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.

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