Name: Adam Bernard Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States About Me: Entertainment journalist with 20 years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, and B-movies. Part time ninja. Kicked cancer’s ass. My memoir, ChemBro, is out now!
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Welcome to your weekly dose of pop world musings. Covering all things pop culture, this week I’m hopping into my time machine again, this time setting the coordinates for 18 years ago this week.
Touching down in July of 2002 I see that P. Diddy REALLY needed a girl, as both “I Need a Girl (Part One)” and “I Need a Girl (Part Two)” were in the Top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100. This edition of the chart also gave us a hilarious combination of songs back-to-back that inadvertently made Tweet look pretty damned needy
In addition to that bit of unintentional humor, there were quite a few memorable songs in heavy rotation, many of which still receive spins to this day. So let's take a look at what was hot on the Billboard Hot 100 this week back in 2002. Of course, since this is Pop Shots, you know everything is seasoned with a little bit of attitude.
1. Nelly – Hot In Herre
Maybe it’s the joyousness, maybe it’s the addictively quotable chorus, whatever the reason, this song about sweat inducing conditions has become a classic.
I am one of the many people who recite the hook anytime I have to turn on my air conditioning.
4. Avril Lavigne – Complicated
Was it really 18 years ago that we were first introduced to spunky anti-pop pop star Avril Lavigne? Avril was such a breath of fresh air in a pop market that was dominated by blondes with choreographed dance routines, and Let Go was a helluva debut album.
6. Cam’ron w/ Juelz Santana – Oh Boy
Some people have mistaken this era of Cam’ron’s music as being overly simplistic, but there’s a real complexity in creating something that sounds simple, and that’s a skill Cam mastered.
Also, I’d like to take this opportunity to share that I have a bottle of Oh Boy cologne in my office. It leaked a bit while in transit, and my mailbox smelled great for weeks!
7. Jimmy Eat World – The Middle
You’d be hard pressed to find a more truthful, uplifting, reassuring song than Jimmy Eat World’s “The Middle.” This is an anthem for anyone who’s ever felt like an outsider, and it should be played on a daily basis at high school’s nationwide.
12. Truth Hurts w/ Rakim – Addictive
The sample wasn’t cleared. That’s the sad story of the fate of this song, which won’t make anyone any money no matter how many plays it racks up on YouTube. It’s no longer available for sale, and you won’t find it on any streaming services. A $500 million dollar lawsuit makes those things a bit prohibitive.
15. DJ Sammy feat. Yanou & Do – Heaven
I love when a cover takes a song in a completely different direction from the original, and this dance version of Bryan Adams’ 1983 hit “Heaven” does this to perfection.
Both versions of the song are fantastic, and I crank each of them up whenever they’re on the radio.
17. Sheryl Crow – Soak Up The Sun
I’m pretty sure everybody likes Sheryl Crow. Seriously, find someone who has a negative emotional reaction when they hear her name, or her music. Other than possibly a bitter ex, you’re not going to find soul who feels anything but good vibes when it comes to Ms. Crow. “Soak Up The Sun,” a feel-good classic, is one of the many reasons why.
21. N.O.R.E. – Nothin’
I know people look at me crazy when I say this, but in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s, N.O.R.E. was just as big, if not bigger, than Jay-Z. Everyone would go nuts when DJs put on N.O.R.E.’s music, and his work with The Neptunes helped launch the production team into the stratosphere. Hell, if a DJ were to put on “Nothin’” in 2020 it would still make the club go wild.
23. Puddle of Mudd – Blurry
Puddle of Mudd lead singer Wes Scantlin hasn’t had the best couple of years … or decade, but in the early 2000s the band was receiving a ton of airplay on rock radio. “Blurry” would be their only appearance in the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, but they were mainstays on the Mainstream Rock chart, with 10 Top 10 songs.
Also, one time when I was in L.A., I was eating at The Rainbow with some friends, and Puddle of Mudd were at the table across from ours.
That’s all for this edition of Pop Shots, but come back next Monday for more shots on all things pop.