Jheri Curl Jhams: The Valenti[m]e’s Day Edition
Track 3 — Rick James & Smokey Robinson, “Ebony Eyes”
Today’s super jhuicy love jham is a late-era Motown classic, featuring the Super Freak himself and one William “Smokey” Robinson. “Which one of them had a curl?” you might ask. It was Smokey, of course. We all know Rick consistently wore the finest wiggery (before Beyonce, and even before Patti LaBelle’s epic AquaNet and Isoplus Tower of Power). This video is an 80’s short film masterpiece, telling a tale of two pilots whose plane — the Ebony Eyes — crashes on an unpopulated island.
The video opens with Rick assuring his crew that old reliable Ebony Eyes can get the job done, and Smokey bids his worried wifey boo (shoutout to Turquoise Jeep Music) and his seed farewell. As our heroes take off, Rick reminisces on his lady telling him passionately, “I don’t want you to go,” before they engage in a kiss that can only be described as “extra as fuck.”
Almost as soon as they take off, our heroes find themselves in the middle of a horrendous thunderstorm — and their small plane appears to be shaken like dice in the hand of Grits n’ Gravy. Cut to the next scene: tide washing in on the shore of what looks more like Oahu than it does Chilligan’s Island. We see plane wreckage, and the camera pans to our protagonists, miraculously unharmed. The camera tightens in on Smokey, who’s singing to a photo of his woman. He’s wistful. He knew he shoulda hit that one mo ‘gin before leaving. And his curl is holding up as if it’s been anointed by the hand of Jheri Redding himself! No, really.
As the video proceeds, we see that Rick and Smokey are making the best of a bad situation. They build shelter for themselves, craft some boss-looking spears — likely to catch food— and even manage to light torches along the darkened shoreline. All while remembering to shave, keep their coiffures in place (at no point does Smokey appear to need an activator re-up), and counting the days that they’ve been ashore with no lovin’ or cocaina to keep them warm.
We won’t spoil the video for you. Time to rate Smokey’s curl:
It appears to be set with medium sized perm rods, which suggest that, if you believe that all super-liteskinted black folks’ hair displays the “Indian in they family,” you might just think that it was his hair. But we at Jhuicyfruit know better. That process has been held in place with a secret weapon usually reserved for White People Hair: Wet by Sebastian Professional. Our resident curlologist notes that “This product was meant to give your hair a genuine ‘it grew from my scalp that way’ appearance, even when you were in dire need of a touchup.” The monolithic nature of Smokey’s curl suggests that it had just been styled in time for the video shoot, as well. He has no edges, and possibly hasn’t even had his combed through (we’ll get to the styling approaches soon, we promise!). Overall, Smokey’s curl gets a B.
Honorable mention to Rick James’ wig. An outstanding performance, serving American Cocker Spaniel realness throughout the video.
Get that cold duck out, y’all. It’s time to get close.