Mint Condition

If you follow me on Twitter, or have known me for any length of time, then you know that I LOVE the R & B band Mint Condition. Absolutely love them. I appreciate their musicianship and real music, and nobody can sang like Stokely.

I just can’t with some of this music out here today. It’s too much. Between the auto tune and the stuff that attempts to pass for hip hop/R & B/pop, I find myself relying more on older music. My Sirius/XM radio makes the rounds between Heart & Soul, The Groove, 70s on 70, and 80s on 8. I know I’m paying for many more channels and should probably make use of them…but these are programmed into my favorites.

Back to Mint Condition. I’m sure most R & B fans are familiar with their first hit, “Breakin’ My Heart” (Pretty Brown Eyes). Like everyone else, I loved that song, but it wasn’t enough to make me buy their first CD or give them much of a second thought. I wasn’t as in to music back then, either.

1993 marked my freshman year of college. That year, they came out with the From The Mint Factory CD. I fell IN LOVE with “U Send Me Swingin'”! That song sent me swinging! I would play it over and over because I went out and bought the cassette single. Yes, I said cassette single. It was 1993…cut me some slack! But still, I did not purchase the whole album.

I heard their music on the radio in the coming years, and while I definitely dug the singles they released (What Kind of Man Would I Be, You Don’t Have To Hurt No More), I still was not inclined to purchase any CDs.

Fast forward to 1999 and this CD:

(Stokely looks straight militant! LOL! Probably pissed with the record label for the total lack of promotion of this gem.)

Specifically track 7: “Is This Pain Our Pleasure.” I heard is on the radio and the beat, the words, Stokely’s voice…I ran IMMEDIATELY to Media Play (lawd, I’m old) and snatched it up. And basically listened to that song and “If You Love Me.” That as pretty much it, until I got my part time job.

I decided I wanted to pay off a few bills, so I got a part time job doing data entry. For 4+ hours I would enter in data on applications for 2nd and 3rd mortgages. BORRRRRRRRRING! They told us we could listen to CDs at our desks if we wanted to. This was before MP3 players, thank you very much!

One night, I brought in Life’s Aquarium and popped it in, not thinking much of it. I was just going to let it play while I typed.

I fell in love with that CD.

To borrow a phrase from MMH, who knew! IMHO, there is not one bad song on that CD. Not one. I can listen from start to finish. They have a song on there with Charlie Wilson, called “Pretty Lady.” Seriously? Who was doing songs with Charlie Wilson back then? Nobody! And at some point during my wedding, “This Day, This Minute, Right Now” WILL be played. That is an NDI (non-debatable issue – you can thank HH for that gem). LOL!

This band was just smart. Period. And they were more than just an R & B band. I found that out when I left the CD in and, after a long pause, the three bonus tracks kicked in. These dudes can play pretty much anything. And they actually play the instruments. I know that’s getting to be a foreign concept nowadays. Stokely, in addition to his velvet voice, can play the drums and the guitar. And probably some let ish I don’t even know about.

I was all ready for my next hit of Mint. And then the six year drought ensued.


Life’s Aquarium didn’t get much hype, and the guys were dissatisfied with their record company. They parted ways…and I ran my Life’s Aquarium CD into the ground, waiting for something new.

And then in 2005, they hit us with this:


Manna for heaven! They had their own label. Music was back! Before the CD was released,they advised that the first 100,000 copies would have a bonus DVD of them performing live. So, you know the kid was at Circuit City on that day, right?

Up until this point, I had never seen them live. I had NO IDEA what I was missing. Then I popped in that DVD.

And the rest, my friends, is history! It is impossible to see this band live and not love them. Matter of fact, if you haven’t seen them live, you are just missing out. Stokely drum solo? Check. Odell rolling around on the stage with the guitar? Check. Closing the show with an updated version of “Breakin’ My Heart?” Check.

After that, I made it my mission to see them live whenever they came to Charlotte. In 2008, my friend Stephanie got me the hook up (RIP, Moe) with their limo driver for their concert, and he got me their autographs. Winning, right?

And then THIS HERE HAPPENED at the Capital Jazz Fest in 2010:


Let the record show that Stokely is touching my shoulder, peeps! *twirls and faints*

*fans self*

Whew. OK. So yeah. I loves me some Mint Condition. And talking bad about them in front of me is like saying somethin’ bad about Miss Jenkins!

“Don’t nobody, and I mean nobody, say nuthin’ bad about Miss Jenkins! Or Mint Condition!”

So don’t do it. LOL!

And that’s my story.


18 thoughts on “Mint Condition

  1. Lol at Media Play! I forgot all about that.
    I like MC too but I dont have any of their albums. I may try the first on since I am a 90’s music junkie.

  2. I didn’t really pay attention to Mint Condition until I ‘met’ you. I became a fan when I saw them live. I really need to go back and listen to them. Starting with the albums you mentioned here.

    • I hear a lot of people say that “Definition of a Band” (that’s the one with “What Kind of Man Would I Be”) is their best one…I guess it depends on which kind of songs you like. eLife is probably my least fav, but it had some bright spots.

  3. This made me howl! Mrs. Jenkins? Really? LOLOL

    I dont think I have ever met a bigger MC stan! I’ve never had the pleasure of seeing them live but I LOVE LOVE LOVE a good live band! Adds to list of must see bands!

    • You would love them. So underrated and under appreciated. Catch them if they come to your area. They don’t do all the popular hits at their concerts, so if you’re not familiar with their music, some songs you won’t recognize…but they always close with “Breakin’ My Heart. 🙂

    • I’m not sure why we’re “random?” We’re no different than fans of any other band, except the fact that this band is not in the popular mainstream. They make good music and we appreciate the Minneapolis Sound. 🙂

  4. ROTFLMAO I am a MC Stan but you have me BEAT!!! I always bought the cd *well remember that BMG thing? yeah that* LOL and that is why my collection is so extensive!!!! I listened to the songs I liked but it wasn’t until I was older and would go back to music did I actually pay attention and vibe out..

    It’s ok to be the STAN you are!!! 🙂 I’m that way with Maxwell..

  5. Fellow MC Stan right here ! ***jumping up & down****They are soooo slept on for sure. But their true fans are so very loyal. I have turned on a few of my friends just by being trapped in my car for a few hours on a road trip. LOL Yes I have seen them live several times. Have even traveled over night to a neighboring state to see them. It is so hard for me to narrow down the CD’s because they have evolved so much & I appreciate their growth. I think “Definition of a Band” is probably by favorite, the instrumentation is just sick ! But the E-Life is great with some collaborations that I really like. I could go on and on but I don’t want to blog in your comments, but I am very excited to find someone who appreciates this group the way that I do ! Love the picture 🙂

    • Whoo hooooo! *high five* You know, I was listening to eLife in the car yesterday. There are a few tracks that I dig. As soon as I bought it back in 08, I loved “Somethin'” and “Nothing Left to Say.” I also like “Right Here” and “Back and Forth.” If I had to rank, I’d say Life’s Aquarium, Luxury Brown, Definition Of A Band, and then eLife.

      Glad to “meet” a fellow Stan! 🙂

  6. Remember the year I got you Stokley for Christmas? I knew you would enjoy that one! LOL Would you believe Living the Luxury Brown was my 1st cd of thiers….shame on me!

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