Kentucky is Your New Favorite State

by Rachel Semigran

For those of us who aren’t as well-versed in the tradition of the Kentucky Derby, these are the things we know: It’s a horse race, there is a LOT of “old money” involved, there will be more ridiculous hats than the Royal Wedding, and mint juleps for all. In short, it’s everything the villain from 80’s teen movies had to define themselves. In any case, the Derby is happening this weekend at the famous Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.

As it turns out, Kentucky isn’t just home to the most famous horse race in America, it’s also a veritable breeding ground for boy band fame. The Backstreet Boys’ Brian Littrell and Kevin Richardson (who are also cousins) as well as 98 Degrees’ Nick Lachey are all Kentucky natives. With all of the latest boy band nostalgia taking over — The Backstreet Boys summer tour, the Nick & Knight Tour, the New Kids on the Block reality show — we felt it was just the right time to let these Kentuckians shine.

So here’s our ode to the Kentucky Derby and the great state that gave us the gift of these white-suit-wearing, finger-snapping, synchronized-crooning boy band stars. Thank you Kentucky, thank you Derby, and thank you cheesy pop for making every day just a little more divine.

"The Hardest Thing (For a Jockey)"

It's the hardest thing

I'll ever have to do

To look you in the eye

And tell you I have to ride you

It's the hardest thing

I'll ever have to lie

To show no emotion

When you start to neigh

I can't let you see

That I’m not your first jockey

"Because of Mint Juleps"

You're my boozey mint after the rain

You're the cure against my fear and my pain

'Cause I'm losing my oversized hat when you're not around

It's all (It's all)

It's all because of rum

"Every Horsey"

Everybody, yeah

Mount your saddle, yeah

Everybody, yeah

Feet in stirrups right

Derby’s back, alright!

Oh my God, we're back again

Horses, Jockeys, everybody sing

Gonna race the track, show you how

Gotta question for you better answer now, yeah

Is my name original?


Am I the fastest one?


Am I sexual?


Am I about to take the lead?

You better rock it, Jockey now!

"The Call...to Buy a Hat"

Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Let me tell you the story about the hat that changed my destiny

Me and my girls went out, just to end up in catastrophe

I was about to go home and there it was standing in front of me

Said 'Hi, I got a little price tag on the side

Wanna go?', I should have said 'No'

My paycheck’s not ready for that

But I grabbed my card out and said

Listen wallet I'm sorry

Just wanna tell you don't worry

I’m buying this hat don't judge me it’s the Derby

I'll eat Ramen again you're getting swiped out my cash flow is low

So you know we're goin' to put this on credit

I gotta go!

Images: MTVnImages; PopWrapped/Tumblr; Giphy;