Merriam-Webster defines pleasure as, “a state of gratification; a source of delight or joy.” Similarly singer/songwriter Marcus “Pleasure P” Cooper has composed his own unique brand of expression surrounding maturation and life lessons learned that connect to his personal joy. The Carver Ranches, Florida native and former member of the teen heartthrob group Pretty Ricky has not only grown on his journey to now, he’s found more ways to connect to his source of gratification, noting that “a lot of people thought I wasn’t going to amount to anything.” For his Bluestar/Atlantic Records solo debut release, The Introduction of Marcus Cooper, Pleasure P is singing about just how far he has come in his 23 years of life, and why it is so important for him to keep moving forward.
It was a hard knock life for Pleasure P, raised by a single mother with no strong male figures in his life except influences from the streets. As he recalls, “All I knew was what the older cats in the hood taught me and I had a mentality that this way of life is all you get.” As a teenager, whether he pursued trouble or trouble pursued him, the result was the same – music was in the foreground and background of his life, and he began to write songs that would one day become a part of his destiny.
Pleasure strongly desired to keep his life on track. Determined to not move forward with a street mentality, he followed a regular teenage regime that included attending school and even joining his high school choir. But things weren’t moving fast enough, so Pleasure picked up and moved out in hot pursuit of love. The incarnation of that relationship resulted in the birth of his son when he was nineteen. It was also the period when Pleasure connected with some Miami associates named Pretty Ricky at a local talent show where the group was performing.
“I was just an eager, young guy that liked to do music,” he explains. It was at that talent show that Pleasure’s uncle introduced him to Pretty Ricky’s manager and father, Big Blue. Pleasure talked to Blue about his music and vision as an artist. Impressed by the young man’s enthusiasm, Blue gave Pleasure his card and told him to give him a call. It wasn’t long before Blue had linked Pleasure up with the rest of the boys. They recorded the song “Grind With Me,” and a bond was formed immediately. Pleasure P officially became a part of Pretty Ricky, and together they recorded their 2005 debut album, Bluestars, which went on to become an RIAA gold-certified album. “Grind With Me” became a national smash, hitting #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #2 on the Rap charts. A song Pleasure wrote as a youth, “Nothing But A Number,” even made the album and was released as a single. “I was a young dude that didn’t have anything. I think music changed my way of thinking and my way of life.”
After the release of Pretty Ricky’s sophomore album, Late Night Special, featuring the single “On the Hotline,” Pleasure P and Pretty Ricky parted ways, and Pleasure moved forward performing as a solo artist on the Hypnotize Tour – featuring Plies, Lil Boosie, and Rick Ross – the only R&B artist. “You’ve got to create a situation for yourself, that’s my motto,” he says. It was then that the self-professed “new bad boy of R&B” began recording his solo debut, poised to let the world know just what Pleasure P is all about. “I’m letting the people know who I really am and where I came from. The musical content is about the experiences I’ve been through, and I’m in my own lane.” Working with a who’s who of production architects and songwriters, including Static Major, who passed in early 2008, Keith Sweat and Adonis, Pleasure P is destined to be heard.
The first single, “Did You Wrong,” co-produced and written by Rex Zamor, tells a tale of taking responsibility when both parties are at fault in the relationship. The slow groove, with its kick snare drum and piano melody carefully weaved throughout, was featured on the syndicated Steve Harvey Morning Show and took off from there. As Pleasure acknowledges, “the easiest thing to do in a relationship is to leave. You gotta stick it out and work it out. How do you think your grandparents stayed together so long? In a relationship you got to put up with another person.” The insightful twenty-something knows from which he speaks, because he’s witnessed other relationships and had some personal experiences of his own. “I’m telling people that you shouldn’t base your relationship off of people being wrong, because we’re human and we make mistakes and that’s the bottom line.”
Quite a few tracks on Pleasure’s album not only deal with relationships, but aggressive sex talk as well. Pleasure ventures off to the mellow realm, showcasing his appreciation for R&B musical classics on “Encore,” a testament to his lady love deserving continuous acknowledgement. With a title like “Boyfriend #2,” Pleasure P just wants to keep it real. “I am a grown man and this is what grown people do. Every relationship you break up, you make up and you lay up. I’m not trying to sugar-coat anything and be something that I’m not.”
With the mid-tempo groove “Birthday Suit,” Pleasure makes a special request of his woman as the music gently demonstrates, with the energy of the synthesizer and the sexiness of the bass. For no special occasion other than expressing his purest and most natural appreciation for her physical form, his desire to celebrate her silhouette every month of the year is beautifully crafted by producers The Movement. While “Under,” captures another aspect of Pleasure’s soaring affectionate energy with its soft piano introduction, as he admonishes “I’m a hold my breath / Until you feel it in your chest / When I go under…under.”
Exuding confidence and a sense of gratification on “I’m A Beast,” the song generates an all-encompassing intensity with Adonis navigating behind the boards utilizing a thumpin’ bass to showcase Pleasure’s own distinctive swagger.
Singer/songwriter and now entrepreneur, Pleasure puts his mark on the fashion industry as well. As co-owner of the company Jean Addicts (www.jeanaddicts.com) with Cuda Love (Nelly’s former manager), Pleasure continues to branch out into all facets of the entertainment and fashion industries.
Confident and comfortable, Pleasure is excited about this next phase of his life. “I put my heart and soul into this album. It’s the start of a new beginning, a new legacy, a new everything, a new me. They’re going get to know the real me, and they are going to like me because I just want the younger people to know you can always make something of yourself, just stick to what you’re good at.” Pleasure P clearly lives up to his name. Not only is he singing, but he’s shining bright and full of joy, and that’s like sweet music to his ears.