Naima Cochrane Profile picture
Oct 8, 2017 92 tweets 22 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Alright ya'll. #MusicSermon time.
If you would please prepare your hearts and minds (and ears)... ⛪️
Last week we talked about the lesser celebrated female voices of the 80's…
I know I promised ya'll I'd finish with the 90's voices during the week and I didn't. I'll come back to it; it's ready to go. But not today.
I realized that we need to have the bookend conversation about 80's voices: the men.
We really don't talk about the male vocalists from the 80's enough PERIOD. Even the bigger stars. So we're going to pay tribute on today.
And for refresher, the #MusicThread doctrine...
1. As with the women, we're not getting into the mega stars that transcend era and genre, so no Prince, Michael, no NE/Bobby Brown...
2. I'm going to touch on a couple of groups, but we're mostly focusing on solo acts (we WILL do groups in the future)
3. If something's missing that seems obvious, it probably means I couldn't find a quality clip. But you can always feel free to @ me.
4. There will be a playlist at the end
We started the 80's with a group of singers stepping out on their own after playing front-man for groups.
We all recognize Lionel (pronounced Ly-NELL) Richie as a prime example here, having turned into a huge pop star after the Commodores.
But there were quite a few more, starting with your Auntie or Great Auntie (or Grandma's) favorite: Teddy P.
Teddy could arguably be 70's, since that's when he left Harold Melvin & the Bluenotes, but he had major hits up to his car accident in 82.
In 82, Teddy was paralyzed in a car accident (w/ a woman who, after his death, was revealed as a transgender performer). His career stalled.
But he came back in the late 80's with a late career hit. That's another convo: artists from the 60, 70's that were able to come back later.
Then, while doing fed time, Gucci Mane somehow tapped into the spirit of Teddy to carry his legacy forward. Amen.
Another front man turned soloist in the 80's: Jeffrey Osborne
Jeffrey was the lead singer of LTD, the group responsible for one of my favorite ballads of all time
He's of course now known mostly for the "woo woo" song (You Should Be Mine) but Jeffrey had some cuts
Next up... lawd I had a crush on this man. This is right on the 80's/90's border, but Howard Hewett and his hair.
Howard & Shalamar gave us TIMELESS jams. We'll talk about them when we get into groups...
Howard became a gospel singer later, but I believe he still perfoms his secular stuff now. Prime 80's/90's light skin greatness.
It's kind of cheating to include Jermaine Jackson here, but let me tell ya'll what you need to do: respect his solo hits.
Jermaine did a whole song about getting ol' girl the hell up out of the paint like "Girl, you young. Life happens." Like...
And this is still maybe one of my favorite songs and videos from this era. Jermaine had Iman in his video FIRST. And she set him up, son!
If you've never seen the full "Do What You Do" video, you have to. It's cinematic greatness.
I think the "Do What You Do" clips may have be flagged/pulled. You guys let me know if you have issues with them.
This counts in this category, but not really, because even though El Debarge went solo, his most impactful work was with his siblings.
I loooove El Debarge. Love. First of all, the whole family wrote & most arranged & produced. His vocals though... I mean this falsetto..
Debarge gave real ass love ballads. Lyrics, production... If you've followed me for a while you might know I consider this a perfect song.
And we owe Eldrick, Bunny, Bobby & 'nem for *countless* hip hop/R&B samples. I don't usually post audio only but I had to, for the culture.
So this song is 90/91, but all the features are 80's (or back), so I'm using it to bridge from El to this next segment. Also, MY SH*T.
So we talked about how 80's female vocalists were TRUE vocalists. Range and depth and fullness and roundness...We got that from the men, too
We had crooners honey. With awards and receipts to show for it. And maybe the most under-appreciated is James Ingram.
One of Quincy's chosen. Best New Artist grammy winner, 2 time Best Song Oscar nominee, co-wrote PYT, INCREDIBLE voice.
I mentioned he was nominated for a Best Song Oscar twice. One of those was for Disney...
Another underrated singer with real ass chops from this era: Peabo Bryson (Greenville, SC stand up).
Peabo & James had POP hits, be clear. Peabo was a duet king, and like James had some Disney love. We talked @ A Whole New World last week...
Peabo did THREE Disney theme songs, including the original Beauty and the Beast theme
I actually did this thread tonight because someone replied to the Whole New World clip asking "Who is that?" re: Peabo. Can't have that.
Your auntie though...
Bringing it Uptown to Harlem, Freddie Jackson does NOT get his props. At all.
Freddie's a vocal cousin and long-compared contemporary of Luther, but didn't have anywhere near the hits or catalogue. But listen...JAMS.
I forgot to mention that Freddy started as a background singer for Melba Moore. Another BGV that broke through? Yes, Luther.
Listen, I'm aware that Luther Ronzoni Vandross Jr is far from under-appreciated or unsung. But he kinda is. Just stay with me for a minute..
Casual Luther fans may not know: aside from being one of the best BGV's besides Lisa Fischer, Luther's vocal arrangement game was masterful.
This is why anytime Luther did a cover, even the original artists were like "Here child, take it. It's yours now."
Ok. I won't get stuck on Luther because I love him and we'll be here all night, but 80's Luther, EARLY Luther, deserves your love.
Someone we talk about a lot for pure musical influence but NOT his of the original bad boys of R&B
Rick was on one in this whole video 😂
Yes Rick was an outstanding writer, COMPOSER (composer, that means ALL the musical parts) and producer, but he had CHOPS.
Don't forget: Rick was a Motown artist. And ya'll might say he's appreciated, but folks forgot all about him until Charlie Murphey's stories
My ninja Alexander O'neal. I've talked about him in my threads a lot so far, but one mo' gain. I love his country, crazy a**.
We told this story before but I have more detail: Alex was original lead singer of The Time, but got kicked out bc he wanted too much money.
But he's definitely said on record before that Prince replaced him with Morris Day because he was dark skin.
But Jimmy & Terry kept producing him, of course, with that trademark Minneapolis sound. Also giving us this classic R&B pairing.
Alex's voice & conk tried so hard to hold on through the drug use. So smooth though. Hell, I doubt he's even sober here, but he sounds good.
Now gonna touch on a few lesser known artists. Some could even be called one hit wonders, but all important to the music era...
Starting with Glenn Jones. Listen, you talk about NEVER hearing a name anymore?
And I don't know who ain't get their publishing straight, but this song ain't on spotify for itunes and I am fed, bc THIS IS MY JOINT.
Even though Bernard Wright had 4 solo albums and has been heavily sampled, not a lot of people know who he is. You know this song though.
Another one who's song (and sample) you know, but you may not have known his name. Eugene Wilde (Oh oh, oh oh)
Gregory Abbott also had four albums, but he hit with this one out the gate and never matched it. I used to think this was Al Jarreau 😂
Jermaine Stewart may very well have had some other songs I don't know about, but this was a responsible ass bop right here
And with British artist Junior I'm going to delve into another 80's subcategory: "Imports".
Caribbean Massive, repping for you on this one: Johnny Kemp with the early Teddy Riley sound. STILL goes. I'm doing the wop right now.
Speaking of Caribbean, Trini-born Brit Billy Ocean gave us a SMASH HIT ode to the Island gals. This would have been a WHOLE other video now.
We gotta stay on Billy for a minute, because your man had hits in the mid-80's. Three #1 plus a grammy win for Caribbean Queen.
And he still has one of my favorite soul classic party songs EVER. Cause I be having these nights.
And Terrance Trent D'Arby wasn't an import, but he wanted to be one so we gonna put him here. So good, so extra though. Sabotaged himself.
He was like Maxwell & Lenny Kravitz smushed together before either of them existed, but he was too much for his label.
Ya' man said his album was the most important work since the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper. 😂 Anyway, he changed his stage name & lives in Europe now
We are almost done (whew). Like I mentioned, we'll do groups soon, but there are a few I have to mention that bridged 80's to 90's.
First, another group you probably thought was from the U.K. (I did, too. They're from Flint). Ready for the World. Jams that aged WELL.
Next, I keep dropping notes about Full Force (yes Ain't My Type of Hype FF) & their writing/production. But this "girl, bye" track 😂...
Ya'll, that whole "All In My Mind" video would launch a thousand think pieces today.
So would Full Force's outfits.
Your slow jam mixtape wasn't hittin' on nothing if it didn't have some Force MD's on it. The end.
Get ready to bodyroll. I couldn't get through a thread about men of the 80's without shouting out the godfather of autotune.
Finally, the artists that started right at the end of this era and carried us solidly into the 90's...
Starting with beggin' Keith. Ya'll know Sweat is his real name? He may have been flat, but his pockets ain't; he co-wrote most of his stuff.
Al B got some shine earlier in the thread but let's give him love. Also gotta give Al credit for writing/producing for Tevin, Jodeci + more
We paid homage to the male R&B groups of the 90's a while back. I may have to do the solo artists.…
Ok ya'll. We did the former group leaders, singing ass singers, one hit wonders, heavily sampled folks, bridge artists...
I'm closing this w/ a bridge artist, but this song is 100% 1990 & I don't even care. I just wanted an excuse to post it. Also, it's @ Jesus
Somebody's gonna ask me to clarify saying "Everlasting Love" is about Jesus, but until then, if all hearts and minds are clear...
*Extends hand* My great music bless you and keep you. May it's harmonies fall upon you, and be gracious unto you...
May amazing vocalists lift their countenance upon you, and give you joy. And all the people said...
And BAM. (Also some of you have asked me for Apple Music. I'm pondering).

I just want ya'll to know that I love you for loving these threads. I do them for the joint experience (bc I do this alone all the time 😂)
Seriously, I try to go back and read every comment and memory, and I'm just all mushy when you guys hit me on the side. Thank you!

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More from @naima

Sep 4, 2018
Alright ya’ll, we’re figuring out *our* hashtag for #BobbyBrownBET (bc, no shots to BET, but Bobby needs some flair).
Cast your vote below before 3pm ET.
To help prepare your soul and spirit for tonight (as we continue deliberations on OUR #BobbyBrownBET hashtag), let's revisit my reminder of why Bobby is the once and always KANG of stage and R&B...…
I expanded on it just a little bit on our site as a longform.…
Read 5 tweets
Sep 2, 2018
Happy Sunday, fam. There will probably be a sermon on tonight (but it may be tomorrow. I’m waiting for the spirit to hit). In the meantime, we finished counting down your Top 11 favorite #MusicSermons from our first year. Catch up with them here:…
And ICYMI, last week we had a special #MusicSermon Devotional to give proper acknowledgement to Tevin.…
Aight fam, this week’s #MusicSermon will happen manana. The spirit just isn’t moving on today.
I haven’t really moved beyond scrolling twitter and changing the tv channels from the comfort of my couch.
Read 61 tweets
Aug 12, 2018
Happy Sunday, fam! The *plan* is to do an early-ish sermon today (around 7) to be done in time for #Insecure.
But I’m also gonna be day-drinking, so let’s see what happens!! 🤷🏽‍♀️

#ICYMI, we finished our Director’s series on Monday w/ Hype Williams.…
Aight, I just got home. I need to get settled and organized but we ARE doing a #MusicSermon tonight. I expect to open the doors of the church around 8/8:30, we’ll rock until #InsecureHBO, take an intermission to watch as a family, then finish service.
*Steps into pulpit without robes*
*Adjust mic*
*Clears throat*

Happy Sunday, family.
I’m not ready to get started just yet (there’s alot of content. You’ll understand in a minute). I am, however, gonna break protocol and - for the first time - set the sermon up, then come back.
Read 76 tweets
Jul 29, 2018
It's #MusicSermon's BIRTHDAY!!! 🍾🎉
There will be a special Anniversary Service on this evening.

In the meantime, I wrote a little something about #MusicSermon's first year over on the site.

See ya'll this evening! ⛪️…
I’ll be opening the doors of the church around 8pm, and immediate after service I’m dropping the new #MusicSermon bracket 👀 #PleaseGovernYourselvesAccordingly
Grabbing food and getting organized, then we’ll get started on tonight’s special Anniversary #MusicSermon service. I think this might be a two-nighter.
Read 72 tweets
Jul 23, 2018
My ni**a this was on NATIONAL TV TWENTY YEARS AGO and ya’ll be like “I need receipts”...
I don’t even...
I also doubt the “pee” tape was still circulating by mid-00’s (at least I hope), but if you ever saw that tape, that was CHILD. She LOOKED like a child. There was no “I thought she was older...” nah.
Wait, the Toure interview happened in 08. I thought it was around the trial. STILL, that means he was FORTY something and couldn’t answer a question about teenage girls. Smh
Read 4 tweets
Jul 15, 2018
Happy Sunday! We will be continuing our special #MusicSermon series on The Superfriends tonight with Timbaland. Doors of the church will open around 8. In the meantime, catch up on the latest church news with this week’s bulletin!…
Alight y'all, I'm getting organized and then well get started with tonight's #MusicSermon.
Ushers, you may begin seating. ⛪️
*Steps into pulpit*
*Adjusts mic*
*Cleans glasses*
*Opens text*

Good evening, family. Sorry for the late start. For one, it's hard for me to settle into a sermon while it's still daylight. Second, I was hit with a massive bout of sleepiness out of the blue...
Read 50 tweets

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