Boy Bands: Orlando’s Shameful Past
Know how to piss off some Orlando people? Bring up boy bands. Remind them both Backstreet Boys and *N Sync formed in Orlando.
Bring this up and you might have a fight on your hands.
(If you want to be extra nasty, remind them the lead singer of rock group Creed was born in Orlando. Yet, this is about boy bands, not a rock group some folks hate with a passion.)
I lived in Orlando during the boy bands’ heydays. One Tuesday night, I saw Kevin Richardson of Backstreet Boys hanging with some friends at The Social, a Downtown Orlando music venue. A friend of mine gave singing lessons to boy band C-Note, a group on the same label as Backstreet Boys and *N Sync.
Like many others, I hated boy bands. Yet, my hatred had nothing to do with their music. Personally, I always thought of them as pop versions of r&b group Boyz II Men, a pop version aimed at suburban girls. In fact, I recently learned this on Wikipedia: Backstreet Boys answered an ad wanting a singing group with a New Kids on the Block look with a Boyz II Men sound. If you remember New Kids on the Block, you don’t have to be a genius to know what the New Kids on the Block look meant. Yet, that isn’t what ticked me off about boy bands.
Sure, I found it annoying how the media portrayed boy bands as the nice guys next door. These were the days rap controversy was at its peak. East Coast rap feuded with West Coast rap. Rappers were shot or murdered. After being shot, one rapper was later murdered. Plus after that rapper was killed, another rapper was murdered months later. Also, rap lyrics inspired a religious figure to have a bulldozer run over gangster rap CDs. Compared to media coverage of hip hop, boy bands were definitely the nice guys you wanted your daughter to date. Yet, that isn’t what pissed me off about boy bands either.
What was it, you ask? What annoyed me so much about boy bands? I am going to admit something that many dudes won’t fess up to. I hated boy bands because I was extremely jealous of them. I realize many of their female fans were too young for me at the time. In fact, many were jail bait. Still, who wouldn’t want mass amounts of fame? Anyone who says they don’t is lying. They need to jump off their psudedo-hippie high horse and stop bullshitting. They desire fame as much as the next person.
To heck with the poetry local folks knew me for in the 90s. I wanted fame and money like the boy bands had. I wanted thousands of young girls thinking I was cute too. Like I mentioned earlier, I knew many fans were jail bait. Jail bait or not, it does boost the ego when thousands of young ladies think you’re cute and screaming they love you. Okay, about the money part? I had no idea the dudes were being ripped off at the time.
No, I did not want to be in a boy band. I can’t sing or dance worth a lick. The same way I was with r&b group New Edition, I was jealous of the boy band’s success.
Now, back to Orlando. When it comes to music, some Orlando folks annoy me. As I DJ in some Orlando venues, some folks complain about my choice in music. Living in a town that created boy bands and lecturing me about what’s good music and what isnt’t. I get it. I’m not playing “important” musicians that only five people have heard of. I perfectly understand. I should also be playing what’s hot in Europe. Or New York. Or South Beach. Yep, I definitely understand.
Yet, here’s my thing. I’m more interested in seeing women dance. I wanna see women get low and shake it like a salt shaker. I wanna see booty-booty-booty-booty-booty rockin’ every where. Call me shallow, I could care less.
Pretentious Orlando crap is why I enjoy bringing up boy bands. In a town containing people so full of themselves about music, it feels good bringing up the fact Orlando spawned boy bands, a music scene many people to this day despise.