Earlier this week, Bruno Mars revealed on Twitter that he'd been listening to some Incubus and System of a Down with his band. This happened to be just a week after NSYNC briefly reassembled to celebrate their own Hollywood Walk of Fame star and after Christina Aguilera returned with the slime-heavy video for new single "Accelerate."
This can only mean one thing: The early 2000s are back, baby! (Or maybe they never went away but our perpetual nostalgic cycles have recently kicked them back into central view. Either way.)
For further proof, consider British singer Anne-Marie and her latest single, "2002," where she proclaims early on, "It's never been better than the summer of 2002."
The video's a complete nostalgia trip to match, with school outfits visually mirroring Britney Spears's "...Baby One More Time" (from 1998, but close enough) and marionette scenes straight out of NSYNC's "Bye Bye Bye." The whole clip is a loving homage to the original TRL era, which fits, given the lyrics to the song's chorus:
Oops, I got 99 problems singing bye, bye, bye
Hold up, if you wanna go and take a ride with me
Better hit me, baby, one more time, uh
Even though Jay-Z's "99 Problem" came out in 2003, the rest of the songs interpolated here would have surely been getting radio play in '02 — though if I recall correctly, Nelly's "Hot in Herre" was the absolute pop radio anthem that summer, over "Ride Wit Me." But both are timeless, so.
There are a few more referential surprises in the video, so check it out above. Then maybe go watch Lady Bird because at this point, you might as well spend the rest of the day in 2002.