Way back when, you headed to school either by bus, armed with your trusty Walkman. Or, if you were really lucky, your parents gave you a ride to school, and you'd ride up front to police the music. Thus, no nostalgic stroll down memory lane is complete minus this list of '00s songs you blasted on the way to school. Sure, very few tracks on this list could feasibly slot into that most overrated of categories, you know, the one they call "cool." But what they lack in musical street cred, they more than compensate for in catchiness.
Which is key, right? As much as there's an entire industry based around ensuring that readers listen to the "right" music, it would probably be healthier if we had a similar attitude to other people's tracks as what they eat. Sure, that pink donut might look sickly sweet to you, but you'd never call them out on it because food's so subjective. Same with music and your teenaged brain. Maybe this was the most nostalgic of eras simply, because, in your pre-college musical utopia, you played whatever jams you wanted to. After all, your dad's opinion in your musical taste didn't matter that much.
1"Flowers" By Sweet Female Attitude
It wasn't just a band name. From the garage beats to the melodies to the candy-colored eyeshadow, this song is pure sugar.
2"In Da Club" By 50 Cent
You were way too young to even fake ID your way into a club, but that didn't stop you from nodding appreciatively to this classic on the way to school.
3"Fell In Love With A Girl" By The White Stripes
This song was as sudden, sparse, and relentless as a teenage love affair. There's not a wasted beat.
4"Standing In The Way Of Control" By Gossip
Cue air guitars, and you getting carried away and jostling the person in the bus seat next to you. But who could blame you with guitar licks this cartoonishly big?
5"One More Time" By Daft Punk
For when you had a test that day and needed an extra helping of audio sunshine to lift your mood.
6"It Wasn't Me" By Shaggy
You can't sympathize with the dastardly cheating boyfriend and yet the narrative's so strong, and the refrain's so repetitive, that before you know it you do. Of course, that's for those of you who even understood what the song was really about. Be honest. You didn't hear the explicit version until much later.
7"Umbrella" By Rihanna
This track is a monster. It devours everything in its way, including your resistance.
8"Hey Ya!" By OutKast
They weren't messing around with that Beatles-inspired video. This is OutKast at their most melodic. No wonder you begged your parents to play it again, again, again.
9"Hot In Herre" By Nelly
Awkward, because the catchiest bit is the "Checking your reflection and telling your best friend/Like 'Girl I think my butt getting big!'" Nobody wants to hear that sentence half-sung on public transport. Also weird to sing in front of your parents.
10"Dy-Na-Mit-Tee" By Ms. Dynamite
The song is singlehandedly responsible for you rocking a side ponytail to school several weeks in a row. You were convinced you looked, ahem, dynamite.
11"Lady Marmalade" By Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mya, & Pink
Whether or not you cared about Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge, this was your go-to track to dance in your car seat to.
12“99 Problems” By Jay Z
It would have been hard to call the present state of things — Jay Z in the shadows, Beyoncé the queen of the world — circa 2003. Jay Z's relentless confidence carries you to the end of the track, so engaged you've barely blinked the whole way through.
13"American Idiot" By Green Day
When you were at school, pop punk was your everything. So this was obviously a classic on your commute soundtrack.
14"Oops I Did It Again" By Britney Spears
Pop's sexiest cyborg was never not welcome when you were blasting the radio on the way to work. Also, that video. You're so very welcome.
15"Young Folks" By Peter Bjorn and John
That whistling would stay in your head for weeks, sure, but it was all worth it for this shimmering four minutes of some of the best pop of the decade.
16"Take Me Out" By Franz Ferdinand
Screaming in the front row for them at every festival of your teen life never dulled your reverence for the band's angular guitar stylings. This remained your favorite, though.
17"Crazy In Love" By Beyoncé
Because having a new crush every week was normal, not exhausting, back then. And this was the perfect soundtrack to gazing out of the bus window and daydreaming about them.
The '00s were a time of incredibly catchy pop music, and you'd almost forgotten. Time to pull the above into a Spotify playlist for your commute to work, because just 'cause you're older doesn't mean it's time to forget your old favorites.