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.
Second Listen Sunday : Pleasure P, The Introduction of Marcus Cooper
No matter the music genre, a standout star is always when a group breaks into the scene. R&B fans were introduced to R&B thugs Pretty Ricky in 2005 with their debut album Bluestars. Three singles supported the album: “Grind with Me,” “Your Body,” and “Nothing but a Number. The group was a vocalist, Marcus (Pleasure P) Cooper quartet. The group’s main singer was Pleasure P, while the other three members performed as rappers.
Lyrically, the rappers in the group were suitable for club music, but Pleasure P was destined for solo stardom. Following his departure from the group in 2007 after their second album, Pleasure P began working on his solo debut, The Introduction of Marcus Cooper, which is this week’s pick for Second Listen Sunday.
He decided to go with a ballad for the album’s first single. Linking up with songwriters Rex Zamor (who also produced the track) and Noble Prince Hart, P delivered the apologetic “Did You Wrong.” One of the hardest things for a man to do is apologize to his lady, and with this lead single, Pleasure was able to kick off his transition into a solo artist as the young showcased his vocal abilities and musical style of an old soul.
“Boyfriend#2” was the album’s second single, which featured a writing credit for the singer and production from Rico Love. Pleasure taps into a situation ship vibe here, but the singer never comes across as corny or crass. For the album’s final single, P linked up with R&B lothario Tank to deliver the bedroom banger “Under,” which earned him two Grammy nominations in 2010.
The remainder of the album” is a polished mix of mid-tempo and slow jams that create a cohesive and enjoyable listening experience. The late great Static Major shows out with his pen game on “Fire Lovin” and “Illusion,” while “Your Love” is a playful homage to the Cheryl Lynn bop “Encore.”
From a production standpoint, the instrumentals provide a lush backdrop for Pleasure P’s vocals, incorporating elements of contemporary R&B and occasional hip-hop influences. The beats are often catchy and groove-driven, adding to the album’s overall appeal.
R&B was beginning to shift in 2009, so from a sales point I always felt that The Introduction of Marcus Cooper didn’t do what it should have. However, Pleasure P’s debut album did succeed by introducing him as a viable solo artist with a distinct style from Pretty Ricky and genuine vocal talent.
Final Grade: B+
The Introduction of Marcus Cooper is available on all streaming platforms.
Pleasure P recently started his special guest slot on Ne-Yo’s “Champagne & Roses Tour.” The tour will visit significant cities nationwide before ending on October 4th. Check LiveNation.com and Ticketmaster.com to see if the tour is coming to your area.
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.