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 : Shelia E, Next Time Wipe the Lipstick Off Your Collar
Sheila E. was born into a musical family and gained recognition through her work with George Duke. In 1984, she released her debut album, The Glamorous Life, which quickly became a hit. The album’s title track and follow-up single, “The Belle of St. Mark,” helped Sheila achieve mainstream success. Her popularity grew even further when she played a role in the hip-hop classic Krush Groove the following year.
I initially had plans to feature the album tomorrow for Second Listen Sunday. However, after revisiting the album track “Next Time Wipe the Lipstick Off Your Collar,” it was clear that the song needed a solo article. The fifth song on the album, “Next Time Wipe the Lipstick Off Your Collar,” is a poignant ballad that delves into the complexities of a woman’s yearning for a loyal and devoted relationship.
In the song, Shelia expresses her doubts about her partner’s faithfulness, which she symbolizes through lipstick stains on his collar. She confronts this issue head-on, hoping for honesty and clarity from her significant other. Shelia acknowledges in the opening verse that grand gestures and materialistic offerings no longer hold any value in their relationship. Instead, she emphasizes the importance of integrity and dignity. The plea to “wipe the lipstick off your collar” is a metaphor for removing evidence of betrayal and embracing transparency in their actions.
The song’s second verse shows Shelia’s happiness with simple moments, like dancing or having casual meals. She values authenticity in her relationship and yearns for a true love built on trust and fidelity. The chorus powerfully expresses her need for a committed partner who values their relationship above all else.
Shelia’s rejection of insincere flattery in the bridge underscores her longing for genuine intimacy. The line “Blame our sex on your run-down battery” suggests that the partner’s excuse for cheating is a feeble attempt to deflect their inadequacies. Throughout the song, Shelia is keenly aware of her partner’s deceit, implying that she already knows the truth.
Sheila frequently reminds her partner to remove the lipstick from his collar, which symbolizes the betrayal and infidelity that have damaged their relationship. By insisting on complete honesty and accountability, she aims to eliminate any traces of dishonesty and emphasize the importance of trust. The lipstick on the collar serves as a reminder that actions have consequences and that trust is a fundamental component of any healthy relationship.
While she has earned the title the “Queen of Percussion,” “Next Time Wipe the Lipstick Off Your Collar” solidifies that Shelia E. can also create one hell of a relatable ballad.
Final Grade: B+
“Next Time Wipe the Lipstick Off Your Collar” from The Glamorous Life 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.