I am a child of the Golden Age of Hip Hop, which most would argue is the late 80s and early 90s. Many believe this time represents the golden age due to the evolution of lyrical content and delivery. Additionally, the musical styles and the artists that used them became more diverse. Another significant factor was the upgraded use of sampling. My favorite production team during this time was The Bomb Squad comprised of Hank Shocklee, Keith Shocklee, Chuck D. and Eric Sadler. This team powered the sound of Public Enemy, Ice Cube and many others. They were one of the first to utilize multiple samples in a song. This is the period that I fell in love with Hip Hop.
Shirley Caesar is not CeCe Winans - At some point it would helpful if an award show producer could tell Black Folk apart. By the way, the new CeCe Winans album, Let Them Fall in Love, is a banger - with some of the songs hearkening back to the 60s similar to Raphael Saadiq’s The Way I See It or Leon Bridges’ Coming Home.
I’m Not Sure What Ceelo was Wearing Either – Award shows are ripe for outlandish outfits. This year was no different. This is not a fashion blog, but I’m sure Mr. Green will express his motivation if he hasn’t already. Maybe the paint was to protect him from his phone blowing up?
Chance the Rapper is Everything – If you saw his performance on Jimmy Fallon, you already know that Chance is not afraid to express his spirituality. This is a tradition with many Black artists and it continues with him. While some in the Christian community will shrug this off, I never have. It never hurts to uplift God in a secular setting.
Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am a sucker for music biopics and documentaries. That’s why I was so excited when I started seeing trailers and teasers last year for The New Edition Story mini-series. While I enjoyed The Temptations mini-series and The Five Heartbeats movie, those were set in an era that was before my time. New Edition, on the other hand, was a group I grew up with.
I remember seeing their posters in my sister’s room and hearing “Candy Girl” and “Count Me Out” on Z-93 in Charleston, SC. New Edition, more than any other group, in my opinion, were the forerunner to the boy band craze of the ‘90s within pop and R&B music. There is no NSYNC or Dru Hill without New Edition.
I thought the documentary was extremely well done. The casting was superb, in particular, Bryshere Y. Gray as Mike Bivens (the accent was spot on) and Luke James as Johnny Gill. While the mini-series covered their greatest hits, there were other solid New Edition songs that you did not hear.
Yes, this was sung briefly, but not performed during the mini-series. "Jealous Girl" was the B-side to the 1983 “PopCorn Love” single. In my opinion, it was one of their more underrated slow jams. You are probably more familiar with the 1991 version that was covered by Another Bad Creation.