Music Videos at the Turn of the Century

Music Videos at the Turn of the Century

Amaia Calhoun

2000s post

Music videos in the 2000s underwent many changes. At the beginning of the decade, many big-name directors from the 1990s started directing less videos as they were moving into other spaces within the industry. Additionally, MTV downplayed their coverage of music videos compared to the previous two decades where they served as a “central delivery system for non-commercial radio music.” Due to these major changes, budgets for music videos began to shrink.

In the middle of the decade, music videos started to regain popularity and support primarily because of the rise of the Internet and YouTube. This trend with music videos highlights technology’s critical role within the music industry. Aside from YouTube, music video platforms such as Vimeo and Vevo also launched.

Aaliyah, “Rock the Boat”

Year: 2001

Director: Hype Williams

Missy Elliott, “Work It”

Year: 2002

Director: Dave Meyers

The hook, “Ti esrever dna ti pilf, nwod gniht ym tup,” was originally not meant to be backwards. It was an engineer’s mistake that Missy Elliot decided to write around.

Alicia Keys, “You Don’t Know My Name”

Year: 2003

Director: Chris Robinson

OutKast, “Hey Ya!”

Year: 2003

Director: Bryan Barber

The “ladies” who respond “Yeah” when André 3000 says “Hey Ladies…” is just one woman. Her voice was layered to achieve the sound of many women.

Ciara, “Promise”

Year: 2006

Director: Diane Martel

Drake, “Best I Ever Had”

Year: 2009

Director: Kanye West

Drake to MTV News: “At first for this video, I was taking myself way too serious and trying to do some, like, epic sort-of-intimate video… that would have been cool, but the song is too fun for that. So when we were in the studio one night – me, Kanye and Big Sean – we were actually recording a song. And ‘Ye… it oozes out of him, creativity… he was just being creative Kanye, like, spewing out ideas, and the day after I texted my manager – we have the same manager – and was like, ‘Yo, Kanye’s idea was actually the best out of all of them, see if he’ll do the video.’ I don’t know if at that point he knew he was gonna be directing the video. It was more an idea like, ‘It’ll be funny if we do this.’ Then it turned into ‘Let’s do this.’”


Plagenhoef, Scott. “The Top 50 Music Videos of the 2000s.” Pitchfork, Pitchfork, 31 Aug. 2009,

Smith, Amy. “‘That was a mistake’: Missy Elliott reveals the truth behind the massive hook from hit ‘Work it.’” NME Music News, Reviews, Videos, Galleries, Tickets and Blogs, 20 Nov. 2018,

Songfacts. “Best I Ever Had by Drake – Songfacts.” Song Meanings at Songfacts,

Songfacts. “Hey Ya by OutKast – Songfacts.” Song Meanings at Songfacts,

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