Case Album Review
On his eponymous debut, Case manages to be tough without sacrificing his soul. Case keeps his hard edge by telling things straight, refusing to embellish his tales with meaningless boasts. Case would have a stronger punch if the music was a little more forceful and varied, but even so, the record is a refreshing debut — it proves that the genre hasn’t exhausted its potential quite yet.
After stints with R&B group ‘Future’ and a duo called ‘Black’, Case got work co-writing and singing background for artists including Usher, Christopher Williams and Al B. Sure. Case finally felt close to achieving his dream of becoming a solo artist, and he was. Armed with a song written by Faith Evans, Case was discovered by Russell Simmons who signed him to Def Jam Records. “Everything changed with this deal,” says Case, “I was in heaven, on cloud nine.”
Case’s solo career took off in 1996 with the release of “Touch Me, Tease Me” (with rapper Foxy Brown and R&B singer Mary J. Blige) from The Nutty Professor soundtrack, going gold and reaching #4 on the R&B charts and #63 on the Hot 100. His self-titled debut Case soon followed along with the minor R&B hit singles “More to Love” and “I Gotcha.”
Case followed the success of his first album with the release of Personal Conversation in 1999. The album featured the hits “Happily Ever After” (which reached #3 on the R&B charts and #15 on the Hot 100) and “Faded Pictures,” (released April 20, 1999), which featured R&B singer Joe and reached #3 on the R&B charts and #10 on the Hot 100. “Happily Ever After” featured Beyoncé in the video as Case’s love interest. The album’s third single, “Think Of You” failed to do well, managing to only reach #50 on the R&B charts. Personal Conversation achieved platinum status.
In 2001, as the first artist on the new Def Soul imprint, Case released his third album Open Letter and topped the charts with the Tim & Bob produced hit song “Missing You.” Open Letter, Case’s most well-known album went gold. “Missing You” is Case’s only #1 single to date as it topped the R&B charts and reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Later that year, Case also appeared on rapper Ja Rule’s hit “Livin’ It Up,” as well as releasing one more single from his album, “Not Your Friend.” After the success of Open Letter, Case moved to Atlanta to be closer to his children.
Case’s success has been partly due to his appearance on movie soundtracks. Many of Case’s most popular tracks appear on the soundtracks for Nutty Professor, Rush Hour, Nutty Professor II: The Klumps and The Best Man. These singles were “Touch Me Tease Me” (Nutty Professor), “Faded Pictures” (Rush Hour), “Best Man I Can Be” (The Best Man) and “Missing You” (Nutty Professor II). Case’s single, “Shoulda Known Betta” (featuring Ghostface), reached #87 on the R&B charts in 2004. The single appeared on the Johnson Family Vacation soundtrack, and was produced by The Neptunes.
After a few years away from the music industry, Case reappeared in 2008 on the track “Face to Face” (a duet with singer Coko) which was included the soundtrack of Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns (film). His fourth studio album, The Rose Experience which had undergone various title changes and a label shift (from Def Jam to his own indie imprint, Indigo Blue) was released on March 24, 2009. It was preceded by a single, “Lovely” which reached #72 on the R&B chart.
He’s currently at work on his fifth studio album titled Heaven’s Door set for release in 2014. One announced track slated to become a single is “London Rain.”