An Ode to the Early 2000s, Pt. 2


If you didn’t catch Part 1 of our Ode to the Early 2000s, you can find it here. In any case, welcome to Part 2!

Ah, the music of the early 2000s. These are the artists and songs we tend to associate most with our formative years. Some of them we’re not mentioning because they’re still around and just not so great anymore (Maroon 5, Christina Aguilera) or because they were huge then and still huge now for legitimate reasons (B and Jay-Z). Away we go.

Justin Timberlake — actor, comeback musician of 2013, husband to Jessica Biel, collaborator with and friend to Jimmy Fallon and Andy Samberg, sex icon — looked like this. He then went solo, awkwardly (at least in my eyes) attempting the whole “I want to make black music” thing and actually pulling it all off! This was and is stunning to me. When Justified first came out and he was suddenly putting forth an urban swagger, performing with entirely black bands and backup singers, and doing throwback R&B, I remember thinking, “REALLY? THAT dude went from ‘Bye Bye Bye’ to this?” But no one seemed to care, which is a testament to how (surprisingly) legit he was as a solo artist. (Major sign of that legitimacy: “Señorita” — an up-tempo, LATIN-flavored R&B ballad that features a freaking call-and-response section and that JT claims was inspired by Stevie Wonder — is still my favorite JT song.) So while I’m still sort of confused by how America was completely cool with a curly-haired blond dude like him making that abrupt of a transformation, I have to give him props for somehow pulling it off. And by the way, few white musicians can successfully incorporate black culture into their acts without coming off as complete posers, or without throwing off their listeners. Do you feel uncomfortable when The Biebs raps in his songs? Because I do. Notable exceptions include legitimate white rappers (Eminem, Slug, Brother Ali) and Robin Thicke (who is a straight-up boss and is also married to Paula Patton).

Well those three rappers, or at least Eminem and Brother Ali, came up immersed in black culture. So they didn’t incorporate black culture into their acts so much as they made music that was natural to their background.

Valid point. Anyway, then there’s JT, and that’s about it. (The Beastie Boys were hip hop icons, but they always remained self-aware of their whiteness in a kind of hilarious way. Mayer Hawthorne’s schtick is basically that he’s a white dude doing Motown.) Also — and I know this is kind of unrelated — Ashton Kutcher made Justin cry on Punk’d. Cannot be forgotten.

D’Angelo’s Voodoo. A lot of casual fans mistakenly think only of D’Angelo’s naked music video from this album, and yeah, while the man is sexy as hell, that wouldn’t be doing him justice. Dude is a brilliant musician. So happy he’s finally going to release a follow-up soon (and by “soon” I mean at some point in the next 13 years). Anyway, go check Voodoo out. (Side note: D’Angelo helped produce Common’s awesome Like Water for Chocolate. Nice!)

Ashanti. I remember feeling in 2002 like Ashanti had come completely out of nowhere. Suddenly she was all over the place thanks to “What’s Luv?”, “Always on Time,” and “Foolish,” winning what seemed like 15 Grammys, AMAs, and Billboard awards and appearing on VH1’s Top 20 Video Countdown and TRL at all times. Now, ten years later, it feels like she disappeared just as quickly as she showed up. What the hell happened?

Ja Rule. You can’t mention Ashanti without bringing up Ja, who, if you hadn’t heard yet, just got out of jail. This is big news, although the chances of him making a legitimate comeback are admittedly slim.  

I predict Ja will have one semi-successful single that everyone will listen to nostalgically (no more than twice). And then he’ll fall off again. Although one intriguing and hilarious alternative possibility is that he tries to get with the times and makes Flo Rida-type music. ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.

DMX. Can’t emphasize enough how much ass DMX kicked in the early 2000s. I’d obviously never been to a club as an eleven-year-old in 2000, but I knew that “What’s My Name?” and “Party Up (Up In Here)” were bonafide club bangers. Ja Rule fronted the gruff voice and demeanor, but DMX was authentically hardcore. As a DMX loyalist, I shunned everything Ja Rule, Ashanti, and Murder Inc. Although I did enjoy laughing at the preposterous Grease meets Black Panthers pageantry in the “Mesmerize” video.

Lil’ Bow Wow and Lil’ Romeo. They were relevant (somehow). Let’s move on.

Michael Jackson’s Invincible. Am I being serious about this? Who knows. But there is no doubt about this: “You Rock My World” boasts an INCREDIBLY uncomfortable opening sequence during which MJ bets Chris Tucker that he can seduce the fine lady they’ve spotted across the room. Seriously. Listen to it. Meanwhile, the excruciating music video for the song features Michael Madsen, Marlon Brando, and MJ wearing more makeup than a geisha! As an added bonus, “Butterflies” was written by one of the ladies from Floetry, who I LOVE.

Nelly. True story: I recently pulled up a classic Nelly track on YouTube, you know, to listen to it. One of the top discussions going on in the comments revolved around a user having written something along the lines of, “Ha! Nelly, what a one-hit wonder.” WHAT???!! To my great relief, EVERYONE was shitting on the person with responses that all basically said, “Holy crap, you must have been born after 2002, kid, because in no world is Nelly a one-hit wonder.” All that said, I’d like to point out that 1) it’s been awhile since Nelly came out with anything great, and 2) kids born after 2002 (!!!) are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube and interacting with us on the regular. WTF?! Beyond all that, Avinash tells me that Nelly is apparently the third best-selling rapper of all time!!

Mary J. Blige – “Family Affair.” Total jam right here. NO MORE DRAMA, MJB. NO MORE DRAMA.

Mario – “Let Me Love You.” Did Mario ever do anything else (other than starring as Channing Tatum’s buddy in Step Up)? As I’ve written before, I don’t know and don’t care. All that matters is that “Let Me Love You” exists.

Eve featuring Gwen Stefani – “Let Me Blow Ya Mind.” Remember when Gwen Stefani was a boss, appearing on Eve’s signature jam (even though you can BARELY hear her during the chorus) and killing it with No Doubt tracks like “Hella Good” and “Underneath It All”? Now, she’s busy designing crap for L.A.M.B. and annoying us with that insufferable “songwriting is sooo hard, but I loove it… I miss you guyssss” phone commercial.

Busta Rhymes featuring Mariah Carey – “I Know What You Want.” Just like Gwen, Mariah Carey was crushing it in the early 2000s. Along with a steady stream of hits, she sang the tribute to Michael Jordan at his last All-Star Game, wearing an outrageously tight version of his Wizards jersey as a dress. THAT’S how you know she was legit. (By the way, the 2003 All-Star Game went from being a classic to a travesty in a matter of seconds, all thanks to Jermaine O’Neal. After Old MJ hit an absurdly clutch jumper over Shawn Marion to take the lead, O’Neal hacked Kobe on a terrible fading three-point attempt at the buzzer, causing the game to go to double overtime, during which Old MJ sat and Garnett won the game for the West. In a related story, O’Neal recently goaltended a game-winning THREE-POINT attempt. You can’t make that up.) Anyway, everything about the video for “I Know What You Want” is hilarious. Back in the day, part of me wished I could get away with talking like Busta and his boy do in the backseat of the car at the beginning. But I eventually came to terms with my Caucasian-Asianness and the distinct impossibility of that ever being OK. In other news, today they use the beat from the track in PBA commercials on ESPN. That’s right — BOWLING commercials.

Hey now, that’s the only way I would watch the PBA. That song kills it over dudes getting really upset because they bowled like a 265. As for Mariah, you have to respect the game: she had the second most number one singles between 1990 and 2010. Behind only… USHER. Who we should probably talk about. I mean, “My Boo”? “Confessions Part II”? “Burn”?

No doubt that Usher crushed it. Don’t forget “U Got It Bad” (mentioned in Part 1 for its music video) and “U Remind Me,” as well as “Yeah!” (shout-out to Lil Jon!). And by the way, Confessions was a good album, but “Confessions Part II” was totally fucked up, and yet it’s so catchy that today we tend to ignore what it’s about to groove to it nostalgically.

OutKast. By the new millenium, OutKast had left their best work behind them. Not knocking OutKast, just check out Aquemini and ATLiens if you doubt me. With the new, more melodic sound of Stankonia, Andre 3000 largely became the singer complementing Big Boi’s raps. “So Fresh, So Clean” and “Ms. Jackson” are definitely jams in the most glorious sense of the word, but people tend to forget what Andre 3000’s capable of when he starts kicking rhymes.

All that said, they took over the freaking world with their double album. Everyone’s grandma knew “Hey Ya!” If that comes on today I still feel an urge to shake it like a Polaroid picture.

But what most listeners didn’t realize was that Andre 3000 was mocking them for being a shallow, mindless audience. People were too busy freaking out like the girls in the music video mimicking The Beatles’ Ed Sullivan Show performance to pay attention to the line, “Y’all don’t wanna hear me; you just wanna dance.” The lyrics might speak about a dysfunctional relationship where love fails, but throw in a catchy call-and-response and some melodic nonsensical phrases like “Hey ya,” and you’ve got a genre-bending, rump-shaking platinum single.

All fair. Anyway, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below also brought us obvious gems like “The Way You Move” and “Roses” and less obvious ones like “Happy Valentine’s Day” and my personal favorite “Take Off Your Cool,” an awesome little acoustic number with Norah Jones. OutKast then officially solidified their world domination by winning Best Album at the Grammys and accepted the award like so: they sauntered up to the stage, grabbed the trophies, then Andre leaned in to the podium from the side and muttered a half-assed “Thank you,” then they walked off. No speech. The whole thing took less than 25 seconds. Incredible stuff.

N.E.R.D. In Search Of… was one of my favorite albums growing up. If I’m not mistaken, I had the original version, not the one that was re-released in 2002 with different backing arrangements and production. Either way, Pharrell, Chad Hugo, and Shay offered a sweet blend of genres from rock to hip hop to R&B. “Baby Doll,” “Provider,” “Bobby James,” and “Things Are Getting Better” are personal favorites.

Can we give Chad Hugo the props he deserves for being the true creative mind behind the N.E.R.D./Neptunes sound? Remember how badly Pharrell sucked when N.E.R.D. without Chad Hugo played at Spring Fling?

I… I don’t remember.

Gorillaz. “Clint Eastwood” just might be the definitive jam of my middle school years. That and “Lose Yourself.” Gorillaz’s self-titled debut is a near-perfect sonic experience.

Nelly Furtado. Oh, so the equally sweet follow-up to “I’m Like a Bird” didn’t do anything in the U.S.? Here, sing this song about playing a game of “just the tip” with Timbaland.

My only defense of “The Thong Song” is the beat, which features an amazing string chop sample of Wes Montgomery’s cover of The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby.” 

J-Kwon – “Tipsy.” Ridiculously catchy beat. But a shameful appropriation of “One, and here comes the two to the three and four,” from The D.O.C.’s “It’s Funky Enough.” Kind of like if Justin Bieber belted out “Dirty Diana, ohhh!” in the middle of a song.

As a fellow music snob I identify with your disregard for J-Kwon, but at the same time, come on. I GOT A FAKE ID THOUGH.

P. Diddy – “I Need a Girl (Parts One AND Two).” That guitar on “Part Two” might be Bad Boy Records’ best moment of the early 2000s. All those dudes riding motorcycles in slow motion look perfectly content without any female passengers, so who needs a girl?

“Bad Boys For Life.” Also one of Diddy’s finest moments.

The Kill Bill soundtracks. Introduced us to the’s, whose song “Woo Hoo” went on to be featured incessantly in an annoying series of Vonage ads. On a brighter note, Nancy Sinatra, Isaac Hayes, Tomoyasu Hotei, Al Hirt, Malcolm McLaren, Santa Esmeralda, and other typical Tarantino musical awesomeness all contribute to the two films’ soundtracks.

Another great soundtrack: Charlie’s Angels. Make fun of me all you want, but there was some glorious stuff in that movie, from Tavares to Leo Sayer to Marvin Gaye to Deee-Lite.

Alicia Keys’s debut album was FIRE.

This girl was on fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiire! Seriously, “Fallin’” is one of the greatest R&B tracks of all time. Can’t say that about too many songs from the new millenium, let alone after the Motown/Stax era.

Missy. Elliott. I love Missy way too much to offer any coherent thoughts here. I’ll just say her name again. Missy. Elliott.

Those kid dancers from the videos! The little Asian girl and little white girl were legit. Where are they now?

I actually TOOK THE TIME to look into this. The white girl has her own Wikipedia page. She is now 19. I feel very old. Meanwhile, no one on the interwebs seems to care about who the Asian girl was. RACIST.

Seriously, if you google anything along the lines of “missy elliott dancers,” all the results are about Alyson Stoner, the white girl.

Sean Paul. Ike and I disagree on his best single. I say “Gimme the Light” (or at least the remix featuring Busta Rhymes). Ike says “Get Busy.” No matter what, that was some prime booty-shakin’ music.

R. Kelly. Somehow, no one ultimately cared about the whole child pornography/statutory rape thing. We forgave the unforgivable. I guess he’s so talented that everyone laughed off the incident (and by “incident” I mean having sex with and urinating on a 14-year-old girl) as a personality quirk. Sex offenders of America! Your life need not be tarnished forever. All you need is a remix to “Ignition,” hot and fresh out the kitchen.

There is a petition to the government to make “Ignition (Remix)” the National Anthem. A massive number of people have signed it. Imagine, it’s the 2016 Olympics, Michael Phelps takes down his eighth medal of the week, and for the eighth time we hear: “Now usually I don’t do this but uh, go on break ‘em off with a little previews of the remix.”

So there you have it. R. Kelly’s defense: he’s a national treasure.

2Pac – Better Dayz. Solid posthumous album with some fun opportunities to fuel “Tupac is alive” theories. Both versions of the single, “Thugz Mansion,” kicked ass. On “When We Ride on Our Enemies,” Pac spat venom at The Fugees and Mobb Deep over a beat that at times sounded like the Halo soundtrack.

The Roots. “Seed 2.0” has one of the greatest guitar riffs in hip-hop history. And it’s not a sample.

Destiny’s Child. Did anyone else feel like they sang the words “I’m a survivor” in that song like 30 more times than they should have?

Which reminds me, Beyonce was only beginning to take over the world. Britney was still Britney. Kanye West wasn’t Kanye West yet. And the Kardashians were nobodies too. Can I please get a Paris Hilton comeback?

Obligatory reference to Cam’ron’s “Hey Ma.” But don’t be fooled, “Oh Boy,” “Down and Out,” and “Killa Cam” (among others) were all JAMS.

Tiesto was still a trance DJ.

Daft Punk still made music. OOPS. Wait, that JUST changed!!! A few thoughts on the two French robots: Is Random Access Memories the most anticipated/hyped album… ever? Seriously, think about it. The two members of Daft Punk dehumanized themselves with the robot costumes years ago, but of late that decision has really started to pay its dividends. In today’s 24/7 world of social media-driven hysteria, Daft Punk being secretive and mysterious about their music as well as their own personalities/identities has generated immense interest in everything they do. They haven’t recorded an original album other than the disappointing Tron: Legacy soundtrack in eight years. They haven’t toured since 2007 either, only popping up randomly at a Phoenix show or two. Then this year, they launched an ingenious marketing campaign based on teasers containing snippets of new disco-tinged music and a self-aggrandizing series of interviews with their latest collaborators. People were scouring the Sony Music registration records to find out as much as they could about the upcoming album, and once that Coachella teaser of “Get Lucky” came out, people started making their own “complete” versions of the track because they couldn’t stand waiting for the real thing to come out. (By the way, I’m aware that the whole album is out now, but I refused to listen to the leaks and only want to listen to my pre-ordered iTunes version, which, as it turns out, just completed downloading as I’m writing this.) All of this has resulted in people thinking Daft Punk are WAY better and more important than they actually are. And while I really, really like the disco-based sound of “Get Lucky,” I can’t help but shake the notion that people will FUCKING LOVE the new album NO MATTER WHAT it sounds like. And that notion is only possible because it’s 2013, because Daft Punk’s been around since the nineties (as in, they’re respected old-timers), and because Daft Punk is mysterious and inscrutable in a way that is analogous to how Apple develops its new products. I love Daft Punk and I’m confident the album will be good, but I’m just saying: despite an overall sound that will likely be totally different from their past material (if the lead single is any indication), there’s a chance it’ll be no better as an album than Human After All. Remember how Justice’s second album was considered a disappointment? Well, they were largely doing the same thing that DP appears to be doing — using a decidedly seventies (rock) sound. Daft Punk is also going back to the seventies, only they’re focusing on disco. There’s a chance people won’t like that, but I’m guessing instead that people will be really, really down with it, because it’s DAFT PUNK — it HAS to be good! Now back to the early 2000s.

Eminem. Em’s personal life was still in shambles. Kim and his mom were evil bitches. His lyrics were all drugs and fantasies of violence. And no one could touch his rhymes.

Oh, and The Marshall Mathers LP is the shit. Although it is kind of shocking how dated some of it feels if you listen to it now in today’s totally politically correct context.

Crazy Town. Shifty. I will always love “Butterfly” no matter what anyone thinks. Same goes for “Slide Along Side.”

Papa Roach. You’re damn right I listened to “Last Resort.” I even got the entire album. Haven’t touched it since 2002.

Limp Bizkit. As Joel likes to say, there are a lot of radio stations out there today who pretend that they never bought into Limp Bizkit and the whole nu-metal thing. BUT WE REMEMBER.

If you say you didn’t love Limp Bizkit, you’re lying. “My Generation,” “Rollin’”? Come on, son. Also, the Urban Assault Vehicle remix of “Rollin’” was actually a decent song, and like with “N 2 Gether Now,” that’s only because it was produced by an actual hip-hop producer and featured actual rappers. DJ Premier and Fred Durst. THIS HAPPENED!!!

Cake. I LOVED Comfort Eagle. And plus, I’m pretty sure I still want a girl with a mind like a diamond, who knows what’s best, with shoes that cut and eyes that burn like cigarettes.

Blink-182. Enough said.

Coldplay. As embarrassed as I am to say this, I think I would LOVE seeing Coldplay in concert. It’s totally epic arena rock, and plus if you’re my age you likely know a bunch of their songs without realizing it. Plus Chris Martin has cool tattoos and shit?

Murphy Lee. When was the last time you read that name? Anyway, I have no idea if Nelly’s boy ever did anything else (and I doubt he did), but “Wat Da Hook Gon Be” was a jam. Semi-related: “Shake your tailfeather” was apparently a “cool” expression back then. Amazing.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers kept doing their thing with By the Way in 2002. Fun fact: RHCP was such a legendary band by even the late 80s that Eddie Vedder was in an RHCP cover band before starting Pearl Jam. Think about that: Pearl Jam is reeeeaaallly old, and yet RHCP, 8 years older than them, were already worshipped by the time Pearl Jam was even a band. And that’s pre-Blood Sugar Sex Magik, which made RHCP one of the biggest bands in the world.

John Mayer. Just kidding. HOWEVER, I will admit to totally being down with Michelle Branch (both “Everywhere” and “The Game of Love” with Santana) and Vanessa Carlton (“A Thousand Miles”). (By the way, you’ll be hearing a lot more about Michelle and Vanessa from us soon.)

The Darkness – “I Believe in a Thing Called Love.” Everything about this song, as well as its video, is fantastic, from the classic glam rock influences to Justin Hawkins’s falsetto to the outer-space monster battles. If you don’t like it, then please go away.

Scissor Sisters – “Take Your Mama.” I have an intense love for this single, even though I don’t really know what it’s about.

Puddle of Mudd – “She Hates Me.” I’m not sure how or why, but I knew the lyrics to this song.

Fountains of Wayne – “Stacy’s Mom.” Great example of a song that probably would’ve gone nowhere without the video. Can you hear it or even just sing it in your head without visualizing Stacy’s backyard pool?

Weezer – “Island in the Sun.” Hey, “Hash Pipe” was pretty sweet, but “Island in the Sun” takes the cake for me as far as early-2000s Weezer goes. That song is just so PLEASANT.

Twista featuring Kanye West and Jamie Foxx – “Slow Jamz.” I think I might be too white to comment on this track but yeah, it’s great.

Kelis – “Milkshake.” Yet another Neptunes-produced hit from the early 2000s, this one from Nas’s girl (at the time). Hey, speaking of the Neptunes, we should mention some of their other bangers like “Beautiful,” “Excuse Me Miss,” and “Drop It Like It’s Hot.” And speaking of Nas, I really liked “One Mic.”

Tweet featuring Missy Elliott – “Oops (Oh My).” Hey, remember Tweet?! And check out that horrendously CGI’d ice castle from the video!

50 Cent. Get Rich or Die Tryin’ was probably the hottest shit that ever came out during our middle school years. 50 also killed that whole Ja Rule and Ashanti thing by slaughtering Ja in that beef with Murder Inc. I mean Benzino tried to go after Eminem. Come on, son!

To be honest, I have no recollection of what you’re talking about. But 50 will always be a P-I-M-P no matter what. Although he did later lose mad weight for some serious movie that no one’s ever seen. Whoops.


Ciara. This woman is potentially the most attractive person in the world. To make things even more unfair, she unleashed a string of bangers back in the day, including “1, 2 Step,” “Goodies,” and “Lose Control.” Oh, and she can dance too (although to a lot of people, what’s in that video shouldn’t be considered dancing in any way whatsoever).

I’m suspicious that she fell off because guys got insecure/uncomfortable about finding her ridiculously attractive after those rumors surfaced about her being XXY (which, for the record, does not make you a man).

PLEASE, boys. Have you seen the video to “Body Party”? She is a total smokebomb.

Ludacris. Back when he had hair and hadn’t tried acting yet, Luda crushed it on his first three albums, which contained singles like “Southern Hospitality,” “What’s Your Fantasy,” “Area Codes,” “Move Bitch,” “Saturday,” “Stand Up,” and “Diamond in the Back.” If you don’t know any of those songs, then you were probably born after 2002.

Luda is such an underrated rapper in my opinion. People never take him seriously, but he spent a decade making legit club bangers with very respectable flows.

System of a Down. I honestly never liked this crap and still don’t, but I find it hilarious that they found big-time mainstream success. I’d rather listen to Papa Roach. Moving on.

Blasphemy. System of a Down sounded like no one else and mixed guttural heavy metal screaming with beautiful melodies masterfully. Serj Tankian looked like the lovechild of Frank Zappa and Scott Ian from Anthrax (also known as that chin-bearded bald guy from I Love the 80s) and wrote brilliant lyrics that were a bit more subtle than those of Rage Against the Machine.

Also, the early 2000s saw the last days of Rage Against the Machine. I’d argue that RATM is the only group in history able to pull off being a straight rap metal band. Truly revolutionary sound that hasn’t been replicated because it would never make sense without Zack de la Rocha and Tom Morello. This was the music of social outrage. No one makes angry, passionate music anymore. Listening to loud, in-your-face rage directed at the status quo is a thing of the past. That’s too much work. We gratify our inner humanitarian by liking Kony 2012 videos on our Facebook newsfeeds. YOLO!

P.O.D. One of the more memorable discoveries from my youth, even though it had no significant effect on my life: finding out that the badass-looking dudes who sang “Youth of the Nation” and “Alive” were very, very religious. I found this interesting; it seemed to conflict with their image/musical style. But that’s the point, bro. Can’t you see what they’re trying to say about society’s expectations?

Avril Lavigne. Avril Lavigne!

Franz Ferdinand – “Take Me Out.”

Kevin Lyttle – “Turn Me On.”

The White Stripes. Is “Seven Nation Army” the catchiest, most awesome rock song of the new millenium?

Thalia. Nina Sky. Christina Milian. Lumidee.

Beck’s Sea Change. Incredible acoustic, melancholy album from my favorite Scientologist.

What else was big? The Strokes, Wilco, Radiohead, U2. Can you tell we’re running out of steam?

OK, because this is getting long, it’s time for a list of hip hop artists you likely haven’t thought about in a LOONG time! Ready?? Trick Daddy. Juvenile. Jadakiss. Mystikal. Clipse. Lil Jon. David Banner. Joe Budden. Ying Yang Twins. Shareefa. Young Buck. Lloyd Banks. D12. Obie Trice. Mike Jones. Juelz Santana. Fat Joe. Chingy. Cassidy. Nick Cannon. Oof. Those names make up a pretty bomb early 2000s playlist on their own.

Creed. It’s so, SO funny that these guys were huge deals.

If anyone ever watched VH1 in the early 2000s (personally I’m not really sure I watched anything else), somebody there obviously adored Creed, because they were running their videos constantly. Like picture-in-picture snippets of Creed interviews and music videos while I Love the 80s was on. Clearly a conspiracy to make a bad Christian rock band big. Also, Scott Stapp really came off as an intolerable d-bag.

3 Doors Down – “Kryptonite.” Remember that whole phase when tons of bands had numbers in their names? 98 Degrees, 3 Doors Down, 311, Eve 6, Sum 41, Matchbox Twenty, Third Eye Blind, Blink-182. That was fun. Anyway, I don’t have much to say about it; I just wanted you to remember those bands.

For the hell of it, I will now remind you of even more rock acts that you probably haven’t thought of in like six years: Yellowcard, Good Charlotte, Death Cab for Cutie, Evanescence, Our Lady Peace, Nickelback, Staind, Unwritten Law, Incubus, Fall Out Boy, Counting Crows, Everlast, Uncle Kracker, Kid Rock, Sheryl Crow, Trapt, The Donnas, Jet, Hoobastank, The Hives, The Vines, The Killers, Dashboard Confessional. Thank me later for the crazed YouTube session you’re about to have looking them up for the first time since high school. As for “Kryptonite,” I honestly don’t have a strong attachment to it, so I’ll leave it to Avinash.

“Kryptonite” was awesome! Although since then, I think the only people listening to 3 Doors Down are the same people who still watch pro wrestling.

Ike was the only person in the United States listening to EDM. The Black Eyed Peas were making underground, Native Tongues-style hip hop, and was known for his promo raps for Dexter’s Laboratory on Cartoon Network! Then The Black Eyed Peas picked up a recovering meth addict named Fergie and sold out. Fergie won life by nabbing the inimitable Josh Duhamel. And started an eternal circle jerk with David Guetta to bring EDM to the mainstream. Now all pop music is shitty EDM/house that’s heavy on the production and light on the talent. Somewhere, Mandark is laughing maniacally.

Yeah, I listened to EDM, as uncool as it was, but that can be attributed to the fact that I went to a French school surrounded by Europeans. Put it this way: if you’re American and were born between 1986 and 1992, there was basically no way in hell you were actively listening to house music in the early 2000s. And if you ever did — say, to “One More Time,” “The Rockafeller Skank,” or “Blue” — then you wrongly considered it pop at the time. As it turns out, the blurring of dance and pop wouldn’t happen until later in the 2000s. The most important point: if you’re around my age, if you’d plugged your iPod in at a house party at any point before 2007 and started playing house music, everyone would have been pissed and yelled at you for not playing rap, R&B, or actual pop. It was a complete social no-no. These days, that script’s been flipped entirely, and I’ve been yelled at by drunk chicks at parties for playing Ginuwine from my iPhone instead of David Guetta. Sad.

5 responses to “An Ode to the Early 2000s, Pt. 2

  1. Let me tell you whippersnappers that we were listening to an awful lot of P!nk (Just like a Pill), Bowling for Soup (Girl all the Bad Guys Want), Static-X (Black and White) and Shakira (Whenever, Wherever, hottest thing in multiple languages) back in the day…and after writing this.I just spent an hour listening to songs from ’01 at 1AM trying to identify things you missed. Oy. And I may be a troll.

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