Tuesday, September 13, 2022

UNRELEASED GROUPS: Tha' Rayne

Originally the brainchild of Naughty By Nature's DJ KayGee, The' Rayne were yet another failed female R&B group from the early 2000s and were signed to Arista Records by Antonio L.A. Reid in 2001. The group, which originally consisted of three vocalists, went through numerous line-up changes before their management finally decided to make them into an R&B version of Salt-N-Peppa in 2002. They released three singles Rock Wit Me, No L.O.V.E. and Didn't You Know between 2001 and 2003 but their debut album Reign Supreme never saw the light of day. After the failure of the two early singles, it was pushed back at least twice and eventually shelved altogether upon Arista's merger with Sony BMG in 2004. A vinyl compilation - stylized as a mixtape - and this 5-track CD sampler are currently the only source for some of these unreleased tracks in full outside of the barrage of LQ internet leaks from back in the day. While the label's other group ISYSS might've appealed more to teen-pop fans at the time, Tha' Rayne had slightly more street credibility. Their unique blend of throwback soul and up tempo hip hop was later revisited by Elizabeth "Yummy" Bingham on her 2006 solo album The First Seed. Producers include Rich Harrison, Precision, Jermaine Dupri, Jimi Kendrix and Bingham’s own father Dinky Bingham on the slinky ”Luv Bug”. It’s worth noting that “Mr Postman” was eventually to be cut from their shelved album despite it being one of their favorite tracks. Again, another great group that could've gone far if only they had the right people behind them which evidently, once again, wasn't Reid...See my post on the vinyl compilation here.