Hello. I hope this post finds u well. Over the last year or so, I’ve been having more and more discussions on the evolution of music, specifically commercial music, be it pop, urban contemporary, hip-hop, and the like. Many of you know I am a musician, and have been one since I was a teen (can you spot me??dont laugh!)
That being said, I’ve seen the evolution of R&B as I grew and played in different groups in college, even up until now. What I have also seen over the last 18 or so years, in R&B, is the decline of “the band” in this genre of music. When I say band, I don’t mean the loosely used term as in “boy band” (98 Degrees, NKOTB, etc) or as in “making of the band” (Day 26, Danity Kane, etc)…I mean as in the classical term of band…singers/musicians (SOS Band, The Time, Lakeside, Dynasty, EWF…etc).
I’d say the only ‘band’ that is mainstream in R&B is considered to be The Roots. I would define it otherwise, but I believe that definition is probably the most accurate. I say that there is no specific front man for The Roots (save Questlove, who is known to be the name one thinks of when The Roots are mentioned).
I could go on about why the decline of the band has taken place, with respect to the evolution of the music industry for the urban contemporary/R&B genre, but that is enough for another post. What I would like to do is post a quick video of who I consider to the only real band left in R&B that has toured consistently since their debut in 1991 on Jam and Lewis’ Flytetyme recording label: Mint Condition
I wont get on my soapbox about my luv for MC (you really don’t want that…LOL), but I will post some serious video clips of some original and cover material that they did specifically for AOL’s Black Voices. To me, Mint Condition is, and always will be, the “definition of a band”
Here’s MC doing Earth, Wind and Fire’s “Runnin’ ” …enjoy.
First, let me say you know of my undying, unyielding and unwavering love for Mint Condition — cause you and me go back to the early days of FOOMdom (smile). But I can’t agree with you more and I certainly thought about how much I value the essence of this band as I watched them perform last week in New York. Taking the simple sound made by each instrument represented on that stage, and merging it with others resulted in the most beautifully crafted music one could imagine — and that with or without that special guy on lead vocals. Live music is a wonderful commodity that I truly hope will gain so much momentum that all of tools that spew music imitation crash and burn!
::: Trelly – Eloquently, and truly put. I’ve seen MC three times live since 1996 and they’ll be back in the area next month. I remember hearing them early one June 1991 morning here in the DC area on the Donnie Simpson Morning Show. He played, ironically, was their first single from Meant To Be Mint….and it *wasn’t* Pretty Brown Eyes, it was “Are You Free”. The moment I heard this track, I was like…who is this group, and they are about to blow up!! Prior to the release of Meant To Be Mint, I remember then reading about them in the Jun ’90 (I believe) issue of Keyboard Magazine, Jam and Lewis on the cover. I knew then, it was all she wrote….the pencil broke!
Old-schooler; I have that same issue of ‘Keyboard Mag’ laying around here somewhere, LOL!
What’s up, Fresh. Long time no see. I couldn’t agree with you more. I miss the purity of real instruments on recordings. I saw MC live performance in St. Louis in June for the first time and truly enjoyed it. I didn’t realize just how talented and versatile MC is. I attended a concert in Atlanta July 18th to see SOS Band (Mary hasn’t lost her touch), Brothers Johnson (actually Brother Johnson, George, who was very good) and Morris Day and Time. It was a great show that brought back good memories.
I haven’t been on your site to listen to the music in awhile, but intend to revisit. My mother said “Is that the music man’s site? I like his music.” LOL
Keep up the great work.
I’m amazed that theses brothers are not recognized more for their work. I have every cd they’ve ever made and seen them live at least 4 times (most recently in Baltimore a couple months ago)
I’m always impressed to see them jump from an R&B Ballad to a Jazzy interlude, to completely Rockin’ it out. True musicians, song writers and performers.
Without a doubt the “Definition of a Band”
::: Rezzy – I know u can find it ..haha!
::: MsFunknJazz: D, I always knew your were a huge fan of old school RnB…we are cut from the same cloth. U are a concert going somebody! Welcome to the world of MC.
::: Tone – You already know…we go back (see the pic folks! )