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)