Elsie Muniz

The Urban Latina.

Kandi and Tiny

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


The Truth About Choice.


Another shelved R'n'B group from 1997


The First Lady of SoulPower.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Dezire: Don't Run Away (Karousell Records, 1996)

Rare northern soul from Richmond, Virginia by this super obscure, local trio. I can't say if it spawned any singles or not but they did release a split 12" EP with another modern soul group The Joneses about three years before. Mainly a selection of great soul tracks with some disco, dance, hip hop and even reggae/ska thrown in.

I Wanna Be Your Girl 4:07
Don't Run Away Part 1 4:32
Try It 3:53
Central Park 5:17
Strive For The Better 4:12
Pledging my Love 2:59
Summer Groove 4:30
Break Your Promises 5:01
It Ain't Gonna Last 3:13
This Time Around 3:49
Don't Run Away 4:32*
I Wanna Be Your Girl 4:14*

*Instrumental versions

Eve: In The Beginning (The Music Store, 1993)

More rap/new jack swing from Ichiban Records and from Columbus, OH. It spawned two raunchy singles "Don't Stop It" and "Funk Me" which both played on MTV during the late night hours when censorship was at its worst. Featuring veteran R&B and house vocalist Tommie Cotton as Princess T.

Thanks again to Stuart for his rip.

Funk Me 4:43
Get Wet 4:12
I Wanna Do (something nasty) 5:01
Unconditional Groove 0:43
Romance 101 5:29
Breastisisssss 1:15
Games 3:15
Let Me C-U-Jam 4:08
Rain 5:32
Runnin' Over Me 4:41
Gimme the Skull! 1:40
So Physical 4:58
So Physical (rap) 4:29
Condom Grooves 1:21
Funk Me (deep version) 4:11
Don't Stop It 4:40

joi': Joystick (Revolution Records, 1993)

From Texas, a further obscure indie R&B/new jack swing group from the 90s and again distributed by Ichiban Records. As far as I can tell, it did not spawn any singles aside from a 12" which was released to promo only. 

I'm The Kinda Girl 5:03
U Said U Loved Me 4:20
Baby I Love You 3:17
(You Make Me Fell Like) A Natural Woman 3:43
Let's Talk About It 5:02
So Happy Love 5:35
Joystick 4:49
Strangelove 5:23
Security 4:25
Don't Waste My Time 5:54
Boyz 4:12
Joystick (remix) 4:50
Let's Talk About It (2) 5:59

Skillz: Promises (Raging Bull Records, 1995)

Further indie group from Las Vegas, NV that blends hip hop, G-Funk and soul in the same vein as B.G.O.T.I. The lead singer has a similar sound a style to Mary J. Blige and a few of these songs wouldn't have sounded out of place on her earlier albums to boot. It spawned one single Just Fa My Man which seemed to be promotional only but a music video was made for it.

Many thanks again to Stuaaart for the contribution

Fellaz 0:11
Just Fa My Man 4:10
Be Your Lady 4:18
Where's Your Money 0:10
Pockets 4:34
Dear Baby 0:09
Human 4:28
Party At 9 0:10
Star Spangled Banner 1:39
Rumble 4:10
Throw Your Hands Up 4:18
Cheater 0:13
Messin Around 4:10
Promises 3:21
Thank You 0:07

XL: What We're All About (IEP Record Group, 1995)

From Detroit, a further group from the 90s which most people probably haven't heard of and a mixture of soul and new jack swing. It spawned one single, the Rufus & Chaka Khan cover "Tell Me Somethin' Good" which was released on 12" vinyl only. 

What We're All About 5:30
This Love 4:46
Tell Me Somethin' Good 4:41
Strength Of My Love 4:38
Can't Nobody 5:22
Satisfied 4:34
For Your Love 5:00
You Came My Way 4:49
Ya Turn Me On 5:43
Not Gonna Take 4:14
On My Mind 4:02

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Flyy Gyrlz: Nevah Comin' Down (Wrap Records, 1994)

Along with Out Uv Kontrol, here are a further rap/new jack swing outfit from Wrap/Ichiban Records in the early 90s. While the older group were primarily a rap group who did not sing, the above duo does contribute some soulful vocals to the hooks. It spawned one single "I Want You" which was seemingly only ever available on 12" vinyl. As far as I can tell none of these tracks have ever been re-released digitally.

You D' One 3:59
This Is My Game 4:10
Eternal Love 4:11
I Want U 4:35
Sex Is In Effect 4:12
Roll Wit It 3:52
So It Comes Down 2 This 4:43
100% Love 3:35
Good Enuff 4:15
One Nite Stand 3:42

Lady Soul: S/T (Boston International Records, 1992)

A further obscure new jack swing/soul trio from Cambridge, MA and released via Boston International Records in 1992, the same label responsible for fellow indie R&B group Classic Example. All three had previous experience in the music biz, with one member formally one third of an earlier R&B trio 9.9 and another previously a backing vocalist for New Kids On The Block. Their debut spawned two singles "Don't Forget About Me" and the Sister Act soundtrack cut "My Sister's In Trouble." Sadly only the former went on to chart but you can check out the music video for the latter song bellow - complete with a cameo from Whoopi.

Many thanks once again to Stuart.

My Mind's Made Up 4:59
Don't Forget About Me 4:25
Change 4:35
Lady Marmalade 4:39
(I'm Gone) Give U All My Love 4:16
Just Call My Name 4:27
Nobody Can Tell Me 4:17
Everything Changes 4:09
I Wanne Be Your Baby 1:42
You Gonne Make Me Love Somebody Else 4:51
Feels Like The First Time 4:16
Can You Find A Place In Your Heart 4:59
If My Sister's In Trouble 3:53

Out Uv Kontrol: S/T (Wrap Records, 1993)

Classic female rap before the era of explicit lyrics: a last minute addition to my ever-growing library of obscure female groups from the 90s, beginning with this new jack swing/hip hop/bass trio from Atlanta, GA. Primarily rap with male backing vocals, it spawned four singles but only one "Woot, There It Is" ever made it to a mainstream release.

Thanks again to Stuart for providing me with this rip. 

R U With Me 3:29
Ooh Baby 5:21
Backstabbers 4:06
Baby, I'm Ready 4:28
Whoot, Here It Is 4:19
You're Gonna Miss My Loven 4:44
Coast To Coast 3:01
Give It Up 3:46
Why Lie 3:53
You Betta Check Your Boyfriend 3:15
Shouts Out 3:53

Originally released in 1993 but has since been re-issued digitally.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Rob Jones: Only 4 U (Trackz Inkorporated Music, 200x)

More independent R&B out of Chi-town with Rob Jones, who sadly I know nothing about but appears to have been helped in part by Oprah Winfrey as per the inlay. No date of release but guessing early to mid 2000s as per the neo-R&B sound.

Just remember where you heard it first.

Only 4 U (Intro) 1:49
That's Why I Love U 3:20
Gonna Last 4:33
All Night 4:01
Motion In The Ocean 4:39
Shake It 3:56
New Millennium Dime 3:36
Like This 3:38
Miss The Way 3:52
I Remember 5:20
Just Hold On 3:15
That's Why I Love U (Remix) 5:03*

*Actually a remix of track 3 and not 2

Monday, June 20, 2016

Jerome Hollins: This Is Me (Block Bleeders Entertainment, 2004)

The hard to find debut release from Chicago indie R&B/rap artist J. Hollins and released under his full name in 2004. Described as an R&B artist with a "rapper's swagger", Hollins was formally one third of an R&B trio called Laid Back and in 1998 they were even signed by the Queen of Hip Hop Soul Mary J. Blige to her vanity label. Unfortunately due to budget issues nothing became of them back then but Hollins was quick to take his career in his own hands and has since gone on to release 4 full-length albums on his own label Block Bleeders Entertainment. As far as I can tell the above album is long out of print but a sequel to it This Is Me Vol. II was released in 2014. Sadly almost half of the tracks are rap but most are smooth early 2000s R&B/neo soul.

Intro 1:03
In My World (Featuring Michelle Nicole) 3:37
Saturday Nite 4:00
Playa (Featuring Diablo) 3:56
Hood Life (LeClaire's Song) (Featuring Ice) 3:52
The Struggle (Featuring Loke And Big Ra) 4:30
Makes Me Wanna 3:39
Paradise 3:33
Whenever Whatever 4:31
I Wish 4:12
Love Again (Featuring Amanda) 4:19
He Don't 3:04
Drugs (Featuring Big Ra) 4:24
Missing You 3:44
This Is Me 4:28
'Go Hard 4:24

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Daniel: Just Me Again (Self-Released, 2002)

Further smooth contemporary R&B from Saginaw, MI artist Daniel (Waltenburg.) The album appears to be self-released but there is little information in the inlays aside from where it was manufactured (Disc Makers, Pennsauken, NJ.) Waltenburg was previously known for his partnership with fellow Saginaw musician Izayne Lewis and record label Dawg House Records which never got off the ground. Sadly this appears to be his only release and these days he appears to have left the music biz. 

Preview 0:43
Today Ain't The Day 3:46
On The Hunt 3:03
Most Beautiful 3:36
Yrs. & Sum Change 3:01
Let's Kick It Again 3:13
If I... (feat. Izayne Lewis) 2:37
Just Me Again 4:51
Yrs. & Sum Change (Piano) 2:57
Outro 1:22

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Alisha Bennett: Like That (Promo CDr) (Prime Time Recordings, 200x)

Upbeat contemporary R&B from a further obscure British artist who I believe appeared on the UK version of X Factor in 2007. I don't know if it was recorded before or after her appearance but the sound is early to mid 2000s.

Another JCH exclusive. Just remember you heard it here first. 

Like That 3:52

Spirit: OOH Right There/Can You Feel Me (CDM) (Night Mood Entertainment, 2002)

Neo soul from a further obscure artist I know nothing about. Both tracks featured are slow jams with neo jazz/blues influences and a deep, throaty vocal. Possibly from Atlanta, GA (as per the recording facilities) although I cannot say for certain.

Just remember you heard it here first. 

OOH Right There 4:01
OOH Right There (Track and Backrgound Vocals) 4:05
Can You Feel Me 3:31
Can You Feel Me (Instrumental) 3:34

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Destinee: Let Me Show You (Promo CDr) (SCI Records, 1999)

Unknown ultra smooth R&B from Detroit, MI. I don't think they are the same outfit featured here but they are definitely a female group. Appearing to be a demonstration, the disc itself is basically a labelled CDr with a paper back inlay. I don't know much about the label SCI Records but a website to the publishing company can be found at this address.

Just remember where you heard it first. 

Radio Vocal Mix 3:45
Radio Rap Mix 3:46
Extended Vocal 5:06
Extended Rap 5:10
Instrumental 5:04

Monday, June 6, 2016

Dawn: Freedom (CDM) (Rebal Innovations, 1999)

Another local release from Brooklyn, NY. Sadly I know nothing about the artist but one of the producers Marty Majeske was previously involved in the New York & New Jersey Chicago-style stepper movement. Mainly a mid-tempo stepper with a soft Denise Williams-type vocal, it comes backed with softer semi instrumental and spoken word remixes.

Big thanks again to Stuart for this contribution.

Freedom 4:37
Freedom [Dub] 5:05
Freedom [Acoustic] 5:44

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Eternal: Sweet Funky Thing (Promo CDM) (EMI Records, 1994)

This was the fifth single to be released from Eternal's debut album Always & Forever and was issued as a double A-side with Oh Baby I... in the UK. This CD was only ever issued to radio stations in the US and features R&B mixes that were only ever pressed onto promotional 12" vinyl. Fortunately the cringe-worthy intro and outro sections that feature the girls talking in faux-American accents are absent from all. **Also issued in the UK as Sweet Funky Thing (R&B Radio CD) Cat# CDEMDJX353**

Sweet Funky Thing (Funky Remix) 5:00
Sweet Funky Thing (Sweet Remix) 5:16
Sweet Funky Thing (Instrumental) 5:28
Sweet Funky Thing (Album Version) 4:49
Sweet Funky Thing (Club Mix) 6:16

Raw Stilo: Cutie (Remixes) (Promo CDM) (DV8 Records, 1995) ‎

Bearing a slight resemblance to Adina Howard's Freak Like Me, here is another bomb from the mid 90s that never had an album. The duo, from NYC, were the one of the first acts to be signed to pop producer Ric Wake's then newly formed label DV8 Records in 1995 which was a joint venture between Wake and A&M Records. They achieved moderate success, reaching number fourteen on the Billboard Hot R&B Singles chart but despite the expectation of an album in the first quarter of '96, they never released anything else. I don't know why but truthfully, I don't think that Wake was all that brilliant at managing urban acts. A further R&B act on his roster Zakiya was also quite neglected and her sophomore album shelved completely in 1999. 

**Promo-only remixes of this underrated 90s gem with new vocals and production.**

Cutie (Shed's Head No Flow Mix) 4:53
Cutie (Shed's Head Mix) 4:53
Cutie (Inner Cypher Xtra Large Bass Mix) 5:18
Cutie (Party Mix) 4:35