Raise your hand if you’ve been rocking with Faith Evans for the past two decades. I mean, throw your hands in the air and wave them vociferously if you find yourself mimicking her runs and ad libs in her songs and remember her stints as background singer for Mary J. Blige, Usher, and Talib Kweli where she often nearly outshone the primary artists on their own tracks. Put up a Hi sign if you recall her dope duets with Whitney Houston, or Carl Thomas, and the time she ripped the stage covering J. Cole’s “Be Free” that one year at Black Girls Rock!
OK, you can put your hands down now. And then acknowledge how, hands down, Faith Evans is one of the most accomplished singer/songwriters of her generation. Between writing songs for Kelly Price and MJB, writing songs for Salt n Pepa, Case, and Soul For Real, and composing a large portion of Bad Boy’s catalog (Total, 112, Carl Thomas, Diddy), Evans has solidified herself as a music making legend. Sure, she’ll live in infamy for being the wife of Christopher Wallace and for being at the center of a ridiculous beef between Wallace aka Biggie and Tupac Shakur. But she’ll also always be remembered for giving us the anthems “I Love You,” “Soon As I Get Home” and “Never Gonna Let You Go” and the party mainstays “Love Like This,” “You Used to Love Me” and “All Night Long.” Listen… get you someone that can do both. Because she can. And continuously did for almost twenty years.
And notice how we haven’t touched on her voice. The beauty. The power. The texture. The tone. The growl. Goodness. And with so many from her era suddenly coming up lame at live shows from not caring for their instrument, Evans deserves our ultimate respect for ensuring she sounds as pristine now as she did back then.
Lawd, you gotta love it.
It’s time for us to praise Faith for everything she’s accomplished musically so there’s no need to bring up her time on reality television. She’d probably claim it and look back on it as an experience, but… nah. Let’s stick with what’s made her an icon living. Let’s celebrate her wins. Her gold records. Her platinum hits. Her spot in the history books.
Let’s take a break and look back on the discography of Lakeland, Florida’s greatest creation, the first lady of Bad Boy Records, the artist known as Faith Renee Evans.