Whatever Happened to: Carl Thomas

A couple of weeks ago, the wifey and I had a nice Mother’s Day dinner with my in-laws and their extended family. Somehow, the conversation turned to Keith Sweat.

Y’all know me, it doesn’t take much for me to slide Keith in the conversation. I figured the old-school crew would have my back, but no: Jai’s aunt and mom starting going in on my boy, talking about how he’s nothing but a big, whiny baby.


Sure, Keith’s vocals have nasally undertones but he’s not a pitiful whiner. When I think of whining, I think of one dude – Carl Thomas.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Carl. But he was a pitiful brother. Don’t believe me? Let’s reminisce:

Carl Thomas was paying his dues on the nightclub circuit when he was discovered by Diddy in the late 90s. Since this was during the era when Diddy actually let his artists release their own albums instead of hogging all the studio time for himself, Carl’s debut, Emotional, debuted in 2000 with a pretty big buzz. That buzz was well-deserved – the album was amazing. His first single, “I Wish,” was a breath of fresh air at the time as R&B was beginning its slide into self-parody (although it was nowhere near as bad as today). Instead of focusing on bling and clubs, Carl told of a love gone wrong – and it quickly became a No. 1 R&B hit.

But the worst was yet to come. His title track, “Emotional,” was one of my favorite songs at the time, but poor Carl again sounded like he was being tortured. By the time he says “Look at me! I can’t stop crying!/Inside, my heart is slowly dying,” with his lips trembling, you just wanna hook him up with your cousin to shut him up. I can’t stand to see a man crying.

A year later, he teamed up with Faith Evans for “Can’t Believe,” a sorta-remix to “Emotional.” Again, it was a great song. Again, it was greatly depressing.

Carl returned in 2004 with Let’s Talk About It, and with the help of LL Cool J, finally got a little pep in his step with “She Is.” The song wasn’t bad at all but it didn’t make an impact. And you know what happens when artists try something new and it fails – they go back to basics. In Carl’s case, he got all pitiful again. “Make It Alright” wasn’t a sad song per se, but check out the video – he steals some guy’s girl and takes her to his mobile home (?!) IN A JUNKYARD to make out. No wonder he’s always so sad; dude lives in a junkyard. As you can guess, the album didn’t exactly break sales records.

In 2007, Carl tried again with So Much Better. Carl was back on his sad-man shtick with “2 Pieces” but his efforts went unnoticed. I guess there’s only so much pity you can have for a man.

We haven’t heard from Carl since then. He’s probably in therapy somewhere. Or out shopping for turtlenecks. I didn’t realize how much he loves those things until I watched those videos.

Should He Come Back?: Definitely. The man is loaded with talent and I have no doubt that he could easily drop another album as strong as Emotional. Just make sure someone buys him an extra large box of Kleenex when he hits the studio.



  1. Carl had some talent for sure. If he is going to try to make a comeback, however, he needs some strong producers and some serious marketing to get him noticed. And Edd, even though you’re my boy, ummm, Keith is a whiner dude. Hate to be the one to have to tell you but he whines those songs out. Not that he wasn’t a hit back in the day but still, whining is something that he does best.

  2. oh hell naw! you, you!

    *falls off a chair*

  3. Carl will make a come back he is on social cam app so am I check us out sakai619 on socialcam or YouTube either or got studio songs on there two holla at ya boi

  4. Hahaha hahaha I can’t stop laughing…. You. .. lol lol

  5. Carl will definitely make a comeback. You can’t sit on that kinda talent. Plus he’s sexy as hell. You just mad because nobody us whining to your ass. Now have a seat.

    • That’s right Jade speak the truth,Carl Thomas is too talented not to come back I’m definitely rooting for him love him too death,I would choose him over Keith Sweat any day.

  6. This article… I’m laughing so hard I can’t stand you right now!
    I just watched the 2016 Soul Train Awards and I’ll be damned if Carl Thomas didn’t have on a turtle neck. I’m about to faint!!! LMAO

  7. I loved all of Carl Thomas music and he’s fine a.. hell.

  8. carl is one of the greatest RnB artist….his vibe is damn soulful

  9. Carl Thomas I just started to listening to your music, and you sound great perfect, I live in Ohio, Shaker Height area, I want to get my nephews off the street, and do something good with them for they will not come up dead like the other. My heart goes out to all of the family member that have live they story. Black Life Matter. I need some kinds words, like where do I start at? How do I get started? And last, when will you put out another song? I love all of your music.

  10. This review is quite unfair…Carl lost his step-brother around the time his second album was released (he was shot in what I believe was a drive-by)…that coupled with the shenanigans at Bad Boy (revolving door policy and all) conspired to make sure that the album was a flop commercially…even though the songs on the album were above average at worst…dude threatened for a minute to take R&B back to the pure soul era judging from the offerings on his first album..

    • Carl most definitely will make a comeback he really deserves it he has awesome talent people say he’s a whiner well so is Keith Sweat and he’s making big bank,so come on back Carl we miss you

  11. In the lab with a brand new sound, but same of soulful vocals… “any comment is a compliment” LL cool J
    facebook: Carl thomas fan page
    instagram: @carlthomaslive
    twitter: @carlthomasnow

  12. Carl Thomas was in Colorado Springs to perform at a friend of mine birthday party, I’m sorry but Carl Thomas is just an average performer and they were selling tickets for $50 just to see him. Needless to say, the venue wasn’t sold out. This event took place 04-13-18 thru 04-15-18. So for those asking where Carl Thomas is, now you know.

    • Carl most definitely will make a comeback he really deserves it he has awesome talent people say he’s a whiner well so is Keith Sweat and he’s making big bank,so come on back Carl we miss you

  13. Keith Sweat aka Begging Benny was/is the king of whiners. Carl is that dude. His marketing sucked. Bad boy was not the place for him. Too bad he didn’t see it. Everyone else did th and bounced. Carl reminds me of John Legend. Same type voice. John just has an incredible team backing him. Emotional remix on point! A lot of those songs could have been singles. BTW one of my favorites in that LP, My Valentine. Never saw daylight. Oh well, still love me some Carl.

  14. I think he is the monster on the masked singer

  15. I love his demitor! He has a true voice, He is good-looking, Classy man.
    Rock on Carl! God has got you.

  16. I love Carl…get with a new producer and get back in the studio…Your voice is all we need these days.

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