RESPECT DUE: LEVERT
My first article on The Zro Hour was about the great Teddy Riley. I decided that from time to time I will feature an artist or group who has not only impacted me but the music world. This time I'm going to speak about Levert. I can remember being at one of many of my aunt's house parties hearing "Pop Pop Pop Goes My Mind" and that being the first time I heard anything about Levert. She had the 12" single record and played it over and over again. The more I heard it, the more I wanted to hear it. Next thing you know, Levert had everyone bopping to "Casanova". We all knew then that Levert was going to be one of those groups that would become a household name.
I'm not going to go through the history of Levert because most of you all know it. I'm going to take this time and celebrate an era of great music by an even greater group. What I appreciated (and still do) about what Gerald, Sean, and Marc did in the late 80's and early 90's is how they were able to create music that reached out to all age groups. The music was real, it was raw, and it was oh so soulful. They sang about real emotions and things that we go through everyday in our relationships. What made them stand out even more was the fact they themselves was real. They weren't polished or made to be something they weren't. Their style made them appear more approachable than others. They also proved that you didn't need to be a certain height, a certain size, or have a certain look about you in order to be sexy. They not only "sang" but danced and stole so many female hearts (and collected many panties & bras) it aint even funny. Everyone has their favorite in a group and in this case, Marc was mine (something about the mystery behind those shades) but I have to say that when I saw Gerald in concert, I was able to keep my cool until he sang "Baby I'm Ready". It took me back to when I first heard that song and other great songs he sang with his group. That is just one of many... many songs I love by Levert.
I recently received information that a new Levert album/cd was in the works for this year titled, "Dedication" and they added Dwight Thompson who was a member of a group Gerald helped put on the scene, Rude Boys. It is too early to say what will happen now, but I will stay tuned to see. With the passing of both Levert brothers, I want to extend my heart and prayers out to their family and friends. Levert music has touched me deeply and the only thing I can do is keep their music alive. My dedication and personal way of honoring them is to continue to play their music and sing it loud and proud. I ask that all of you do the same. Dust off those records, go through your cd collection, look through your iPods (I sho nuff got them in mine) and listen to your favorite songs by them. I also have another tribute to them that is a memory I hold near and dear(thank your lucky stars that you don't have to actually hear me do the reenactment).... Think back to the movie "New Jack City" and the scene when the CMB (Cash Money Brothers) started to take over the projects. TROOP started out singing "For The Love Of Money" and Levert finished the song in their own way while standing in the snow being warmed by a fire in a steel drum.
In closing, though both were taken away from us way too soon, I hope that there will be some peace in knowing that they are together in Heaven making glorious music together!