2020 might’ve been a wash; but rest assured, time still passed as usual.
Two full decades into the new millennium, lots of things have changed since its early days — music being one of them. From poorly-CGI’d music videos to some questionable lyrics, 2001 was a truly different era of the music industry.
Still, it’s always a good time to go down memory lane. Below, we’ve rounded up some of the signature tracks that’ll transport you back to the earliest moments of the Bush administration.
1. Destiny’s Child, “Survivor”
If you don’t still listen to this song when you’re in the middle of a brutal workout or just having a bad week, I just have one question for you: Why not?
2. Train, “Drops of Jupiter”
Many of my childhood memories involve meandering around the grocery store, Target, or any other massive corporate establishment, with “Drops of Jupiter” playing in the background.
3. Staind, “It’s Been Awhile”
Everyone born in a very certain time period can resist slipping into Aaron Lewis’ throaty drone whenever uttering the words “it’s been a while,” and that’s a curse we just have to accept.
4. Daft Punk, “One More Time”
Daft Punk, our reigning robot gods of house music… gone but never forgotten. Believe it or not, their album Discovery turns 20 this year, meaning its crown jewel “One More Time” has been oontz oontz-ing in our eardrums for two entire decades.
5. Gorillaz, “Clint Eastwood”
While Gorillaz’s virtual presence might’ve polarized critics in their early days, the fact that TikTok kids spent an entire summer making outfit videos to their music proves they were ahead of their time. Their trip-hop debut single, “Clint Eastwood,” is still a futuristic earworm.
6. Christina Aguilera, Mýa, Pink, and Lil’ Kim, “Lady Marmalade”
It’s easy to forget that girl-group anthem “Lady Marmalade” actually wasn’t written for Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge. Originally performed by Labelle in the ’70s, its 2001 update by Christina Aguilera, Mýa, Pink, and Lil’ Kim has undoubtedly inspired a number of massive collaborations between female solo artists.
7. Missy Elliott, “Get Ur Freak On”
We don’t talk enough about how absurd the “Get Ur Freak On” music video actually is.
8. Sum 41, “Fat Lip”
If you resorted to Sum 41’s “Fat Lip” in a futile attempt to add some angsty pizazz to your otherwise incredibly privileged upbringing, you might be entitled to financial compensation.
9. Pink, “Get the Party Started”
“Get the Party Started” is almost good enough for us to forgive Pink for the slut-shaming atrocity that was “Stupid Girls.”
10. Weezer, “Island In the Sun”
Like many entries on this list, “Island In the Sun” is just one of those songs you can’t remember life without.
11. System of a Down, “Chop Suey!”
Oh, so you hate all metal? Really? Listen to “Chop Suey!” one more time and try to tell me you didn’t bang your head. That’s what I thought.
12. Shakira, “Whenever, Wherever”
Not only did Shakira’s “Whenever, Wherever” become one of the best-selling singles of all time, but she also managed to make yodeling somewhat sexy. (On her English-language debut, to boot.)
13. Radiohead, “Pyramid Song”
From their 1997 masterpiece OK Computer onward, just about every Radiohead song sounds like it could’ve been released today. Such is the case with “Pyramid Song,” perhaps the most beautiful song to fall asleep to.
14. Blink-182, “First Date”
“First Date,” or as I like to call it, “Take Me Back to High School Just Kidding We Don’t Need To Go There.”
15. The Strokes, “Last Nite”
Remember when the Strokes released “Under Cover of Darkness” and Julian Casablancas referenced the “Last Nite” with the lyric “everybody’s been singing the same song for ten years?” Yeah, “Under Cover of Darkness” is ten years old now.
16. Eve and Gwen Stefani, “Let Me Blow Ya Mind”
Yes, Eve and Gwen! Our minds are still blown! Twenty years later!
17. Jennifer Lopez and Ja Rule, “I’m Real”
An uncredited sample of Yellow Magic Orchestra’s 1978 hit “Firecracker” wasn’t the only controversy behind “I’m Real.” While J. Lo’s use of the N-slur in the track has rightfully caused a stir since its release, it’s also been hotly debated whether or not Ashanti was the one who sang the lead part. I’m not pointing fingers, but the similarity is uncanny.
18. Incubus, “Drive”
Besides “Semi-Charmed Life,” this is probably the saddest song to ever make it to the “inescapable grocery store soundtrack” circuit.
19. Jimmy Eat World, “The Middle”
I’m tired of being in the middle of the ride. It’s terrible here.
20. Nelly, “Ride Wit Me”
Now — a moment of silence for the kids who thought the original lyrics were “must be the honey” thanks to the Honey Nut Cheerios commercials.