When the subject turns to music, one sure way to afford youself some immediate "cred" is by "keeping it old school." For example, people talk about hip-hop or rap and you mention that you own early Run DMC or De La Soul albums. Instant cred. You knew the good shit when it was happening. Before it became classic. It always works. After the conversation, people walk away thinking, "Yeah, that guy's cool. He knows what's up."
Does it always work that way?
If there is a group of teenage girls standing around talking about 'NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys and an older woman walks up, flashes a few of her Jordan Knight buttons and says, "Yeah, they're okay but it's nothing like back in the New Kids days." Do the teenage girls look up and say, "Damn, that lady knows her shit. She's totally old school"? My guess is no. The response is probably more like, "Uh, grandma? Stick to what you know, okay? We're going to go text message."
Why is this the case?
Well, the music sucked. The New Kids On the Block were terrible. They couldn't really sing, and the songs themselves were just them trying to sing over a bass drum beat. I just heard "Hangin' Tough" on the radio in my company's cafeteria and it was horrible. I can't believe that people were actually fooled into thinking this was good. Of course, I'm not sure that anyone thought it was actually good, they just thought the boys were cute. I say that because I don't know one guy who honestly liked them. Even if we did say we liked their songs, it was because a girl we had a crush on liked them. Otherwise, we hated their guts. Why? Because the girls we had crushes on all had crushes on one or all of the NKOTB. I digress.
The point here is that "keeping it old school" only gains you "cred" if the music actually holds up over time. I think we can all agree that this didn't happen with NKOTB. Deep down, every guy who grew up during the NKOTB era feels vindicated by that.