Honestly, I don’t ever remember a time when music was not a part of my life. My dad, Myron Briscoe Cooper, Sr. had been in music groups and bands before I was even in my mother Martina Garrison’s belly. One of my earliest memories of singing was when I was five years old. We had a little bar area in the house and my parents would have my brother and I stand on it and sing for family and friends. My go-to song was “One and a Million” by Larry Graham. Can you imagine a little five-year-old singing in a baritone voice? Anyway, the music bug bit early and I knew music would always be a part of my life. It’s funny though my writings didn’t start out as songs.
I considered myself a poet. I had a fond appreciation for making words rhyme as I expressed my feelings on a wide array of topics. It wasn’t until I was a teenager and my friend Tommy (Melvin B. Thomas, IV) and I heard LL Cool J’s “I need love,” that I realized you could put rhythm to poetry in a meaningful way. That’s when Tommy and I created our group, R. I. P (Rhythm in Poetry). Later, we changed the name to The M & M Brothers with our title cut “Shoveling Rhymes.” Of course, it was just a song we performed with each other. We never recorded it but we knew it was a hit. Next, it was high school. I started writing more and more songs but didn’t take them too seriously.
It was just a way for me to cope. But I would say the real motivation to sing came when I started a group with my good friend Shango Oseitutu during my freshman year at Morgan State University. Shango was like a drill sergeant at our rehearsals. He would have Antoine Jones, Byron Murphy, and myself practice for hours until we got it right. And guess what part I sang…you guest it…Baritone. Our group “To the Groove” was going places. We even had Shango’s brother Tacuma come into the group as our own producer. Those were the good ole’ days.
Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to the Music Billboard Charts, and as time took its toll on the group we all went our separate ways. But there was definitely no love lost. They were and will always be my brothers. So I finally decided to simply give my gift back to God by singing for him in church. And my wife, Rorita Cooper, said if you are going to sing solo you might as well sing tenor…that is the male voice tone she liked best.
Anyway, I remember singing a Sharp Street Memorial Methodist Church on the Frances Tillman Choir and taking old hymns and making them more contemporary. Later I would attend my current church Set The Captives Free Outreach Center where my pastor, Dr. Karen Bethea, would let me sing a brand new original song almost every Sunday. That’s when I knew others had to hear my music. The way people responded to the message in my lyrics was so humbling. I even had someone tell me that one of my songs changed their life. And the truth is a song changed mine. That is why I’m singing of the goodness of the Lord today. Anyway, that’s my story in a nutshell. I hope you enjoy my songs and hope that the message convinces you too of God’s unfailing, unchanging love.