Saturday, August 28, 2010

Boy Bands Part VI: Musical Youth

For today's Boy Band selection, I thought of three different groups to shine the spotlight on. The first was New Edition, which had quite a few hits in the mid-to-late 1980s (notably "Cool It Now", "Mr. Telephone Man", and "If It Isn't Love"). This African American Boy Band also launched the solo careers of Bad Boy Bobby Brown (the abusive, drugged-out asshole who ruined Whitney Houston's career), Ralph Tresvant, and Johnny Gill (if I'm not mistaken). The remainder of the group formed BellBivDevoe in 1990.

In the 1990s, came Boyz II Men, which had even more success than New Edition. In fact, their singles "End of the Road" (from the 1992 Eddie Murphy film Boomerang) and 1994's "I'll Make Love To You" both sat atop the Billboard singles charts for more than 10 weeks. That's a rare feat for any artist, and this group managed to do it twice! During my first semester at BYU, Boyz II Men scored another hit single with "Four Seasons of Loneliness", which described my experience being a non-Mormon at the Mormon university.

It was difficult to choose which of those two bands to spotlight in today's Boy Band tribute. Then, I realized that there is a one hit wonder that should get the glory, instead. This band even has the kind of name that people with an interest in a long-term career in the music industry should not have. They came out in the early 1980s and was the first calypso / reggae song that I ever heard. I loved it and still do, even though I don't know what they are singing about.

Of course, I'm talking about "Pass the Dutchie" by Musical Youth. I have no idea if this group is from the Caribbean or Africa. Their accents make lyric decifering a challenge. What the hell is a "dutchie"? Does it mean what I think it means? One thing that I love about the song is a mention about "the spirit of Jah", which is the Rastafarian word for God. So, does this mean that Musical Youth is from Jamaica (JAH-maica)? The Rastafarians are famous for a few things: dreadlocks, reggae music, ganja weed ("dutchie"?), and "The Lion of Zion" (supposedly the King of Ethiopia plays into their religion somehow).

Whatever they are singing about, it just sounds cool. However, they are a one hit wonder. I did buy their album in the early 1990s after having forgotten about them, but the album was not memorable. I guess if you're destined to only have one hit song, why not this one? Let the spirit of Jah lead you!

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