For this week’s Second Listen Sunday, I decided to visit the Buckeye State and pay homage to The Rude Boys. The Cleveland-based quartet consisted of Larry Marcus, Melvin Sephus, Edward Lee “Buddy” Banks, and Joe Little III. Initially breaking onto the scene in 1990 with the hits “Written All Over Your Face” and “Are You Lonely For Me” from their debut, they wasted no time returning to the studio.
Slow Jam Saturday : Jon B., Can We Get Down
Welcome back to Slow Jam Saturday. We are continuing to pay homage to this month’s artist Jon B. This week, we are looking at what many consider Jon’s best album, Cool Relax. For his second album, Jon had more creative control and it shows in the music. “Don’t Say,” “They Don’t Know,” “I Do (Whatcha Say Boo),” and “Are U Still Down” (featuring 2Pac) were the singles from the album. Any one of these would have been a fine choice to highlight Jon’s talent, however, I had to go with an album track.
Initially, I wanted to go with “I Ain’t Going Out.” The reason being, I could relate to the lyrics of the song, particularly when it comes to the newness of a relationship. We all know when you find the right one that your friends then take a back seat. However, I decided on track #13, the sultry slow jam, “Can We Get Down.”
The song’s production is smooth as an aged cognac, and the lyrics can set a mood without ever crossing into the crass territory. We have all been in a situation where you want to be intimate with someone you may be living with. Sometimes, it is hard to find the exact words to say in your youth, and with “Can We Get Down,” Jon provides the lyrics for you. “What do I have to do/what do I have to say/to get you to come over girl/and let me have my way tonight.” For me, the song’s strength is that while Jon wants sex, he knows that it’s not a guarantee just because you are coming over.
Of the 93 songs in my Jon B. iTunes playlist, “Can We Get Down” has the most plays at twenty-eight. Now, if I could hear live just once, I can cross it off the songs to hear live.
Final Grade: A
Cool Relax is available on all streaming platforms.
For my DMV readers, I highly encourage you to check out Jon B. later this month when he performs at The Birchmere. Tickets are available for purchase at The Venue’s Box Office and Ticketmaster.com
More reviews to explorer
Valentine’s Day 2024 may have come and gone, but I still plan to use highlight songs with the V-word for February’s Slow Jam Saturday. The artist I chose is a southern gentleman by the name of Lloyd. Initially breaking onto the scene as a member of the preteen-boy band N-Toon, Lloyd’s solo career kicked off in 2004 with the hit “Southside.”
One of the most talented men in indie music, Eric Roberson, kicked off his 30th-anniversary tour last night in Pittsburgh, so for this week’s Second Listen Sunday, I decided to revisit Mr. Roberson’s third album, The Vault 1.5, which hit record stores in 2003. As Erro fans know, Roberson initially hit the scene with the lovely ballad “The Moon” while studying at Howard University. Roberson’s first record deal didn’t go as planned, but not one to just lay down, Roberson continued to build a name for himself by writing for the likes of 112 and Will Smith. Additionally, Roberson collaborated with Jill Scott, DJ Jazzy Jeff, and Cam’ron.