Photo: Epic

I came to know this song by way of one of the greatest groups ever assembled: Immature. The trio of Marques “Batman” Houston, Jerome “Romeo” Jones and Kelton “LDB” Kessee recorded “Feel the Funk” in 1995 for the white-savior extraordinaire film Dangerous Minds soundtrack (it was also included on their 1995 album, We Got It). “Feel the Funk” is basically “Love Changes” with different words. I’m pretty sure that at some point, while listening to “Feel the Funk,” my father said, “Hey, that’s ‘Love Changes.’” And then I was probably like, “What’s that?”

A lot of my interactions went like that as a youth because I come from a family that enjoys itself some music.

Mother’s Finest, “Love Changes” (1978)

Anyway, “Love Changes” is a song from the 1978 album, Mother Factor, by the group Mother’s Finest, an Atlanta-based funk and rock group fronted by Joyce “Baby Jean” Kennedy. I won’t pretend to know a ton about their catalog, or more accurately, haven’t spent much time with it, but “Love Changes” is one of those songs that sticks to your ribs from the moment the first notes drop. Plus, Mother’s Finest is an awesome name for a group. Even though they came up with it before I was born, I wish I’d thought of it first. Lyrically, this song isn’t changing the world, but the way it’s sung takes me straight to my feelings of nostalgia. It is literally perfect cookout music. It’s the kind of song that can be appreciated by folks from eight to 80 because it’s so damn good.

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At this point in my life, when I need a song to take me back to my youth, Mother’s Finest “Love Changes” is on that list. And if you know like I know (and know black people who cook out), I’d bet good money it’s already on yours, too.