“Blackberry Molasses” by Mista (1996)

Mista came at the tail end of the R&B vocal group era, popping out of Atlanta and scoring a mid-chart hit (#13 R&B) with this song. The young men of Mista hailed from Atlanta, and were the beneficiaries of the Organized Noize production sound. “Blackberry Molasses” had a very similar sound to TLC’s “Waterfalls” (the production team’s biggest hit) and covered similarly dark subject matter. This was a little weird, considering the members of Mista were teenagers. Boy band fare this was definitively not. Pop radio apparently wasn’t ready for another funk-fueled R&B song about societal ills (key line: “feel like I’m better off dead”) even if it resolves itself in sort of positive fashion (summary: you’re going to get shit on in life, get over it and push on through). Too bad, this is primo stuff from the early days of Neo-soul. Mista didn’t get to record a second album, but the lead singer went on to moderate R&B fame as Bobby Valentino (later Bobby V).

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