A Classic Revisited: “If It Isn’t Love” by New Edition

I had a slight debate with someone as to whether or not “If It Isn’t Love” by New Edition belonged on the list. My exact response to them was, “How could it not be?!” Not only do folks know the words, they know the video choreography! When this song comes on and that chorus hits, you get in formation, the left hand is stationed at the hip and that right arm better get to waving back and forth.

This classic is catchy AF. It’s the song you hear once in the morning and is stuck in your head ALL day, but in a good way. I say that because if you listen to this song, 9 out of 10 times, it will lead you down the New Edition rabbit hole and next thing you know, you’re singing “Candy Girl” and “Can You Stand The Rain” at the top of your lungs too.

“If It Isn’t Love” also has one of the best call and response verses ever. When Ralph Tresvant comes in singing, “Maybe she’ll take me baaaaaack…” you are contractually bound, as a Black Person, to recite that entire back and forth right up until the “You love her, what?!

You gotta make sure you say the “what?!” like you mean it!

I mean, Beyonce credited “If It Isn’t Love” as the inspiration for her “Love On Top” video. The Queen Bey co-signed their genius herself! If that ain’t enough to make you learn ALL the words to this party starter, (even though you should know them already…) I don’t know what is. So put some respect on Ralph, Ronnie, Johnny, Ricky, Mike (and Bobby’s) names. They’ve been in the game for almost 40 years! They deserve it.

Cool it now…

Released in 1988, “If It Isn’t Love” features the the regular New Edition, but Bobby Brown.  Written and produced by Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, the song is featured on the group’s fifth album, Heart Break.


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Nicole Brito

The Stingy Stylist Lover of all things COLORFUL, COMFY, and COST EFFECTIVE.

Nicole Brito has 27 posts and counting. See all posts by Nicole Brito


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