The promise of transformation has always been the guiding spirit of every new era. As we approach the dawn of a new decade, it's time to reflect on the eccentricities of the last decade. Here are the 25 most preposterous hip-hop trends of the 2000s.
25. Shutter Shades
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popularized shutter shades in his "Stronger" video
, every tween in America just had to get a pair. It suddenly became a trend, making appearances in various colors -- orange, red, etc. It's as lame as hip-hop fads come. You might as well grab a Ninja Turtles shirt while you're at it.
24. FREE (Insert Incarcerated Rapper) TeesPretending that you actually care about an incarcerated rapper who knowingly broke the law is so 2002. We don't believe you.
23. Music Overload
Aspiring rappers seem to think that the only way to get attention is to make more music. Ignoring them doesn't work. It only "motivates" them to churn more weak sauce. Sure, it worked for Crooked I when he did the weekly freestyle series, but ask yourself if you're as talented as Crooked I. Crook is a superb lyricist who has shown, with Slaughterhouse's debut
, that he can hold his own alongside his peers. How about taking a break from the email blasts and spending quality time on your craft?
22. Throwback Jerseys
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This one is right up there with oversized hats and sagging pants. Unless you're a 15-year old sports fan, jerseys are a no-no in hip-hop.
21. Lil Young Rappers
One notable difference between so-called ol' skool artists and the new generation is that the former typically picked stage monikers that denoted wisdom (Grandmaster Flash, Guru), while the latter seems to place a premium on youth (Lil Flip, Young Jeezy, Young Dro). I'd like to see these Lil Young rappers when they're 80. Equally annoying is the misspelled variation of "young." Yes, I'm looking at you, Yung Joc.
20. Award Show Crashers
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When ODB crashed the Grammys
to voice his disagreement when Diddy won ahead of Wu-Tang, he was humble about it. Who in their right mind would award Best Rap Album to Diddy ahead of the best group in hip-hop history? These days, stage crashing is an excuse to hijack the news cycle and drum up publicity for new projects. It's become more of a gimmick than anything.
19. R&B RappersPeople always point to Lauryn Hill as an example of an artist who juggled both the worlds of rap and r&b. The difference between L'Boogie and today's crop of rap-singers is that she could sing and rap very well. What we have today is a flurry of new jacks who lack both singing and rapping abilities. Sometimes you have to wonder how they manage to score record deals. Same goes for singers who dabble in rap.
18. Sleazy Music Videos
In the early 2000s, Hype Williams pioneered a new way of shooting music videos. Williams distorted the camera's central focus by employing the fisheye lens and occasionally magnified his actors' frame for unique effects. Hype also featured some beautiful models in many of his videos. Thirsty directors took his style and ran with it like purse snatchers. As the copycats gleefully embraced dime-a-dozen models, they forgot what made Hype's directorial technique so unique was his originality.
17. Hip-Hop Clothing LinesI never understood why every rapper in the world deemed it necessary to launch a clothing line in order to showcase their penchant for nuthuggers. There are some decent hip-hop clothing lines out there, but many of the newer lines are simply knockoffs of staples like Rocawear and Phat Farm.
16. Groupie Confessions
The problem with groupie confessions is that they're often marketed as female empowerment literature when they're really a way for groupies to make extra cheddar and extend their 15 minutes of fame.