If your childhood was as blessed as mine, when you were younger and “Before I Let Go” by Maze featuring Frankie Beverly came on at the cookout, you would automatically roll your eyes. Instantly, you knew all your Aunties and Uncles, Mom and Dad and pretty much anyone over the age of 40 was about to get up and show out. They would not only dance, but you’d also be hit with the barrage of “What you know bout this right here?!” Funny thing is, because you heard it so many times in your youth, you know EXACTLY “what that is right here” in your adulthood!
It honestly makes me sad that I didn’t appreciate this masterpiece the way I should have back then, but then again, it was also released the year I was born. So, me just coming into existence when it was in it’s prime, combined with the fact that my parents liked it when I got older! I wasn’t checking for it. Oh, to be young and naive.
Frankie Beverly looks like the guy you’d pass on the beach, sitting on the park bench with his radio playing, feeding the birds, minding his business and living his best life. His ever present baseball cap, and super laid back vibe would never have you thinking he was a cultural icon if you were to pass him in the street.
You know I can’t wrap this up without discussing the best part of the song. You know it: The part where the DJ always drops the beat and let’s the crowd take over, “Before I Let you gooooooooo oooh, oh ooo ohhh…..” a close second is when he hits us with the “I would never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never let you go before I go…” When those two parts happen! It’s the “U.N.I.T.Y” Queen Latifah was talking about, and I’m here for it every single time.
Written and produced by Frankie Beverly, “Before I Let Go” was released in 1981 off the group’s fifth album, Live In New Orleans. The song is obviously a studio recording though.
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