I had a vision for this article. It was something along the lines of, “How can I write something where it would be relevant to include the music video for Independent Women Pt. I by Destiny’s Child?” (The creative process at its best, y’all!)
So I started to do some research, and here’s what I realized: 2001 was a fantastic year for music videos, especially for the ladies. For one thing, MTV still played them, plus TRL was required after school viewing for teenagers with cable and music video production at the time was a perfect marriage of technical and spectacle. I took it upon myself to sift through the most popular music videos of the year and compile a time capsule of all the best pop diva videos of 2001. Beware: you are about to see a lot of asymmetrical tops.
Destiny’s Child – Bootylicious
The video that originally inspired this list came out in 2000, but fortunately Destiny’s Child had a handful of amazing videos in the early 2000s, meaning we can enjoy this gem instead! I’ve determined the success of their videos is largely due to their outfits – creations of Miss Tina Knowles, mother of Beyonce and true visionary in the world of 2000s fashion. Sit back and enjoy the crazy outfits, thematic choreography and intense Beyonce eyes.
Mandy Moore – In My Pocket
Poor Mandy gets overlooked a lot but let’s be real – not only is this song legitimately interesting as far as a pop single goes, the video manages to be both totally 2000s and kind of timeless at the same time. You can almost imagine Katy Perry doing a slightly boobier version of this concept today. The only thing that would make this video better? More outfit changes!
Christina Aguilera – Come On Over Baby
I was obsessed with this video when it came out. I even convinced my mom to help me put colored highlights in my hair. Mine did not look as cute as Christina’s but I have no regrets! Here we see the the winning combo of white sets with bright accents, and Xtina takes it to a whole new level with her future-retro decor. I’m realizing right now that maybe the reason I love this video so much is because it reminds me of another amazing early 2000s relic, Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century.
Samantha Mumba – Baby Come On Over
While Christina wants you to come on over, baby, Samantha Mumba is more of a baby, come on over kind of girl. OH MY GOD YOU GUYS THE EFFECTS. Check out that CG Samantha Mumba tower, filled to the brim with the exact same kinds of sets we’ve seen in the previous 700 videos PLUS a massive CG M.C. Escher painting that exists only for Samantha and her pals to dance on! I can’t even with this video.
Jennifer Lopez – I’m Real (Remix Ft. Ja Rule)
Who gave every rich housewife in the country the idea that a velour tracksuit was the perfect outfit for every possible occasion? JLo, of course! Jenny from the block teams up with Ja Rule for this fantastically perfect video where basically nothing happens and yet you don’t want to look away. I love it when JLo and Ja Rule harmonize on “hard lovin’, straight thuggin’,” because is there anything in the world more hilarious than the juxtaposition of their voices saying those words? Nope.
Jessica Simpson – Irresistible
This video is the epitome of early 2000s music video special effects. I’m pretty sure the whole thing takes place in Gotham, although if that’s the case they have surprisingly pristine sewers. I kinda dig Jessica’s attempt to transition to a less innocent image, though she looks profoundly uncomfortable with it for the entire video. She does rock some of 2001’s most stylish jeans, though – the kind with the band cut off so the top is frayed and extra low rise. You go, Jessica!
Britney Spears – Stronger
And here it is, folks, a video that is both perfectly representative of 2001 and legitimately awesome. It’s got the special effects, it’s got the outfits, it’s got the outrageous concept, and it’s got the one and only Britney looking fierce and dancing her heart out with a possessed chair. Flaw free, my friends.
Regardless of the pop diva performing in them, the music videos of 2001 were bright, slick, and well-choreographed, and they sure did love a good story. Many of these videos are nearly inseparable in my mind from the song, and I hope that sharing them here gave you a chance to relive a little piece of 2001. Or, if you’re too young to remember (in which case I kind of hate you), give you a glimpse into a time in the past when music videos weren’t just on YouTube.