Christynette

The UK's First Lady of Urban Soul.

Ne-Yo

Unreleased from 2001, Ne-Yo as "Shaffer".

Mya's Liberation

Mya's doomed fourth album.

Girl Power!

Unreleased R'n'B/UK Garage from 2001.

Local Virginia R'n'B on Demo Tape!

From collector's favorites to new unheard of heat, there is no shortage of great music to be found in Virginia.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

BOK Music Presents: Young Female R&B (Promo) (BOK Music, 199x)

Further submissions from a wide variety of songwriters that may have been used in TV shows and movies back in the day. At least three (written by Joleen Belle) were picked up for major label artists ("Good & Plenty" was recorded by R&B group Divine for their 1999 album "Fairy Tales"; "Down & Dirty" was given to teenage singer J'Son for "The 8th Man" soundtrack and "Cool With You" was remade into an acoustic pop number for Jennifer Love Hewitt. Over in Denmark, the later two songs were also given to Danish R&B singer Peaches Lavon, formally of funk duo Peaches & Bobo. With the exception of "Down & Dirty" which pretty much sounds the same as J'Son's version (but with a female vocalist), all the versions here are different as far as I can tell. The remaining songs I know nothing about but the vast majority appear to mimic different smooth 90s R&B styles from early LA Reid & Babyface ("Don't Leave Home Without It") to En Vogue ("You Can't Always get What You Want") to  Brandy ("Git With Me") I believe that Andrea Martin is singing on track 15 although I am not certain that she wrote it.

Throwin' You A Party 4:11
Somethin' To Remember 4:18
All I Know 4:07
Git With Me 4:09
Good & Plenty 4:06
I'm Just Coolin' 4:24
Just For You 4:10
You Don't Know When To Stop 4:29
Cool With You 3:34
If It's Real 4:56
Just The Way That I Want It 4:13
Scat For Me 3:27
Down & Dirty 3:30
From Now On 4:39
Around & Around 4:56 (Andrea Martin)
You Can't Always Get What You Want 3:17
Don't Leave Home Without It 2:37
Deeper 4:11

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Calvin Gaines: Available Songs (Promo CDr) (Warner Chappell Music Inc., 200x)

Further unreleased music from Calvin Gaines, a producer and songwriter from New Jersey who has been active since the late 80s. He is another one who remained under the radar despite working with some of the biggest names in pop from Destiny's Child to Lady GaGa. His forte is primarily R&B but he also writes pop, country and hip hop songs. The above is a collection of his work both unreleased and released that I came across. The first disc contains songs that he submitted to labels but only one (''Suga Rain'') was ever picked up as far as I can tell. If you ever listened to mid-2000s Motown group Her Sanity you will recognize it from their album straight away but on this collection of demos it is

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Kojo - Producer/Songwriter: Urban Vibes (Promo CDr) (MCA Music Publishing, 199x)

The second of my posts highlighting songwriters that you might not have heard of who may have written songs that you may be familiar with brings us to British producer/songwriter Kojo Samuel. The name might not sound all too familiar but he worked as a producer, writer and remixer for the likes of Mica Paris, Lynden David Hall, Damage and other known UK artists during the mid to late 90s era. Notable songs he wrote included "Signature" by Truce, "Runaway Skies" by Celitia Martin, and notable remixes he did included "Anything" by Damage, "Let's Do It Again" by Lynden David Hall and "Secret Love" by Celice, an otherwise obscure vinyl-only release from 1997 that might be familiar to a few fellow collectors out there. I don't know where this particular compilation came from but I am guessing it contains various songs he submitted to labels, most (if not all) unused. With

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Larry Loftin: Promo EP (BMG Music Publishing, 199x)

The first of a series of posts on songwriters beginning with Larry Loftin, a Brooklyn singer/songwriter who spent most of his career being shunned by major labels as they did not know how to market him. His music is not your typical run-of-the-mill R&B but has elements of blues, rock and even country. Regardless he managed to carve out a pretty decent career writing for many notable artists and some of his most biggest achievements to date include "All That I Am" by Joe (featured here) and "Thugz Mansion" by Tupac. Also recognizable is "I Fall So Deep" which was later recorded by UK pop artist Gary Barlow for his 1997 album "Open Road." I don't know if any of the other songs featured here were recorded by anybody else but may have been used in TV shows and movies (his original demo of "I Fall So Deep" was featured in the movie B.A.P.s.) His first full length album "Masterpiece" can be found on CDBaby.

Heartbreak Road 4:16
I Fall So Deep 4:00
Only One Road 3:31
I Will Be Waiting For You 3:27
Rain 4:01
All That I Am 3:19

Nyna Chante: Southwest Regional A&R Compilation Sept. '91 (Promo Cassette) (1991)

Over the years a guy on eBay has been selling a lot of rare promo cassettes, many unreleased demos from known and unknown artists alike. His impressive collection incorporates many genres of music, including much R&B, but sadly because of the high demand for it almost anything of interest has snapped up over the years. From time to time, I have gone through the remaining dregs he had up for Buy It Now and found a few gems of my own such as JPD Jams and San Fransisco Originals but unfortunately even these appear somewhat rare these days. The above tape, a compilation submitted to Teresa LaBarbera-Whites (a-then talent scout for Columbia records), is literally the last thing of interest that I managed to find whilst wading through all the crap that has been left behind. Disregarding the first four tracks of alt rock garbage, the final two tracks are 90s New Jack Swing/R&B from an unknown female artist and appear to exist nowhere else but here.

Don't Know What To Do 3:55
What Love Is 4:24

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Various: Upcoming Urban Chrysalis Music Sampler (Promo) (Chrysalis Music Group USA, 200x)

More unreleased R&B/Hip Hop music from Chrysalis Music Group USA, a publishing company with a wide variety of artists on many major labels from Universal, Virgin and Kedar Massenburg's Kedar Entertainment Group. No date of issuance but guessing the mid-2000s going by the few singles that were released by Johnta Austin, Majic Massey and others. Chi-Town's Massey, a former member of the group Entourage, managed to hold onto his recording contract with Universal's Street Records Corporation for a decade but for some reason he never got an album out of it. He released about a dozen songs between 2005-2010 but the closest he got to an album was a couple of

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Canela: S/T (Advance CD) (Dreamworks, 2001) (Original post from 9/27/15)

Another 'shelved' album, this time from Jennifer Lopez' former backing singer Canela Cox. Discovered by Rodney Jerkins while performing at one of Lopez' concerts, Cox was brought to the attention of Dreamworks Records and immediately signed to the label in 2001. After the failure of her first two singles, Sponsor (I Need I Need) and the Jerkins-produced Everything, Cox' debut album was pushed back until it fell victim to re-shuffling upon Universal Records acquisition of Dreamworks in 2001. It's a shame as it is as good, if not better, than the stuff her former colleague Lopez was putting out at the time. Mainly a mixture of uptempo urban-pop numbers in the style of My Love Don't Cost A Thing and soft, melodic Janet Jackson type balladeering, it is a solid first effort. Mostly produced by Jerkins and his brother Freddie who mostly stick to their usual formula aside from on the futuristic, fast-slow Outta Here which sounds like it was inspired in part by Janet's What About from her Velvet Rope CD.

Featuring DJ Clue & Duro on the remix. This would begin their five year stretch of contributing top quality remixes to every popular song out at the time. 

Everything 4:13
Sponsor (I Need I Need I Need) 2:45
Love,Lust,Crime 4:39
Friend Of Mine 4:25
I Can't Let Go 4:47
Outta Here 5:47
Play Your Games 3:31
It Feels Just Right 4:39
One Day 4:33
Trust Me 4:17
Sponsor (I Need I Need I Need) Remix featuring Fabolous* 4:27

*uncredited

Deja: Dreamworks Records Urban Music Sampler 2000 (Dreamworks Records, 2000) (Original post from 1/12/18)

A further unreleased production from an unknown 2000s female artist and produced by Flavahood (Big Baby & Suga Mike.) I know nothing about the artist but sounds like it may have been written by Lil' Mo who worked alongside Flavahood in the late 90s-early 2000s producing and writing for many popular artists not limited to Nicole Wray, 702 and others. 

Don't Come Around    3:05

Friday, November 29, 2019

More unreleased R&B music from DreamWorks Records

Further unreleased music from Dreamworks Records, yet another label (along with EastWest and Mercury Records in the UK), who had many shelved quality albums in the early 2000s. Most of these artists were shelved when the label was acquired by Universal but personally I don't think DreamWorks was the place to be for an up-and-coming urban artist anyway. Along with Hollywood Records, they were mostly suited to Disney trash and "alternative" rock music but did manage to have some degree of success with Blackstreet, Floetry and the Johnston Sisters (JS) although all they were mostly capable of was one-or-two-hit-wonders. Among the shelved R&B artists on the

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Tynisha Keli: 3-Track Sampler (Promo CDr) (Warner Bros Records, 2004)

Unreleased sampler from Tynisha Keli, who formally got her start with a pop group Gyrlz Society in the early 2000s. I think they were intended to be somewhat similar to Dream and P.Y.T. but their career never went beyond one single "Respect Me" in 2001. Likewise, Keli's solo career also never really took off either and her two albums "The Chronicles of T.K" and "The 5th Element" were only ever released in Japan. I am guessing the above tracks were for an earlier U.S. project that was later scraped but "Crazy" might sound familiar as it was also recorded by 3LW for their sophomore album "A Girl Can Mack." Les poppy than her work that was eventually released (albeit in Japan), most, if not all, were produced by Beau Dozier, son of former Motown era writer Lamont Dozier.

Anything 3:52 (includes a sample of "Africa" by Toto.)
U Ain't Gotta Worry 4:21
Crazy 4:13

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Jamie Hawkins: Vibe Sampler (Promo) (EastWest/Monami Entertainment, 2001)

Further unreleased music from the disastrous EastWest label in the early 2000s with Jamie Hawkins and a further find (1 of 2 actually) from Napo in and around the Virginia Beach area. A former musical director for Boyz II Men, Hawkins' demo was passed onto music executive Mona Scott who allegedly pulled him off tour with Lauryn Hill (where he was then serving as her musical director) to sign him. He was the first artist with Scott's Monami Entertainment label which was distributed at the time by Elektra. His album is very much acclaimed  -Hawkins had a modern Stevie Wonder-esque appeal - but it sadly went unreleased following his one and only single "Lost My Mind." I don't know the history behind this but knowing the label's track record of dropping artists after only one or two singles I am inclined to place the blame with them. Hawkins has now followed in the footsteps of his parents who were both gospel singers.
 
Lost My Mind (Scott Storch Remix) 4:40 
You're The One For Me (Album Version) 4:37 
Tell Me (Album Version) 4:24 
Thought You Should Know (Album Version) 5:16 
More And More (Album Version) 4:21 
Next To You (Album Version) 4:28 
Lost My Mind (Album Version) 4:35 
Just Jamie (Outro) 2:05

Made In London: A Perfect Storm (Promo) (RCA Records, 2000)

Further unreleased music from Made In London, a UK-based pop group of British and Scandinavian extraction.  Along with Smoke 2 Seven, they were one of quite a few girl groups in the early 2000s that didn't stay around. They were mostly known for their single "Dirty Water" which featured a sample from Digital Underground's "Humpty Dance" and for their b-side covers of notable songs by Terence Trent D'arby, Grace Jones and others. Their music was a mixture of urban-pop and pop-rock; it was undoubtedly pop music but wasn't confined to a certain specific genre which is always a problem for new groups and artists starting out. They disbanded following a second single "Shut Your Mouth." Thanks again to Stuaaart and his friend for the contribution. 

I'm Not 3:59
Dirty Water 4:37
24 Little Hours 3:57
We Don't Do No Wrong 5:15
Shut Your Mouth 4:13
Ain't Another Love Song 4:34
My Friend 4:18
Believe 4:21
Hit Or Miss 3:48
If You Don't Wanna 3:45
From The First Time 3:52
Magic 4:40

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Dream: Reality (Press Advance) (Promo CDr) (Bad Boy Entertainment, 2003) (Original post from 3/12/16)

It was the latest trend in the early 2000s for major hip hop producers to have a token pop act on their roster and the above group was the brainchild of Bad Boy impresario Sean "Diddy" Combs. After jumping on the contemporary R&B bandwagon in the mid 90s, the Bad Boy brand was responsible for many popular acts including Faith Evans, Total and 112. Sadly by the time the millennium rolled around with its preference towards generic pop music, many of them began to fall out of favor and once again Combs had to decide on a new direction to take: the teen pop market. Originally assembled in 1998 by a talent scout looking to recruit members to form an all-new girl group, Dream was the epitome of a manufactured band. Their first album It Was All A Dream is not something that I

Cheri Dennis: Sampler (Promo CDr) (Bad Boy Entertainment, 2006) (Original post from 5/27/15)

Cheri Dennis had been doing work for Combs since the early 2000s when she provided vocals for the 2001 Bad Boy Entertainment album The Saga Continues... Unfortunately, it would be almost eight years until she would have an album of her own and even then it was not without being pushed back at least once while Combs was preoccupied, as it seems, with his new manufactured girl group Dainty Kane. Dennis' debut album was slated for release in June of 2006 but didn't see the light of day properly until 2008 when it was finally released as a physical CD. This early CD-R sampler, issued some time in 2006, features two tracks that were later cut from the final track-listing, one of

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

The decline of Bad Boy Records

After 10 years of success with artists such as Mary J. Blige, The Notorious B.I.G., Total and others, the early 2000s brought a down turn for Sean ''Diddy'' Comb's empire with shelved/delayed projects from Cheri Dennis and pop group Dream, and the departure of the great Faith Evans who had been with the label since 1994. Dennis had been doing work for Combs since the early 2000s when she provided vocals for the 2001 Bad Boy Entertainment album The Saga Continues... Unfortunately, it would be almost eight years until she would have an album of her own and even then it was not without being pushed back at least once while Combs groomed his new manufactured girl group Dainty Kane for stardom. After being slated for release in June of 2006, Dennis' album In And Out Of

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Ish-Illa: Chicago's Illa (Promo CDr) (BNE Entertainment, 2005)

From Chicago, further unreleased music from Isa-Illa and his transatlantic hip hop/R&B group Da Fello'Ship which included UK singer Camilla Beeput (formerly of 'Fame Academy') and Tupac's brother Morphine. They released one single in the UK only "The Jump Off" (whose video was played on MTV Base) but I don't think they ever released anything else. The above disc features compositions written by Illa that may or may not have been intended for their album... I am not sure. Their are rap and R&B tracks featuring different vocalists/artists in a early to mid-2000s style.

Jump Off 3 The Remix 1:33
We Gon' Make It 3:57
If You Feel This 3:00
Wifey Material 4:17
Body Like That 3:27
Wanna Make Her My Girl 4:02
Creep Up From Behind 3:07
Quit Wasting Time 4:19
On The Flow 1:33
Jump Off 2 Remix 3:42
Bring The House Down 1:34
We Make A Lot Of Noise 1:32
Try So Hard 4:04
I'm Focused 1:32
Regular Jump Off 3:30
The Glow Of Love 4:22
Hard To Live 1:32
That's A Party 3:57

Friday, November 15, 2019

Jermaiah J: Advance (JR Records LLC, 2005)

After there was mp3.com, there was another online music store that failed in the 2000s, BurnLounge. The story behind their demise was significantly more messed up though; in 2007 the Federal Trade Commission filed a suit against them for running an illegal pyramid scheme - they made very little money from the sale of music and made most, if not all, of their money from duping people, many of them artists and musicians, to open up storefronts with them. I am guessing the above guy was one of those people. Like with mp3.com, I have not seen this work anywhere else as it was only sold through the site. Recorded during the mid-2000s the sound is mainly smooth vocal R&B but a few tracks have that MySpace-esque 2005/2006 electronic R&B sound. "Last Night - Remix" in particular is very reminiscent of The-Dream's style. The artist, with a full name of Jeramiah Johnson, can also no longer be found so I am assuming he has gone on to do other things. He was originally based out of Langston, OK. 

Advance 1:53
Come With Me 4:57
Video 3:34
You Don't Know 3:05
See You Again 4:21
Your Fool 4:27
Leaving You Now 4:08
Coming Over 3:43
Late Night 3:18
Runnin 4:16
Lights Camera Action 4:44
Get You Back 3:33
Making Love 3:49
Late Night - Remix 3:34

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

HBCU Presents: Blackberry Volume One (HBCU Network, 2004)

Further music from the HBCU Network featuring attendees from a wide variety of African-American colleges and universities across the country and another great find from Napo in Virginia Beach. A mixture of rap, spoken word and R&B music, standout artists include the Mary J Blige-esque Tonya Chester of Tuskegee University in Alabama, neo soul artist Jahah of Morris Brown College in Atlanta and male vocal group Freestyle Nation of Morehouse College, also in Atlanta.

Intro 0:44 (Various)
It'z About Time 3:26 (Shak-C)
No One But Me 3:44 (Black Soultan)
Ya 'Not Ready 3:49 (Good Company)
Registrar's Office 1:49 (Various)
Off The Wall 3:24 (Good Company)
HBCU Anthem 4:22 (Undefined)
Que Buena Me Suena 4:42 (Rio Negro)
Student's Bill Of Rights 2:19 (Various)
Everybody Up 3:37 (Jahah)
Girlfriend 3:50 (Tonya Chester)
Take Your Time 4:40 (Shak-C)
Ghetto Philosypher 4:29 (Jahah)
Roommate 1:00 (Variou)
Let's Talk 4:49 (Jon Goode)
Grass Looks Greener 3:33 (Various)
What Is It 3:46 (Slim Jem)
Back In Time 5:00 (Freestyle Nation)
Outro 0:17 (Various)

Includes an unknown hidden track

Sunday, November 10, 2019

j'mykaels: Millenium (Demo) (J'Lon Entertainment, 1996)

I first posted this artist a few months back after encountering his only single "Nevermind" hidden away on Amazon. I'd had it saved to my Wish List for some time but it wasn't until Napo contacted us and said he'd found further music by him that I actually thought to buy it. Turns out, he was based out of Virginia Beach and Napo hadn't just found a further single by him but his actual demo. His real name is Johnny Walker and he originally hailed from Minneapolis Minnesota, the home town of Prince. It was no surprising that he once served at his dancer before moving up the ranks; in his earlier career, he served as the lead vocalist to the Columbia Records R&B/New Jack Swing group Radiant (1989) before forming his own label J'lon Entertainment in 1994. His only single "Nevermind" was released in 1996. Sadly nothing else became of this project but we are fortunate to

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Can I Hit It Original Soundtrack Recording (Bigg Starz Entertainment, 1998)

Another super rare find from Virginia, an obscure soundtrack CD to an independent movie about five white guys, with the help of their friends, who try to pull off the party of the year in the 'hood. The film was produced and filmed in Newport, VA with local actors and was supposed to debut in the Spring of 1998. According to the inlay, it was to be a straight-to-video only release. The production company Full Access Films started out in music video production with a show called "Full Access Videos" that was on the WB network on Saturday nights and they later decided to branch out into films. Similarly, this soundtrack features mainly unknown artists but there are two tracks from Massachusetts MC Krumbsnatcher (Krumb Snatcha.) A blend of smooth 90s R&B (Are You Ready, Baby We Can Do It), Garage House (N My Heart), Miami Bass Music (Can I Hit It), G-Funk (Wanna Know) and Thug Rap, an EP was also released on 12" vinyl which has a slightly different track-listing and appears to be highly sought after going by its $190 price tag on Discogs. Many thanks again to Napo for digging this one up and to Stuaaart for sending...

Can I Hit It 5:48 (Tre Featuring Justice Bernard and X-mas)
Mobsters 4:00 (Krumbsnatcher)
Life 4:17 (Tre)
Closer To God 4:41 (Krumbsnatcher)
Wanna Know 4:36 (Big Tre and Da Feature)
When The Sun 5:02 (NiCo Ave)
And The Beat Goes On 5:07 (Karla Brown)
Are You Ready 4:19 (Jason Davis)
N My Heart 4:36 (Juanna Rodriguez Featuring Tre)
Baby We Can Do It 4:02 (Prospect Featuring Mahogany)

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Zaki: S/T (Zaki/EZ Key Management, 2007)

From Virginia Beach, further contemporary R&B and neo soul from the MySpace Days with Zaki Shabazz, an exceptionally versatile artist from Portsmouth who formally went by the stage name "Eazy Keezy." His debut rap CD "H.U.N.G.A.H. Handing Universal And Natural Gems Among Humanity" is highly sought after and in 2003 he auditioned for Chuck Gamble of Philadelphia International Records. Somewhat similar to Musiq Soulchild with electronic production, he still making music and in 2015 released "I Just Wanna Love You" to CDBaby. Many thanks again to Napo and to Stuaaart for keeping this amazing section going!

More information about the artist here, as archived by Waybackmachine in 2007.

Intro 1:13
Made 4 Me 4:58
Let Luv 6:26
Baby On The Way 7:05
Make It Work 5:35
It's Snowing 4:03
When Did It Change 4:45
I'm Gone' Say 'No' 4:50
Time Flies 0:47
Fly Away 4:46
Dependency 4:59
Fall N Luv 4:17
Saturday 4:01

Friday, November 1, 2019

Erica Faye: Demo (CDS) (199x)

Another great find from Napo, an avid crate-hunter based and purveyor of all things funky in and around Virginia Beach who had been supplying Stuart and I with a regular supply of "unreleased heat" since the Spring of 2017. Among the many amazing things that he's found for us include Single's "All The Way", Unda Presha's "The Essence Of Time" and "Foregasm" by Ty Black. He also found 2 EPs by Ultimate Pleazure and "Consequences" by Ebonae, all sought-after collector's items. Despite being headhunted by other collectors in Europe and Japan, he still gives Stuart and I some great deals on the amazing stuff he finds in and around the musical mecca that is Virginia Beach and hopefully soon Maryland and DC as well. Guessing the record date on the above CD - another local artist demo - was late 90s judging by the smooth soulful sound. Track 2 especially sounds like something Kenneth "Babyface" Evans might've produced back in the day and even features a mystery male singer that sounds not unlike him as well. I don't know anything about her sadly - there is no information anywhere and the disc itself is basically just a generic Sony CDr with "Erica Faye" stickered on it - but I don't think she was the same artist who was signed to Carl "Groove" Martin's label in the mid 90s.

All titles are approximate.  

My Side Of Town 4:19
I Dedicate My Love 4:20

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Mondane: Wake Up (Dutch CDM) (CNR Music, 1998)

A further rare trio from the Netherlands and their most widely known single. They recorded many styles of music from R&B to disco to house and went through at least two different line ups. Their singles include a cover of "Ring My Bell" featuring Dutch house act The Course, the above release (which received some plays on Dutch TV), "Y.A.O.M.M." or "You Are On My Mind" and lastly a house track "Love Has Kissed Me." The lead singer of the group was Tanya Shakison who these days is still active in the biz with her group Tanya's Chill. Not as mainstream sounding as say Dignity or Juice - the original version of the above single is very much rooted in classic soul music - but still a great group nonetheless with a very versatile sound.  Many thanks again to Stuaaart for another great contribution.

Wake Up 3:33
Wake Up Classical 3:49
I Want Your Love 3:06
Wake Tripp'r Up 3:53
Wake Up With Me 3:40

Natural Impact: Don't You Even Try (CDM) (Skillz Records, 1998)

First posted as part of a section on obscure European girl groups back in 2017, Natural Impact were a Dutch or at least a Holland-based girl group similar to En Vogue. I know little about them but a music video for the song was made and can be found on You Tube. The song was featured on the following Dutch compilation "Skillz Presentz: New York - Amsterdam" but much of the label's catalog was released in the U.S.

Don't You Even Try (Radio Mix)    3:34
Don't You Even Try (Radio Without Rap)    3:25
Don't You Even Try (Remix)    3:52
Don't You Even Try (12 Mix)    5:05
Don't You Even Try (Instrumental)    3:24
Don't You Even Try (Remix Instrumental)    3:50

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Trinetta: Shoulda Never Let Him (Taste It) (CDM) (Mello City Records, 1995)

Possible early release from independent artist Trinetta Love who originally hailed from the Tri-State area but is now based in Georgia. It was somehow listed under the "Garage House" category on Discogs but the style is 90s R&B with hip hop beats, scratches and samples. The record label still appears to be active and as still promoting some of their artists that they signed back then but for unknown reasons Love doesn't appear to be among them. She has since released two full length albums "Free Agent" and "Enfamous" to CDBaby...you may have also seen her interviewing 50Cent on VH1*.

Radio Edit 3:39
Accappella 3:22
Extended Version w/ Rap 5:05
Instrumental Groove 3:21
Street Mix 3:38

*Purely my own observations going by the similarities in appearances and vocals.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Lady: You'll Never Change (CDM) (C & S Records, 1995)

Produced and written by Eugene Wilde, a further mid-tempo R&B, soul cut from Brunswick, GA. I don't know anything about the artist but Wilde's sister Dee Dee Wilde is on backing vocals (her 2001 album is posted here.)

Also pressed onto 12" vinyl and as always selling for a ridiculous amount of money on Discogs. As always many thanks again to Stuaaart for getting a CD copy. Luckily he managed to score this for just over $10 which is a little more realistic I think!

You'll Never Change 4:30
You'll Never Change [Instrumental] 4:26

Willisha Norris: Don't Keep Me Waiting (CDM) (Bell Tower Entertainment Group, 1994)

Def 90s swingbeat pressing from the City of Brotherly Love. I know nothing about the artist but she does but does have a Last FM profile and seemingly, an album out there....somewhere. No information on the label Bell Tower Entertainment Group but they only have one other artist Kenny Stone in their back catalog from what I've seen so far. **CD pressing with an additional hip hop mix of this slammin' track for yo' listening pleasure. As always, many thanks again to Stuaaart for the contribution**

Don't Keep Me Waiting 4:20
Don't Keep Me Waiting [Hip-Hop Mix] 5:02

Monday, October 21, 2019

Meisha (aka Jameisha Trice): My Life (Dungeon Productions, 2000)

2000 local release from Chi-Town's Jameisha Trice who has been releasing music since the the mid 90s with "Quit Doggin' Me Out" which - along with the self-titled album that she released along with it - has since become somewhat of a sought-after item in collector's circuits. Along with B.G.O.T.I., her brand of G-Funk-esque R&B was off the chain but sadly stayed pretty much underground. I posted her 2006 demo a year ago but here is an earlier album that she did at the turn of the millennium. The sound is very synonymous with Chicago-style R&B in the early 2000s with mainly a very downtempo, smooth sound. Tracks 8 & 9 feature Lil' Bud who along with his brother Tizone were signed by Keith Sweat as "Lil Bud & Tizone" in the mid 90s. Many thanks again to Stuart for the contribution.

My Life 4:36
Lovin' In Vain 3:53
You Don't Love Me 2:48
Stand By 5:38
Tonight 3:49
Love I Want 3:40
Wanna Be With You 3:17
The Block 4:08
Ride With You 4:00
Only Lover 3:14

Sadly although this album is truly great in every way, it is spoiled by the fact that we (Stuart and I) inadvertently acquired a illegitimate pressing through a well-known  seller on eBay. It seems he has become so desperate to sell that he has now resorted to flogging burned CDrs of his past biggest sellers.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

R&B Dubplate Pressure Vol. 1 (CD Comp) (UEG Music, 200x)

Upon hearing the first track on this CD by Jean Norris (originally of Zhané), it sounded extremely familiar to me...turns out I'd heard Leona Lewis singing the exact same track on her 2008 album "Best Kept Secret." The label UEG Records was apparently the singer's second foray into the music business and they allegedly spent a five-figure sum trying to launch her career in 2005 with no success. I don't know who recorded the track first but seeing as Norris' version showed up on a 2002 vinyl compilation, I am guessing it was most likely her. The vast majority of these artists were produced by Barry Bee Offoh who used his label UEG (Unknown Entertainment Group) to help launch the careers of unsigned UK talent. Other producers include his co-founder Joseph Powell and Rico Anderson, a respected DJ and producer from DC. Many of these artists are unknown but there are a few familiar names such as Salt-N-Pepa and Jamecia Bennett. The compositions by Bennett - along with the track by US male quartet Lo Key - I am guessing were from shelved projects in the mid to late 90s. Some tracks such those by Craig Mack's former artist Audiya AKA Gentlemen Thug sound a little cheesy - a touch overproduced with all the scratching - but overall Offah had a good ear for talent and for production. It is a shame he put all his energy into Leona Lewis although I can see why he did.

Ready To Get Down 4:01 (Jean Norris)
Hot 2 Deff (Deep Inside) 3:42 (Audiya)
Baby Girl 3:45 (Audiya)
Imagine 3:56 (Salt-N-Pepa feat. Sheryl Crow)
U Got To Believe Pt 2 4:50 (Sounds Of Blackness)
Never Get Enough 4:08 (Cornell Stone)
Thug Wife 4:02 Jamecia Bennett)
Where Da Party At 5:46 (Lace feat. Nonchalant)
I Can Tell 3:27 (Galactic Mutherland)
1, 2 & 3 (U And Me) 4:10 (Jaz Jackson)
The Way You Should Be Loved 3:50 (Lo Key)
Everyday (I Can) 5:05 (J Hella)
RU Single 4:09 (Gentlemen Thug feat. Audiya)
Signed And Sealed 5:18 (Jamecia Bennett)
Thug Life (Remix) 4:17 (Jamecia Bennett)
Destiny (Bonus) 3:30 (Galactic Mutherland)

Shorty ''B'' Records Presents: Platinum Vol. 1 (Shorty ''B'' Records, 2002)

More music from my local area with Shorty B Records and a mixture of Hip Hop, G-Funk and contemporary R&B from a selection of male and female artists alike. Put together to raise awareness of Lupus, many of them are unknown but stand-out tracks include the steamy "Tonight" by Tangary (male) and the G-Funk jeep joint "Sunshine State" by Mes'Te (female MC.) One artist Moniquea - a modern funk singer - was brought up in Pasadena by her mother who was the lead singer of a local group The Roses. Her eponymous album was released digitally in 2011. Another featured artist Kanya Coleman also released further work although I don't know anything about her. The label appears to be no longer active but was owned by Stuart Jordan (aka Shorty B) who was formally a member of Digital Underground in their beginnings. Later he was known for his work for Too Short and The Dangerous Crew. I don't know if he ever released anything else.

The Love He Gave 3:59 (Kanya Coleman)
Lost Souls 3:50 (Marvin Walker)
It's You 3:34 (Patricia Diaz)
Sunshine State 3:41 (Tresjur Feat. Tangaray)
Trying To Play Me 4:00 (Moniquea)
Shake It For Me 4:41 (Lil V)
Get About 3:45 (Heavenly)
Freaky 4:06 (Tangaray)
A Party Ain't A Party 3:26 (Moniquea Feat. Toccara)
Come Back To Me 3:09 (Ali Taylor)
Tonight 6:17 (Tangaray)
Plugs 3:55 (Mes'Te Feat. Tangaray)

Monday, October 7, 2019

Lovecat Music Presents: Hip Hop & R&B Jams Vol. 1 & Solid Soul Vol. 2

More obscure R&B from Lovecat Music, an independent label based out of NYC with a catalog of over 10,000 songs from various artists across many genres. They started out dabbling in indie rock but these days they are mostly known for their extensive Latin catalog. Outside of Joya Owens and South African vocal quartet Khalil, most of their R&B acts seemed to appear on compilations like the ones above. Sadly the vast majority of the tracks are subpar 'alternative' hip hop but there are a few good tracks here. I don't know anything about any of the artists but I am pretty certain that one of them Sex is not the same male group as was signed to Pendulum Records in the 90s. Many of them appear to be Canadian and "Solid Soul Vol. 2" in particular seems to be a continuation of sorts to this album here. Sadly once again most of the track-list is marred yet again by more poor alternative hip hop, notably Nigel Williams and his awful group Pocket Dwellers. Stand out tracks include "Everything's Changed" by Caroldene and "Come On" by My-Kal. "Sexual" by Sex also deserves a mention although that along with "Water Deep" by Nenareechi appear to be very underground sounding and in monaural sound only.

Hip Hop & R&B Jams Vol. 1 (hip hop & rap tracks omitted)
Everything Changed 2:57 Caroldene
Sexual 2:40 SEX+Y
Never Gonna Leave You 3:00 JES
Water Deep 2:43 Nenareechi
 Just Keep On Walking 1:55 Rod
Groove On 2:58 G-Melos
Peek-a-Boo 2:52 G-Melos

Solid Soul Vol. 2 (hip hop & rap tracks omitted)
Good Life 4:40 Kaybe
Coming Home 4:44 Kaybe
Here We Are 4:54 Kaybe
Come On 4:56 My-Kal

Thursday, October 3, 2019

PMC: Pure Heat (Oasis CD & Cassette Duplication, 1998)

Further previously unheard R&B out of Philly with Oasis CD & Cassette Duplication's "Pure Heat" compilation. Noteworthy artists include Keli Nicole Price (not to be confused with Kelly Price) whose later claim to fame was co-writing "Deja Vu" for Beyoncé, Shawn Chappelle, East Coast trio Pro and female quartet Vyntaje. Pro's Gerald Thomas produced 4 bangin' tracks on Nicole Wray's debut album and also produced the tracks here by Chappelle and Vyntaje. He later formed Dynamic Duo with David Holmes who produced tracks for Lil' Mo, Total and MC Lyte. As part of Pro he also had an earlier single "Thoughts Of You." As for Price, she is often confused with fellow singer Kelly Price but her name is actually Keli Price and as well as Beyoncé, she has also co-written Darkchild-produced tracks for Dainty Kane and Tamia along with Canadian singer-songwriter Delisha Thomas. Other interesting tracks include the soulful & smooth "You Will Know" by Marlowe and "When You Cry" by Vocal Pointe, a Latin contemporary R&B group similar to C-Note.

You Will Know 2:07 (Marlowe)
It's Just A Promo 1:33 (Storm The Unpredictable)
Long Time Coming 5:15 (Gemini)
I Will Put It On U 4:14 (Jack Napia)
S.N.A.K.E.S. 5:08 (D.S. 2000)
T.H.U.G.S. 4:23 (Freddie Fingaz & DA Kleptoz)
Outer Space 4:02 (The Inkredible)
To Those In Need 4:42 (Gia)
Don't Know Why 3:19 (Keli Nicole Price)
Everything 3:03 (Pro)
The One 3:49 (Vyntaje)
Neva B Lonely 3:59 (Shawn Chappelle)
Sweet Honey Brown 4:33 (Ascension)
It's Not About The Game 5:11 (Frell Rell)
Midnight Blue 3:48 (Bottomland)
Delivery Man 3:25 (Herd Of Blues)
When You Cry 4:17 (Vocal Pointe)
Triple Threat 3:55 (C-Sharp)

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Dae'1: Demo (EP) (1995)

More obscure music on tape with this 3-track demo from an Atlanta male vocal group. While I can't really place "Soken Wet," the final 2 tracks are very reminiscent of the style of Boyz II Men and Jodeci during the 90s era. Sadly despite being recorded onto a high quality Type II tape, the quality on these two tracks is not the best with track 3 in particular sounding like it may have been recorded off local radio.

Soken Wet 5:18
Finally (We Made It Girl) 6:00
Choosey Lover 5:45

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Tre' Mayne: R-U-Ready (Cassingle) (Buena V Records, 1996)

More dope R&B from Georgia with Tre' Mayne, an artist on a subsidiary label to Bellmark Records in the mid 90s whose sexy R&B style was somewhat similar to R. Kelly. I don't know if his then-forthcoming album "My Own Thing" was ever released or not but as per allmusic, he released an album in 1999 titled "How Many Licks".  

R-U-Ready 4:33
R-U-Ready (Instrumental) 4:33

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

j'mykaels: Nevermind (CDM) (J'Lon Entertainment, 1996)

From Minneapolis, MN, another smooth EP from an unknown male artist and a mixture of acoustic soul and Jodeci-style 90s R&B. I don't know much about him but appears to be connected to a former backing dancer for Prince Johnny Walker. Although it may have started out in Minneapolis, the label J'Lon Entertainment is now based out of Virginia Beach.

Read more about him and see his demo here!

Nevermind 4:18
Nevermind (Instrumental) 4:21
Talk Sex Remix 1:15
Talk Sex 4:28

Monday, September 16, 2019

Ultimate Pleazure: The Man In Me (EP) (Big Daddy Entertainment, 1998)

Yet another classic CD found while digging through the crates in and around Virginia Beach and the follow-up to their previous self-titled EP recorded as a quartet with Donald "Theo" Thorogood in 1994. It is a variant of "Emotions Of A Real Man" which was released the previous year. I don't know if this particular one counted as a single but it omitted "Kitty Kitty" and "Na Na Bandit" for radio versions of two other existing tracks. The duo themselves hail from Chesapeake but this is the second time that our friend has found one of their CDs during his regular excursions and this particular one was signed by group member Vernon "T-Luv" Battle. You can read more about them here.

Kitty Kitty 4:18
Dreamin' 5:25
Na Na Bandit 3:43
Still In Love 4:43
Lover Not A Player 5:02

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Stand4Truth: Totally Abandoned (Self-Released, 2002)

I first became curious about this group after seeing their demo on eBay. Granted, I am not the biggest fan of gospel but do like some of the more contemporary stuff, notably by female groups. Sadly the cost of it ($100) was just too much at the time and taking into account much of the other stuff that the seller sold for ridiculous prices was not very good, I declined to buy it. Was it as good as the seller obviously thought it was? I found their whole album a few weeks back for a somewhat normal price and decided to find out...Sadly it is mostly all acoustic type stuff  but there are a few quite good tracks, not blazin' stuff but nice contemporary gospel/soul tracks. Obviously, this was just a project that they recorded for their Church and not something really intended for a more wider audience but at least now I know anyway and didn't have to spend $100 from yet another ridiculous seller on eBay to find out. 

The Urgency Part 1 0:40
Only One Life 4:28
Bond Of Love 2:58
Where Is Hope 5:11
I Know 3:05
Mirrored Image 3:10
The Urgency Part 2 0:55
Life Is A Vapor 3:46
Mr Ditty 2:18
Mercy Psalm 3:15
Totally Abandoned 2:43
The Urgency Part 3 1:04
Free 4:52

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Ross Sistas: Lucky One (CDM) (Destini West Records, 2002)

Further music from the Bay Area with the Ross Sistas, a further Filipina group that first appeared on a compilation Best Of The Bay Volume One (2000) along with many other Bay Area-based Asian-Pacific American groups and artists not limited to Pamela Serrano, Epic Voices and others. Unfortunately they appear to be primarily a pop group - "Lucky One" is very much the epitome of a Disney-esque pop ballad and its remix very much suited for the OPM market - but judging by the strength of "Baby I'm Yours", I would've liked to have heard their other work if any ever existed. I can definitely see the similarities to Premier and other Filipina groups from that era on this track.

Lucky One (Dance Mix) 5:16
Lucky One (Slow Ross J.A.M.) 4:46
Baby I'm Yours (Bay Area R&B Mix) 3:21
Lucky One (Original Pop Ballad) 4:44
Bonus (Unplugged) 4:59
Bonus (Acappella) 4:43

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

BAJ: Demo (EP) (270 Incorporated, 2001)

From Cali's Bay Area, a further female group demo from 2001 with 3 tracks. I know nothing about them but the sound - smooth & funky R&B - is very much reminiscent of the late 90s era.  Sadly due to its age, the sound is not the best on the first two tracks. I am guessing the disc was either exposed to sunlight or the glue in the paper label leached through to the dye later bellow and corrupted much of the data there - a common phenomenon on these old CDrs, particularly ones with adhesive paper labels. Most of the audio, particularly during loud passages, has static and jitter, but fortunately the the one track that does play perfectly - a smooth mid-tempo number about moving on from a fickle relationship - is pure fire. It appears to be a cover of a song from another group Ol' Heads which was originally from a year before. Whether the two groups were related in any way, I cannot say but according to the back of this CD, this group were between 15-17 years old when this particular project was made.

I Might Just Love You    4:03
Just You And me    4:05
Pack Your Bags & Go    3:50

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Monique: Fallin' In Love (CDM) (Ymani Entertainment, 1997)

More rare R&B from Westchester County, NY and samples "Reel To Reel" by Grand Puba with a smooth slow jam on the b-side. I don't know much about the artist but this appears to be the only contemporary R&B release that she has done. In 2003, she released a gospel album "Goin' Under" and in 2004 released an EP (under the alias "Tatejams Artists") to CDBaby. Possibly related to this artist here although don't know for absolute certain. They were both produced by the same guy Mel Bolden or Mel B for short. 

Fallin' In Love (Album Mix) 4:36
Fallin' In Love (Instrumental) 4:32
Fallin' In Love (A Cappella) 4:36
Broken Hearted (Album Mix) 4:20
Broken Hearted (Instrumental) 4:17

Friday, August 16, 2019

Jasmine Jai: Be Easy (EP) (Self-Released, 2002) (Original post from 3/31/16)

Hailing from Philly, another hidden item found on a popular shopping site. The artist was a former VJ on Philadelphia video show Urban X-Pressions and toured with Kelis, Amerie, 50 Cent and others before embarking on her own solo career in the early 2000s. The above work was recorded under her former moniker "Jasmine Jai" but she is now known by her real name Jade Alston. Blending hip hop, soul and rock music, she was once described as having a Pink-meets-Missy Elliott type of vibe but these days she is doing a fantastic job at blending in with the current music scene.You can check out her latest work on Amazon and CDBaby.

Just remember you heard it here first.

I Am Jasmine Jai 1:24
In My Dreams 3:03
Trippin 3:37
Be Easy 3:23
Stop, Rewind 0:25
In My Dreams (A Capella) 2:57
Trippin (A Capella) 3:03

Kwei: The Making Of...(Darimar Records, 2007)

Along with Jasmine Jai, Philly's Kwei Brunson was the only other featured artist on the Darimar compilation that released his own work. While Alston self-released her EP a year prior, Brunson released this album via the same label four years later in 2007. Three songs featured (Goodbye, Singing And Dancing And What Now) were originally recorded in 2003 but here they have been remade with more mid-2000s club appeal. Mostly a very upbeat album, also included is an emotional live performance of another song "Love Is What You Make It" which as far as I can tell is an original song the artist wrote himself. Altogether a good first effort; vocally not Stevie Wonder but definitely shines the best on the more slower tracks, including one of my absolute favorites "When Will I Find My Girlfriend."

Intro    1:36
Goodbye    5:08
What Now Feat: Tefflon    3:20
Coming Home (Skit)    0:39
Singing And Dancing    3:29
Think Big Feat: Tefflon    4:04
Don't Fall For Their Game Feat: Da Phoxx    3:45
Inside Of Me (Interlude)    2:11
Love Is What You Make It (LIVE PERFORMANCE)    5:54
I Need Your Love    4:54
Real Talk (Skit Feat: Unikue)    1:25
When Will I Find My Girlfriend    4:45
Outro - Think Big (The Dj Wikked "Phil-More Remix")    6:48

Monday, August 12, 2019

Darimar Records Presents: Compilation (Darimar Records, 2003)

Another place that had a great urban music scene back in the day (and one which thus far I've completely overlooked) was Pennsylvania on America's East Coast. On this blog alone, I posted a great number of amazing things from its towns and cities notably Unda Presha (who sounded very similar to one of PA's biggest and best exports) and more contemporary favorites such as La'Trese and Monique Moseé. The above compilation is yet another testament to how much of a musical mecca the City of Brotherly Love is. Featuring the work of 6 local artists, it is a mixture of mainly contemporary R&B

Monday, August 5, 2019

J-7'even: Make It Hot (Promo VLS) (Richboy South Ent., 200x)

The second of my former featured artists' posts and again introduced on my blog sometime back in 2015. From Atlanta, GA, the group's first single "Taste" was produced by Rico Lumpkins (TLC, Vega et al) but this and the above promotional 12" (produced by Llyod Turner & Kelvin Bradshaw of Atlanta-area group Basic Black) are the only two things that they ever did and seemingly the only two releases in the label Richboy South Entertainment's catalog. No date of release but guessing around the same time as their previous single. 

Radio Edit w Rap 4:04
Club Mix w Rap 4:26
Acappella 4:26

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Nee Nee Gwynn AKA Anisha Nicole: Let's Go/I Don't Care (Promo VLS) (Base Hit Records, 200x)

Former featured artists revisited beginning with San Diego-based singer Anisha Nicole whose album and earlier single I featured on this blog back in 2015. The daughter of former major league basketball player Tony Gwynn, she signed to her mother's label in 2003 and managed  to break into the Billboard top 100 with her first single "No Means No" followed by an album "19" which featured production from some big names such as DJ Premier, Full Force and Vincent Herbert. Released under her former alias Nee Nee Gwynn, the above songs did not feature and were only ever released as a "mailing advance" to local DJs. The style is less poppy than "No Means No" and more in line with the mid-2000s R&B sound of her album. "Let's Go" especially brings it to the max with the ethnic instrumentation popularized by Scott Storch and others while "I Don't Care" would not have sounded out of place on a Destiny's Child or Beyoncé album. Altogether a very commercial sounding artist for her day.

Let's Go feat. Deuce Poppi  3:32
Let's Go (Instrumental) 4:45
Let's Go (Acappella) 3:45
I Don't Care 4:11
I Don't Care (Instrumental) 4:11
I Don't Care (Acappella) 4:07

Thursday, August 1, 2019

NKRU: Fun, Fun, Fun (Unreleased Track) (1993)

Further music from NKRU, a four-piece girl group signed to a division of RCA Records in the early 90s and who were mostly known for their cover of Zap & Roger's hit "Computer Love." The above track, a slice of early 90s rap flava, appeared on the above compilation only and was said to be lifted from their non-existent album "Freaky To You" which was not released. Maybe they were too similar to TLC or maybe the label didn't know best how to market them. Were they a rap group or an R&B group? Regardless they were definitely leagues above TLC with their version of Zap & Roger's 80s classic sounding almost as noteworthy as the original. It is unfortunate that they never made it beyond 1 single but about a year later their label Kaper Records had some degree of success with another group Blackgirl.

Fun, Fun, Fun 4:21