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Was BBD Singing About An STD on “Poison”?: a KWC Investigative report


So, last year, friend of the site @Pattric, set twitter ablaze with one of his many truths about a beloved song. Patt surmised that the song “Poison” by New Jack Swing trio, and New Edition spin off BBD was about Chlamydia. Patt is known for uncovering the hidden meanings to songs we all know and love, but this time, I had to do some more digging. What follows is an in depth, investigative report by a nigga with too much time on his hands that may make you uncomfortable…or make you laugh.

At first listen, the song “Poison” seems pretty straight forward. Ricky, Mike and Ronnie all appear to be singing about a woman that has left a mark on them with her charm, beauty, large posterior and her smile. Ricky sings “It’s driving me out of my mind/ That’s why it’s hard for me to find/ Can’t get it out of my head/ Miss her, kiss her, love her (One move you’re dead)/ That girl is poison” on the chorus over a percussive groove that many of our parents danced to in the club and we sang along when it came on in the car, even though we probably shouldn’t have.

But when you take a closer look at the verses, you begin to understand the refrain “Never trust a big butt and a smile.” In the first verse, Ronnie croons “[The] Situation is serious, let’s cure it [because] we’re running out of time.” This is the first clue that there may be more to this mysterious diva than the aforementioned large rear end and pearly white teeth. Practically the entire second verse is the 3 gentlemen warning you to stay away from this woman with Mike starting it off by saying “If I were you I’d take precaution/ Before I step to me a fly girl.” Did this single young lady infect 50% of New Edition with a curable STD in one fell swoop? I decided to peruse more of the group’s catalog to see if I could find more answers.

It didn’t take long to find my next clue. New Edition’s Heartbreak album, released in 1988, and was the pinnacle of the group’s career. It housed a number of chart toppers, but could it contain a clue to the mysterious young lady whose encounter with the group left them scarred? As it turns out, my next clue was found in one of the singles from the album “You’re Not My Kind of Girl” which features Ralph Tresvant singing the praises of a young woman whom any man would be “proud to call his own” but would not date for some unknown, un-sang reason.

Ralph not wanting to date this girl isn’t what tipped me off to it possibly being about the same woman from Poison, it was the breakdown during the bridge where all three members of BBD all question Ralph’s steadfast curving of this woman. Ronnie, even asking his cohorts, Mike and Ricky “Yo, if I had it I know what I’d do with it, but if you had it what would you do?” The same Ronnie DeVoe who admitted during his rap verse in “Poison” that he and the other members of BBD, the two B’s, did, in fact, use to engage in sexual intercourse with the subject of the song.

It’s not surprising Johnny Gill would join Ralph in not wanting a future with the young lady, but why was Ralph so adamant about not dating this woman? It wasn’t her looks, she was very pretty. It wasn’t her style, the way she dressed wasn’t so bad. Hell, it wasn’t even the way she carried herself. So, what was Ralph so turned off by? Did Ralph know that betwixt this young woman’s thighs that an STD lie in wait? And if so, why not warn his fellow bandmates?

The final piece to the puzzle comes from BBD’s most recent album Three Stripes, released shortly after the completion of the New Edition biopic on BET. The lead single “Run” samples the classic Notorious BIG hit “Hypnotize” and features BBD flipping many of the lines to form a pretty good record. The revelation comes from the back and forth rap verse from Mike and Ronnie where Ronnie raps “I’m on stage having fun with the boys and/ No Thots, I learned my lesson from Poison.” Was this Ronnie admitting to catching something from the aforementioned carrier of the poison? Had Ronnie seen Patt’s tweet and sent a subtle acknowledgement that he was correct? The world may never know. But if we learned one thing from the misadventures of these 3, it’s that you never trust a big butt and a smile.

The initial theory for this article was provided by @Pattric on twitter. Go follow him.

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