“Optimistic,” kicked off by “Chains,” appeared on Grammy Award-winning vocal and instrumental ensemble Sounds of Blackness’ album, Evolution of Gospel, released May 7, 1991, via A&M Records. The song peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard R&B/Hip Hop chart.
Coming from Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, the group was praised for the plethora of musical styles, which includes gospel, spirituals, blues, ragtime, jazz, R&B and hip hop. The group scored several hits on the Billboard R&B chart and Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart in the 1990s. Cynthia Johnson of Lipps Inc. fame and Grammy winner Ann Nesby are the group’s most prominent alumni.
In a time of racial issues in our communities, we need more music like this to bring people together.
Also, watch the group perform the song on Soul Train: