Grade A Certified

TGIF “Thank GOD I Can Flashback”: Tevin Campbell

Posted by T. Adeyemi on July 3, 2009

In writing my assessment of the BET Awards from last Sunday I realized after the fact that I definitely forgot to name a few people. Especially, someone who was part of arguably the best segment of the show. A name that is very familiar to me since I have a friend who resembles him (according to a certain group of 17 young scholars) I could not allow the unexpected appearance of one of my childhood favorites go unrecognized. I can still remember being hormone driven and “feeling myself”, I guess my swag back in middle school singing “Can We Talk” on 13 year old girls home answer machines. Believe me, I know I was wild.

“Can We Talk” happens to be one of the songs that solidified Tevin Campbell as one of the select few child prodigies to have made the difficult transition to adult star. The Waxahachie, Texas native first appeared on the scene debuting on the legendary Quincy Jones “Back on the Block” album. The success of the album was credited highly to the first single which featured a 12 year old Campbell on “Tomorrow (A Better You Better Me).” The single eventually rose to the number 1 spot on the Billboard charts, certifying that Campbell was a child star.

Young Tevin’s fan base steadily grew as he matured through puberty. His first single “Round and Round” was written & produced by the symbol also known as Prince. Following the success of his second Top 10 single Campbell propelled the level of his popularity to superstar status with the release of his debut album “T.E.V.I.N.” Campbell’s 1991 debut opened everyone’s eyes to the young R&B vocalist. The album supplied two number 1 hits with “Tell Me What You Want Me To Do” and “Alone With You.” The album easily went platinum, adding another top ten 5 single with “Goodbye.”

As Tevin matured vocally and physically, so too did his music. After the eminence of his first album, his second saw no slip in greatness. 1993’s “I’m Ready” became Campbell’s most adored compilation to date. With four solid singles, non bigger than the pop/R&B single “Can We Talk.” Add in the title song off the album “I’m Ready” and the top 10 hit “Always in My Heart” which both helped Campbell reach double platinum distinction. With Prince’s fingerprints spread all over “I’m Ready” an under aged 16 year old Campbell reached the pinnacle of his success.

Being over 4 times platinum by the age of 22 must have been a gift & a curse for Campbell who essentially grew up in the spotlight like so many other childhood stars. Unfortunately, all of Campbell’s achievements were put into jeopardy on July 8th, 1999 when he was arrested for soliciting what was said to be oral sex from a male undercover police officer. Campbell was arrested as part of a sting operation in Van Nuys, California, an area where numerous complaints had been made near that time about illegal solicitation. Tevin also faced a possession charge when a possible smoking pipe and marijuana residue were found in his car during the arrest. Fortunately, Campbell was able to plead no contest to the solicitation charge and paid a fine plus was ordered to attend Narcotic Anonymous classes.

To think that Tevin is just 32 years old after achieving so much early success as a child is accomplishment enough. It was rumored that Campbell was looking to make a comeback in 2007 and was in the studio with several top producers, however that project must have stalled. Artists that find prosperity prior to becoming of legal age like Chris Brown and Sammie definitely can look towards Campbell as a way to stay relevant while growing up in front of thousands of fans. Campbell joined the cast of the hit Broadway musical “Hairspray” in 2005. While new music from Campbell is uncertain at this point, it seems that his legacy may have already been cemented; all before the age of 21.

Take the Time and Flashback…

“Be Real, Be True, Keep it 100.”

As a Bonus check out Tevin Campbell providing the vocals for Max’s alter ego “Power Line” from “A Goofy Movie” in his impromptu school concert performing “Stand Out.”

Also, here’s a teenage Tevin adding his voice to a compilation of the 90’s best African-American male singing talent as part of the “Jason’s Lyric” soundtrack song, “U Will Know.” The song written by a young D’Angelo reached number 5 on the R&B Charts.

Advertisements

6 Responses to “TGIF “Thank GOD I Can Flashback”: Tevin Campbell”

  1. Taboo said

    Yes, yes, yes! I have loved Tevin Campbell and his music since I was about five years old. So I was elated to see him on the BET Awards last week, however I wasn’t really impressed by his performance. His tired appearance and strained vocals left me disappointed. I suppose in my mind I thought I was going to see Tevin’s sixteen year old self perform, and that was not what I got. So I am glad that you have given me the chance to flashback to see and hear the Tevin Campbell that I once adored. Thanks!

  2. Taboo said

    Yes, yes, yes! I have loved Tevin Campbell and his music since I was about five years old. So I was elated to see him on the BET Awards last week, however I wasn’t really impressed by his performance. His tired appearance and strained vocals left me disappointed. I suppose in my mind I thought I was going to see Tevin’s sixteen year old self perform, and that was not what I got. So I am glad that you have given me the chance to flashback to see and hear the Tevin Campbell that I once adored. Thanks!

  3. Taboo said

    Yes, yes, yes! I have loved Tevin Campbell and his music since I was about five years old. So I was elated to see him on the BET Awards last week, however I wasn’t really impressed by his performance. His tired appearance and strained vocals left me disappointed. I suppose in my mind I thought I was going to see Tevin’s sixteen year old self perform, and that was not what I got. So I am glad that you have given me the chance to flashback to see and hear the Tevin Campbell that I once adored. Thanks

  4. Taboo said

    Yes, yes, yes! I have loved Tevin Campbell and his music since I was about five years old. So I was elated to see him on the BET Awards last week, however I wasn’t really impressed by his performance. His tired appearance and strained vocals left me disappointed. I suppose in my mind I thought I was going to see Tevin’s sixteen year old self perform, and that was not what I got. So I am glad that you have given me the chance to flashback to see and hear the Tevin Campbell that I once adored. Thanks

  5. LMAO @ the subliminal shots. That was CLASSIC.

  6. LMAO @ the subliminal shots. That was CLASSIC.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: