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: Mark Middleton, I Do
Mark Middleton broke into the music industry as a member of Blackstreet, joining the group in 1996 for their sophomore album, Another Level. Middleton’s vocals were prevalent on the massive single “Don’t Leave” and a personal favorite, “Never Gonna Let You Go.”
Middleton would exit the group after this album to try his hand at a solo career. Singing with Quincy Jones Qwest Records, Middleton had plans to release his album My Turn – My Time in the spring of 2001.
Sadly the album was shelved, but one of the songs, “I Do,” appeared in the 2001 film, The Brothers. The song plays during the climactic wedding scene of Clifton Powell and Jennifer Lewis’s characters. Through lush production, Middleton conveys his appreciation for his lover in “I Do.”
In the song, Middleton asserts that his love for him is unconditional and expresses his appreciation for the love he has been given. There is no limit to where his passion can take him, and he promises never to leave the other person behind. The way they fell in love is something that Middleton cannot explain. Nevertheless, it is a love that was always meant to be.
Undoubtedly, he shares their love for each other, is committed to them, and assures them that he will always be there for them. At the song’s end, as a way to affirm his love and commitment to his rib, he concludes by saying, “I do… I love you.”.
Sadly “I Do” is unavailable on streaming platforms. However, you can find the song on YouTube.
Final Grade: A
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.”
As we continue to celebrate the month of love, I chose “Valentine by Ryan Leslie as the second song with the word valentine for February’s Slow Jam Saturday. Leslie broke into the music industry in 2003, writing hits for Beyoncé and New Edition. Leslie released the singles “The Way That U Move Girl” and “Used 2 Be” featuring Fabolous. However, his debut album was never officially released due to creative differences with his record label. In late 2007, Leslie finally broke through with the bop “Diamond Girl,” and his self-titled album would finally hit record stores on February 10, 2009. Leslie also succeeded with the follow-up singles “Addiction” and “How It Was Supposed to Be.” Surprisingly, though, Leslie didn’t drop “Valentine” as the fourth single, which would have timed perfectly with the album release date.