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: Total, Kissing You
As my avid readers know, I immensely love the nineties R&B sound. While SWV, TLC, and Xscape were the premier girl groups until Destiny Child hit the scene, I wanted to show some love to Bad Boy’s female R&B trio Total.
After signing with Bad Boy Records, the group made an uncredited appearance singing the hook on The Notorious B.I.G’s “Juicy” in 1994. Frank White would later return the favor providing a memorable Hot 16 to the group’s debut single, “Can’t You See,” which would start building momentum for the group.
Hip Hop vibes continued with the second single, “No One Else.” However, the album’s third single, “Kissing You,” put the group in a different light for me. The legendary Raphael Saadiq wrote and produced this bop which showcased the trio’s voices. When creating the song, Saadiq wanted to represent NYC and linked up with guitarist Brian Julian.
Group member Keisha handled the first verse and the bridge. Pam sang the second verse while Kima joined in on the hook. I’ve always loved the song because it reminds you of the newness in a relationship. I was in middle school when the song hit the airwaves, so naturally, I felt like the trio was singing to me.
It would be a crime if I didn’t mention Puff Daddy’s remix of the song “Kissin’ You/Oh Honey.” Puff was already known for using samples to make hits, and for this remix, he used Delegation’s 1978 hit “Oh Honey” to create an even mellow vibe that tops the original.
F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, “Then he kissed her. At his lips’ touch, she blossomed for him like a flower, and the incarnation was complete. I think that quote effectively solidifies Total’s “Kissing You.”
Final Grade: A
“Kissing You” and the remix are 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.”
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.