Nicole Wray, Eyes Better Not Wander
Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

Slow Jam Saturday: Nicole Wray, Eyes Better Not Wander

The late nineties R&B sound produced so much talent that artists sometimes got lost in the shuffle. Even heavyweight producers’ backing didn’t always guarantee long-term success. Too often in the R&B genre, an artist can get written off as a one-hit wonder even though they’ve continued to release music. Nicole Wray (who now goes by the stage name Lady Wray) is one such artist.

I first heard Wray on the track “Gettaway” from Missy Elliott’s first album Supa Dupa Fly way back in 1997. A few years prior, Wray caught Elliott’s ear with a performance of SWV’s “Weak.” The performance led to Wray becoming the first recording artist on Elliott’s label. In the summer of 1998, Wray released her first single, “Make It Hot,” which would earn a gold selling certification.

However, as you know, it is Slow Jam Saturday. This week we are highlighting “Eyes Better Not Wander,” the third and final single from Wray’s debut Make It Hot. Nicole linked up with Static and Smoke from vastly underrated trio Playa for the song.

Static and Smoke co-wrote the song and handled the vocal arrangements, while Smokey received producing credit. The message is still relevant when I hear the track at age forty-one. Honestly, I think Static and Smoke may have written the song from a personal experience that stemmed from having a wandering eye. Nicole effectively sings the lyrics :

“Hey there u, boy, I’ve done had it with this

All day I’ve been watching your ways

It seems when the ladies walk by

Ur head can’t keep from turning see, finally, I’m learning

Oh, no way, not me I’m not having that there

I see soon we’ll be heading our own ways

There’s no explanation for me

Cause u cant be huggin on me when ur eyes are across the street, oh

I could care less in how hard it may be

Your eyes better not wander while you’re walking next to me

If she’s so fine, then that’s where you should be

Your eyes better not wander while your walking next to me, oh.”

Only fate knows why Nicole’s debut didn’t substantially impact the charts. However, any real nineties R&B fan will validate just how strong the album is.

Final Grade: A-

“Eyes Better Not Wander from Make It Hot is available on all streaming platforms.

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