Last week the internet collectively realized how old it is with the revelation that it's been 15 years since the release of *NSYNC's No Strings Attached album. Where were you on March 21st, 2000? Chances are you were in a record store as No Strings Attached sold 1.1 Million copies in its first day, with 2.4 Million copies in its first week, a record that still stands to this day. Eventually selling over 13 million copies worldwide, it makes one wonder, did any other album even bother coming out that day? Yes, in fact, it was one of the biggest and most diverse days of the music industry's biggest years. Join us as we answer the question Who Would Compete with *NSYNC?
Ice Cube – War & Peace Vol. 2 (The Peace Disc)
After 18 months of waiting, Ice Cube dropped the second and final part of his War and Peace series. War & Peace: The Peace Disc was also the last time we heard Cube rapping for six years as he went on to dominate Hollywood by appearing in pretty much every genre of film. While it contained one of the short lived N.W.A. reunion tracks in “Hello” as well as a Chris Rock cameo, it's probably best remembered for the lead single “Until We Rich” with Krayzie Bone which was part of that weird fad of making rap singles over identical beats to recent rap hits (in this case, “Until We Rich” is to AZ's “How Ya Livin” what Puff Daddy's “Satisfy You” is to Luniz's “I Got 5 On It.”). Cube debuted at 3. Poor promotion, which lead to Cube splitting from Priority Records, is frequently citied as the reason why it only went gold.
Trina – Da Baddest Bitch
After two successful Trick Daddy records that were nationwide successes, Slip-N-Slide tried to expand their empire with the first Trina solo album Da Baddest Bitch. Debuting at 33 on the Billboard Top 200 and eventually going gold, the album picks up where Trina's verse on “Nann” left off, one of the most unapologetically vulgar outings in rap history. Revisiting the title track 15 years later, it somehow sounds even dirtier today.
Nickel Creek – s/t
Progressive bluegrass entity Nickel Creek released their breakthrough album on Sugar Hill Records (not THAT Sugar Hill Record, but the bluegrass one) on that same day. Lead by the single “When You Come Back Down,” they hit 125 on the Billboard charts and eventually went platinum
Pantera – Reinventing the Steel
Dio – Magica
On the metal side of things we have two albums which, years later, have a tragic element in retrospect. Pantera's Reinventing the Steel, which would become the band's final album, came out with guns blazing, lead by the single “Revolution is My Name.” Dio dropped their Magica album, a record that Dio himself was working on a second and third sequel to when he sadly succumbed to stomach cancer in 2010. Pantera debuted at Number 4 and, sadly, Dio didn't chart.
Death Cab For Cutie – We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes
One of the most celebrated and beloved indie rock albums of all time, Death Cab For Cutie's We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes quietly infiltrated store shelves a midst the bigger releases' hoopla. A concept album about a ruined relationship, it may have not charted but it's still #1 in a whole lot of hearts to this day.
Finally, we have the hip-hop curiosity from the height of the late-90s wrestling boom, WWF Aggression! Better than it has any right to be, Priority Records teamed up some of the biggest names in rap (Snoop Dogg, Method Man, Redman) as well as certified legends (Run-DMC, Ice-T) and underground heroes (R.A. the Rugged Man, Kool Keith) to re-create the top WWF wrestling entrance themes as rap songs. Since it did give us the once-in-a-lifetime Kool Keith and Ol' Dirty Bastard collaboration, we can forgive any potential shortcomings some of the other tracks may possess. WWF Aggression! debuted at #8.