Single Review: 112 “Cupid”

Cupid
Year: 1997
Album: 112

In 1996, P. Diddy was starting his Bad Boy record label. With each entertainer, he tried to fulfill a specific marketing niche within the R&B market. 112 were the four young men singing to women about sweet, pure love and roses. They are sensitive and the perfect gentleman. P. Diddy needed his Boyz II Men group and 112 was it.

However, 112 are passionless pursuers. In “Cupid,” Q (the lead singer) tries to convince an emotionally unavailable girl to be with him. But she rejects him and still, he doesn’t get the point. In the first verse, Q is a normal guy. He reassures her in the first verse that “if I told you I love you/that doesn’t mean that I don’t care” In the chorus, he gives in the drama the girl is giving him and sings (with the rest of 112) “Baby I’m so tired of the way you turn my words into/deception and lies.” In the second verse, his constant reassurance becomes suspicious. He sings “when I ask you to trust me/that doesn’t mean that I’m gonna cheat on you.” It’s as though he is playing a mind game with her. Finally, in the last verse he sings the desperate lyrics “I rather die before/ before I lie to you/never wanna leave ya/ain’t no life without you.” Now, if he has to go that far, he needs to give up. If this situation happened in real life, Q would be considered creepy and clingy.

Handclaps and a “put your hands together” open the song, warning listeners that schmaltz is ahead. The single relies only on the handclaps and guitar throughout to create a romantic mood. In turn, the music is stagnant and doesn’t really go anywhere.

Q’s squeaky voice seems as though his mouth is full of food as he sings. He murmurs his way through lyrics and needs to learn how to breathe while he sings. During the bridge, it’s as though he is pushing the notes out with his last breath of air.

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