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Top 25 Hip-Hop Songs of the 2000s: #4 Usher “Yeah”Posted by Nathan S. on 12/17/09 | Filed under Features, Best of the 2000s, Usher
When Usher dropped "Yeah", the lead single off his "Confessions" album in 2004, it was a perfect storm of urban music goodness. Headed by Usher, the biggest male r&b star on the planet at the time, and featuring writing by Sean Garrett, production by Lil Jon and a verse from Ludacris, "Yeah" not so surprisingly took over the world, reaching number one on twenty different charts in 15 countries. Topping the U.S. Billboard chart for twelve weeks, selling two million copies and winning a Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, "Yeah" was easily the biggest rap-r&b song of the decade.
Like Jordan, Bird and Magic on the Dream Team, if you were going to assemble an elite squad or urban music artists on one track you'd be hard pressed to top Usher, Luda and Lil Jon. They were all at or near the top of their respective genres, and like the Dream Team, despite all the egos in the room their chemistry was great. "Yeah" was exactly the kind of track you'd expect from such a powerful trio, and so it's no wonder that the party anthem rolled over everything in its path, absolutely dominating the charts and almost completely dictating radio play. In fact, I think several radio stations just gave up and played "Yeah" twenty-four hours a day to satisfy demand.
I don't know if I've ever heard a song so many times without getting sick of it. I think the key is that "Yeah" takes itself seriously enough to not rely on gimmicks that get old quickly, while still being light enough to inspire a good time, even after the 357th listen. That incredible balance between skill and fun is best epitomized by Luda's verse, one of the most memorable guest verses of the decade, but it's hard to overlook Usher's vocal contributions. Only one man in the 2000s could have made "Yeah" such a giant hit, and his name is Ursher...I mean Usher. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to practice my A-Town stomp.
For a complete list of the Top 25 picks so far click here.
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