Yolanda "La La" Brown & iCandi

The forgotten Midwest R'n'B duo that met a tragic end.

Kandi and Tiny

Off The Hook: Unreleased demos from the early 2000s!

Keyshia Cole

The way it wasn't.

MQ3

Another shelved R'n'B group from 1997

From Tha'Rayne To The First Seed

Unreleased Yummy Bingham from 2006.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Chivalry: Won't Pay Your Bills (CDS) (Speakouthotline.com)


Found at a thrift shop in Florida, a reply to Destiny’s Child’s “Bills Bills Bills” and featuring former Nickelodeon actor Jean-Dominique in the lineup. It pretty much keeps the original melody as it was although the lyrics are pretty much from a male perspective. Possibly related to Speakouthotline.org, a public hotline where people can anonymously report threatening behavior although not 100% certain. 

Won't Pay Your Bills    2:56

Chazz1: I Care 4 U (Self-Titled, 2000)

Further great R&B/soul music from Ohio and an earlier self-released version of a 2001 album that is in the possession of quite a few collectors. I don’t believe he is Milwaukee artist Chazz Dixon and I don’t believe he was affiliated with the Mississippi act Vintage. He is very similar to this artist that we posted back at the beginning of the year with classic soul vocals laid over smooth 90s keyboard sounds. The album is essentially the same as his 2001 release but for one or two different tracks and some alternative titling.Very enjoyable!

Deeper    4:17
Your Night    3:39
I Care 4 U    5:09
Look At Me Now    5:05
I'll Be There 4 U    4:38
When Your Away    5:14
Feelings Gone    4:51
What Ever U Want    4:42
The System    4:05
Hold On    3:04
Always The One    4:39
Just A Feeling    5:08

Paula Latham: S/T (EP) (Jazzy Records, 1997)

 
Getting her start as the lead vocalist for a jazz band (Victor Floyd Jazz Band), Latham’s work was also lumped into the jazz category despite being influenced by Patti LaBelle, Whitney Houston and other notable soul divas from the 80s and 90s. From Dayton, Ohio, this debut EP from her is straight up 90s R&B with infectious grooves and funky beats. Her cover of DeBarge’s “A Dream” later appeared on an EP released in 2001 but most – if not all – of these songs sound like they were recorded for the same project in the mid-to-late 90s. “You Give Good Love” in particular incorporates an uncredited sample from Sade’s 1992 song “Cherish The Day”. 
 
Funk Intro    1:14
Someone Like U    4:16
A Dream    4:44
You Give Good Love    4:44
Let's Talk About It    4:12
 

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Night & Day: Wait To Get Laid (Cassingle) (F.L.I.N.T Records, 1991)

 
Old radio station stock and a very early release from Night & Day who were mostly known for their 1995 single “Goin Thru a Thang” and 1999’s “Dante’s Girl” (on Jive Records.) It’s a fantastic love-making jam while the b-side features narration which was in part inspired by the Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas sexual harassment lawsuit (1991.) No clues as to if it came off an earlier project that that the duo, who came from Flint, MI, did but it is (as far as I can tell) yet to be been seen anywhere else and was distributed by Nine Records Inc., a label known for their association with acts such as Funkadelic and The Ohio Players in the late 80s/early 90s.
 
Wait To Get Laid    4:26
Wait To Get Laid (Narr.)    4:26 
 

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Serious Business: #1 (Aset, 1991)

Old radio station stock and another unknown modern soul/boogie outfit similar to The Executives which I posted back in 2019. Both had one single on Discogs but any albums from either of them you would be hard-pressed to find. All releases from the above label in particular seem to fetch quite high prices due to the scarcity. The music from this group, a sextuplet, is primarily early 90s boogie/soul music with “Don’t Waste My Time” truly outdoing it with the quintessential late 80s bombastic synths and saxophone sounds.
 
Talkin' Serious Business    3:50
Get On Up (Enjoy Yourself)    4:15
Forever In My Heart    5:29
United    4:30
Please Be Mine    4:33
Savoring Our Love    4:09
Feel My Love    4:42
Don't Waste My Time    3:47
Girl Of My Dreams    4:32
Don't Drink And Drive    4:44

LaJa' Ti-Rosch: Actions Speak Louder Than Words (Cassingle) (Pearl Records, 1991)

 
Old radio station stock with Kansas City gospel/R&B quartet LaJa Ti-Rosch, whose debut album “Like” was one of the first indie things that my co-contributor Stuaaart ever brought back in 2014. This single from them was not featured on the album which was mostly gospel in an early 90s New Jack/traditional style. There’s no holding back either with lyrics such as “he told me he gonna take me out to dinner, instead he brought me a beef & bean burrito from Taco Bells and a cup of water!” A great early 90s indie track with the b-side track "Believe N Yourself" being one of the better tracks on their album. 
 
Actions Speak Louder Than Words    4:38
Believe N Yourself    4:52

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Fantastic R&B and G-Funk from Las Vegas, NV

Fantastic R&B and G-Funk from Mighty Plump Records, a small Las Vegas label that only seems to be known for one artist L.A. Down and his 1996 album “Promise II Funk” Containing many excerpts of songs by other artists that they had on their roster back then, not limited to female G-Funk MC Aqui (Alicia Taylor) and Jodeci-esque male artist Tate, not much else is known about them but Aqui released one single “Dance Let Your Body Flow” in 1996. Her tracks on the sampler were assumedly part of her album "Hands All Over Me" which may or may not have been released. 

Freak In Me    1:54 (Aqui)
Put Your Hands    2:18 (Aqui)
3 Strikes    1:55 (Aqui)
2 Night    1:34 (Aqui)
Fadin    2:08 (Aqui)
Nothins Changed    1:37 (Drayfist)
Hypnotic Funk    1:38 (M.P.C.)
Leavin Out My Life    1:52 (Machedi)
Funky Mic    1:43 (Machedi)
Hypnotic    1:42 (Machedi)
Groove    1:49 (Freddie Empire) (F.E. on vocals?)
My Heart    1:46 (F.E.)
Hey Girl    1:16 (F.E.)
247-365    2:34 (F.E.)
Love'll Be Waiting    1:41 (F.E.)
Hold Me    1:36 (F.E.)
Sweaty Love    1:26 (Tate)
Cash    1:32 (Tate)
Old Friends    1:48 (Tate)
Ghetto Booty    1:30 (Tate)
Hold On To Love    1:29 (Tate)
Be Watchin You    1:10 (Tate)
Don't Know Why    1:39 (Tate)
Bonus Track    1:46 (Tate)

Monday, November 15, 2021

More surprising finds on publishing CDs

Stevie Bensusen is a British songwriter who is somewhat of a hidden gem. Despite being primarily attached to pop music, I've come to find he has written quite a few songs that I have previously enjoyed including “You’re The One I Love” and “Much Love” by Shola Ama.  Here is a small selection of his later work with some tracks that made it onto albums by Jordan Knight, O-Town and others but I was surprised to see Canela and Damozel on here. Damozel’s track “Seal It With A Kiss” was recorded during their MCA days but was later given to Na’shay and appeared as “Seal It” on her 2009 album “R U Ready.” Both are pretty much identical in production and although the track finally surfaced in 2009, I believe that it and the rest of the album was recorded in 2003/2004. Canela's track "Sunny Days" was also recorded during her stint at DreamWorks Records but also never made it onto any finished version of her shelved debut album. The summery production sounds very much like Tim & Bob's but I am not 100% certain. It's a fantastic track. Also worth mentioning is the unreleased track from British vocalist Jud Mahoney, who was formally in a UK pop duo Alibi with his brother Kye in the late 90s. Championed by Michael Jackson for his solo work back in 2004, Mahoney came close to being signed to Jackson's MJJ label – they even wrote and recorded a song together – but due to the allegations against Jackson at the time, nothing was to come out of it in the end. Listening to his track here, you can definitely hear Jackson’s influence; he would’ve definitely given Justin Timberlake a run for his money had his work been released. Sadly Mahoney is yet to release an album but like Bensusen, has continued to pen songs for other artists.

When You're Lonely    4:47 (Jordan Knight)
No More    4:03 (A1)
Not A Place I Won't Miss    4:33 (O-Town)
Why    4:07 (Jud Mahoney)
Sunny Days    3:19 (Canela)
Seal It With A Kiss    4:02 (Damozel)
When You Really Love Somebody    3:49 (Damon Sharpe) (also seemingly unreleased)

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Kandi Burruss: Don't Think I'm Not

Since buying her debut release “Hey Kandi” on a whim back in 2001 because I was looking for some female R&B with an "attitude", Kandi Burruss has been one of my favorites ever since. Although I have a particular soft spot for the earlier work she did with Kevin "She'kspere" Briggs, her later stuff has been just as solid with songs such as “How Could You…Feel My Pain”, “Leave U” and “Trade Him In” employing the same sassy attitude. About 6 years before the release of her sophomore album, Burruss and her former bandmate Tameka “Tiny” Cottle were working together under the alias of K.A.T. I don’t know if they were planning on forming a duo or were writing these songs to solicit to other acts but at least five of them surfaced on MySpace during the late 2000s. The duo had written quite a few songs together in the past including what was maybe Burruss’ biggest achievement to date TLC’s “No Scrubs” but to have an actual name attached to them definitely makes me think that they were more than just a writing partnership. The original version of “Whoot Dee Woo”, which as a TLC song was always pretty mediocre, sounds great here as does the original version of Kandi’s 2010 track “Superwoman” while slow tracks such as “Lace Me” and “Do Things” definitely give me Xscape vibes. “Come Clean” is probably my most favorite song of all though; there’s definitely something about Burruss lamenting on a woman being fed up that gets me every time. I was very upset when Xscape’s fourth album never materialized but listening to this CD is definitely more than the next best thing. Fantastic as always!
 
Lace Me 4:21 
Super Woman (Single Mother) 3:53 
Do Things 4:22 
Come With Me 3:52 
Come Clean 3:59 
Watching You 4:09 
The List (Available Song) 4:08 
Look At Me 3:48 
She 4:15 
Til The Club Close 3:39 
Whoot Dee Woo (TLC Greatest Hits) 4:17 
Lock Down 2:49
 

Random rap finds out of the EU

From Lewsic and his mate J, here are two random finds out of the EU that were seemingly never released. The first is a project from a Dutch hip hop/dance act Tasta Flava whose only single, an adaption of Tracy Chapman's "Fast Car", was released in 1998. Written by Dutch rapper Andy Ninvalle, I don't think it got a very wide release - possibly owing to sample clearance issues - and almost everywhere was billed as being by Lumberjack featuring Tasta Flava. The label CNR Records was well-known, boasting homegrown artists such as Flip Da Scrip and even some big names such as 2Pac.The style is mostly smooth and funky pop-rap music with female vocals though "Everyday" and the very melodic "Love Is Calling" are both seemingly R&B/soul songs. The second is an unreleased project from Naila Boss, a UK underground rapper mostly known for her appearance in the top 10 hit “You Should Really Know” with The Pirates and Shola Ama in 2005. I usually don’t post straightforward hip hop music but I was actually quite surprised that I liked this artist; it’s not hardcore by any means but some great UK rap before the advent of mumbly fast rapping and awful grime music. There’s not much in-depth information about her but she hailed from Hackney and released her only solo single “La La La” in 2004. 

Tasta Flava: Fast Car (CDr, Promo) (CNR Recordsm 1998)
Fast Car (Acapella)    3:51
Everyday    4:15
Fast Car (Radio Version)    4:06
Got Me Waiting    4:23
Another Way    5:49
Madd Flava    4:10
Love Is Calling    6:49
Bad Boy (Nog Zonder Jozien-Version)    3:48
 
Naila Boss: Never Underestimate The Name (Album Sampler) (La Boss Records, 2004)
I Am The Boss    3:35
Luv Crazy    3:55
No Way    4:56
What    4:29
La La La    3:14

Monday, November 1, 2021

Prime Directiv featuring Sonia French: Promo EP (Seven Universal Records, 199x)

A further feature from Street Beats Series 2 (Volume 5) with Prime Directiv, a very obscure female R&B act that I first found out about after being given a few of their songs by another collector a few years back.  I didn’t know anything about them then, but the EP was supposedly promo only, and then while going through all of the Street Beats releases back last year to find all the obscurities, I found one of the songs “Sunshine” had been featured here… again not much information aside from the entity Savya Music which appeared to be associated with Earl Blaze, a hip hop producer from Brooklyn, NYC. A few months back Lewsic stumbled on the above promo which seemed to be on the same label as this lost gem. The label Seven Universal was known for their indie soul compilations and was based out of Essex (UK) but the main contributors to most if not all of the work were American with Earl Blaze and Ike Lee III being a former member of the short-lived male trio One II 3 in the early 90s. Despite being from the turn of the millennium, the style is very mid-90s smooth R&B and along with Zakiya’s second effort, it is baffling to me how it was somehow slept on. “Lonely Nights” is especially tantalizing. 

Listen to more Street Beats goodies here.
 
Is There Any Wonder    4:54
Sunshine    4:03
Lonely Nights    4:26

Steve Marshall: Mirage (EP) (State Of Emergency Records, 1998)

Formally featured on Street Beats Series 2 Volume 10 with his cover of Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine”, Marshall believed that the industry didn’t give much “time and space” to UK male R&B singers unless you “knew the right person” but his debut EP was somewhat different to your average Lemars and Craig Davids with raw blues and soul appeal and…vocals. There is not much information about him, but the EP got a glowing review in an April 1998 edition of UK dance music magazine Muzik where it was described as “uplifting and full of the whole range of ingredients” and “Good home-grown talent that's more than worthy.”

Listen to more Street Beats goodness here..

You Want Me    4:18
Tranquility    4:13
Make Believe    5:47
Hurricane    5:20
Share    5:18