Lost but not least! Chico DeBarge f/ Def Squad – Soopaman Lover (Kedar/Motown)
I know… As strange as it might seem, I regularly came to discover things that had nothing to do with House Music during the Winter Music Conference in Miami, FL. Most likely I suppose, because I always kept an ear open around. Be it Soul or Jazz as R&B or Hip-Hop. This while watching BET Stateside which got me stumblin’ upon gems such as Dru Hill‘s ‘Sleeping In My Bed’. But also Chico DeBarge‘s ‘Soopaman Lover’ for instance. Then with the absolute necessity to grab a copy of these cuts at the record shop next door as soon as possible.
A die hard fan of Johnny Guitar Watson, it didn’t take that long to make the connection with his infectious ‘Superman Lover’. Eventually thinkin’ this ‘Soopaman Lover’ thing featuring Rappers Erick Sermon and Redman around Chico Debarge was a pretty damn hot interpolation. As so is the video clip they managed to come with.
‘Soopaman Lover’ sounds like the perfect meeting between soulful and street vibes. Thus bringin’ the whole to another dimension.
A native of Grand Rapids, MI, Chico DeBarge belongs to one of the most famous families of artists in the history of contemporary music. Like his siblings, he came to sign a record deal with Motown in the mid-80’s. Delivering his self-titled debut-album in 1986. And eventually makin’ some waves with the firing ‘Talk To Me’. This in a vein reminding of Janet Jackson‘s ‘What Have You Done For Me Lately’. Then releasing a second album – ‘Kiss Serious’ – the year after out of which came ‘I’ve Been Watching You’ produced by Brownmark.
He probably didn’t know back then it would take him some 10 years to give it a follow up. And this after serving time in prison for drug traffic.
Chico DeBarge came back right on time to add his voice to the then ongoing Neo-Soul movement. Returning to Motown, then under the direction of Kedar Massemburg, his aptly titled ‘Long Time No See’ album spanned the monumental ‘Iggin’ Me’. But also got him duetting with Joe on ‘No Guarantee’.
A non-album single – ‘Soopaman Lover’ – seeing him sharing the bill with Erick Sermon and Redman the year after. Thus brilliantly interpolating Johnny Guitar Watson‘s classic ‘Superman Lover’.
‘The Game’, his fourth album, came to light by the end of 1999. It spanned ‘Give You What You Want (Fa Sure)’ which stands among his biggest successes in the charts. Meanwhile ‘Listen To Your Man’ saw him reuniting with Joe. This before duetting with Monifah the year after on ‘Nana’ from her 2000 ‘Home’ album.
2003 saw him delivering his fifth effort – ‘Free’ – on Koch Records. This before returning 6 years later to Kedar Entertainment with ‘Addiction’, his last effort to date. Itself so to say recapturing the multiple problems Chico DeBarge went thru because of his addiction to drugs. A disease which sadly affected the majority of the members of the DeBarge family. This, more or less, further to the misbehavior of their dad, Robert DeBarge, Sr.. A man described by his former wife as physically and emotionally abusive to her and the children…
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