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Album Review

With so many faceless, sound-alike albums having come out of the "new jack swing" hybrid in the late '80s and early to mid-'90s, it's important to give credit to the form's more creative and imaginative figures. Along with Guy and Bobby Brown, Bell Biv DeVoe (a New Edition spin-off trio comprised of Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, and Ronnie DeVoe) delivered some of new jack swing's most worthwhile material. A hard-edged, tough-minded blend of R&B/funk and hip-hop, Poison was (like Brown's Don't Be Cruel) a radical departure from the Jackson 5-influenced "bubblegum soul" New Edition was originally known for. Defined by their urgency, rawness, and vitality, "Poison," "B.B.D. (I Thought It Was Me)?," "Dope!," and "Do Me!" are considered new jack swing classics and are indeed among the best the style has to offer. Taking a break from the CD's overall aggression, BBD moves closer to New Edition's sound with the decent, though far from outstanding, ballads "When Will I See You Again?" and "I Do Need You." While other "new jacks" were content to simply emulate Guy, the distinctive BBD deserves applause for daring to stake out its own territory.

Customer Reviews


Unlike todays music, BBD brought their own style to the game. Each distinct track held it's own from "Do Me", "Poison" and my personal favorite "Let Me know Something". With Bomb Squad behind most of the production, the fusion between R&B artist and Hip-Hop producer is a timeless masterpiece. That's my word.

Do Me

Always a good song to make you laugh or smile. :)

Milestone album

When Hip hop and dancing was fun ala 9Kid N Play, Tribe Called Quest, Heavy D and the Boys). Pagers, caps with tags left on them, and tagged overalls. Used to wait by the radio to hear one of their songs come on. Back when tours were 20 hip hop groups having 20 minutes each to perform with their own dancers.

This album holds up and brings back memories--still the best produced beats around.


Formed: 1988 in Boston, MA

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Bell Biv DeVoe was hatched in the minds of its members, New Edition's Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, and Ronnie DeVoe, upon the departure of lead singer Bobby Brown in 1986. But it wasn't until after New Edition completed its supporting tour for the album Heart Break in 1988 that the trio gave in to the urgings of Heart Break producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and decided to chart its own course. Bell Biv DeVoe enlisted a variety of producers for its debut album, including Jam and Lewis and Public...
Full Bio