Wednesday, November 30, 2005


B is for the best that happens to be from BabyFace

Now if you love rythmn and blues…slow jam…this is a name you must be familiar with. Kenneth Edmonds a.k.a Babyface. Quickly summarizing, he is to say the least, a ten time Grammy award winner as a Singer/Songwriter/Producer and by golly a hell of a back-up vocalist and a mean acoustic guitar/keyboard player.

We talk of powerhouses of legends in history pertaining to certain fields. I like to say Jerry Bruckheimer belongs to movies. Diane Warren makes killer movie soundtracks and those tear-jerking songs. The likes of Aaron Spelling and remember Stephen J. Cannell who made TV programmes like they should be. And then there is BABYFACE in music! As Mariah is the greatest female singer of our time, M.J favorite musician of all time, Boyz II Men best RnB gropu of all time...then BabyFace is the greatest song-writer and producer of our time!!!

In his career he has co-worked with L.A Reid now the Arista Boss. Back then they formed the record label LaFace…and it’s from this label they spun out hits hotter than tea straight from a sufuria in the kiosk outside you workplace!!! I’d also like to credit his fellow co-writer and some times co-producer Darryl Simmons. However the post is on Babyface only. But with regards especially to their earlier works they revolutionalised RnB and created classics as we watched.

Now many of you may be clueless on the influence he has had in R&B, he has won 3 consecutive Producer of the Year Grammy awards and shared one with L.A Reid in 1992 and with the Bodyguard Producing team. He solely won song of the year for I’ll make love to you and Shoop…Exhale…and shared again for End of the Road. He won best RnB performance for When can I see u again. Record of the Year for Eric Clapton’s Song Change the World just to name but a few Grammies without having to go into thousand other awards. On two years he led the Grammy award nominations list and at one time had 4 of his songs nominated for best songs in one category for best song in a motion picture.

In movie know he was part of the Bodyguard soundtrack producing Team…He wrote all the songs for Waiting to Exhale, and Soul Food soundtrack need I say more. Wrote for Bad Boys-Someone to Love done by Jon B. Get on the Bus-theme song was by Michael Jackson. Could u forget- Last Night for Nutty Professor. Prince of Egypt he produced When you believe. Also played similar role Preacher’s Wife, Josey and the Pussycats, Ghost Busters 2 soundtrack.

He has also had 119 top-10 R&B and Pop hits, 47 Number One R&B hits, 51 top-10 Pop hits, including 16 Number One Singles, and single and album sales exceeding 100 million. He has written and produced songs for scores of pop music superstars, among them Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Madonna, Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson, Toni Braxton, Celine Dion, Aretha Franklin, TLC, Mary J. Blige, Brandy, Boyz II Men, 'N Sync, Tevin Campbell, Az Yet, After 7, Bobby Brown, KCi & Jojo, Johnny Gill, Brandy, Patti LaBelle, Vanessa Williams, Shanice….name it he has worked with them.

When discussing his songs where can one begin…what makes his songs tick? Could it be his remarkable penship? I’m not exactly a mushy mushy kinda guy but I’m the kinda guy who loves singing along and there is nothing as delicious as singing along to super lyrics. I think what does it most for me are his lyrics…then the instrumentation and the overall song. And if you guys have never noticed he does some mean Back-up vocals...and once you train your ear to identify his voice, then you will truly know a Babyface song.

Now I shall not go into all his works, I shall select but a few of his works that happen to be the best of the best from the best.

Babyface: Without a doubt Seven Seas and When will I see you again are his best songs-let’s not get started with that guitar... Best albums For the Cool in You followed too closely by The Day as well. When u have songs like Rockbottom/Never Keeping Secrets/For the Cool in You/When you body gets weak ft Boyz II Men/The Day/Every time I close my eyes…

If you don’t know the lyrics to his songs you better ask somebody! Trust me get a song like Rockbottom and see how he works a simple story in the lyrics…in fact Simple Days uses the simplest technique in story telling and trust me that’s all a good song requires…and they call R.Kelly a writer he who rhymes like a nursery school child. Surely can you compete with songs like Whip Appeal? Loneliness?

Whitney Houston: Most of his work with her has been in collaboration with L.A Reid and Darryl Simmons, but, I’m your Baby Tonight is down right funky. But Shoop Shoop is her best song to date-solely written and produced by none other than him. Did u know Shoop Shoop came about when he run out of words? He also worked with her in the Preacher’s Wife Soundtrack…and co wrote Miracle.

Madonna: Breathtaking. Auuuuui! Take a Bow…ever heard the back up vocals on that song…mmm! mmm! mmm! It was definitely Madonna ft Babyface. Now those two should work together!

T.L.C: Baby Baby Baby! Red Light Special! Diggin’ on you! Hands Up (u had hoochies everywhere, all on you, it’s like I almost didn’t know u, trying to shake that ass, player, you don’t even dance sup wit u…)

Boyz II Men: I’ll make love to you! Waters run Dry! Mama! Just Hold On and Never from Evolution Album. And their best song ever End of the Road which was a collaboration with L.A Reid. Note End of the Road spent 13 weeks #1 while I’ll make love to you spend 14 weeks. I think his best work has been with Boyz II Men…even with the lesser and later Colors of Love
Let me repeat this Just Hold On( i swear that everything will be alright i know that your nervous baby give it some time things will go your way) does justice to Babyface and Boyz II Men.

Tevin Campbell: Always in my heart is my all time favorite of his…and I’m readyCan we talkCould you learn to love. Need I delve deeper?

Jon B: Someone to love, Pretty Girl

Toni Braxton: Another sad love song( come the stringsthen somebody sings only takes one note and then it starts killing me darlin) Breathe Again, You are making me high her best songs. Breathe Again is my all time favorite of Toni! She who is the first lady of LaFace had been quoted saying that so long as she is releasing albums there will always be a BabyFace song! Without a doubt Secrets and Toni Braxton were the bomb cause of his influence.

Mariah Carey: Melt Away, can make you melt away! Ngai fafa! If you have that single whip it out and listen to it full volume as you crouch in a corner pensively reminiscing.( You come to me with a casual flow, and suddenly my defenses start to go, when you talk to me in that sensual tone, it envelopes me and I lose my self control, and baby I just melt away, fall like rain...) Give me a moment to recompose myself! Also I’ll never forget you- the way their voices play with each other is like heaven packaged on a CD. Harmonising, synchronising, pure vocal unison! Even their duet “Every time I close my eyes
(Note: my all time favorite Mariah is Love takes time followed by Melt Away then… Can’t Let Go…then all the rest)

Usher: The soul shaking ballad BedTime with Shanice( craving your body all throught the night feels like am goin thru withdrawals...whenever am near you my love just comes down) And Slow Jam with Monica.

Az Yet: their whole first album was pure influence. From Saved for someone else, I don't wanna be lonely

Dru Hill: we’re not making love no more

Vanessa Williams: she has never been taken seriously as an artist. Her Sweetest days Album had some serious Babyface work and i believe is her best work to day.

Bobby Brown: Where would he be without the LaFace team; Good enough. Tender Roni…and we all remember Don’t be Cruel and Every Little Step

Johnny Gill: Let’s get the mood right-you can hear Babyface right there in the background. And definitely don’t you agree lyrics to My My My are a force to reckon with?

Faith Evans: My all time favorite song is “Never gonna let you go” reminds me of a very trying time during my first year exams.

After7: Till you do me right and I only think of you on Two Occasions that’s day and night.

Milestone: I care about you

Karen White: We all remember “early in the morning I put your breakfast on your table” “secret rendezvous” “Can I stay with you

At the end of the day one can’t describe BABYFACE songs…learn to pick them out, listen and sing along. Take e.g All the things I should have known by KCi and Jojo and hear him in the background…damn right that’s Babyface! Ever realise he was in by Luther, you can hear him in thebackground, co-written with Jon B and Luther. Versatile enough to pen Knocked out by Paula Abdul. Have I Never by A few Good Men....all BABYFACE!


Anonymous I love Nick said...

Babyface, you know I am your number one fan right - pick me, pick me - lol - just peeing on the post

11/30/2005 9:51 PM  
Anonymous Ok- That anon was me said...

..... I need to read the post right?

11/30/2005 9:52 PM  
Blogger nick said...

as ACO would say "I only want comments of substance" yup guessy boo read and return

11/30/2005 9:55 PM  
Blogger Farmgal said...

You sure know your music!
Lol at babyface the one in music and ....hotter than tea straight from a sufuria in the kiosk outside you workplace!!!

Now I feel all mushy let me search the net and listen to afew of his tracks. Yenyewe babyface is the 'mother'

11/30/2005 10:12 PM  
Blogger akiey said...

You know you got that right on the money Nick! One can never go worong or get bored with a Babyface produced,written, arranged, backed-up, instrumentalised and/or sang track.
To me he is to R&B what Andre Young (Dr. Dre)or DJ Premier are to Rap/HipHop.
With his growing body of work he is fast fitting to be the Quincy Jones of our generation.
More power to him for he's given us music to dance to, rave to, sing to in the shower, listen to b4 blacking out at night, wake up to..and even make babies with (I need to listen more though, LOL!), hit the dance floor, fall in love to, out of love, everything under the night starry skies, that's Babyface to me.

11/30/2005 11:06 PM  
Blogger Poi said...

This is interesting GichBoy too lovely music knowledge my guy :)

Happy Week!

11/30/2005 11:34 PM  
Anonymous Tee J said...

Seven Seas, Simple days are one of my all time favourites of his. I did not know he was involved with 'early in the morning I put breakfast on ur table' that song, that song damn till this day if I hear it, it just...iuno. and secret rendezvous didn't know that was him but why am I not surprised. Everything he was involved with just rocked. Loved loved Az Yet.

If you think about it, when we used to andika songs in exercise books, I've just realised he had something to do with close to 90% of those songs. Damn!

Have you noticed most his songs bring back memories of a certain point in your life? Some sad moments, happy moments, lonely moments, when you were totally sprung moments, that person that u had a major crush on in primo but couldn't say shit moments...damn this dude was good. Whatever happened to him?

12/01/2005 12:37 AM  
Anonymous acolyte said...

@ Nick
You forgot to put in the trademark sign!:D Nice post btw seems you have really taken your time to analyse the jamaas sounds.As you know from one of my latest posts ( shameless blog promotion ) I am more of an alternative fan but this guys sounds are still tight!

12/01/2005 1:34 AM  
Blogger spicebear said...

... be still my beating heart ... sigh. some of the songs babyface has written, sang and/or produced are classics. i'm off to listen to some of them and make my evening. and dude, you really know your baby face!

12/01/2005 1:49 AM  
Blogger KymmBr. said...


......the kid who lives on the block nxt to mine??

I digress.....

12/01/2005 6:18 AM  
Blogger nick said...

@Fgal:search away and sing along jaribu melt away and take a bow u cant go wrong!
@Akiey: i could delete your comment and add ur contribution in my post ha ha ha...u got it as well!
@poi:his writing tsyle is the mother am sure as a ppoet u understand
@TeeJ:songs are like smells they evoke certain memories of specific times and when u listen it all comes back and u experience the moment like it was yesterday...oh yeah before Karen White went with akina Jimmy Jam...akina LaFace made her!
@Aco:from one self promoter to the other mi blog is su blog
@Spice:oh yeah..he has produced so many classics yet remains an unsung hero
@kymmbr:cheeky one...glad to see u are still around...when are we doin a collabo a la LaFace????

12/01/2005 6:29 AM  
Blogger mutumia said...

ahhhh... for me Baby Face song(s) have the ability to take me to a certain time and place. Ahhhh 'Rockbottom'! uuuhhh 'Never Keeping Secrets'.

Good post Daktari!

Agreeing w/ you that the Boyz2Men collabo was the tightest! And while it didn't get a mention- I love his Des'ree collabo when they did "Fire" in an un-pulugged-ish way- Tight!!!

12/01/2005 6:53 AM  
Anonymous m said...

That waiting to exhale soundtrack i think is one of the best albums ever made. Ubaya was akina KBC played those ngomas as if they got commissions every time.

As for Babyface himself i've never really felt the ngomas he did himself, except maybe 7 seas.

12/01/2005 10:06 AM  
Blogger Wangari said...

whip appeal - man that song was major!! the songs he did for others were better than the ones he kept for himself i think though.. but he is a class act. nice post nick.
has anyone listened to his new album "grown and sexy"? it got rubbish reviews here..

12/01/2005 12:02 PM  
Blogger Prousette said...

For a few mins I thought you were writing about your own self. you have it right on track the songs he has done I can relate to any time of the day and year BTW and the mushy type so there's always a tear lurking in the background....

12/01/2005 1:01 PM  
Anonymous Guess said...

*sob* I had written a really long comment, but my computer in its wisdom ate all that, and didnt even leave any crumbs hanging around *sob*

Back to Babyface - Nick you practically touched on around 50% of the music I have in my collection.. that man has a Midas touch when it comes to writing and producing hits - and I agree even though he has got a distinctive sound when he sings himself, he does a much better job when writing for other people I think - or in collabos.

I am not sure I can add alot more than what you and everyone else has said (I had, but the damn computer ate it) but you made me dig out The Day cd and listen to it..

12/01/2005 3:25 PM  
Blogger nick said...

@mutumia:am tellin that fire song is the bomb...we're romeo and juliet samson and delilah
@M:ha ha ha by the way i had dubbed the entire album off from kbc back in the day around 96...enyewe his work is better when its for others as compared to for himself
@wangari: i love grown and sexy kwanza "She"tho he divorced now and "drama love and lationships" but that keep on whippin on me song
@Prousette:if only i was writing bout myself..tsk squared
@guess:true his does better working for others...i dedicate 7seas for u and when ur body gets weak...esp after comp has fed on ur comment

12/01/2005 6:16 PM  
Blogger akiey said...

If this is Nick's thesis titled "The Impact of Genius Contemporary R&B Producers on Modern Music and Black Culture", then I gladly say...
"Go ahead Nick, delete my comment & insert it in your impresively researched (from years of being a true & loyal Babyface fan...and namesake) and written blogthesis."
-You pass with flying colours bro #3!

Pssst!: How come the "I love Nick" (1st comment) was lengwad in the replies?

12/02/2005 9:12 AM  
Blogger gishungwa said...

that was a great review touched my heart to the core.
thanks off to listenn to babyface.

12/02/2005 11:41 AM  
Anonymous maitha said...

excellent review , though you never mentioned his work with new edition damian dame and the whispers
nonetheless this earns you a free babyface MTV unplugged DVD.

12/03/2005 9:23 AM  
Blogger Medusa said...

Nicholas, that was simply fantastic..I couldn't possibly add anything..oh, have you heard the Babyface/Gwenyth Paltrow(yes, the actress!) collabo..a remake of "Just my Imaginaton..running away with me?" love it, love it loveit..

12/03/2005 11:53 PM  
Blogger nick said...

@akiey:woiye she wasnt lengwad just check u know she is one u dont lenga
@gishungwa:yeah crank up any of his music and enjoy
@maitha:didnt know bout damian for NE thot it was only Gill and Brown am googling as we speak...and u do know the way to my heart is thru tv...then add the word free...
@medusa:yeah i have heard that version the first time i thot the mp3 was mistaken...lovely lovely lovely

12/04/2005 10:10 AM  
Blogger Milonare said...

Hey loonie bro homie

Babyface sure does rock - "breathe again" "rock bottom" and "till you do me right" are just... just... just... aki pass my the tissues... just superb!!!

His work is fantastic, the man is talented!!!

His bro's voice(Kevin(sp)) though is the one to die for!!!

Lakini you didnt have to go there with R Kelly... You didn't have to go there!!!!!

12/04/2005 10:30 AM  
Blogger kipepeo said...

wow, you could write a whole thesis on babyface with all that!!! 7 seas!!! my all time faaaavorite im going to go and listen to as many babyface songs as i've got me in the baby face mood...sigh!!!

12/05/2005 3:24 PM  
Anonymous Memoire said...

Awww Nick yani you have that soft side eh? Well done sana. I still love Boyz II Men and as for Wanya's voice auuu

As for Mariah, she gets a lot of criticism but that mama can sing and there's a feel-good vibe to her nyimbo. What happened to Toni Braxton? Wapi power ballads Toni?

Btw are you guys in Nai okey? Just heard about the earthquake sides of EAfrica and the tremors in Nbi.

12/05/2005 8:51 PM  
Blogger sandman said...

Babyface has saidiad me in more ways than I can tell.

12/07/2005 12:15 AM  
Blogger Magaidi said...

Had a chance to see the man in action together with Jagged Edge and Ginuwine - missed it but I'd kill to have been there.

Nick don't forget also among his many talents, he's also an executive producer for Soul Food the TV series. Unbelievable - unbelievable he is!

12/08/2005 6:01 PM  
Blogger Shiroh said...

Hey, if only you had sang Baby Face songs, then concubine would have stayed. I am not a keen person at producers but if all those songs are by Baby Face then he is excellent.

12/09/2005 3:04 PM  
Blogger Catman said...

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12/09/2005 5:01 PM  
Blogger s! said...

there you go with your sentimental recap..

here's a tag for you, i think you'll enjot this one!!

12/10/2005 9:36 AM  
Blogger Irena said...

Excellent recap of BABY FACE greatest songs written produced /sang.Too bad I guess he didn't use those sentiments on his songs to his soon to be Ex-Wife... Jus kidding.

12/12/2005 10:00 PM  
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12/13/2005 1:36 PM  
Anonymous kyuk-belle said...

i live in uk,i havent heard babyface 4 ages,when i heard'when men grow old' & started crying coz i used to love the song (the words are amazing)babyface touches places in me no musician does,i thot i was the only one who loved his amazing at the moment i've got 'sorry for the stupid things' on repeat & i can sing all the songs u've mentioned word by word(blame it on yrs of watching channel O' from freezing uk for making me day xxx

12/30/2005 12:48 AM  
Anonymous kyuk-belle said...

forgot to mention babyface and gwyneth paltrow performed a duet 'just my imagination' p'ple say its not the best but i like it..babyface ROCKS xxx

12/30/2005 12:58 AM  

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