R&B and hip-hop had quite a year in America in 2004. No. 1 singles for the likes of OutKast, Twista, Usher (both with and without Alicia Keys) and Ciara made the urban sound unbeatable, and on 11 December, the dream-team combination of Snoop Dogg and Pharrell weighed in with the final Hot 100 chart-topper of the year, “Drop It Like It’s Hot.”
Usher and Alicia had been No. 1 for six weeks with “My Boo” before they were replaced by another power duo. Snoop Dogg had been charting since 1993, when he debuted with “Nuthin’ But A ‘G’ Thang,” a track which went platinum and later entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His next three singles, “Dre Day” with Dr. Dre, “What’s My Name,” and “Gin & Juice,” all went gold. By the time of “Drop It,” Snoop was already quite the chart veteran, on his 19th hit single, but had never had a pop No.1 before.
Pharrell, for his part, had made his chart debut in his own name only the year before, in 2003, with the Top 5 collaboration with Jay-Z, “Frontin,’’’ and would not make the Hot 100 again until 2005’s “Can I Have It Like That,” with Gwen Stefani.
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But “Drop It Like It’s Hot” was the perfect combination of one of the biggest rappers in the world and one of the sharpest artist-producers in modern-day R&B. Audiences lapped it up around the world, as the track raced to two million sales in America, topping the R&B and rap charts as well as the Hot 100 and making the Top 10 across Europe and Australia.
The track earned a place just inside the Top 50 songs of the entire decade according to Billboard’s computations, at No. 48. It also had the ultimate compliment of being sampled in dozens of subsequent recordings, by Tha Dogg Pound, Will Smith, Lil B, and countless others.
Buy or stream “Drop It Like It’s Hot” on the Snoop Dogg album R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta): The Masterpiece (Explicit Version).