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: Christopher Williams, Promises, Promises
In 1989, R&B singer Christopher Williams, who would play the educated brother from the bank two years later in the Hip Hop classic New Jack City, released his first album, Adventures In Paradise. This week’s Slow Jam Saturday pick is “Promises, Promises” from that album.
For his debut album, Brown’s initial single “Talk To Myself” didn’t gain much traction on the charts. As a result, he opted to pursue a ballad for his next release. Williams collaborated with Timmy Gatling and Alton Stewart on the track and received a writing credit, as the lyrics were inspired by Williams’ then-girlfriend, Stacey Dash.
“Promises, Promises” delves into the emotional turmoil when a relationship fails to meet expectations. Williams’ lyrics are filled with vivid descriptions of the pain, regret, and disappointment that are all too familiar to anyone who has experienced the end of a romance. He poignantly reflects on the promises made in the throes of passion, which now seem hollow and meaningless after heartbreak.
Chris acknowledges that he can no longer rely on his assurances in these relationships, as they are insufficient to provide solace or even basic sustenance. Ultimately, “Promises, Promises” is a powerful tribute to the transient nature of love and the bittersweet understanding that even the most robust connections are not immune to the passage of time.
While I was eight years old when the song came out, I can imagine that many bruthas who found themselves in the dog house after an argument with their lady used this song to return to their good graces. For his next album and most popular one, Brown would move to Uptown Records. Sadly, Music industry politics and his temper would affect Williams’s long-term career, “Promises, Promises” is a testament to his talent.
Final Garde: B+
“Promises, Promises” from Adventures In Paradise is available on all streaming platforms.
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.