Baby One More Time: Let’s Pon de Replay the Early 2000s

The other week, I went thrifting and stumbled upon a wall of CDs that were just 50 cents each. It immediately transported me back to the days when I rode the school bus and jammed out to Hannah Montana and Britney Spears on my CD player (a tasteful combination). I stumbled out of the store with a plastic stack that included Destiny’s Child and Christina Aguilera, as well as The Princess Diaries and Lizzie McGuire soundtracks, and dusted off my car’s CD player.

A trip down memory lane with my new buys sent me down a rabbit hole of other early 2000s bops that I had forgotten about. I started noticing more throwbacks I’ve been hearing lately, and it inspired me to make a playlist with over 17 hours’ worth of songs that’ll make you want to bust out your Lipsmackers and put on your low-rise jeans.

Some highlights include:

Literally every Akon song

This man encapsulates the quintessential 2000s sound. I can still sing every word to songs like “Don’t Matter” and “Bartender” with ease, falling comfortably into his familiar beats. Not only did he leave us with absolute bangers, but he’s now doing more good for the world by providing electricity to rural areas in Africa via solar panels. Could we stan any harder?


After watching her Savage x Fenty show, I had to watch Rihanna’s performance of “Phresh Out The Runway” from the 2012 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. This led to playing Good Girl Gone Bad in its entirety on repeat as I prayed for the Rihanna drought to end. I relived her “Disturbia” and “Pon de Replay” days, which made me more excited for her rumored reggae album which supposedly drops this year.

The Jonas Brothers

Ever since the two heartthrobs and Kevin got back together and stunned us with a new album and tour, I’ve been “ Burnin’ Up” to see one of their shows. They “Got Me Going Crazy” when I was a preteen, and “S.O.S”, they still have the same effect on me to this day. I need to “Take A Breath” whenever I listen to their old songs, because Nick, I’m “Still In Love With You” (and Priyanka too).

The Hustlers soundtrack

And to top off my nostalgic tour, the Hustlers soundtrack gave me just the right dose of early 2000s strip club hits. That scene where J. Lo strips for Usher as “Love In This Club” blares while Lizzo twerks in the back as dollar bills rain down? Still haven’t recovered, not sure if I ever will. Also: “Beautiful Girls”? “Gimme More”? “Stand By Me”? These songs wouldn’t have felt complete without Constance Wu’s thin eyebrows paired with Juicy sweats and Uggs.

Below is the playlist — an utterly nonsensical mashup of this era’s icons, ranging from Lil’ Kim and Smash Mouth to LMFAO and the Ying Tang Twins… and everything in between.

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