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.

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


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