September 4, 2020 112 – Forever (EP Review)
Coming out of Atlanta, Georgia, 112 became a leading force on Sean Combs’ Bad Boy Records in the early ’90s. A quartet consisting of Quinnes “Q” Parker, Daron Jones, Marvin “Slim” Scandrick, and Michael “Mike” Keith, right out of high school they rose to the top rapidly with their 1996 self-titled debut. Thanks to their silky, smooth approach, sweet voices, and a style that was akin to that of Babyface, but also rough enough to hang with Hip Hop fans, 112 had it all. Keeping it flowing through the early 2000s, turbulence eventually followed, thus resulting in the members splitting to embark on solo efforts.
With each member putting out their own albums throughout the years, it would not be until 2017 that they partnered again as 112 for the album Q, Mike, Slim, Daron. A record which received a lot of positive fanfare, now they invite you to stay at room 112 yet again with the new EP, Forever. Initially scheduled for release on August 28th, but paused until September 4th to stand in solidarity with the fight for racial equality and honor the historic National March on Washington, this go around the songs were put together solely by Slim and Mike. Joining as a duo, the founding members combine their talents for a strong collection of new music.
Dubbed an EP, in truth, you are getting nine tracks – including a beautiful intro, prelude, and outro – so you get a lot of bang for your buck. That said, from the start you are immediately taken in by the dueling voices of Slim and Mike before the beat picks up for the catchy “Nowhere.” Then “Exclusive” offers a modern R&B vibe that could easily find the track on mainstream radio, while “For Us” has a throwback Bad Boy Records production sound, and “Spend It All” marries it all together. Keeping these feelings going, the groove is quite deep on “Lookin 4 Love,” before the final full track, “Anytime,” sends you off floating on a cloud.
All in all, Forever is a great entry into the 112 discography. It is not a stop -gap nor a letdown, because it has everything you would expect for this diverse R&B outfit. Additionally, the guys pulled out all the stops to compliment/promote their new music with videos for songs such as “Spend It All” and “For Us.” If you are a fan of their previous work and love how they seamlessly unite other styles of music into their own, Forever is a must listen. That is why Cryptic Rock give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.