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Some of you people sound like haters
on December 23, 2001
Either you all weren't listening to and buying music in the early 1990s or are jumping on the Bell Biv DeVoe/New Edition-bashing bandwagon, but "Poison!" was one of the best soul albums of that decade. "Poison!" was the predecessor of what is heard in soul music today -- the influence of the hip-hop culture, sexist and doggish slang and cutting-edge, slap 'n' swing beats.
The album produced five Top Five soul hits -- the title track, "Do Me!," "BBD (I Thought It Was Me)?," "When Can I See You Smile Again?" and "She's Dope!" -- and sold some 4 million copies, so you can't say it wasn't successful. Moreover, the album bridged the formerly distinct worlds of soul and rap; hip-hop's acceptance into mainstream soul music was easily sped up thanks to "Poison!"
The success of "Poison!" also made the New Edition umbrella a supergroup -- in early 1990, no one thought former N.E. members Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins and Ronnie DeVoe could be successful without headliners Ralph Tresvant and Johnny Gill, yet BBD was more successful than Tresvant and Gill as solo acts. To this day, New Edition is still the only act in which all of its members garnered platinum albums as solo acts.
And another sign of success is imitation: TLC was created as a female version of BBD (which it still is), and the "Poison!" album allowed Bivins to parlay that success into a record label (Biv 10) and discover, among other acts, Boyz II Men -- yet another New Edition clone.
The album also got rave reviews when it was released (including even from Rolling Stone magazine). When you add it up, "Poison!" dropped a gigantic bomb on the popular soul music landscape.