Wednesday, February 23, 2022

"Roni" by Bobby Brown

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  3761
Date:  01/07/1989
Debut:  92
Peak:  3
Weeks:  17
Genre:  R&B

Pop Bits:  Brown's second single from his LP Don't Be Cruel, "My Prerogative," would become his first and only to reach #1 on the Pop chart. The song would be a gold seller that also topped the R&B chart. To follow up that major success, this next track was selected for release. It would become another hit for Brown reaching #2 R&B and #3 Pop. The single's success would help drive the album to #1 on the Pop chart where it would remain for six non-consecutive weeks. By May, the LP would reach the 4x platinum sales mark.

ReduxReview:  This slick jam written by Babyface and Darnell Bristol was a good follow up to his previous two new jack hits including the slammin' "My Prerogative." The tune's silky mid-temp groove kept it from being a true ballad and that was a good thing. It was able to show a different side of Brown without deviating too much from the crossover potential he, L.A. Reid, and Babyface were going for. It was during the chart run of this song that the LP finally made it to #1 at Pop, so the single certainly did its job.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  The "Roni" in Brown's song could be interpreted as a name, but is more commonly know as being short for "tenderoni," a slang term for a sweet young girl - usually someone that's a bit too young or immature to get involved with. While it seems no one really knows how tenderoni came to have this meaning, the original origin of the word comes from a food product. Tenderoni was a quick-cooking macaroni product put out by the Van Camp company starting in the 1930s. The strands of thin, hollow pasta were known for being very tender when cooked and not as starchy as a regular pasta like spaghetti. Somehow this fast cooking tender pasta got equated to a young female (or male as well) sometime in the 70s. Its first use in a song seems to have been in the 1975 O'Jays track "She's Only a Woman" from their album Family Reunion. Near the end of the song, the vocalist ad libs "just a tenderoni" when describing the woman in the lyrics. The track was not released as a single. Then in 1976, Eddie Kendricks recorded the song "Sweet Tenderoni" for his LP Goin' Up in Smoke. It was not released as a single. In 1982, the word popped up in Michael Jackson's #10 Pop hit "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)." Soul singer Leon Haywood's final charting single at R&B was the 1984 #22 "Tenderoni," which he wrote. Two years later, R&B singer O'Bryan recorded a different "Tenderoni" for his album Surrender. The song would get to #35 R&B. But then the term got a major boost when Bobby Brown's "Roni" became a crossover hit.


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