The highly-anticipated New Edition Story was everything I’d hoped for.
I remember performing ‘Can You Stand The Rain’ in an 8th grade talent show with my best friend, Tee. You couldn’t tell us a damn thing! We had on our jeans, buttondowns and neckties, ready to smash this New Edition classic. And although we probably sounded nowhere near as good as I remember, it was a memory that I’ll never forget. For a kid that grew up and charted his musical path in the late 80’s / early 90’s, there is no ceiling to the influence of New Edition. Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky, Mike, Ralph and Johnny made it cool for dudes to try to harmonize, hit high notes and choreograph dance moves. N.E. were the coolest dudes on the planet.
We each have our own piece of ownership with New Edition. Regardless of which member was your favorite, you appreciated each of their strengths and what they bring to the group. Whether it was Ralph’s suave, Bobby’s edge, Ronnie’s dancing, Mike’s swag, Ricky’s cool or Johnny’s sangin’, you completely grasped the totality of the group.
Watching the New Edition Story elicited such a wide range of emotions; joy, nostalgia, pride, sadness and many more. BET did a great job casting this movie. Watching Bryshere Y. Gray absolutely nail Michael Bivins was great. And there were times when Algee Smith and Luke James sounded eerily identical to Ralph Tresvant and Johnny Gill. I must’ve watched the ‘Can You Stand The Rain’ and ‘If It Isn’t Love’ scenes 73494105654 times while reminiscing about my sister, Keisher, recording music videos on VHS, learning the lyrics and dance routines. Thinking back on times in chorus class when me and my boys would gather around and sing New Edition and Boyz II Men songs. Again…you couldn’t tell us a damn thing!
The part of us that longs to hold onto those pockets of greatness of our childhood hated to see the story end…at least the TV story. We know a new N.E. album will come (anywhere between 6 months and 6 years from now). But, for me, the product of this movie definitely lived up to the anticipation. That’s a good thing, because I likely made a fool out of myself talking about it when I heard it was coming. So, to be taken back into that time machine, revisit and learn things I never knew about my favorite R&B group of all time was priceless.