Hi guys!!! Whew it’s been a hot minute since I’ve been on here, but what matters is that I’m back now and gurls this is a good one!! Anyway, lets head right into this!
On the 27th of January BET aired their biopic of the 80’s R’n’B Group “New Edition”. I actually hadn’t heard of this group before the biopic so watching this was a real trip for me because I’ve always wanted to venture into music from the 80’s but I never knew where to start from and me being the lazy ass that I am I never really looked so this was a splendid opportunity.
So, “The New Edition Story” was a 6-hour mini-series which aired as a three-day special on BET (2 hours for each episode). Obviously, members of the group were played by actors but these actors had a three-week boot camp where they were trained by the original members of the group and the original manager/choreographer of the group (Brook Payne). So, this biopic is a 100% authentic because everything portrayed in the show is per real live events produced almost completely by the people who lived it. Here’s a list of the cast members below:
- Bobby Brown is played by Woody McClain
- Ricky Bell is played the amazing Elijah Kelley (Most notable for his role as “Seaweed J. Stubs” on the 2007 film adaptation of “Hairspray”)
- Ralph Tresvant is played by Algee Smith
- Ronnie Devoe is played by Keith Powers (most notable for his roles as “Tyree’ in Straight Outta Compton and “Theo” in MTV’S faking it).
- Michael Bivin is played by Bryshere Y. Gray (most notable for his role as “Hakeem Lyon” in the hit TV series “Empire”)
- Johnny Gill is played by Luke James (who is a two-time Grammy nominated singer-songwriter)
Every member of the iconic group is portrayed in this biopic from the inception of the group which is them as little kids who live in the same community of Roxbury, Boston. Bobby brown initiated the group welcoming his friends Mike and Ricky to join him onstage at the next talent show after tanking his first performance. The trio then cajoled Ralph (who later becomes the groups lead singer) to join them. After getting manager Brook Payne and his nephew Ronnie Devoe, the group has their first number one single on the billboard charts; Candy Girl.
Like many artists do when they first get signed, new edition did not read their contract and were basically duped during the early years of their careers in the name of “expenses”. Apart from that we get the tea on the conflicts within the group and why bobby brown was kicked out of the group in the mid 80’s which lead to him pursuing his solo career. We also get the story behind the popular Trio Bel Biv Devoe (BBD) as well as the solo efforts of Ralph Tresvant. Johnny Gill didn’t become a member of the group until the departure of bobby brown. However, Johnny had considerable solo success outside of new edition, he also went on to join the popular group LSG.
I think this story is very important particularly to music lovers around the world. Without New edition, we wouldn’t have the world-famous group Boys II Men and many of the present R’n’B artists. Also, this biopic shines a light on the mysteries of the music industry as well as the nitty gritty of the group. Most of all this introduced me to “new edition” and I’m sure I won’t be the first to say I probably wouldn’t have known them without this biopic which would’ve have been unfortunate because their sound is amazing and I believe music like that transcends time! Some might say because of my age and the music that I grew up with I wouldn’t be able to gravitate towards their music but on the contrary music feeds the soul, it doesn’tmatter how old or young you are GOOD MUSIC IS GOOD MUSIC, regardless of when you were born if you have a genuine love for MUSIC you can enjoy music from any era/time.
With that said you all should watch The New Edition Story and if you’ve seen it already let me know what you think in the comment section. Assuming you don’t want to watch the biopic but want to listen to the music, you should start with the album “heart break” by new edition and work your way back from there, listen to Bobby browns album “Don’t be Cruel”, Johnny Gill’s self-titled album, Ralph Tresvant’s self-titled album and lastly the single “Poison” by BBD.