What Happened to the Group Mint Condition: A Closer Look at Their Journey

Mint Condition, the celebrated R&B group that emerged in the 1990s, captured the hearts of music lovers with their smooth harmonies and soulful ballads. While they enjoyed immense success and a loyal fanbase during their heyday, the group’s journey took some unexpected turns as the years went by. In this article, we delve deeper into the story of Mint Condition, exploring their rise to fame, the challenges they faced, and what happened to them as a collective unit.

The Formation Of Mint Condition: Origins And Early Successes

Mint Condition is an R&B band that originated in Saint Paul, Minnesota in the late 1980s. The group was formed by childhood friends Stokley Williams (lead vocals, drums), Lawrence Waddell (keyboards, vocals), Homer O’Dell (guitar), Roger Lynch (keyboards, vocals), Ray Coleman (keyboards, vocals), and Ricky Kinchen (bass guitar).

In the early years, Mint Condition primarily performed at local venues, gaining a loyal following within the Minneapolis music scene. Their unique blend of R&B, funk, and jazz caught the attention of executives at Perspective Records, leading to their signing in 1990.

Mint Condition’s debut album, “Meant to be Mint,” was released in 1991 and quickly gained popularity with its hit single “Breakin’ My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes).” The album was a commercial success, establishing the group as a rising force in the R&B music industry.

The band’s early successes paved the way for their subsequent albums, such as “From the Mint Factory,” “Definition of a Band,” and “Life’s Aquarium,” which continued to showcase their talent and musical growth. Mint Condition’s formation and early achievements set the stage for their remarkable journey as a group.

Mint Condition’s Rise To Fame: Their Breakthrough Album And Hit Singles

Mint Condition’s rise to fame can be attributed to their breakthrough album and hit singles, which catapulted them into the music scene. The group gained recognition with their second studio album, “From the Mint Factory,” released in 1993. This album showcased their unique blend of R&B, funk, and jazz, setting them apart from other contemporary acts.

One of the standout tracks from the album was the hit single “Breakin’ My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes),” which reached the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. This song showcased Mint Condition’s smooth harmonies, soulful vocals, and infectious grooves, captivating listeners with its irresistible charm.

Following the success of “From the Mint Factory,” Mint Condition continued to make waves with their subsequent albums, including “Definition of a Band” and “Life’s Aquarium.” These albums featured hit singles such as “What Kind of Man Would I Be?” and “U Send Me Swingin’,” further solidifying the group’s place in the industry.

Mint Condition’s rise to fame was a testament to their exceptional talent, captivating performances, and undeniable chemistry as a band. Their breakthrough album and hit singles laid the foundation for their enduring success and cemented their status as one of the most influential R&B groups of their era.

Exploring The Band’s Signature Sound: A Blend Of R&B, Funk, And Jazz

Mint Condition’s unique sound can be attributed to their distinct blend of R&B, funk, and jazz elements. The band effortlessly combined these genres to create a sound that was both refreshing and captivating. Their ability to seamlessly fuse these styles set them apart from their contemporaries and earned them a dedicated fanbase.

R&B formed the backbone of Mint Condition’s sound, with smooth vocals, heartfelt lyrics, and soulful melodies being key elements of their music. Funk influences, characterized by groovy basslines and infectious rhythms, brought an undeniable energy and funkiness to their tracks. Jazz elements, such as intricate instrumentation, improvisation, and complex chords, added a sophisticated and dynamic layer to their music.

This unique combination of R&B, funk, and jazz allowed Mint Condition to create a diverse range of songs that appealed to a wide audience. Whether it was the smooth ballads that showcased their vocal harmonies, the funky party anthems that got people on their feet, or the jazzy instrumental solos that demonstrated their musicianship, Mint Condition’s sound was versatile and compelling.

The band’s ability to seamlessly blend these genres not only made their music stand out but also influenced contemporary R&B and served as a source of inspiration for many artists who followed in their footsteps. Mint Condition’s signature sound remains a defining aspect of their legacy and ensures their music continues to resonate with fans for years to come.

The Group’s Turbulent Years: Internal Conflicts And Changing Lineups

During their journey, Mint Condition encountered various internal conflicts and experienced changing lineups, leading to turbulent years for the group. Despite their early successes, the band faced challenges that tested their unity and determination.

The first major change occurred in the late 1990s when keyboardist Keri Lewis, who was also the younger brother of lead singer Stokley Williams, decided to pursue a career outside of the group. This departure had a significant impact on the band’s dynamics, as Lewis’s contributions were an integral part of their signature sound.

Additionally, Mint Condition grappled with interpersonal conflicts and creative differences that further strained their working relationships. These issues sometimes led to tension, affecting their ability to collaborate effectively. Various lineup changes ensued, with some members departing and new musicians joining to fill the void.

Despite these challenges, Mint Condition managed to persevere through their turbulent years and continue creating music. They showcased resilience and adaptability, making adjustments to their lineup that allowed them to evolve and push boundaries within their genre.

Overall, the group’s internal conflicts and changing lineups during this period tested their commitment and challenged their ability to maintain a stable foundation. However, the band’s determination to overcome these hurdles ultimately shaped their journey and added depth to their story.

Mint Condition’s Collaborations And Impact On The Music Industry

Mint Condition’s collaborations with other artists have showcased their versatility and cemented their impact on the music industry. Throughout their career, they have collaborated with renowned musicians and producers, further expanding their fan base and influence.

One significant collaboration was with Janet Jackson on her hit single “Let’s Wait Awhile.” Mint Condition’s smooth harmonies and musical prowess added depth to the song, earning them recognition and respect as a talented R&B band.

They also worked with various artists, such as Nas, Kelly Price, and Anthony Hamilton, infusing their distinctive sound into different genres. These collaborations demonstrated their ability to seamlessly blend with diverse musical styles, further solidifying their status as a group capable of transcending boundaries.

Mint Condition’s impact on the music industry is undeniable. Their fusion of R&B, funk, and jazz resonated with audiences, earning them a dedicated fan base. They pushed the boundaries of contemporary R&B, infusing it with elements of live instrumentation and classic sounds.

Furthermore, their Grammy-nominated album, “Definition of a Band,” in 1996 showcased their talent, leading to critical acclaim and commercial success. Mint Condition’s music continues to be celebrated, with their songs and albums influencing contemporary R&B artists today.

Overall, Mint Condition’s collaborations and impact on the music industry solidify their status as one of the most influential and talented R&B bands of their time. Their willingness to experiment with different genres and collaborate with diverse artists contributed to their lasting legacy.

A Closer Look At Mint Condition’s Discography: Albums, Singles, And Awards

Mint Condition has an impressive discography that spans over three decades. Their debut album, “Meant to Be Mint” was released in 1991 and quickly gained popularity with hit singles like “Breakin’ My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes)” and “Forever in Your Eyes.” The album showcased Mint Condition’s unique blend of R&B, funk, and jazz, setting the stage for their future successes.

In 1993, Mint Condition released their sophomore album, “From the Mint Factory,” which featured the popular single “U Send Me Swingin’.” The album further solidified their sound and garnered critical acclaim.

Throughout the years, Mint Condition consistently released albums that showcased their musical prowess and songwriting abilities. Some notable works include “Definition of a Band” (1996), “Livin’ the Luxury Brown” (2005), and “7… (2011).”

Mint Condition’s discography also includes several chart-topping singles such as “What Kind of Man Would I Be” and “You Don’t Have to Hurt No More.” These songs not only earned the group commercial success but also showcased their ability to deliver soulful and heartfelt performances.

The group’s talent has been recognized with numerous awards and nominations, including Soul Train Music Awards, BET Awards, and Grammy nominations. Mint Condition’s contributions to R&B music are undeniable, and their discography stands as a testament to their longevity and musical excellence.

What Led To Mint Condition’s Hiatus: Solo Projects And Other Ventures

After years of success and a strong presence in the music industry, Mint Condition decided to take a hiatus. This break was primarily fueled by the members’ desire to pursue solo projects and explore other ventures outside of the band.

During their time apart, each member of Mint Condition embarked on individual journeys to further develop their own musical styles and careers. Some pursued solo singing careers, while others delved into songwriting, producing, or even acting.

Lead vocalist Stokley Williams released his debut solo album, “Introducing Stokley.” The album showcased his incredible vocal range and distinct style, receiving critical acclaim and positive feedback from fans. Meanwhile, guitarist Homer O’Dell explored his passion for production and writing, contributing to various projects, including work with other artists and soundtracks for television shows and movies.

Keyboardist Larry Waddell focused on songwriting and producing, collaborating with artists such as Jill Scott and Kelly Rowland. Bassist Ricky Kinchen explored his passion for acting, appearing in several stage plays and films.

Despite their individual pursuits, the members of Mint Condition left the door open for a potential reunion in the future, ensuring fans that their bond as a group remains strong. The hiatus allowed each member to grow individually and bring in their experiences to create even more vibrant music as a collective in the future.

The Band’s Legacy And Lasting Influence On Contemporary R&B

Mint Condition’s impact on contemporary R&B cannot be overstated. Throughout their illustrious career, the group created a powerful and unique sound that left a lasting influence on the genre. Their fusion of R&B, funk, and jazz not only resonated with audiences but also inspired countless artists who followed in their footsteps.

One of the key aspects of Mint Condition’s legacy is their ability to effortlessly blend various musical styles. This approach pushed the boundaries of contemporary R&B, creating a sonic landscape that was both nostalgic and forward-thinking. By infusing elements of funk and jazz, they brought a level of sophistication to their music that set them apart from their peers.

Furthermore, Mint Condition’s dedication to live instrumentation and intricate arrangements showcased their exceptional musicianship. Their performances were known for their energy and stage presence, captivating audiences and solidifying their reputation as one of the most talented groups of their time.

Even though Mint Condition officially entered a hiatus, their legacy lives on. Their influence can be heard in the works of numerous contemporary R&B artists who continue to draw inspiration from their unique sound. Mint Condition’s lasting impact on the music industry cements their place as pioneers of contemporary R&B and ensures that their music will continue to captivate audiences for years to come.


1. What is the current status of Mint Condition as a musical group?

Mint Condition is still active as a musical group, continuing their journey in the industry. While they may not be as prominent as they were during the 1990s, they continue to perform live shows and release new music, albeit at a slower pace. It is evident that Mint Condition remains dedicated to their craft and loyal fan base.

2. What factors contributed to Mint Condition’s decline in popularity?

Several factors played a role in Mint Condition’s decline in popularity. One significant factor was the shifting music industry landscape and changing tastes of the audience. As musical trends evolved, their unique blend of R&B, funk, and soul became less mainstream, leading to a decrease in commercial success. Additionally, internal conflicts and label constraints also hindered their growth and exposure.

3. Have any members of Mint Condition pursued solo projects?

Yes, some members of Mint Condition have ventured into solo projects. One notable example is lead singer Stokley Williams, who has released solo albums and collaborated with other artists. Other members have also contributed to various musical endeavors outside of Mint Condition, showcasing their versatility and talent beyond the group’s collective efforts.

The Conclusion

In conclusion, Mint Condition’s journey in the music industry has been one of both success and challenges. With their unique blend of R&B, funk, and soul, the group achieved mainstream popularity in the 1990s and early 2000s. However, despite their talent, a shifting music landscape and internal conflicts led to a decline in their popularity. Nevertheless, Mint Condition’s contributions to the genre cannot be understated, and their loyal fanbase continues to support their artistry. It is clear that the group’s journey has been marked by ups and downs, but their impact on the music industry remains undeniable.

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