The Last Remnants of ‘Innocence’: The Demure 2000s

By: Abiodun Scott

In this day and age, it is socially acceptable to be open and proud of who you are. From sexual orientations all the way down to gender identifications, most people are not only able to embrace who they are, but support and uplift others who are not like them. It’s an exciting age with endless possibilities. The 2000s are different in this respect, especially in reference to sexuality. Expression was not so open and sexuality was not as directly publicized. In comparison to music now, music of the 2000s had a way of saying something without outwardly saying it.

Alicia Keys’s “Teenage Love Affair” chronicles the many stages of falling in love for the first time. From daydreaming all day to talking on the phone all hours of the night to writing letters of all the things she can’t say aloud and even hitting most of the bases when they’re together. The title initially depicts an essence of purity over the song. The listener hears it and is able to reminisce about the first time they fell in love; a simpler time for most. This essence completely detracts from the sexual undertones and transforms this song into a love song through and through.

Not all music of that era was subtle. However, the songs that were more “direct” in nature had a way of making the listener feel connected with their sensuality and emotions, which helped maintain the discrete approach of most 2000s music.

Such is the the case with Trey Songz’s “Neighbors Know My Name.” The melody is smooth, the beat is slow, and in combination with his supported vocals and falsetto, the otherwise raunchy song is transformed into a sensual anthem for passionate lovers. It allows people to focus on how the music sounds and not what it says, which plays a large role in an intimate setting.

Though those times have passed, 2000s will always be remembered for their innocuous sexuality.