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Music In The Early 21st Century

Overall, the record industry suffered greatly in sales in 2002, and many critics felt music left much to be desired. However, one man did escape the musical pitfalls felt by the majority, and he managed to dominate record sales and charts worldwide.

It's unanimous, Eminem ruled 2002 according to MTV News Correspondents, Gideon Yago and Iann Robinson -- and they hardly ever agree on anything.

"He's transcended the debate about his content. He had a blockbuster opening movie and soundtrack, and he had a multi-platinum album in a year when there weren't many multi-platinum albums," says Gideon.

"I have to agree. Eminem, not for his behavior, but for the amazing album that he wrote, he clearly owned the year 2002. He needs to grow up, but he clearly was the man of the year," adds Iann.

Gideon and Iann can be seen each week going head-to-head on MTV2's news series, "The Wrap." On The Early Show, they tell us who's hot and who's not.

The overall sound of 2002 was disappointing; it was, according to Gideon, a "great sucking sound." With declining record sales, the industry went for sure things and did not take creative chances; a lot of solo albums were the norm, he explains.

The new year is unpredictable, according to Iaan. But he hopes someone new will come out, surprising everyone. "I think Eminem has hit his peak and will not do as well next year. Divas will be a thing of the past as well," he says. Musical choices will get better, adds Gideon, "if only for the mere fact that boy bands will be gone forever."

Here are their thoughts on pop singers:

Justin Timberlake – His solo success was disappointing for Iann. "Everyone was so excited about his release, because he promoted it as a new sound never heard before. Then when it came out, it was a re-creation of Michael Jackson's 'Off The Wall.' It was an insult to Michael for Justin to think he could come close to re-creating and/or topping Michael," he says.

Avril Lavigne – Gideon predicts she will get hotter in 2003. He says she earned the praise she got last year and believes she's got what it takes. Iann reluctantly agrees; he says, "Lavigne is sickening to me. She's everything that's wrong with music today. She's a manufactured voice. She claims she's punk, but she doesn't even know who the Ramones are. I hate to admit that she was big in 2002, but she was. Even though I don't like her, she had a good year and will probably continue to do well."

Norah Jones – Iann's hot pick. "She came out of nowhere. She's amazing and all eyes should be on her," he says.

As for the overall sound of 2003, Gideon says it should be of screaming consumers if prices don't come down on CDs. "Consumers are tired of high prices and repeats of the same thing: five guys and a synthesizer. Or maybe it'll be the sound of bodies falling at record labels because the music industry is in such a slump."

"I think America is ready to return to true rock 'n' roll. No more drum machines, just real music and talent," says Iann.

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