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Who knew that this verse "Woke up sunday morning, gotta a little bad news today, they say my life is not worth living. and time is slowly ticking away, don't think that I am going crazy, cause thoughts be running through my head, I know I gotta be strong, gotta hold on, sometimes i'd rather give up instead, seems like i'm off dead". These lyrics are from the song "Blackberry Molasses" from the debut album of R&B group Mista and this song was made in 1996 and 20 years later it fits in the times that we are currently going through.
In the era of Police shootings of unarmed black men, women and children, we have the Black lives matters movement happening and racial tension on the rise. When I go on my daily commute to work and home I have been playing this album a lot lately.
On July 30th 1996 Alanta quartet Mista which consisted of Bobby Wilson aka Bobby Valentino, Darryl Allen, Brandon Brown and Byron Reeder. Released what I feel was a very underrated album, it wasn't just an album of teenage love songs or heart break. It had a very conscious tone to it, take the songs "Crossroads" the chrous "Mama please come put your arms around, where I am standing life so cold, come and take me on this peaceful journey, before i'm gone." My interpretation of this song has always been in my mind about being a young black male who is trying to get away from the street and needs mama to come and save him before its too late.
"Tears, Scars and Lies" also has and interesting chrous "I cannot forget all the heartaches you put me through
When I am constantly reminded by the things that you do, I just can't let go of the pain and the hurt inside, When I wear the scars from all the times that you've lie. Some could take and jaded love song or as I hear it a song about how growing in a world that can be so cruel. I'm trapped in a world where nobody knows my name,
Opinions flying everywhere driving me insane.
At the time this is a group of 13 and 14 year singing about things beyond their age range, they reflected on the pains of being boys becoming men. Take the song; What About Us as the chorus goes "What about us?, Without you when it's time to rise, How are we suppose to know what to do? Sentiments of a young man growing up with out his father being there.
Of course they didnt forget about the ladies, with songs like, "Fresh, Groove,Things You Do, I think I should be, If My Baby, Lady, ? Heart Is and I'll Sweat You". These songs was fun and fresh and typical puppy love at it's best but rounded out the serious themes through out the rest of the album.
This was the only album from the group Mista, however lead vocalist Bobby Valentino went on to have a solo career, not quite sure what happen to rest of the fellas in the group. This was a solid project from a group of teenage boys from Atlanta GA. When I heard this project back in 1996, I didnt expect for some of the songs to resonate twenty years later.
Still worth Checking out.......
You Tube - Mista Black Berry Molasses