“Us Against the World” is the name of the new album, tour and book from David and Tamela Mann, the couple known best for their roles on the TBS comedy series “Meet the Browns.” They have now surpassed that achievement with a holiday movie, “Merry Wish-Mas,” which premiered Sunday, Dec. 2 on TV One.
As I listened to the couple talk to other journalists while waiting for my turn, I could see my own experiences with love reflected in them and I immediately wanted to know the details behind their love story. Their union would provide the path toward superstardom – something I’m sure neither of them could have imagined. Still, Tamela had already begun maneuvering her way to the top, touring with Kirk Franklin and the Family when they met for the first time.
“My group was local famous,” David laughed when telling me how they met.
As he shared more, he reminded me of times when my late husband and I would lament feeling like it was “us against the world.” Perhaps that’s why I found myself anxious to hear so much more about their story of “Us Against the World” and the reasons behind their choosing that title for their first album together, their book on their love union and their tour featuring their children David, Jr. as DJ and Tia with vocal assistance.
Things have moved in quick fashion lately for the talented twosome: the book was published Nov. 3, the album released Nov. 9, the tour ended Nov. 11 with the movie premiering just in time for the holidays Dec. 2 on TV One.
“My best friend from church went to school with David,” Tamela said about how she met her husband of 30 years. “She took me to the school to meet him; he was singing.”
“We had never met before,” David added. “After we met, we kept running into each other. Then I kissed her, and she got pregnant. The story of what happened in between the kiss and the pregnancy is in the book.”
The album is a soundtrack of the book. Meanwhile, the husband/wife team also star in the Bounce TV reality show “Mann and Wife.”
A Flash to the Old School Past
If you can remember the once popular group Tower of Power, then you should also recall Lenny Williams and his silky voice since he served as the group’s lead singer on a number of their hits such as “What Is Hip?”
Now Williams has returned, recently releasing a single, “Fine,” titled he says due to a chance meet he had with a friend. The single also comes in the form of an inspiring music video that will make you get up and dance around, even singing about how you feel fine, too. The single is produced by Levi Seacer, former guitarist of Prince’s New Power Generation band.
“I was over at Levi’s who then played for Prince,” Williams said. “I would go see his uncle’s band and his aunt Dorothy – a singer on ‘Oh Happy Days’ with The Hawkins. We went to the same church,” Lenny added, continuing with his recount about the day he and Levi created the “Fine” single.”
“The single, co-written by Lenny and Levi, is really nice and uplifting so I asked if he was going to follow up with an album to which he replied, ‘My initial action was to do a single, but then the success of the single and Levi,’ before then drifting off with words I could not hear,” Williams said.
“Well, I think that means an album is on the way. The music video to the “Fine” single is very festive and right on time for the holiday season. My nephew is a choreographer and I called him,” Williams said, as the moved to thoughts more appropriate to the development of the music video.
“He had just completed Beyoncé’s Coachella choreography, her Greek Stepping so I asked him to show me some steps. He did, and he gave me a good price too. He did an excellent job.”
Raised in Oakland, Williams began his long career as a vocalist for the likes of Sly Stone, Andre’ Crouch and Billy Preston. In 1972, he joined the Power of Power band, leaving three years later to sign a solo deal with Motown Records, switching labels again in 1977 to ABC Records (MCA Records). There he scored 10 chart-topping hits many of which continue to be sampled today by artists including Mobb Deep’s Havoc, Kanye West, Scarface and Young Jeezy.
Williams has also starred in several stage-plays with credits that include: “Love On Lay-Away” with Deborah Cox and “What Men Don’t Know” with Kenny Lattimore.
Eunice Moseley has an estimated weekly readership of over ¼ million with “The Pulse of Entertainment,” also serving as a public relations strategist, business management consultant and promotions director. Find out more about her by visiting www.UpliftingMinds2.com.