Hey, remember the ’90s?
The men of the Winnie Cooper Project — a name that pays homage to the girl next door played by Danica McKellar on the ABC series The Wonder Years (1988-93) — have put a jam-rock spin on rap and hip-hop fare popular at the time.
“It’s a mixture of irony and nostalgia,” said Matt Crumpton, a 29-year-old Columbus lawyer by day who performs acoustic-driven covers of Bobby Brown, Montell Jordan and Skee-Lo hits by night.
Despite a set list that includes the Golden Girls theme song, “It’s probably more nostalgia than irony.”
Q Why tackle tunes from the ’90s? And why choose rap?
A I think that mainstream hip-hop music in the ’90s was more interesting. There was a lot of trailblazing.
Q Do you feel nostalgic about the era?
A We all graduated from high school around 2000. The ’90s was really the decade of our youth.
The only people who really know and appreciate what we are doing are 25- to 45-year-olds. Everyone else just thinks we are a bunch of weirdos.
Q What are your favorite covers?
A Collectively, our favorites are Motownbilly (a rockabilly version of Motownphilly by Boyz II Men), Regulate (Warren G and Nate Dogg), Rump Shaker (Wreckx-N-Effect) and No Diggity (Blackstreet).
Q So were you once smitten with the TV character who inspired the band?
A I was more of a Kelly Kapowski (of Saved by the Bell) fan.
In third grade, I wrote to Tiffani-Amber Thiessen (who played Kelly) and asked her to marry me. She sent back a signed postcard that said, “May all your dreams come true!”
I took that as a firm “maybe.”