What Ever Happened to: Intro

One of the ’90s most unappreciated R&B groups also has one of the most tragic stories.

It’s a sad reminder of how fleeting life can be. But let’s not mourn, let’s celebrate the music of Intro, one of the best R&B groups you’ve probably forgotten about.

Hailing from Brooklyn, NY, Intro was comprised of Jeff Sanders, Clinton ‘Buddy’ Wike and the voice of the group, Kenny Greene.

Now, depending on whom you ask, Intro was originally meant to be an acronym, meaning Innovative New Talent Reaching Out. Uh huh. It’s sort of like how people claimed that Junior M.A.F.I.A. stood for Masters At Finding Intelligent Attitudes or how Rick R.O.S.S. means Really Opposed to Side Salads. Well, that last one is probably true but in Intro’s case I bet it’s revisionist history at work.

Intro’s self-titled debut for Atlantic Records dropped in 1993 with the lead single, “Come Inside.” Ahem. I was much too young and innocent to pick up on the double entendre, I just thought it was a hot song. And I wasn’t wrong – years later, it’s still a banger. It was a modest hit too, climbing to No. 9 on the R&B charts and doing well on pop as well.

“Come Inside” was by far the group’s biggest hit and their only crossover success but don’t be mistaken, they had more heat. “Love Thang” was a decent uptempo number with a video that featured 1,001 ’90s cliches.

Brothers in a dark alley – check.

Dudes standing on raggedy scaffolding – check

Everyone wearing skull caps – check.

Woman showing off her beeper – check.

All we needed was some rain and backup dancers stomping in water puddles.

“Let Me Be The One” was another fun midtempo track but the one that really turned heads was Intro’s cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Ribbon In The Sky.” There’s a reason why you rarely hear covers anymore – no one has the balls (or ability) to do ’em. But Intro took up the challenge and did very well. No, they didn’t totally own the song and make their own (although Donell Jones would later, but that’s a rant for another day). Still, it was a very respectable effort that reached No. 11 on the R&B charts.

In 1995, Intro released their sophomore effort, the appropriately titled New Life.

It didn’t live up to its name though. I remember my radio station wearing out the first single “Funny How Time Flies.” It’s one of those songs that you might not like on your first listen but it eventually bores its way into your brain. It peaked at No. 25 on the R&B charts and even made a brief appearance on the pop charts. The follow up, “Feels Like The First Time,” couldn’t duplicate that success, though.

Soon after, the group called it quits, sinking back into the shadows with the rest of mid-90s hitmakers while hip-hop began to dominate the landscape. But during that time, Kenny Greene began to make his name as a songwriter. He had already penned two early hits for Mary J. Blige – “Reminisce” and “Love No Limit” – and continued that success with other artists, including 98 Degrees and Will Smith.

But the music world was rocked in 2001 when Greene, who is bisexual, revealed to the world that he was suffering from AIDS. He died later that year. It was heartbreaking to lose such a talented artist so soon.

Should They Come Back?: The remaining members of Intro have added Ramon Adams and Eric Pruitt as members and have been discussing a comeback for years. If they’ve released any new music I haven’t heard it. Honestly, without Greene, who was the pen AND the voice for the group, it will be very hard to recapture the magic. It’s a shame because they could have been so much more.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

13 Comments

  1. I just listened to that whole CD from start to finish today. I honestly think the cover of Ribbon In the Sky is the best cover of any song I’ve ever heard. The lead singer’s voice was unbelievable; comparable to the greats like Donny Hathaway (who also died too soon) Marvin Gaye, and Luther Vandross……just powerful.
    Thanks for the shout out to one of the most talented and under-rated boy bands of the 90’s.

    • I have to totally agree about Ribbon In The Sky…one of the best covers ever, next to Luther and Cheryl Lynn, If This World Were Mine!

  2. I absolutely love the group intro they are my favorite 90s R&B group Kenny’s voice and writing skills were amazing they all were…I find his story extremely fascinating n relevant to today…I think more people need to know about them n how they set the tone for R&b of that time…listen to Jodeci n Mary J Blige.. U hear Kennys influence…his riffs everything…I wish Unsung would to a episode on them omg it be #1…too bad his life was cut short n that he had to live in secrecy about who he really was…but 23 years later we still have these beautiful song he left behind to listen to… #RipKennyGreene

    • Wow, Intro! I’ve ALWAYS have loved this group,especially, Kenny Greene. Went online looking for the “Come Inside” video. And the resemblance between he & my ex is uncanny. May his talented spirit rest. They’ll never be another!

  3. One of a kind love to me was the quintessential Intro song…underrated but so what the 90’2 was all about musically. Everytime I listen to their first cd it takes me back to 1993….good shit

  4. Kenny Greene was intro and the other two were back-up vocalists,without kenny there is no INTRO…RIP Kenny

    • da 90's ruled musik August 22, 2016 at 12:50 pm

      Absolutely! Kenny was so humble and sweet. I remember the stuttering one who talked wayyy too much was doing the most in an interview and Kenny just sat there. I would’ve been like listen these my dudes, but they can’t sing like that!! SIKE just joking. RIH G-Love you are truly missed!!

  5. I love their music and have their albums and their new singles. I always wondered if Kenny was too controlling with him singing all the leads. The Jeff and Clinton have great voices and it is apparent on the comeback tracks with all singing. Who knows what is what as the music business is so shady, which is why I have no guilt about getting all my music free thru downloads.

  6. Intro was so underated!!!! I love this group and all their songs… Kenny had a very God given voice and shared it with us. RIH Kenny, we miss you

  7. The music was mostly about free and loose sex. No thanks. Surely they could have better songs than that.

  8. Really a sad story. I love the group and there music. Very talented Kenneth Greene had the voice of an angel.

  9. I remember serving with Clinton ‘Buddy’ Wike in the Army, Ft Bragg. One day he took leave to New York and needed to extend, ( he had an opportunity at the time to start his music) His extension was denied, he had a tough decision to make. He didn’t come back….he chased his dream

  10. Intro is by far one of my favorite R&B groups IOC all time. I still play their first album cover to cover. And I TOTALLY agree, Ribbon in the Sky was the best remake. It still brings me to tears.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*