By Elorm Nutakor
As 2017 winds down, I am inclined to reminisce about the past year. And this past year I’ve been filled with nostalgia for the 2000s decade. So I present this article as the first in a series of snapshots into the souls of people who grew up in the previous decade. It’s not intended as any sort of tirade against the ’90s but an elevation of the decade following it. In truth, the culture has already shifted to 2000s nostalgia, but I have yet to see writers explicitly state this fact. It’s about time we gave this decade the full appreciation it deserves, and what follows is merely the beginning:
The last time I fell into a YouTube hole, I went from watching Young Money’s “BedRock” video to T-Pain’s “Buy You A Drank” then finally the New Boyz’ “Tie Me Down”. If you’ve forgotten about New Boyz then shame on you. The duo popularized “The Jerk” which had every homecoming dance that year poppin’, and they did it while sporting skinny jeans. Unlike now, skinny jeans were pretty controversial in 2009; I probably spent hours upon hours over a week long period at a Pac-Sun deciding if that was the direction I wanted to go with my life… I chose the affirmative and the rest of the world would eventually catch up, but I digress. Without the New Boyz, who knows where jeans styles would be today — probably in the same place honestly. What struck me while watching the video for “Tie Me Down,” though, was not the argyle v-neck sweaters, cardigans, vests, 59/50 hats, etc. that the Boyz were wearing. What strikes me about it is that almost eight years later, GoldLink chose to reference it in one of the most important songs of 2017: “Crew.” The song is Grammy nominated (what weight that holds is in the eye of the beholder), and is produced by Columbia, Missouri’s own Teddy Walton. On it GoldLink utters the words “Girl, you can’t tie me down like Ray J said / But know I’m down.” Oh yeah, Ray J was on the track, and he killed it. Personally, I don’t think I needed Vince Staples to reignite my love for Ray-J but it helped the culture at large. In GoldLink’s verified annotation of the line in “Crew,” he expresses a deep appreciation for Ray-J but fails to mention the New Boyz. Maybe he’s keeping it under wraps for now but, I’m willing to bet that Goldlink was jerking along with the rest us in 2009 and was also probably an early adopter of skinny jeans. I have nothing but love and respect for the New Boyz wherever they are; they helped close out the 2000s in a strong fashion. Anyway the next video YouTube recommended for me after “Tie Me Down” is “What U Got” by Colby O’Donis featuring Akon, another track that’s underrated as hell, and maybe I’ll cover that another time.