When a recording artists makes a massive debut on to the music their lives change forever, some going on to be big time names in the industry and setting new treands while others seem to fall into the realm of obscurity. The latter is known as a One-Hit wonder, usually pertaining to an artist or group only achieving one mainstream hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and never matching the feat again as a lead artist. Some of the artists listed managed to garner a second hit in the technical term as a lead or featured artist but they are still perhaps known for one song in particular. Here are 10 One-Hit Wonders of the 2000s!
Before Fetty Wap was crooning to the ‘trap queens’ of our time, Houston Summers IV, better known solely as Houston, was the original one-eyed heartthrob of the year 2004. Well technically he had both of his eyes during the run of his career, he stormed onto the scene at the age of 19 with the hit single “I Like That” which featured DTP rappers, Chingy and I-20 and the hook sung by the late great Nate Dogg. Reaching #11 on the Billboard Charts, Summers was the R&B singer to watch. With the success of his debut single, the singer’s debut LP “It’s Already Written” managed to be certified Gold by the RIAA and his second single “Ain’t Nothing Wrong” was starting to pick up steam. Unfortunately, that all came to a halt in early 2005 when it was reported that the singer gouged his eye out in what was rumored to be a suicide attempt in London, but it was later clarified as a schizophrenic episode, leading Summers to spend a year in a mental institution.The singer has made several announcements of a comeback since the incident but nothing really materialized, but at least we have this classic club banger to remember him by.
II. Brooke Valentine
Kamisha Brooks is perhaps best known under the stage name Brooke Valentine, back in 2004, the Houston native came out swinging with the elbow throwing Lil Jon-produced single “Girlfight” featuring Big Boi of Outkast. Finding its way in the top 20 of the R&B Charts, Valentine’s career seemed and was often compared to the likes of fellow southern belle Ciara. Unfortunately, her debut album “Chain Letter” failed to make any lasting impact and the follow-up singles couldn’t match the success of the first. A second attempt was made in 2006 with the intent to build up hype for a second album called “Physical Education”, but the album’s Pimp C assisted lead single went unnoticed before her parent label, Virgin records decided to move on to more thriving acts. Valentine, however, has since pushed through releasing indie albums with her longtime label Subliminal Entertainment. But she will always be known for turning up parties with “Girlfight”.
There’s a saying that goes “Hell has no fury like a woman scorned“, but what about when a man is scorned? For years R&B music has been dominated with woman empowerment anthems about “No Good Men” under the guise of girl power, but there has never been a male’s point of view on being hurt. That is until 2004 when Staten Island singer Eamon took saltiness to a whole new level with his debut single “F**k It (I Don’t Want You Back)”. After it’s initial release the song blew up peaking inside the top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number one in several other countries and even spawned a saltier response record by singer and fellow one-hit wonder Frankee with “FURB (F U Right Back)”. Not long after, Eamon kind of just faded into the abyss and has been releasing smaller indie projects since.
IV. Smilez & Southstar
Growing up in Orlando, FL I noticed the lack of local talent being showcased on the radio stations such as 95.3 Party and 102 Jamz (both are no longer around, pity.) but that was until about my eighth grade year when I found myself in the teen dance club called The Groove with the screens displaying a video with two young men rapping in what looked like the exact same club I was in. I found out a few days later that it was a new budding group called Smilez and Southstar with the song “Tell Me”. The ‘City Beautiful’ hadn’t had a big breakout music act since the 69 Boyz with “Tootsie Roll”. “Tell Me” managed to peak in the top 10 on Billboard’s Rap Charts, but wasn’t enough to carry the momentum of the group to produce a platinum album let alone a full-fledged career. The group has since disbanded and shows no signs of ever getting back together.
Many artists of Caribbean origin have used the Diwali Riddim in their songs, such as top acts like Wayne Wonder, TOK, Bounty Killer and Elephant Man but none seemed to have managed to top the crossover success of East Harlem artist Lumidee with her 2003 debut single, “Never Leave You (Uh Ooh)”. Initially released on the indie label Straight Face, the song became the number one requested song in New York, before eventually peaking at #3 on the Hot 100 and #1 in several countries. After the initial success, Lumidee found herself moving from Universal Records to TVT Records before eventually sticking it indie, but she hasn’t slowed down you can find Lumidee performing at various Latin and Gay Pride events and she’s still releasing new music to this day.
VI. Nina Sky
In the first decade of the 2000’s there was a trend that every summer, along with the excruciating heat we would get some hot fire coming from the Caribbean, many artists seem to have broken the mold of being a summer fly by night with the likes of Rihanna and Sean Paul scoring multiple hits year after year. But for Nina Sky they seem to have been pigeon-holed in the realm of “where are they now?”. Storming onto the scene in the summer of 2004 with the infectious hit “Move Ya Body” produced by Dj Cipher Sounds and borrowed from the popular Riddim “Coolie Skank”, The twin duo of Nicole and Natalie Albino managed to keep their heads above water in the years since their debut single peaked at #4. Despite having only one hit as a lead artist the two found their vocals on N.O.R.E’s hit “Oye Mi Canto”, getting on records with Major Lazer and Rick Ross. After a battle with label Polo Grounds, the twins took on a drastic new look, along with one sister coming out as lesbian, and the group explored new sounds in the Dance/Electronic fields by releasing two impressive self-released albums “The Other Side” (2010) and “Natalie and Nicole” (2012) and this year they are said to release their fourth album “Brightest Gold”under the popular indie label Tommy Boy Records. But no matter how much music they release they could never top the infectious groove that is “Move Ya Body”.
Unlike many of the other artists on the list, Mims managed to gain a #1 hit with the 2007 record “This is Why I’m Hot”. It seemed as if the Washington Heights-bred rapper came out of nowhere but it was a 7-year long journey leading up to the massive success that was “This is Why I’m Hot”, which led to numerous nominations including 4 Bet Award nods in 2008. Mims released a couple of singles, mixtapes and a 2nd album in the following years and while his subsequent singles did manage to get some significant play none of them matched a fraction of the success that is his signature tune. Mims ultimately disappeared sometime in 2010 and we haven’t heard from him since.
2006 was the year when technology started it’s decent onto the music scene, it was the year of the ringtone, the dawn of the smartphone and the rebirth of dance songs in Hip-Hop, a popular record of the time was St. Louis own “Pop, Lock & Drop It” by Huey, while the single peaked at the #6 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and eventually being certified double platnium by the RIAA, his album on the other hand went basically unnoticed and Huey was later let go, he is however still making music releasing a mixtape in 2014 and said to release a third album sometime in the future.
IX. Webstar and Young B
Back in 2006 this duo predated Souljah Boy with Hip-Hop’s first viral internet dance phenomenon called “Chicken Noodle Soup”, but after that Summer the duo of Webstar and Young B went their separate ways. No word on what Webstar has been up to but the MC Young B now going by Bianca Bonnie has found her way on to this past season of Love and Hip-Hop: New York, as a friend to the popular Instagram personality turned Reality Star Cardi B.
Kicking off his career as a DJ back in 1998, it would be almost a decade before the Altanta born rapper Unk made his debut with the club anthem “Walk It Out” in 2006. The song peaked at #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 before eventually being certified platinum by the RIAA. A second single resulted in the Gold selling “2 Step” which sounded like a rehash of its predecessor. Unk hadn’t manage to have a single as big as “Walk It Out” and suffered from health issues resulting into his lowered profile. These days you can find Unk touring the college circuit.