Five great examples, 2000 to 2005, from Nujabes to Kanye West.

Photo by Wes Hicks on Unsplash

While the 1990s are known as the Golden Era of sample based rap music, the technique was perfected in the 2000s, with refined methods and new technology. Established artists built on the foundations they had laid in the 1990s; up-and-coming producers from all over the world used affordable new solutions like music software to further develop beat making. Here are some great examples for every year from 2000 to 2005 which demonstrate just how good sampling had become by the early 2000s.

2000: Slum Village - Get Dis Money

Fantastic Vol. 2

An amazing number of big media brands emerged in the 80s. Why? Because the decade also marks the beginning of our current digital lifestyle.

In my Medium story Why 1980s Nostalgia Is Everlasting, I compiled numerous eighties movies and media properties that are still relevant today, receiving sequels, spin-offs, and tie-ins. There was an outburst of creativity in the 1980s that has not been replicated since. The reason for this: the decade brought a deep change to the way we live — in the form of new technology available to the consumer. And as a creative culture, we reacted to the development, trying to make sense of it, channeling it into fiction.

Consider this excerpt of technologies that went mainstream in the eighties:

  • Apple…

It’s a question I’ve grappled with for a long time: why is 80s nostalgia so strong, still to this day? I may have found the answer.

Back to the Future. Ghostbusters. Die Hard. What do these films have in common? They are highly original and classics in their genre. They started long-lasting, influential franchises. And: they all hail from the 1980s. In fact, scores of important visual media properties took shape during these years. And that is the reason why the eighties are immortal in today’s cultural discourse.

For starters, consider this list of media franchises from the 1980s:

  • Terminator (1984)
  • Rambo (1982)
  • Transformers (1984)
  • Child’s Play (1988)
  • It (1986)

One name has been missing from the conversation about game music composers: Noriko Matsueda. Around the turn of the century, she laced Square games with jazzy vibes. A tribute.

I. Prelude: The Mid 90s

Noriko Matsueda started composing game music for Squaresoft titles in the mid 1990s. Stylish mech strategy game Front Mission was the first Square title she contributed music to. Front Mission came out for Super Famicom in early 1995. Matsueda chipped in about half the tunes, with the other part of the soundtrack being handled by Yoko Shimomura, of Street Fighter II fame.

Bar, from Front Mission

Thanks to the 20 Year Rule, the 1980s are coming back in a big way. But 1980s nostalgia was probably never stronger than in the 2000s. Here are three of my own favorite examples.

(Invada Records)

I’m a rather strong believer in the 20 Year Rule when it comes to pop culture, partially starting this blog because of it. Every trend moves in cycles, obviously. But I find it really peculiar that culturally significant movements reliably pop back into the limelight some twenty years later.

The 1990s, for example, saw a large dose of 1970s nostalgia, with disco music adapted into then modern filter house, kung-fu movies quoted in Wu-Tang songs, or American exploitation movies from the era reframed in Tarantino’s cinematic story books.

“The 1980s” are not necessarily “the 1980s”

Everybody says that 1980s nostalgia never dies, especially with the recent rise…

Expecting yet another on-brand Mario experience, I picked this one up without much worries that it might disappoint. But the story turned out way different than expected.

The logo over a yellow background: classic mid-2000s style. (YouTube/bdrumerdrums)

1. Too Late to the (Mario) Party?

Now granted, I got to play New SMB only now, in 2017, eleven years after its original release. I wonder what I would have thought of it back in 2006, during its original run. But then again, 2D entries in the Mario are pretty much guaranteed fun for me. I can pick up Super Mario World any day of the week and be content.

So when I got a hold of this one back in Japan, I didn’t think much of it. Another Mario game to just pop in and have fun! I never had an original Nintendo DS in…

When this spin-off to the renowned series came out in the early 2000s, it was met with quite some criticism. Journalists and gamers were used to Resi games to be (near) masterpieces during that period.

Who knew that Raccoon City was this big? I always imagined it as a rather small town near the woods of Raccoon Forest. (Source: Screenshot)

And rightfully so: Capcom had delivered hit after hit before, with franchise entries like Code Veronica or the incredible remake of the first game.

Outbreak was different, kind of weird at times, but full of innovative features. It does have its shortcomings, undoubtedly. But to me, critics didn’t appreciate Outbreak’s strengths too much, instead focusing a bit too much on the bad. Let’s get these pain points out of the way before we discover why Outbreak is a pretty underrated game.

The Bad

  • Offline Gameplay

It’s been almost ten years since I’ve watched the Star Wars prequels for the last time, during uni holidays. At least that’s how I remember it.

The memories are muddled because I’ve heard so much about these movies, and Star Wars in general of course, in the meantime. So it almost surprised me that I felt like watching the first one again after listening to the Radio Nukular podcast about the Star Wars prequels.

I watched it on my old DVD since that is the only access I have. (I also bought a used VHS of the movie but that’s in German only.) I’d say that the DVD is a suitable format, as it hit the market right at the time that Episode I came out…

I finally got around to watching Yi Yi, an epic family drama by the late Edward Yang. It took me quite some time to obtain a copy since it’s pretty much unavailable in Europe.

I ended up borrowing the DVD from the library. American audiences, on the other hand, got a nice Criterion Collection release. Why is such a great film not available in Europe?

I was a little bit sceptical at first — because of all the universal acclaim this movie regularly receives. But Yi Yi really does deserve all the praise it gets. Yang masterfully arranges the various episodes about each member of a upper class family from Taipei into a coherent whole, all the while employing impressive cinematography. The cross cutting is some of the best I ever saw, it seems…

The 2000s

Perspectives on the 2000s decade. And its mirror image in time, the 1980s.

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