.  And it remains one of Ludacris’ lyrical highlights of his career.  If you want a crash course in the hilarity and sheer wit of ATL’s finest, look no further.

144. Ghostland Observatory – Heavy Heart

Austin’s Ghostland are known for having only two people who make a ton of rhythmic noise.  Seriously.  These guys are loud.  Not to mention the fog machines, the nonstop light show, and the Freddie Mercury squeal and sex crawling of frontman Aaron Behrens.  “Heavy Heart” is without a doubt my favorite track from them.  That thumping beat is unavoidable.  Just try not to tap your foot.

143. Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band – Persimmon Song

One of the finest talents and most original sounds in southern-fried music right now is Reverend Peyton and his family band.  “Persimmon Song” is one of the catchiest things the group has put together, and it perfectly showcases the band’s signature usage of cadence, from the washboard slapping to Peyton’s unmistakable slide picking.

142. Motion City Soundtrack – Everything Is Alright

The pop-punk genre has come a long way since its emergence into mainstream culture in the 90’s, and most of the change has leaned on cringe-worthy (I’m looking at you, screamo movement).  But Motion City Soundtrack, while certainly not the finest offering of power pop these days, certainly can write a catchy tune and bring back some of those glory days.  This track is an instant highlight for the band and has stuck with me over the years.  Blame it on that infectious melody.

141. Cut Copy – Hearts On Fire

They might have abandoned the electro sound for now, but we cannot forget the home run that was In Ghost Colours.  So many great tracks that spawned so many equally awesome remixes.  But there’s nothing like the original “Hearts On Fire.”

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