Fancy Boys March Music Madness 2023: The Grace Region (2001-2003), Round 1

Four Fancy Boys Club writers- Matt Drufke, Brandon Andreasen, Michael Grace and Jake Drummond- each chose 16 songs from their first two years of high school that had a profound impact on them. From there, the March Music Madness bracket was born.

From now through Friday, we’ll reveal the songs that made the cut by region and doing our first round. You can vote at our Facebook or our Twitter or at the polls at the bottom of this page.

We wish the best of luck to all the challengers.

Grace Region: The Songs

#1. Eminem “Lose Yourself” – I do not care whether you love him, hate him, or somewhere else in the middle… this was arguably the biggest star in music at the time at the height of his power. It’s ability to transcend the era and still be considered one of the all time great hype-up songs 20+ years later cannot be denied.

#2. Queens of the Stone Age “Go With The Flow” – Vulgar, hazy, and relentless, “Go With the Flow” feels like running for your life. It is a perfect rock song and the brightest star on the best album of the decade.

#3. Missy Elliot “Work It” – An absolute banger from the Queen of the Bangers. Sex positivity, women’s empowerment, sex worker empowerment, treating men like objects… all with the cadence and rhythm that you can only get from Missy.

#4. Linkin Park “Numb” – The pressure was on Linkin Park to deliver on their sophomore album. They delivered their best song and for my money the most climactic album closer of my lifetime.

#5. Jagged Edge “Where the Party At” – By the turn of the century, the R&B song with a rap verse had been perfected, and it was “Where the Party At?” It’s a simple, catchy as all hell, well produced song that is the last great pop song of the pre-9/11 era.

#6. Jimmy Eat World “Sweetness” – Speaking of 9/11, the album Bleed American was changed to a self-titled release because of… well… you know. “Sweetness” is one of those anthem rock songs you sing at a scream volume without caring what the lyrics could mean, and isn’t that just what being 15 is all about?

#7. Lil Jon & The East Side Boys “Get Low” – The first time this song was played somewhere outside of Atlanta, Crunk broke into the mainstream, a style and a movement that has echoes even now. It is impossible for people of about a 20 year age window to hear or say the phrase “from the window” and not immediately think “to the WALL.”

#8. Beyonce (feat. Jay-Z) “Crazy in Love” – The incomparable Beyonce’s first single from her first solo release. Her vocals are so perfectly fit for the driving beat that her future husband’s verse toward the end is relatively bland. It was clear from this moment that a star had begun a path from Beyonce Knowles to the pop goddess we have today.

#9. Cam’ron, Juelz Santana, Freekey Zeekey, Toya “Hey Ma” – Dipset was just so damn cool, man. They made a classic song about trying to get drunk/high and have sex with someone that will instantly cause elder millennials to pause a conversation.

#10. Talib Kweli “Get By” – A Kanye West beat that samples Nina Simone is somehow overshadowed by Talib’s wordplay and Brooklyn hip hop cadence. True poetry in motion about the struggle and monotony of life for the working class.

#11. Michelle Branch “All You Wanted” – Branch’s whole deal was copied and stretched and made facsimile by artists who made it higher than she ever did, but “All You Wanted” is so earnestly brilliant and simple that many of the female singer-songwriters who followed are still hunting for something as good as this.

#12. Chad Kroeger feat. Josey Scott “Hero” – Gather ’round kids, and let me tell you about a song that has NOTHING to do with the movie it was written for but is perhaps the best butt rock song of them all. In the time before superhero movies were the only movies, studios were legally obligated to have a unique pop song played during the end credits. I do not care that the lyrics to this song make no goddamn sense, especially with regards to Spider-Man, it whips. **I chose this over Nickelback’s “How You Remind Me”, but that song is also God-Tier butt rock**

#13. Chevelle “Send the Pain Below” – There were so many Nu Metal bands by this time that some just got lumped into the heap with all of the turds, and Chevelle was a victim of just that. A really good band who could make heavy and delicate songs that covered the same themes as others, but they actually made it seem like more than just saying sad words over power chords.

#14. Jermaine Dupri feat. Ludacris “Welcome to Atlanta” – Ludacris’s wordplay was a breath of fresh air at the time, and this song covers just what made him so damn special. With a killer hook and memorable lyrics, “Welcome to Atlanta” is a cornerstone of the early aughts southern rap scene.

#15. The White Stripes “Seven Nation Army” – Its played at sporting events across the globe and is easily America’s Greatest Rock Band’s biggest song. Elephant was Jack and Meg’s most cohesive album, and even if this song isn’t close to the best on Elephant, it is a stone-cold rock and roll anthem.

#16. Jurassic 5 “What’s Golden” – ahhh did you forget about this one? Oh man this song just rules. Its just a bunch of friends who love hip hop and are pretty good at it having a good time recreating the old crew tracks of the eighties. Guys being dudes… what’s better than this?

Round 1 Voting!

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