My Auntie Was Right, New Edition Is The GOAT Of R&B Groups
5 words: "Can You Stand The Rain"
May 30, 2017 at 6:11 pm
I’m going to let you get to the rest of this article, but before you do I have to say: NEW EDITION IS THE BEST ALL MALE R&B GROUP OF ALL TIME.
In true Kanye style, I finally had to let the truth be known. Now I know what you’re thinking, “my mom has been saying this for years, you ain’t saying nothing new.” I hear you, I really do. Our moms, aunties and older cousins have all been telling us this for a long time it’s just that now, we’ve finally decided to listen and pay attention. Earlier this year, BET blessed us the gem that is The New Edition Story. This 3-part miniseries captured the hearts of the both the older generations that actually grew up during their origin and prime and the younger ones who were a bit too young to even know all the members and everyone else in between. Because of this, groups of kids that can’t even grasp the true influence of New Edition are now mimicking “If It Isn’t Love” choreography in viral videos for the #NewEditionChallenge and so much more.
For me, I had heard maybe one or two songs by New Edition and would always find immense humor in listening to a couple of my aunts rave about how fine Johnny Gill was or how nasty Bobby Brown was, but I never took the time out to really listen to them. And to be honest, I knew why. I am a religious Boyz II Men fan, I mean FAITHFUL y'all! I couldn’t stand to be in talks with adults as they asserted that New Edition was better than Boyz II Men, it was like blasphemy to my millennial ears. At any rate, I have the acapella version of “Can You Stand The Rain” by Boyz II Men on constant rotation and I just about lose it every time I hear it. It’s perfectly harmonized and no one could do it better. Or so I thought. Insert The New Edition Story. The minute the beat dropped & I saw Terry Lewis and Jimmy Jam, I had a feeling of what was to come. Y'all know the scene I’m talking about. When Johnny Gill, aka Luke James, hit that “NAY-HOOO” for the culture, my neighbors down the street could probably hear me hollering. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing; my naiveté led me to believe that all this time Boyz II Men were the original singers of CYSTR. The New Edition Story not only brought this truth out but it also brought to light the fact that Michael Bivins was the one to discover Boyz II Men and that one of NE’s songs was where they got their name from in the first place. Some fan I was, right?
To say that I was surprised this newfound “revelation” would be a vast understatement. I wasn’t ready for my truth to be shattered, but I’m glad it was. This miniseries exposed me to a group that I previously had very little knowledge of. The struggle that New Edition went through truly spoke to a certain level of resilience that some of today’s artists seem to lack. Despite their many challenges, arguments, and egos, they showed us exactly what it meant to stand by each other through the good times and bad. They showed us what loyalty to the art and the passion for succeeding looked like, before it became glorified on social media. They also showed us that the price of success can sometimes cost you everything that you know and love. I had always had a respect for music greats but watching this story unfold reminded generations before me and will hopefully show the generations after me how truly influential they were. Just thinking of the male groups that came after them such as Boyz II Men, Jodeci, Jagged Edge, Dru Hill, to name a few, it’s amazing to see that the bar of excellence was put in place with the help of New Edition.
This series is now being considered for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Limited Series and the entire cast is being considered for different nominations as well. New Edition will forever be an iconic and outstanding group, and the young men who portrayed them are definitely worthy of all the recognition and praise that’s being thrown their way. So to Ronnie & Keith, Bobby & Woody, Ricky & Elijah, Mike & Bryshere, Ralph & Algee, and Johnny & Luke: we hope this isn't the end.