Exclusive: Ready For The World Is Back & Proudly Discusses What They’ve Been Up To
For many years, there’s been a dire need for REAL R&B to make a comeback and an even greater need for R&B groups to hit the music scene again. True R&B music lovers are fienin’ for that classic R&B sound we had back in the day – when we were sportin’ Jheri curls and beepers, or bell bottoms and ‘fros – depending on which era we came up in.
Thankfully, we’re about to get a dose of those nostalgic memories, with a hint of the new, in the comeback that Ready For The World is about to grace the game with!
Now, before getting into what RFTW’s Willie Triplett and Gerald Valentine EXCLUSIVELY told I LOVE OLD SCHOOL MUSIC, I wanna point out that if their 80’s classics, like “Oh Sheila,” and “Let Me Love You Down,” don’t make you feel somethin,’ then you’re probably comatose on the inside, just sayin.’
I mean, how could you not appreciate hooks like, “Let me love you doooownn/Even if it takes all night/ Let me love you doooownn/ You know it’s gonna be so right?”
Matter of fact, I’m gettin’ flashbacks of the red light bulb house parties and nightclubs, just thinking about it. Okay ILOSM fam, in case y’all haven’t yet noticed, we’re Ready For The World fans ’round here, which is why it was an honor to chop it up with them about what they’ve been up to for the past few decades, their new album, and much more… including what happened with their friendship with former lead singer, Melvin Riley.
They were young at the time – teens to be exact, but were singing about some heavy, romantic stuff. Their music was actually based on their real life:
Willie Triplett: “Some of the songs, like ‘Tonight’ and ‘Slide Over,’ were based on real life experiences.”
ILOSM: So when we heard y’all singing, “It never really mattered too much to me, that you were just too damn old for me,” that was really REAL?!!
RFTW: Yeah, LOL.
Wow…I have a whole new perspective on those songs now…LOL.
We’ve all seen the viral Trader Joe’s photo that “Cosby Show” actor, Geoffrey Owens, gained newfound respect for being humble enough to do. Was there ever a time when you all had to work jobs that you were not necessarily fond of because it was outside of music?
WT: “Absolutely. And I’ll say this first – I consider it an honor and a privilege to be able to take care of my family and no job is too small in that sense. And I’ll take on anything to ensure, as a man, I live up to that standard. So, with that said, I’ve been an entrepreneur, I’ve had to take other jobs throughout this period. Especially when [former lead singer] Melvin [Riley] went solo…I went back to school. You know, it was a lot of things I had to kind of readjust. From that stardom, back to the family life, and now getting out here again. So yes, there have been times when I had to venture off and not just do music, to bring some other income in.”
Can you share a job in particular you’ve worked after fame?
WT: “I went to school for computer science. So in the past 20 years, I’ve dwelled in the IT [internet technology] arena and for the most part, that’s what I’ve done.”
Gerald Valentine: “Once we kinda had a hiatus, I went back to college and got different certificates. But then I started working in a hospital and I think by me working in a hospital, it gave me a sense of gratitude and it humbled me. Not that I wasn’t humble, but it humbled me even more, taking care of people. And it taught me responsibility. I wasn’t ashamed when I went back to work…I got a lot of respect, because people looked at me like a ‘regular’ person – know what I’m saying? [They looked at me like] everything ain’t all that, you gotta keep your family up…that’s real life.”
You mentioned that Melvin went solo and how that affected your livelihoods. Did you all ever have any hostile New Edition type beef throughout the years with Melvin?
WT: “At this point, there are positive relationships intertwined [among us.] Gerald still has a great relationship with Melvin and so do I. You know, sometimes, you’ll differ on the way to do business and…that can sometimes get in the way of a relationship. But bottom line is, I have a high level of respect for Melvin and I believe he has a high level of respect for me. And so, someday I think maybe, we can circle the wagon and possibly do another project together.”
GV: “We’re like brothers, so we don’t wish Melvin no ill will, you know. We just gotta keep moving forward, doing what we love to do best. We just want the fans to appreciate the new music that we got coming out.”
What inspired the comeback?
WT: “We’ve been doing [concert] dates for the past 15 years, but we just decided that at this point, to just really go after it and do it full time again.”
What to expect from RFTW’s new album:
RFTW: “We will of course bring the vintage Ready For The World, but we’ll also have a sound of today. And I think that’s what the people want. They don’t want us to venture too much off into ‘sounding like today.’ ”
Exactly, we still want that authentic Ready For The World sound! Let’s switch gears. Y’all were very young- 16,17, 18 year old brothas, with raging hormones and women, everywhere, throwing their panties at you. Pretty sure y’all were runnin’ wild at that time, LOL. But did any of you ever have flings with famous female celebs we’d probably least expect?
*They pause…then answer*
WT: “LOL…I’m gonna say ‘yes,’ but I’on wanna throw no names out there. A few of us had a few celebrity encounters.”
A ‘few of us’…yeah, okay…LOL. That was the conservative answer. So Gerald, you’re pretty silent on this one. What are you not sharing…ever had female celeb flings?
GV: “Ummm…I’mma have to say yes. But I’mma keep that on the hush, ’cause I don’t wanna put that person on blast like that.”
ILOSM family, be sure to be on the lookout for Ready For The World’s new album, Ready For The World: So Much Life! It features their new lead singer, Ray Lavendar, who’s been featured on a plethora of songs with various artists, including T-Pain, recently. The album is a must cop and we canNOT wait for these brothas to drop it in 2019! You can also follow Ready For The World on Instagram at @readyfortheworldofficial and on Facebook at ReadyForTheWorldOfficial.
Join us on Facebook for the most engaging discussions from the Old School! Old School News With A New Point Of View!