A lot of concepts in music are fuzzy and impossible to define – what is “good”? How can you define “innovation”? Other concepts, though, only seem that way. They actually are defined very precisely. One such concept is authenticity. Authentic music is simply a less interesting, much less fun version of a more popular style. This is true whether someone is talking about authentic hardcore, authentic hip-hop… whatever.
Obviously, “authentic country” is not country music that actual rednecks listen to, and you’ll never hear “authentic African music” when people in Africa are at a party. They are kind of like the music that rednecks or Africans used to listen to before they got bored of it 20 or 30 years ago, but a lot more uptight and with any fun stripped out. They are basically the No Fun Club version, and serve the critical social function of allowing No Fun Club members to identify each other more easily so they can leave the rest of us alone.
You can apply the same definition in many other areas of life. Authentic women sure are less hot and a lot less fun than “fake plastic sluts”, aren’t they?