The Millennium Tour and Coming Into AuntieHood
“Billboard better stop playing with me”
Friday afternoon, the music magazine was the first to report that B2K, the ultimate early 2000s R&B boy band, will headline a reunion tour in the spring with Mario, the Ying Yang Twins, Lloyd, Pretty Ricky and Chingy.
Was this really happening nearly 18 years after the release of the B2K’s first single “Uh huh?”
The news sent me (and Black Twitter) into sea of memories—Right On! magazine posters, 106 & Park, going to the mall with your girlfriends to look at cute boys, AIM, rhinestone-embellished bandannas, Baby Phat, Cam’ron’s monochromatic pink outfit to match the pink Baby Phat Nextel phone, Diesels, the chicken head, pastel-colored velour tracksuits, Zane, Sistah Souljah and Omar Tyree novels (KNOWING DAMN WELL WE SHOULDN’T HAVE BEEN READING THEM), flat twists, clear lip gloss, Air Force Ones, One-on-One, Enyce, overly-matchy matchy plastic jewelry, Jimmy Jazz, jersey dresses, airbrushing, nameplate necklaces, name belts, digital name belts, Snake, My Neck, My Back, cucumber melon, Making the Video, Walkman disc players, Melissas, square-ass acrylic tips, Chinese slippers, Black Planet, and Five Star Trapper Keepers.
B2K was my entire life during their pretty short-lived career, plagued by solo ambitions and allegations of child molestation against manager Chris Stokes. I had every poster. I read and wrote many age-inappropriate fan fiction stories on the Epic Records-managed online forums. I knew their real names, their family members’ names, and their backstories. I was invested in the other Platinum Status acts like Jhene (She only went by her first name back then), and TG4 too. Because I wasn’t allowed to watch TV on weeknights growing up, I offered to do more chores in exchange for watching them on Access Granted or TRL. I saw You Got Served opening day.
When Pandemonium! came out, I managed to get all four individual covers and the group cover. Yes, five copies of the same album. Hell, I got the special edition copy of the album when it was released three months later. There were other boy bands like N*Sync and B5, and other teenage sensations like Lil’ Bow Wow and Lil’ Romeo, but I only had eyes for the Boys of the Millennium
My excitement for this reunion must’ve been how the aunties felt when New Edition first reunited in 1996—13 years after the release of Candy Girl. The white aunties (Are white aunties even a thing?) must’ve felt the same way when New Kids on the Block reunited in 2008—22 years after the release of their self-titled debut. I’ve always been aware of both NE and NKOTB as a child. I witnessed both reunions but I was too young to form an emotional connection with either group in their heydays. At B2K’s peak, I watched it unfold in real time. I was invested 100%.
Maybe my favorite teenage act reuniting in my 30s means that I’m becoming an auntie. This nostalgia concert is my rite of passage into wig collecting, frost scraping, and joint weakening.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been an auntie-in-training for a while now. My sofa is the best place to be every Friday night. If I have to go out, I leave the function at 11:30 p.m. Actually, don’t even invite me to go anywhere Sunday through Thursday. I’m over buying shoes with heels higher than 3.75” inches. Honestly, if it’s between buying a pair shoes and buying an air fryer, I’m buying the air fryer. I have a robust collection of judgmental facial expressions. I eat breakfast. Bad decisions are farther and wider between. I have a financial adviser. The owner of the shop where I get my favorite red wine knows me by name. I can’t bend over to the floor and touch my toes in the club anymore, because I DON’T EVEN GO TO THE CLUB ANYMORE. I own a Dutch oven. Traveling the world is more appealing than dating. Everything Generation Z does either confuses me or disgusts me.
Auntiehood is all about self-awareness, self-acceptance, and doing what’s best for you and you alone. I spent all my teens and 20’s trying to keep up with the Joneses, exceed my limits and please others. Now that I’ve had my fair share of experiences and lessons associated with youth, it’s time to live my best life on my own terms and in a way that pleases me before anyone else. You think I care what you think about my reasonable bedtime, sensible shoes and taking breaks in between songs at a party? Ha!
If being out-of-breath and bloated at a B2K concert in 2019 further solidifies my status as an auntie, bring it on. What y’all know about that Bump, Bump, Bump anyway?