There’s no denying that the turn of the decade was a great time for music, especially if you were a guy in your mid-20s with even the slightest bit of rhythm. From about 2008-2011, male pop sensations ran the world. I distinctly remember listening to entire mixes consisting solely of beardless men, such as Taio Cruz and Jay Sean, singing to me about heartbreak — and I loved it.
Then, out of nowhere, the trend vanished as Beyonce took over along with her band of female cohorts, like Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus. It’s as if there was some sort of secret meeting and all our favorite youthful male singers were banished to a far away land. Well, I was sitting on my bed letting Spotify push me further and further back in time (as I assume it does for many of you), when I began to wonder: Whatever happened to all those singers? Are they ok? Is there some sort of club for guys who hold fairly decent tunes and are able to perform all-star choreography? Oh my gosh, are they working in fast food?! The possibilities are endless and I honestly couldn’t take the suspense any longer.
Thankfully, I am the world’s best sleuth. I set out on a journey to find as many of my old faves as I could. OK…I utilized my smart phone and found them via the internet. Whatevs.
If you get sucked into songs from the early millennium after listening to “Dynamite,” please come back and finish this list. Thank you.
Mr. Cruz is much more talented than one may think. In the past few years he developed a social media app called Kewe. He released a single entitled “Do What You Like” earlier this year and promised us an album which he promoted as #Black. Unfortunately, no such album has been released yet. We are waiting, Cruz.
As a man who began his career teaching America’s youth about being “Locked Up,” Akon had a pretty fruitful career. You would think over-saturation would have affected his career when years later people would hear Akon’s voice at any given moment. While he was lucky enough to have a much longer-lasting career than the other guys on this list, that didn’t stop him from putting these guys on any track he could.
He was a loyal pop star and earned many years of success and even a few Grammy’s. Akon has been making countless moves in Africa. His most common charitable act is Akon Lighting Africa, where he gives lights to multiple countries in Africa. While I love belting out NOBODY WANNA SEE US TOGETHER BUT IT DON’T MATTER, I’m super grateful for his immense charity.
One of the main secrets of this era was simple: put T-Pain on your single. T-Pain had some sort of magical power that crossed genres and topped charts with the utmost ease. Anyway, Maino adhered to this unwritten rule, or maybe it was written somewhere and we just don’t know about it. “All the Above” was proof that constant repetition and the right amount of auto-tune are the perfect ingredients for a hit song in the year 2000.
Maino is still recording these days. He actually was recently featured on a track with Erica Jayne title “Crazy” which became a number one hit. He has his own record label, Hustle Hard, with a rap group named The Black Flag Mafia.
First of all, did you know Sean’s last name is actually Anderson? Yes. He changed it to the name of the Jamaica city he moved to when he was 6 years old. “Beautiful Girls” was on everybody’s iPod Shuffle playlist when it came out in 2007.
So what is Mr. Anderson/Kingston doing these days? Well, unlike most of our other lost stars of the millennium, Sean was recently on a hit track with Chris Brown and Wiz Khalifa. More recently, he was allegedly kidnapped by a jewelry salesman. Prior to that we assume he was living a happy life in California.
Does everybody else become a world class reggae dancer when a Sean Paul song comes on? No? Just me? OK, moving on. Back when I was in middle school, Sean was known as the guy who brought dance hall mainstream — I personally think that classifies him as a legend. Either way, these days he’s still working on music and his most recent album was actually nominated for a Grammy. You go, Sean Paul. He is no longer with Atlantic Records and is currently on a small tour, but it seems like he is stationed in Jersey.
First of all, I don’t remember him being this good looking. Sean had one of the catchiest songs in ’09, then followed up with something even catchier, if possible. As annoyingly catchy as each was, we have to appreciate the hard work that went into the constant repetition. What’s Jay Sean been doing these days? A little bit of nothing, to be honest. Well, he’s started and helped with a few causes, like Child Hunger Ends Here alongside other singers. But as far as music, it seems like that ship has sailed.
Lloyd, the heartthrob of Young Money’s own record label, was personally projected to last a little longer than he did. “Get It Shawty” was just the warm-up for his real break-out hit “Bed Rock.” Well, besides cutting off his luscious locks and getting a tattoo on his head, Lloyd has been in and out of the music scene, and recently dropped a track called “Girl From the South.” He is currently residing in Georgia and just received his degree from the University of Georgia. Whatever he’s doing, he still hasn’t told us if he’s saying “5-feet-2” or “fine, too.”
Colby O’ Donnis
Not surprisingly, Colby is known for his one catchy hit, “What You Got” featuring fellow pop star, Akon. After thoroughly researching many of the men on this list, I have noticed a slight pattern with the eminent release of albums that never actually release. It’s like something straight out of the Twilight Zone. Colby announced the release of his album, Start Over, a few years ago and we have been waiting anxiously. OK, not anxiously, but we’re kind of curious.
He is now working with Sony as a songwriter and lives in the beautiful city of New York. He still stays true to his holiday tradition of releasing a jovial cover of your favorite seasonal classics, so it seems like music remains his first love.