Amid an extended hiatus in 2001 of the R&B supergroup New Edition, Bell Biv DeVoe, one of the group’s side acts, released its third album BBD. The trio’s third album of new material hit record stores a week before Christmas day on December 18th, 2001.
BBD was led by the single “Da Hot Shit (Aight)” (feat. Shaheed ‘The Poster Boy’, Shamari Fears of Blaque, and Jak Frost). Produced by Rockwilder, the song was a great single and the perfect track to reintroduce the group to mainstream listeners. The group’s core fans were all now grown up by this time, and some of them even had kids of their own who were discovering Hip Hop themselves.
The group opens up the project with the DJ Twinz produced “Sic Wit It.” The track has an opening concert feel to it, and the guys sound confident and happy to be back in the studio. The good vibes continue with the criminally underrated “Breezy”, produced by Heavy D and Tony Dofat. Set to an infectious groove, “Breezy” should’ve been the album’s second single as it has a grown and sexy vibe to it. That vibe continues over to “In My Crib,” featuring background vocals from New Edition front man Ralph Tresvant.
The song is in the same vein as “Breezy” and “Da Hot Shit (Aight).” “In My Crib” is all about bringing the group into the 21st century. Jagged Edge members Brandon and Brian Casey wrote the song. Additionally, “In My Crib” was an early production from Da Corna Boyz. The song would even feel right at home on a New Edition record. I can easily see where Johnny Gill and Bobby Brown could contribute vocals.
It’s not a BBD record without giving Ricky a chance to shine, which it does, on the slow midtempo cut “I Ain’t Going Nowhere”, produced by Chris “The Arsonist Jenkins.” BBD reunites with Jenkins for a solid album track with the album’s closer “Home Alone.” Sadly, the CD’s middle section is filled with filler and didn’t gel with the rest of the CD for me personally.
“Dance Bitch” and Scandalous” are some of the worst things they’ve ever recorded. The BBD members were in the early thirties when the album dropped, so I didn’t expect the fellas to do songs like “Sweet Thing” or “Baby Love” from the early NE days. Ricky, Mike, and Ron showcased their maturity on the first two BBD projects, however here the angle they took here just doesn’t work. I do respect the fellas for taking a chance, though, and trying something different. Resequencing of the songs may have helped the project as well. Furthermore, had they cut the album down to 8 tracks instead of the 11 that are present, perhaps the overall project would be more substantial.
Anyone who knows me can attest that I’ll support anything and everything that New Edition members do. BBD isn’t a total misfire, but it is the weakest project in the trio’s catalog. Nevertheless, if you haven’t heard about the project, I do recommend checking it out.
Final Grade C
Top Songs: “Breezy,” “I Ain’t Going Nowhere,” and “In My Crib.”
BBD is available on all streaming platforms