Boy bands certainly weren’t new to the 90’s but it was in the late 90’s/early 2000’s that a war was waged. You were forced to pick a side and there was no compromising with the opposition.
Side 1: The Backstreet Boys
The Backstreet Boys showed up first and their self-titled debut album released in 1997 with musical gems such as “As Long As You Love Me” and “Quit Playing Games (With My Heart).”
I WOULD NEVER PLAY GAMES WITH YOUR HEART!!!
(Or your 90’s haircuts).
Backstreet had some die-hard fans, totally dedicated to their melodious voices, adorable faces, and tent-like shirts.
But then some new kids showed up on the block.
Side 2: ‘N Sync
After gaining popularity in Germany, they broke into the American market in 1998 with songs like “I Want You Back”, “Tearin’ Up My Heart”, and “(God Must Have Spent) A Little More Time on You.”
Sooo . . . did anyone else know that this junior high slow dance essential
has a video that was about mother-son love and not romantic love?
You had to choose a side–the battle lines ran deep and there was nothing acceptable about saying, “I like them both!” Why? Because we needed something arbitrary and stupid to fight about, I don’t know. All I know is that this shit was serious. It was serious to the point that if you find out your new friend from the office once loved ‘N Sync while you loved the Backstreet Boys . . . you can’t be friends anymore.
In the 90’s, there was one dance that everyone knew–even more so than the Carlton. Unless you spoke Spanish, you couldn’t understand most of the song but it didn’t matter–you knew all the moves.
Greatness transcends language barriers.
I haven’t seen such a culturally diverse music video since Michael Jackson’s “Black or White.” But MJ didn’t feature a woman wearing the purple lipstick we thought was such a good idea in the 90’s so maybe Los del Rio had a leg up on this one.
This song quickly went from being fun to being played to death, as often happens with popular songs. Everyone and their mom loved this song. Heck, even my grandparents had a copy of it on cassette.
This song has thankfully gone the way of so many other dance crazes and only seems to resurface at weddings when the happy couple is feeling nostalgic or when a drunken groomsman is feeling like an asshole and bribes the DJ to play it immediately after “The Electric Slide.”
If you wanted to be cool in the 90’s as a kid, you were pretty much required to have a pair of jellies, amirite, ladies?
In retrospect, I’m not totally sure why I loved these shoes so much. When I think back to wearing them, I remember sweaty feet, a pain in the ass buckle, hot plastic that kind of burned my skin, and God forbid you ever got a rock stuck in one of your shoes.
And yet we loved them and wore them until our feet were so covered in blisters that we ran out of Hello Kitty bandaids.
Apparently these are making a comeback (or they never really left–like herpes) and you can get them from somewhere other than under your childhood bed. Now you can either masochistically relive your childhood footwear or purchase them for your own kids, proving that you don’t actually love them and really, if you’re going to make them wear jellies, you should just include a note saying Santa isn’t real to round out your role as a jackass.
Carlton gave us a new appreciation for Tom Jones and he let us know that no, it’s not unusual to be loved by anyone.
That dance doesn’t get any less awesome, no matter how many times you watch it.
But that wasn’t the only dancing gem The Fresh Prince gave the world. Remember the time Will and Carlton lost all their money in Vegas and had to enter a dance competition?
Because I do.
I didn’t think it was possible for anything to compare with watching these dance moves on the show . . . until Graham Norton decided to reunite DJ Jazzy Jeff, Alfonso Ribeiro, and Will Smith along with Smith’s son, Jaden, and revel in the nostalgi-gasm that followed.
I’ve been watching this on repeat for the past three days.