New Edition: Despite issues, group was still centered around family

Family is a strong word, they fight, argue and it may even get to a point where they won’t speak for an extended period of time but in the end, you’re still family. I watched New Edition as I was growing up, studied their music, dance moves, and their solo careers and often wondered how. How they REALLY came to be, became huge, broke up and managed to find their way back to one another?

During the week, BET put on a three-night movie event that no Hollywood producer or A-list actor could have pulled off. Not to take anything away from anyone but it wasn’t their story to tell. This was not a rags-to-riches Disney movie, it was a movie about three friends that became four, then five and eventually six. 


And all they did was change music forever.

The Jackson’s were brothers, they had no choice but to become one, but what New Edition was able to do will never be duplicated again. We’re talking about kids that started out as 11-year-olds freezing on stage at neighborhood Talent Shows only to decide it needed to be done as a unit. Kids, taking destiny into their own hands and getting a manager, learning how to dance and trying to figure out a way to get their family out of the projects.

It started with a dream and became a reality but for Ronnie DeVoe, Ricky Bell, Ralph Tresvant, Micheal Bivins, Bobby Brown and later, Johnny Gill it was learning how to become men while still being boys. They played, enjoyed women and fought. I mean they fought but they fought the way that only brothers could. See, when outsiders that have no real connection to their music try to describe New Edition, they tend to lump them together as six friends that became a group.

That’s where you’re wrong.

Elementary School to High School is friends, 11 years to 50 years is FAMILY. On the road, in the studio, same apartment, deaths, birth of kids, those are the experiences that you bond over. These young men went through it all together. They experienced the highs as a group and the lows as a group. They fought each other but they also fought for one another. 

As a fan, after watching this movie-mini-series I will never look at them the same or appreciate their music like I once did. Everything changed for me. I’m 41 years-old now and I just fell back in love with their music all over again. To see their story told to their fans gave me an understanding of what these six brothers went through in the music industry. And the fact that they’re still doing this TOGETHER is remarkable despite what we saw during the film.

The differences will always be there until they die, but that love they have for one another was enough to help them overcome what would have and did break up many groups and friendships. All it took was an apology. That’s how you solve family issues.

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1 comment

  1. G 27 January, 2017 at 20:23

    Well written. I agree this mini series energized my love for this group. And as a fellow Bostonian watching their story, brought back memories reinforced the need for friendship/family.

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