Big Cynthia (21st Century)

Daddy B. Nice's #41 ranked Southern Soul Artist



Portrait of Big Cynthia (21st Century) by Daddy B. Nice
 


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"Ain't Nothing Like A Big Woman"

Big Cynthia (21st Century)

Composed by Cynthia Walker


January 12, 2013:

Listen to Big Cynthia's official new video singing "She's Working That Nookie Thing" on You Tube.

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October 1, 2012: Read Daddy B Nice's New Review of Big Cynthia's It's My Time CD. Five Stars ***** Can't Miss. Pure Southern Soul Heaven. Scroll down to Tidbits #3.

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September 28, 2012: NEW ALBUM ALERT

Sample or Buy Big Cynthia's IT'S MY TIME CD.

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Note: Big Cynthia also appears on Daddy B. Nice's original Top 100 Southern Soul Artists (90's-00's). The "21st Century" after Big Cynthia's name in the headline is to distinguish her artist-guide entries on this page from her artist-guide page on Daddy B. Nice's original chart.

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Success has eluded Big Cynthia (Cynthia Walker), best described as a "B"-side younger version of Denise LaSalle, as she's bounced from indie label to indie label (Avanti, Brittney, Malaco (distribution deal), Tony Mercedes, Hearon) since the 90's. Even within the chitlin' circuit, her fame is limited and her catalog lacking the kind of defining single that catapults a career into headliner status.

Nevertheless, the daughter of Junior Walker has defied the odds that relegate the vast majority of soul divas to the sidelines, recording with regularity while tenaciously staking out her two favorite issues--the empowerment of "big women" and the promotion of Millie Jackson-Dorothy Moore-Denise LaSalle-style raunch.

Walker's vocal chops, although workmanlike and seasoned, are nothing to write home about, falling closer to the cerebral skill of Millie Jackson than to the jaw-dropping expertise of LaSalle or Moore.

But what Big Cynthia lacks in raw singing talent she makes up for in "want-to" and songwriting acumen. Her songs invariably display the folksy authenticity and humor of the best Millie Jackson material, and her catalog as a whole boasts a remarkable thematic integrity.

None of this counts for much in the mainstream R&B world, where (as in Black Box's "Everybody Everybody") stoutly-built singers are routinely shunted aside for small, sexy, video-friendly dancers, even when their vocal tracks remain.

In the sculpted muscles-pecs-breasts-thighs culture of mainstream R&B, obesity is a badge of shame and just one more reason to dismiss the Southern Soul movement. And while misogyny and all manner of expletives are considered tools of the trade in the hiphop world, the kind of grown-up, sexual explicitness that Big Cynthia purveys is seen as embarrassing.

With all these counts against her, it's hard for a Southern Soul fan not to take up Big Cynthia's defense. Her "flaws" are part of Southern Soul's unconventional allure, and when Big Cynthia proudly proclaims, for example, that "big girls" can make love just as well as "small girls," she's taking a stand the Southern Soul world views as admirable.

Listen to Big Cynthia singing "Ain't Nothing Like A Big Woman" on YouTube while you read.

The titles and dominant lines of Big Cynthia's tunes tell the tale. Not only do they reflect the bravado associated with big girls; they often reveal the paranoia and second-class sexual status with which plain women struggle.

"If I told you that I want you / In the worst kind of way, / Would there ever be a chance / That I could have you today?... / If I let you have it tonight, / Will you respect me in the morning?"

(From "If I Let You Have It Tonight, Will You Respect Me In The Morning")

And. . .

"I've been single a long time / Sleeping alone in a king-size bed / But I'm tired of playing with myself / Because now it's messing with my head."

(From "I'm A Lonely Woman")


"You can be a lady in the day / And a freak at night... / It ain't nobody's business / How you pay all your bills. / Don't let your left hand / Know about the right. / It's nobody's business / Who you pop it to all night."

(From "I Didn't Lie, I Just Didn't Tell It All.")

"Never let your friends / Know everything about your man. / Looking on the outside / He looks like the Clean-Up Man... / All those --- and those fresh alligators, / You thought he looked good, / You thought he was a Mel Waiters... / Eight dollars an hour/ With no --- and ---- / But let me get to the good part / He couldn't even slow-roll it."

(From "You Didn't Take My Man, You Took My Problem")

In Big Cynthia's view, the world of big women is not only emotionally precarious, it's also more sexually wide-open and liberating.

"I like the man / That's good in the sheets, / But I like it even better / If he carries a little freak. / I'm not scared / To do what I do. / When you going to wait too long? / I want to kiss you where I miss you."

(From "Freaky With You.")

"I took this man home the other day, / And it was about eleven o'clock. / And you know, he told me /
He had to be home at twelve. / I was like, 'What was really the reason / For you coming home with me?' / Because, baby, I ain't / The kind of woman that likes a quickie. / You know, I'm a big girl / And you can't just / Hit it and quit it. / I want you do a little bit more / Than just 'stand up in it.' / But ladies, I sent that man home / Looking like a glazed doughnut / Around the mouth / 'Cause he was all up in it... / Just wash your mouth (I told him) with Listerine / And she (your wife) won't know a thing."

(From "Eating Ain't Cheating")

This last piece of libido elicited a shocked response from an Internet listener:

"Who is Big Cynthia? Is she a Lesbian that is cheating? Or is her man advocating that if you eat after the cheat, rinse with Listerine and she won't know a thing? Do peeps in 2011 still not REALIZE you can catch/spread diseases orally? Jesus can't get here fast enough in these LAST DAYS."

For directness, even Chick "Stoop Down" Willis can't beat Big Cynthia's matter-of-fact advisement to "Put them lips / Under my skirt" in "Eating Ain't Cheating."

The three best songs in Cynthia's repertoire are arguably:

"Get Freaky With You" (Best arrangement)

"You Didn't Take My Man, You Took My Problem" (Best pure song, features Mel Waiters)

and...

"Ain't Nothing Like A Big Woman"

"Ain't Nothing Like A Big Woman" is Big Cynthia's impassioned declaration of identity, transformed into an anthem for all big women.

Remarkably, in a genre which devotes an entire "shelf" to the topic of big and/or fat women, Cynthia's song stands as the only representative for the topic of big women on the 21st Century Top 100 Countdown.

Recently, the song has been redone with a laid-back, hiphop-tinged arrangement, in a slightly faster tempo, with rapper Big Bro and Tyree Neal, brother of the late Jackie Neal. The remix should spread the song's popularity.

Listen to Big Cynthia, Tyree Neal and Big Bro singing "Ain't Nothing Like A Big Woman (Remix)" on YouTube.

To read more about the theme of "big women" in Southern Soul, including Bobby Rush's original "Fat Woman" recordings, go to Daddy B. Nice's original Big Cynthia Artist Guide.

--Daddy B. Nice


About Big Cynthia (21st Century)

Big Cynthia Discography

(Under the name Cynthia Walker)

Baby I'm The Real Thing (Avanti 1998)

(Under the name Big Cynthia)

Ain't Nothing Like A Big Woman (Brittney 2002)

You Didn't Take My Man, You Took My Problem (Brittney 2004)

Doing It Big (Tony Mercedes 2006)

Don't Hate (Hearon 2008) LISTEN

To read Big Cynthia's biography, go to Daddy B. Nice's original Big Cynthia Artist Guide.

To browse through Big Cynthia's CD's, go to Daddy B. Nice's CD Store.

To automatically link to Big Cynthia's charted radio singles, awards, CD's and other references, go to "Big Cynthia in Daddy B. Nice's Comprehensive Index.


Song's Transcendent Moment

"She can do anything
A skinny woman can do.
Make love all night love
Like it ain't nothing new.

She may not be a size twelve,
But she sure get it on down.

A big woman can cook your food.
Even wash your hair.
She can even bring you breakfast--
Breakfast to your bed."


Tidbits

1.

May 12, 2012: YouTube offerings for Big Cynthia include:

Listen to Big Cynthia singing "I Didn't Lie, I Just Didn't Tell It All" on YouTube.

Listen to Big Cynthia singing "Eating Ain't Cheating" on YouTube.

Listen to Big Cynthia singing "Ain't Nothing Like A Big Woman" on YouTube.

Listen to Big Cynthia and Mr. David singing "If You Want To Get It" on YouTube.

Listen to Big Cynthia, Tyree Neal and Big Bro singing "Ain't Nothing Like A Big Woman (Remix)" on YouTube.

Listen to Big Cynthia singing "Don't Rock The Boat" on YouTube.

Listen to Big Cynthia singing "Can You Make It Pop" on YouTube.

2.

May 13, 2012:

Clues to an artist's heart lie in what songs they choose to cover. In Big Cynthia's case she has covered Ann Peebles "I Feel Like Breaking Up Someone's Home" and Gwen McCrae's "Rocking Chair."

3.

October 1, 2012:
 

BIG CYNTHIA: It's My Time (Big Cynthia Enterprises/CDS) Five Stars ***** Can't Miss. Pure Southern Soul Heaven.

All of a piece, wisely thought out in terms of selections, Big Cynthia's new CD, It's My Time, is as pleasant as slipping into a pair of freshly-laundered blue jeans. Big Cynthia's new music is a revelation, seasoned yet easy-going, with a special flair born of experience and confidence.

Uhhhh. . .With one exception, a disastrous opening track in which Big Cynthia subjects the listener to her hard-nosed booking policies. (To all Southern Soul artists who succumb to the urge to rub your loyal paying fans' faces in the behind-the-scenes workings of the music business, your Daddy B. Nice begs you to ask yourself: Did Johnnie Taylor or Marvin Sease ever do that?)

But if you can forgive (or fast-forward through) the false start, you'll float away with Cynthia on a musical excursion that strikes all the right keys in its abilities to please.

The album really commences with Big Cynthia's remix of "Ain't Nothing Like A Big Woman," first recorded on her album of the same name in 2002 (Britney). The song is Big Cynthia's impassioned declaration of identity.

"Ain't nothing like a big woman
To wrap your arms around.
She may not be a size 12,
But she can sure get it on down.

A big woman can cook your food.
Even wash your hair.
She can even bring you breakfast,
Breakfast to your bed."

Over the years it has evolved into Southern Soul's anthem for all big women. Last spring Big Cynthia redid the song--showcased thematically on this CD with opening and exiting tracks--with a laid-back but swinging, slightly more uptempo, hiphop-tinged arrangement.

Listen to Big Cynthia, Tyree Neal and Big Bro singing "Ain't Nothing Like A Big Woman (Remix)" on YouTube.

Tyree Neal supplies the likable groove and male foreground dueting, while Big Bro's rapping verse endows the song with a contemporary, relevant feel.

The result is stunningly casual and Pied Piperish. Cynthia wisely gives the remix's first verse to Tyree. Then, when she comes in on the second verse, it's doubly pleasurable, a familiar tune first and Big Cynthia second--the main course.

The Neal family, Louisiana's First Family of the Blues and Southern Soul, is all over this album. The late beloved and influential Jackie is noted by Big Cynthia as the ultimate "small girl (who) needs love too." She hovers over the CD's proceedings like a muse.

Another Neal sibling, Charlene, shows up on another track co-singing with Cynthia, and yet another--Big Bro--contributes husky, testosterone-charged backgrounds to others. But it is Tyree Neal who is ever-present throughout the set, singing, writing, arranging and playing.

Big Cynthia's It's My Time is Tyree Neal's coming-out party as much as Big Cynthia's. He's collaborated with performers on quite a few Southern Soul singles, but never on an album-length project with an artist of Big Cynthia's longevity.

Ultimately, Tyree Neal (who co-produced with Cynthia) takes Big Cynthia's music to a higher level, bringing in new elements in the way Bigg Robb heightened and focused Carl Marshall's "Good Loving Will Make You Cry."

For example, Tyree is by Cynthia's side on the next cut, "She's Working That Nookie Thing," a fast-climbing single on the latest Southern Soul charts featuring yet another big-man vocal by a singer/talker named Big Josh. The fuller, more textured sound carries over to the cajun track, "Zydeco Round Up," showcasing two more "bigs"--Big Josh and Big Jerry.

"Eating Ain't Cheating," a Big Cynthia standard originally done with Mr. David on the Tony Mercedes-produced Doing It Big album (2006), checks in next. Cynthia sings all the naughty innuendo with fearless aplomb.

Next Big Cynthia tackles contemporary Southern Soul's number one song, Ronnie Lovejoy's "Sho' Wasn't Me." The cover won't gain any best-singer enconia. Cynthia even has a little trouble hitting perfect pitch on more than a few notes, and yet the song has an integrity that fits in with the overall sound and ambience of the CD.

And so it goes. Hiphop, zydeco, witty and keen Southern Soul voice-overs and references and Big Cynthia's own themes of big-lady liberation intermingle with a comfort level rarely seen in Southern Soul.

Two new songs (both written by Cynthia Walker, as are all the tunes on the album), one with Tyree Neal ("Big Leg Woman") and one with Charlene Neal ("You Drive Me Crazy") segue into a "thank-you" song and a reprise of "Ain't Nothing Like A Big Woman."

Big Cynthia's It's My Time isn't going to overwhelm anyone with the Big C's staggering talent or intensity, and fans new to Southern Soul may even wonder what all the fuss is about.

What It's My Time is all about is simple, seamless, mid-tempo fun. This music doesn't require a genius to sing, and Big Cynthia never strains vocally to be somebody she isn't.

Forget what strangers or those dreaded "haters" might call Big Cynthia's "limitations". This is a performer completely comfortable in her own skin and her own place in the Southern Soul universe.

--Daddy B. Nice

Big Cynthia's It's My Time at CD Universe

Big Cynthia's It's My Time at iTunes

Read Daddy B. Nice's Big Cynthia (21st Century) Artist Guide

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If You Liked. . . You'll Love

If you liked Tony Troutman's "Your Man Is Home Tonight," you'll love Big Cynthia's "Ain't Nothing Like A Big Woman."


Honorary "B" Side

"She's Working That Nookie Thing"



5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Ain't Nothing Like A Big Woman by  Big Cynthia (21st Century)
Ain't Nothing Like A Big Woman


CD: Ain't Nothing Like A Big Woman
Label: Brittney

Sample or Buy
Ain't Nothing Like a Big Woman
Sample or Buy
Ain't Nothing Like A Big Woman


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy She's Working That Nookie Thing by  Big Cynthia (21st Century)
She's Working That Nookie Thing


CD: It's My Time
Label: Big Cynthia Ent/CDS

Sample or Buy
Its My Time


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy (I Want To Get) Freaky With You by  Big Cynthia (21st Century)
(I Want To Get) Freaky With You


CD: Ain't Nothing Like A Big Woman
Label: Brittney

Sample or Buy
Ain't Nothing Like a Big Woman


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Ain't... Big Woman (Remix) w/ Tyree Neal, Big Bro by  Big Cynthia (21st Century)
Ain't... Big Woman (Remix) w/ Tyree Neal, Big Bro

Sample or Buy
Ain't Nothing Like A Big Woman (Remix) on YouTube.


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy You Didn't Take My Man, You Took My Problem       by  Big Cynthia (21st Century)
You Didn't Take My Man, You Took My Problem


CD: You Didn't Take My Man, You Took My Problem
Label: Brittney

Sample or Buy
You Didn't Take My Man, You Took My Problem


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy I Didn't Lie, I Just Didn't Tell It All            by  Big Cynthia (21st Century)
I Didn't Lie, I Just Didn't Tell It All


CD: Don't Hate
Label: Hearon

Sample or Buy
Don't Hate


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy I'm A Lonely Woman by  Big Cynthia (21st Century)
I'm A Lonely Woman


CD: Don't Hate
Label: Hearon

Sample or Buy
Don't Hate


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Rocking Chair     by  Big Cynthia (21st Century)
Rocking Chair


CD: Ain't Nothing Like A Big Woman
Label: Brittney

Sample or Buy
Ain't Nothing Like a Big Woman


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy This Song Is For Everybody That's Broke by  Big Cynthia (21st Century)
This Song Is For Everybody That's Broke


CD: You Didn't Take My Man, You Took My Problem
Label: Brittney



3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Back And Forth Dance by  Big Cynthia (21st Century)
Back And Forth Dance


CD: Ain't Nothing Like A Big Woman
Label: Brittney

Sample or Buy
Ain't Nothing Like A Big Woman


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Don't Rock The Boat (Just The Little Man In It) by  Big Cynthia (21st Century)
Don't Rock The Boat (Just The Little Man In It)


CD: Doing It Big
Label: Tony Mercedes

Sample or Buy
Doing It Big
Sample or Buy
Doing it Big


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Eating Ain't Cheating (w/ Mr. David) by  Big Cynthia (21st Century)
Eating Ain't Cheating (w/ Mr. David)


CD: Doing It Big
Label: Tony Mercedes

Sample or Buy
Doing It Big


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Feel Like Breaking Up Someone's Home     by  Big Cynthia (21st Century)
Feel Like Breaking Up Someone's Home


CD: Don't Hate
Label: Hearon

Sample or Buy
Don't Hate


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy If I Let You Get It Tonight (Will You Respect Me) by  Big Cynthia (21st Century)
If I Let You Get It Tonight (Will You Respect Me)


CD: Ain't Nothing Like A Big Woman
Label: Brittney

Sample or Buy
Ain't Nothing Like a Big Woman


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy If You Want To Get It w/ Mr. David    by  Big Cynthia (21st Century)
If You Want To Get It w/ Mr. David


CD: Doing It Big
Label: Tony Mercedes

Sample or Buy
Doing It Big


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