27 Days of Old School: #20 “Whip Appeal” (by Babyface)


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“‘Cause you’ve got that whip appeal
So work it on me”

It would be impossible not to include one of the most popular old school ballads from my era.

“Whip Appeal” was the third single off of singer-producer Babyface’s second R&B album, Tender Lover. The single released in early 1990 just in time for the song to put it’s melodic hooks into everyone who heard it for the first time. I can confirm that this was a staple of all high school dances and proms from 1990 and onwards. It was one of the go-to ballads that would get couples and potential ones to get on the dance floor and just sway to the song.

Ballads like this are truly old school. When I say they don’t make them like this anymore there’s some truth in that. The lyrics themselves are quite risque, but definitely more subtle than what R&B artists nowadays put into their own form of ballads. There’s a classic soulful sound to the music that harkens back to the Motown sounds of the 60’s that have been lacking in most R&B today.

A song that’s 25 years old and yet still planting it’s soulful hooks into old and new listeners alike.