Those of us who lived our teenage years or young adult years in the 90s have been in a musical drought for quite some time. If your experience has been anything like my own, then in recent years you’ve often complained about the lack of “real music” on the radio these days. Many of us have gotten so tired of mumble rap and one hit R&B wonders, that we’ve retreated into our collective musical shells. We’ve retreated to coveted playlists of the music we miss so much.
What happened to the art of the slow jam, slow dancing in the basement of somebody’s house party under low light? Where did all of the music go that made you want to “Fight The Power” and take it to “the man”, or made it okay for men to tell women that “I’ll Always Love You” without it being called “simpin” or being “thirsty”? If you’re tired of all of the nonsensical mumble rap music, tired of the “popping bottles”, “counting money”, “driving a [insert ridiculously expensive car here]” type of music, then I have some absolutely great news for you. REAL MUSIC IS BACK BABY! If you didn’t already know these artists have either dropped new music or has promised new music is on the way, YOU GONE LEARN TODAY!
We fell in love with India Arie with her 2001 debut album “Acoustic Soul” which gave us gems like Brownskin, which helped brown girls everywhere take pride in the melanin we have been so graciously blessed with, and Ready For Love. While that album was released in 2001 which technically make her one for the new millennium, we are still claiming her for our own. Our sexy soulful songstress is back with her new album Titled “SongVersation: Medicine“. Take a listen to the single I Am Light.
While we don’t have a new Mint Condition album, we do have a new album from Stokley. His distinctive voice is unparalleled and we’ve been in love with it since Mint Condition’s debut album “Meant To Be Mint“. Not only was Pretty Brown Eyes a chart topper in 1992 receiving constant air play, but those of us who bought the single were also blessed with Pretty Brown Eyes (The Brown Eyed Edit) which was a “Make me melt” quiet storm version. Album after album, hit after hit you could never get enough of Mint Condition. The video for U Send Me Swinging just does something to me. It was so simplistic, yet it was something so very unforgettable about it. You Don’t Have To Hurt No More, What Kind Of Man Would I Be, and the ultra-sexy Someone To Love were all constantly on repeat in many of our tape decks. We have our boy back with his new album “Introducing Stokley“. You can hear the single Level playing on your local radio station NOW and that voice hasn’t changed one bit.
“Spread my wings, and fly away. to a place that I loooong for. And my heart will lead, the pathway. I’m searching for a love that’s ever moooore.” Who can forget Troop. While their self-titled debut album in 1988 brought us Mamacita, we fell completely and irreversibly in love with this group on their second album “Attitude“. That’s when they gave us Spread My Wings and my personal favorite I Will Always Love You. I don’t have new album information for you, but I do know they have a new single titled “I Know“. It’s good to see all of the fellas together again and working on new music.
Who could have ever foreseen that we would get another PE Album (Especially if you didn’t know they released an album in 2015)? You read that right. Public Enemy, whose debut album in 1987 Featured Public Enemy No. 1, just dropped a new album. When PE jumped on the scene, I remember being in awe of a rap group that featured Black Panther-esque militants instead of back up dancers. A group that actually made it cool to wear a clock around your neck. A FREAKING CLOCK! Good times, great memories. The new album “Nothing Is Quick In The Desert” is actually available for FREE! Again, you read that right…FREE. Most notable on the Album IMO is the interlude Exit Your Mind and the track SOC MED Digital Heroin which speaks on being caught up in social media (Get it, soc med). Let’s hope we don’t have to wait another umpteen years for the next album. (Ps. Did you know they released an album in 2015 titled “Man Plans God Laughs”? Marketing just isn’t what it used to be. Check out that album as well.)
I can remember when TLC debuted in 1992 with their first album “Ooooooohhh… On the TLC Tip” and I first saw the video for Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg. I thought these girls were crazy and I loved it. That video looked so fun it made you wish you were there. I’ll admit that at the time, I thought they were just a novelty group. That wasn’t the case at all. The singles just kept on coming off that album with Hat 2 Da Back, What About Your Friends, and Baby Baby Baby. Album after album we couldn’t get enough. Show me someone who says those ladies haven’t been on fire since day one, and I’ll show you someone who is a bold-faced lie! We were all so heartbroken when we lost Lisa (Left Eye) Lopez and that heartbreak intensified with the possibility that TLC might not give us another studio album. Thank God that wasn’t the case because now we have the self-titled “TLC” with its first single Way Back featuring Snoop Dog. They have not missed a beat!
Who dat, who dat, who dat? Is that the group whose 1993 debut album “Hummin’ Comin’ at ‘Cha” brought us Just Kickin It, Tonight, and Understanding? Yes indeed, no other than Xscape together again. So far we’ve gotten to experience medleys for both the 2017 BET Awards and the Essence Festival. The ladies have confirmed that not only are they working on a biopic, but also new music. We haven’t gotten a collective yes on a full album just yet, but we are definitely keeping our fingers crossed. The fans definitely want it, so hopefully, the ladies will oblige us. Until then, we are just happy to see them once again taking to the stage.
After 7 debuted in 1989 with their self-titled album featuring the hits Heat Of The Moment, Can’t Stop, and Ready Or Not. As if two of its members being the brothers of Babyface wasn’t enough, those fellas could blow! At the end of 2016 the new album “Timeless” was released. Now we have the singles Let Me Know and Runnin Out playing on the radio offering up nostalgic sounds which takes me back to when I first grabbed their debut album back when you could get umpteen tapes from Columbia House for 1 cent (then never order again. No, it wasn’t right, but we all did it. Don’t lie.) We have a video for Let Me Know, hopefully, soon we’ll get one for both Running Out and I Want You. I doubt they’ll leave us hanging.
While Joe dropped his first album “Everything” in 1993 and we got to see women dance with his name across the waistband of their boxers in The One For Me, his second album “All That I Am” released in 1997 solidified his position in our music collections. That album spawned the hits All The Things (Your Man Won’t Do), The Love Scene, and Don’t Wanna Be A Player. Now he’s back with his latest album “My Name Is Joe Thomas” which was released at the end of 2016. This album is giving us Lean Into It (Which I was listening to on the radio earlier today), the hating ass (or regretful depending on how you choose to look at it) So I Can Have You Back which exes everywhere will likely be using to try to get back in, and Happy Hour. The album is so classically Joe that it just makes you feel good.
LAST AND MOST CERTAINLY SO FAR FROM LEAST THAT It’s NOT EVEN FUNNY……..
The fellas have most certainly held 2017 captive. We came into 2017 having seen New Edition all together once again on Johnny Gill’s latest album “Game Change” featured on the song This One’s For Me And You. It felt like food for the soul to see all of New Edition performing new music together, and we realized we are just as much in love with them as we have always been. Next came what can only be described as the absolute best biopic to date.
We found out things about the guys, the group dynamic, and the inner workings that weren’t even known to all members of the group until the series. I screamed at the screen telling Mike to stop always punching on Bobby, and again when I saw Big Worm (Faizon Love playing the part of Maurice Starr snake behind) trying to convince Ralph to leave the fellas behind. I almost lost it when I saw Rick getting high (I almost jumped through the screen on this one).
We gained more stars to love
We gained new mini Editions with The Littles, who I was so sad to say goodbye to as the guys “grew up” in what is also the best age transition scene ever. We also got The Bigs who showed us the real growing pains the guys experienced. Both The Littles and The Bigs have solidified their own place in our hearts as we swelled with pride seeing just how much these young guys did NE justice. MAN! That series was an emotional roller coaster ride that we all would have ridden for several more nights GLADLY.
Then this happened
Right as we were trying to get ourselves together after the biopic…BOOM! BBD dropped their new album “Three Stripes” giving us Run, I’m Betta, and collaborations with both Boyz II Men AND SWV. Next came the much-deserved star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame.
But wait, there’s more!
As if that wasn’t enough, New Edition was this year’s recipient of the BET Lifetime Achievement Award. You won’t find one person who would tell you this award wasn’t very much due. The guys are getting the attention and appreciation they have always deserved. In line with receiving their award, the fellas had an awesome tribute performed by The Littles and The Bigs. Absolute best part of the show…. seeing NE perform a medley of their hits eventually being joined onstage by The Littles and The Bigs. Can you say Epic? As if that wasn’t enough….
We’re getting an album and a tour?
That’s right! You heard Johnny say it. We can look forward to a new project from New Edition. We don’t know when, we’re not sure what to expect, BUT WE ARE HERE FOR IT! I know we all would definitely like it sooner than later.
Show love for our artists before this music disappears for good!
For us 80s/90s kids Who have been longing for the return of what we feel is good music, we don’t have to wait anymore. It’s here. All of this time that we have been dying for our brand of music to make a comeback, every single one of us should be working our way through buying each and every one of these albums. If you have been claiming to be tired of mumble rap and one hit R&B wonders, then don’t allow these efforts by the artists we’ve missed so much to fall by the wayside.
If sells don’t show just how much we appreciate this rebirth, we’ll find ourselves void of it once again, back to moaning to our children about THEIR awful music. So don’t you dare buy a bootleg or illegally download these gems. I’m definitely doing my part to keep it around, PLEASE DO YOURS. I missed it, am glad it’s back, and will not give it up again without a fight!