There was a singer who shall remain nameless set the tone for the nineties slow jams. However as nineties R&B fans know there were tons of singers who provided quality albums and tracks when it came to making a playlist via audiocassette. Lincoln Browder, better known as Link, was one of the singers.
Slow Jam Saturday : Tony Thompson, Handle Our Business
Late R&B singer Tony Thompson had already received the stamp of approval from music fans as the lead singer of the R&B quintet Hi-Five. Thompson’s vocals lead the group with hit singles such as “I Like the Way (The Kissing Game),” “She’s Playing Hard To Get,” and “Unconditional Love.” Per the norm following the group’s third album, Faithful, Thompson snuck out on his own for a solo record. Tony released his first solo album Sexsational on June 25th, 1995.
Led by the first single, the Babyface penned “I Wanna Love Like That,” Thompson was on his way to solo success. A who’s who of heavy hitters worked on the album, including Teddy Riley, Al B Sure, DeVante Swing, and Joe, worked on Thompson’s debut. However, for this week’s Slow Jam Saturday, I wanted to highlight Thompson’s second single, “Handle Our Business.”
“Handle Our Business” was written by Dave Hollister and Lil Chris Smith. The song’s production was courtesy of Dave Hollister, Lil Chris Smith, Jerome Jefferson & Rodney Jerkins, while Dave Hollister handles the background vocals as well. Thompson already had a natural vocal prowess well beyond his years, so it’s a no brainer that he slays the song.
Dave Hollister and Lil Chris Smith provide Thompson with lyrics such as:
“Standing here watching you over there
Makes me wanna do things to you
Unh-uh, not right here
Come on, baby, let’s go to a place that we know
Where we can do it on the bed, even on the floor
Let’s go home..”
Dave Hollister then comes in and shows out on the chorus crooning
“Let’s go home and handle our business
Let’s do it right
Can we do it all night? (Said we can…)
Let’s go home and handle our business
Let’s do it right
We can we do it all night”.
Now, based on the way he sang “Before I Let You Go” from Blackstreet’s self-titled debut a few months earlier, music fans know just how strong Hollister’s voice is. However, Hollister never tries to outshine Thompson in the song, and their two voices mesh well together.
I honestly can’t help but wonder if this song had been given to Hi-Five, how Thompson’s bandmate Treston Irby would’ve sounded on the chorus. “Handle Our Business” was the perfect follow-up single to “I Wanna Love Like That.” The first single highlights Thompson pursuing his love interest while with “Handle Our Business,” he’s succeeded in finding love and is ready to take the relationship to the next level.
As we all know, there was something special about nineties R&B. Tony Thompson is one of the forgotten voices of the time, and “Handle Our Business” solidifies just how strong his voice was.
Final Grade: B+
“Handle Our Business” from Tony Thompson’s solo debut “Sexsational” is available on all streaming platforms.
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