Daily Archives: March 5, 2017

Music Review: Bell Biv Devoe-Three Stripes

by Uther Blakwhel

It’s been 16 years since Bell Biv Devoe’s last CD. The release of Three Stripes coincides with the New Edition biopic mini-series that debuted on the B.E.T network this year. Upon looking at the Three Stripes cover art it shows three of the co-founding members of New Edition looking more suave and seasoned on this album cover versus the street look from their previous CD BBD. Bell Biv Devoe also lets you know that they are ready to pick up where they left off from their Poison debut which is evident when you see the return of their sound description quote re-appear on the new record.Our music is mentally hip-hop smoothed out on the R & B tip with a pop feel appeal to it!”  We haven’t seen this quote since Poison. When I saw the return of this accurate description of their sound I was expecting the return of  Poison pound for pound. Once I started listening to the new album I was originally disappointed. But after listening to  Three Stripes in more detail, I realized that my expectations were too nostalgic and unrealistic. I was too busy focusing on who Bell Biv Devoe was and not who they are now! The new record opens up with a surprising and energetic intro from hip-hop legend Doug E. Fresh with “Ready.” It then smoothly glides into “Find A Way” which is a song about making it right with the woman you love and pleading your case for her to give you one more chance.

Ricky sings, “Girl I’ve got a find a way despite all these people” through auto tune which makes his signature vocal sound unrecognizable at first. Ronnie and Mike rap clever and smooth rhymes about their plans to get their queens back in their arms again. The song is catchy and sneaks up on you by the time it’s over.

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Throwback: Labi Siffre-I Got The

Labi Siffre started his career in the ’60’s playing guitar at Annie Ross’s jazz club in his native London. In 1970, he released his self-titled solo album but the 1971 single “It Must Be Love” was the hit that gave him his first notice.   “I Got The” comes from his 1975 album, Remember My Song. The pulse of the song revealed itself in the ’90’s when it became a popular sample for rappers Jay-Z and Eminem. Siffre initially denied Dr. Dre permission to use the song because of misogynistic lyrics and homophobia.  The lyrics were changed on the single and album version of Eminem’s  “My Name Is” but they were able to use their original lyrics on different versions of the song. Siffre, who is an out gay man, has always been open about his politics and sexuality. His 1987 single “(Something Inside) So Strong” about South African apartheid was a huge hit in the United Kingdom. Siffre has recorded 11 albums, published three books of poetry, one book of essays and one play. He currently shares his ideas and poetry on his official site and Twitter.

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