In part one of this post, I talked about some of the great classic hits that came from New Edition, a group that we have grown up with as they grew up. In this part, we are going to highlight some of the songs that they individually (Bobby, Ralph, Johnny, BBD) contributed to our lives. Each part of the whole filled our ears with love songs and club hits that will make you get out of your chair now….right now!
Man…for three nights, people smiled, reflected, cried, and danced as they saw the deeper story behind one of the best R&B groups ever, presented to us by BET. (Man, they came out swinging with this one…good job!) Whether alone or at a watch party, phones were silent while we were shocked by the drama and enjoyed New Edition’s triumphs.
I fought myself about which songs I would highlight (there are so many good ones). Ima name a couple of songs per artist in the order of the list above. I’m sure that you will recognize most of these, but maybe I can spur you to enjoy them one more time. If you were like me while watching the movie, you were wanting to hear some of the songs that they didn’t show and saying stuff like, “It would have been cool if they recreated “Do Me Baby” or “Do What I Gotta Do”!”
Bobby Brown – Roni and Rock Wit’cha
Bobby Brown, the raunchy and rowdy one of the group, sang plenty of seductive mixtape jams. I laughed as I learned the story of the Gumby haircut that he used to wear via the movie. (Sidenote: I actually met him at a NYE party a few years ago.)
I really struggled about which two songs I would highlight here. I’ll start with Roni. Roni is MY shit!! For the youngsters, Roni is short for Tenderoni. If I have to explain what a Tenderoni is…well, you probably are not reading this post. Ask your cool aunt and come back. Anyway, do you remember the live music video that they used to show on Video Soul? Remember he said toward the end of it something like, “This is what I got arrested for.” That was in reference to his arrest due to violating the Anti-Lewdness law back then in Columbus, GA while singing Roni…true talk. (Shout out to my peeps in C-Town). Regardless, the song is a wonderful song to dance to or while lighting some candles for your “only love”.
You can not say Bobby Brown and not remember Rock Wit’cha! There are actually two versions of this song…the album version (more musical) and the video version (less music, a lil smoother). This is an anthem for setting up for a romantic evening. He describes the thoughts that plenty of men have had when they wanted to seal the deal, per se. Great song!!
Ralph Tresvant – Sensitivity and Do What I Gotta Do
I always thought that Ralph was the smoothest one of the bunch. Known for his sultry voice, spin moves, and affinity to having an unbuttoned shirt, Ralph was the mf-ing man! (Was I the only one who was mad during the movie scene when his wife divorced him? Maybe…idk.)
There was no question which two songs that I was going to highlight. Let’s start with Sensitivity. The music grabbed my attention first. This “I’m-a-better-man-than-your-current-dude” song is outstandingly cool. I currently play this song on repeat as I head to work often. Just such a cool song. Just like I have enjoyed playing it my car on repeat, I used to love when it played on the radio as I was riding in a stolen car on Grand Theft Auto – San Andreas. Yes, it was featured on the game, and I was too hype about it back then.
Do What I Gotta Do is actually a sad song that I have played a few times in my past as I contemplated breaking off a relationship that wasn’t working out. I wish that I could have sang it to them like your boy Ralph did. In summary, he bellows a song about the struggle of saying goodbye to someone that he cares about and wanting to be a man about it. Check out some of these lyrics….
“I don’t want to see her cry, but it’s hard to live a lie/
So I gotta do what I gotta do, and break her heart.
Though I love the girl, I know/
that the best thing is for us to be apart.”
Johnny Gill – I Got You and In the Mood
Johnny, the soulful one, took New Edition to a new level. It definitely helped their image of no longer being the boys and becoming men.
He was my favorite male singer for a long time, and he is still in my top five. Too many damn songs to choose from…so many were so powerful and moving. I already covered There You Go in a previous post. There are simply too damn many to choose from! At some point, in the future, I will write another Seductive Mixtape Series post dedicated to just him. True talk.
I Got You was the song that solidified me as a fan for life. It was so intense and the video was so f-ing creative. Let me break it down…A town is on fire (which is actually a cigarette), and Johnny runs against the crowd to go back and save his girl. Idk…the imagery and the premise of the song was so deep to me back then. The percussion is pretty cool too! Did you catch Boyz II Men singing in the background and portraying the firemen in the video?
As I write about In the Mood, I’m having flashbacks of my days in El Paso throwing parties with my homeboy (LB) and DJ Moe. Shout out to Upscale Entertainment!! Moe once played this at the end of a successful event, and I danced with my girlfriend at the time. I was so moved by that moment with her that I asked him to play it one more time for just the two of us. That instantly became the way that we ended each party after that. Wow…flooded with memories…wow. Johnny laid all of his soul into this track…no doubt. Simply, this may be his best one…in my opinion. (Side note: So many blissful memories tied to this song for me! Damn!)
Bell Biv Devoe (BBD) – When Will I See Your Smile Again? and Something In Your Eyes
BBD, the rest of them…I’m just joking…BBD definitely was the group that gave us some “hip-hop, smoothed out on the R&B tip with a pop feel”.
How many of you still know the dance routine to Poison? I do!! Hell yeah! They were known for their funky, New Jack Swing-like tracks, but they had a few slow songs worthy of seductive mixtape inclusion.
When Will I See Your Smile Again? is probably the more famous of their ballads. It definitely is one of those “girl-I-messed-up-but-give-me-another-chance” type of songs. Ricky Bell proved that he was more than a secondary singer as he crooned his heart out begging for a chance to right the wrongs. Yoooo…how many people remember Ricky singing this song on a So So Def Bass All-Stars album? I loved that shit! If you don’t know, you better look it up. Shout out to Georgia and the “Booty Shake” Era of music!!! #bankheadbounce #fourstep
Final song of this post is again one of my favorites. The bass and message of Something In Your Eyes is on point. The video was fun and steamy at the same time, especially Ronnie’s bathroom scene. True story – This song was the first thing that popped in my head the first time that I made eye contact with the woman who I mentioned in the Johnny Gill discussion. I remember nervously telling her about it (she didn’t remember the song), and the phone call after she had listened to it. It opened up the dialogue for the possibility of something more as she realized that I wasn’t just another guy looking for physical fun, per se. (Wow…I just realized that New Edition was there at the beginning and end of my time with her.)
So, there you have it. Some of favorite songs from the individual members of New Edition as well as some of my memories associated with them. What are some of your memories in which New Edition played in the background of your scenario? I want to definitely thank BET, NE, the actors, and all of those who were a part of producing the true story of such a monumental R&B group and for reminding us of some of our good times.
(Man, I really wanted the BET movie to recreate the video for Do Me Baby!)