By request! Never say I never gave y’all anything.
Soul For Real was among the hundreds of male R&B groups to spring up in the mid ’90s. According to industry lore, Heavy D discovered the four brothers – Andre, Christopher, Brian and Jason Dalyrimple (aka, the REALLY short one) while at McDonald’s. I’m not sure if that story was ever confirmed, but it seems plausible – picturing Heavy D hanging around McDonald’s isn’t much of a stretch.
Soul For Real exploded on the scene in 1995 with their debut, Candy Rain. Look at their album cover – I’ve never seen four more confused looking brothers in my life. Why is everyone looking in different directions? And the little dude seems like he’s thinking “Is this guy REALLY going to stand here with his hands on his hips like Superman?”
Dumb cover aside, the titular lead single was as catchy as it was cavity-inducing. It went all the way to the No. 2 spot on Billboard. I’m willing to bet that everyone born before 1984 still remembers the chorus to that song – don’t front, you’re singing it to yourself right now! And don’t forget “Every Little Thing I Do” – that was the skating rink anthem back in the day. You just don’t hear youthful, yet soulful records like those anymore.
The success of the album had everyone labeling them the “new” New Edition. But as we now know, that didn’t really work out.
A year later they released For Life, produced by Heavy D and everyone’s least favorite rap mogul, Diddy. The only song I remember from that album is “Love You So,” which wasn’t bad but sounded like a ripoff 112 track – not surprising when you realize Puff was on board. I certainly understand why Hev would hook his boys up with Puffy – 1996 was the height of Bad Boy’s success – but I doubt Puff invested much time in them. That likely hurt the group.
Just when you thought the boys went back to their day jobs at McDonald’s, they renamed themselves Soul IV Real and threw on some (somewhat) fresh wife beaters for 1999’s Heat. Times must have gotten hard because they sounded really lethargic on the remix to “Can’t Wait,” and the recycled Busta Rhymes beat doesn’t help. They were never the best vocalists but what happened to their range?
The boys attempted a comeback a couple of years ago, releasing “One Man” with Jadakiss, but their voices sound even raspier than Jada’s! Have they been eating from ash trays?
Should they come back?: Whoo, playa, not if they sound like their post ’99 work. Get those dudes some Chloraseptic! Plus, earlier this year Brian was charged with identity theft, so he has much bigger problems.
Oh well, we’ll always have Candy Rain.