Early 2000s

Genres & Artist

During the early 2000s, some of the most popular genres and artists were:


  • R&B/ Soul: 

Beyonce, Aaliyah, usher, neyo, Destiny’s Child, Alicia Keys, Ciara, Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill

  • Hip-Hop/ Rap: 

Outkast, UGK, 50 Cent, Jay-Z, Lil Jon & east side boy, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Nas

  • Gospel: 

Kirk Franklin, Yolanda Adams, Mary Mary, Marvin Sapp

  • Pop: 

Mariah Carey, Rihanna, black-eyed peas


  • During the early 2000s, R&B experienced a significant resurgence in popularity. Many Artists brought a fresh, new sound to the genre, blending elements of pop, hip-hop, and soul to create a unique blend. 
  • Artists like Usher and Beyonce pushed the boundaries with their Pop infused R&B hits, while artists like Mary J. Blige kept it soulful and reflective. 
  • Neo-soul, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, and Musiq Soulchild had unique sounds that blended R&B with jazz, funk, and hip-hop influences.


  • Southern rap gained prominence in the 2000s, With the emergence of crunk, a high-energy subgenre distinguished by its loud beats and call-and-response approach from artists like OutKast, Lil Jon, ying yang twins, and Ludacris 
  • trap music’s had an distinctive sound of hard-hitting beats and ominous lyrics that became more and more well-known with artist like Jeezy, T.I, Gucci mane and Yo Gotti


  • Early 2000s gospel music featured various genres and styles, including gospel rap, traditional gospel, and modern gospel. At the time, Donnie McClurkin, Mary Mary, Fred Hammond, and Kirk Franklin were some of the most well-known gospel performers. With several of their songs making it to the mainstream charts, these musicians contributed to spreading gospel music. R&B, hip-hop, and other genres were also influenced by gospel music in the early 2000s, resulting in a synthesis of forms that kept the genre current.


  • Several trends and influences marked pop music in the early 2000s. Some of the most popular pop artists of the time included Britney Spears, Rihanna, Christina Aguilera, and Destiny’s Child. These artists helped to define the sound of the early 2000s, with many of their songs featuring catchy hooks and upbeat tempos. 
  • Hip-hop, R&B, and electronic dance music also influenced pop music in the early 2000s. 


  • Velour tracksuits
  • Biker Jackets
  • Camo/fatigue pants
  • Cropped pants
  • Nameplate Necklace
  • Kangol Bucket Hats
  • Throwback basketball jerseys
  • Yeezy season 1
  • Airbrush
  • Baseball caps 
  • Air force 1s

Record Companies & Instruments

  • Atlantic
  • Columbia
  • Warner Brothers
  • Paramount
  • Moton

During the early 2000s, various instruments were used, from acoustic guitars, electronic keyboards, drums, electric guitars, and bass guitars. During this decade, with the rise of digital media and music in hip-hop, many artists started using mpc, motifs, and other software engineering platforms. 

Historical Context

  • The early 2000s were a time of rapid change and innovation. Many fashion trends and music from the 1990s continued into the early 2000s. Hip-hop was particularly well-liked in Atlanta, New Orleans, Memphis, Miami, and Houston. For black people in America, the early 2000s marked a new decade of social and cultural upheaval. The music mirrored this as well. Hip-hop, the inspiration for popular music, was developed in African American neighborhoods. As artists and performers drew on an unprecedented number of melodic conventions from jazz, R&B and soul, hip-hop, and many other genres, there were progressive variances in styles and effects from the many genres. The rise of social media and the internet changed how people communicate and consume information. In addition, the early 2000s were marked by significant technological advances, including the development of smartphones and other mobile devices.


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