Two young women sitting next to each other, posing for a picture inside of a limousine

Back in the Day: BFF Music Bytes

Picture this: the year is 2003 and two young women are far from home. They're joining thousands of contemporaries in the pursuit of independence, education, and community. One of them hailing from the bluegrass state, the other from the Motown Records capital city of Detroit, both of them trepidatiously ready to call North Carolina home for the next nine months. Their hometowns couldn’t be more different, but one night after a full day of orientation, one of them spies the other reading a familiar book. Not only were books the key to her heart, but to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in this Detroit girl's hands was nothing short of the magic infused within the book’s pages. From that moment on, she knew they would be the two best friends that anyone could have. And it was so.

These recommendations are firmly situated within that first year of friendship, forged in the fires of an Historically Black University (HBCU) at Winston-Salem State University. Two young women establishing life on their own, singing loudly in the car with the windows rolled down, dancing at the club (without having to tell their mothers where they were), and sitting in the campus caf(eteria) so long that they had to be kicked out. Please enjoy this list of recommendations lovingly curated by teammates and best friends Kel Hanna and Lindsey Ardrey 20 years after their first "meet cute".

Four young women smiling and posing with Iron Man and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, Donatello.
Since it’s Mardi Gras day, we couldn’t resist posting this Mardi Gras picture from New Orleans circa 2008

Recommendations from 2003-2004

  • Roses  by Andre Benjamin via Outkast
  • Slow Motion  by Juvenile ft. Soulja Slim
  • Change Clothes  by Jay-Z
  • Me, Myself and I  by Beyonce (or Hip Hop Star ft. Big Boi and Sleepy Brown)
  • Get Low  by Lil Jon and The Eastside Boys ft. Ying Yang Twins
  • Right Thurr  by Chingy
  • Get Busy  by Sean Paul
  • Beautiful  by Snoop and Pharell
  • Splash Waterfalls  by Ludicrous
  • No Letting Go  by Wayne Wonder
  • Knuck if You Buck  by Crime Mob ft. Lil Scrappy
  • All I Have  by JLo ft. LL Cool J
  • Never Leave You (Uh Oooh, Uh Oooh)  by Lumidee
  • Excuse Me Miss  by Jay-Z ft. Pharell
  • Make it Clap  by Busta Rhymes, Sean Paul, and Spliff Starr
  • Clubbin  by Marques Houston ft. Joe Budden and Pied Piper
  • Luv U Better  by LL Cool J
  • Nolia Clap  by Wacko, Juvenile, and Skip
  • In Those Jeans  by Ginuwine
  • Signs of Love Making  by Tyrese
  • Emotional Rollercoaster  by Vivian Green
  • Mesmerized  by Ja Rule ft. Ashanti
  • Salt Shaker  by Ying Yang Twins ft. Lil Jon and the Eastside Boys
  • In Da Club  by 50 Cent
  • More and More  by Joe
  • Let’s Get Blown  by Snoop Dogg
  • Milkshake  by Kelis
  • Damn!  by Youngbloodz ft. Lil Jon and the Eastside Boys
  • Rock Wit U (Awww Baby)  by Ashanti
  • Say Yes  by Floetry
  • Put That Woman First  by Jaheim
  • Into You  by Tamia ft. Fabolous
  • Sunshine  by Lil’Flip ft. Lea
  • My Place  by Nelly ft Jaheim
  • My Boo  by Usher and Alicia Keys
  • All Falls Down  by Kanye West
  • Flap Your Wings  by Nelly
  • Charlene  by Anthony Hamilton
  • Can’t Let You Go  by Fabolous ft. Mike Shorey and Lil’ Mo
  • What’s Happenin’  by Ying Yang Twins ft. Trick Daddy
  • Neva Eva  by Trillville, Lil Jon, and Lil’ Scrappy
  • Selfish  by Slum Village, John Legend, and Kanye West
  • I Know What You Want  by Busta Rhymes, Mariah Carey, and Flipmode Squad
  • Burn  by Usher
  • You Don’t Know My Name  by Alicia Keys
  • I Need a Girl [Pt. 1]  by Diddy, Loon, and Usher
  • I Need a Girl [Pt. 2]  Diddy, Loon, Ginuine, Mario Winans, and Tammy Ruggieri
  • Tipsy-Club Mix  by J-Kwon
  • Slow Jamz  by Twista, Kanye West, and Jamie Foxx
  • Let Me Love You  by Mario
  • Like I Love You  by Justin Timberlake (2002)
  • I Want You  by Janet Jackson
  • Freek-a-Leek  by Petey Pablo
  • Goodies  by Ciara ft. Petey Pablo
  • Diary  by Alicia Keys ft. Tony! Toni! Tone!, and Jermaine Paul
  • Stilettos (Pumps)  by Crime Mob
  • I Think They Like Me  by Dem Franchise Boyz ft. Jermaine Dupri, Da Brat, Bow Wow & The Kid Slim
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