Letter of Endorsement: Throwback Songs

By Marguerite Irefin | 10/13/16 11:03am

You can tell a lot about a person based on what music they listen to, but there is one genre of music that will always and forever be universal: the throwback pop song. If you were born after the year 2000, you probably have no idea what I’m talking about, or your version of childhood jams includes the Young Thug track that was released less than 10 minutes ago. But for the few and the proud, a throwback isn’t just a song, it’s a lifestyle.

From the Disney classics to the dirtiest Lil Jon song out there, a good throwback is appropriate for every occasion. It’s a universal language spoken with lyrics that everyone can sing along to. Throwbacks are perfect road-tripping choices — come on, nothing says eight-hour car ride like some Fergie and the open road. No one should ever underestimate the power of feeling the wind blowing through your hair as you and your closest friends scream “Fergalicious.”

And then, of course, there is the element of nostalgia. Every throwback jam has some memory associated with it (usually involving middle school), and hearing the song brings you back to when you were young, probably ugly, and carefree. These jams are usually of but not limited to the Avril Lavigne or Chris Brown type. If you couldn’t dance, they made dances for you, like the Soulja Boy and the Cha Cha Slide. From old Beyoncé to The Pussycat Dolls, they bring out everyone’s inner diva, and that memory of the one time you ripped your pants during the seventh-grade dance (and no one ever let you live it down).

Dancing is non-optional when it comes to these epic songs, and when the first few notes of the song play, everyone becomes a hype man. Usher’s “Yeah,” with its incredible beat and powerful lyrics, can take any party from a get-together to a banger in .05 seconds.

Throwbacks make us dance, they make us laugh, they make us cry. So get low; get the party started; 1, 2 step; shake it like a Polaroid picture and listen to some throwbacks.

Marguerite Irefin