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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Damozel: What Goes Around (White Label VLS) (2000)

Further unreleased joint from shelved MCA R&B group Damozel and pressed onto white label vinyl in the early 2000s. The song, which was produced by Dave "Jam" Hall, never appeared on the track-listing to either of their advances but did appear on a bootleg 12" featuring some tracks from the 2001edition. Black Rob's 1999 song "Whoa" is on the sample...

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Damozel: You Don't Know Me Like That (Advance) (MCA, 2000)

Another shelved R&B group, this time the brainchild of another shelved artist from the 90s Kelli Ball (AKA K-Ball.) Ball  formed and created the 4-piece group but their debut album You Don't Know Me Like That was shelved after just one single. The album - featuring input from Ball herself, Dave "Jam" Hall, Travon Potts, Willie Briggs (Kevin 'She'kspere' Briggs) and many others - was eventually re-tooled for release the following year but again it was shelved after their second single Everyday's A Party did not do as well as expected. Because of it being shelved by MCA Records not once but twice, two different album advances exist with separate catalog numbers and different track-listings. Both are rare and go for large sums of money ($80+) but the earlier 13-track advance which I was lucky enough to find is undoubtedly the rarer of the

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Lyric: He Did What!! (International Pocket Records, 1999)

Not the same group that were signed to Clive Davis' J Records label in the early 2000s but another earlier independent group from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Their style was predominantly old skool, a mixture of G-Funk, smooth R&B and quiet storm sensibilities with big soul diva vocals. This was their one and only album and as far as I can tell, the only thing that the label International Pocket Records ever released. The label, based out of Tennessee, was owned and run by singer-songwriter David Porter.

All About Him 4:05
Why Envy Me 4:30
I'm All That 4:03
Is There Anybody Out There 5:10
Your Love Was Cool 4:51
Should I Trust U 4:31
I Grew Up (Just 4 U) 4:28
Stormy Nights 4:31
Cloud #9 4:56
Why Can't U Hear Me 4:19
It's All On U 4:40

Friday, July 17, 2015

Honey Jones: Rockin'/I Can Only Be Me (CDM) (Chilltown Records, 1999)

Another decent EP from Jersey artist Honey Jones who could've been the next Brandy or Monica if she'd had the right folks behind her. The EP, which contains 2 main tracks, is a little on the old skool side but is very reminiscent of late 90s Mary J. Blige, particularly during the Share My World era. Sadly her debut LP I Can Only Be Me was not released...

Rockin 4:37
Rockin (Album Mix/No Rap) 4:14
I Can Only Be Me 4:04
I Can Only Be Me (Album Mix) 4:13
Rockin (Knod Your Head Mix) 3:58
Rockin (Accapella) 4:32

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Famil: When It Rains (GMG Music Group, 2008)

Debut release from shelved NJ sister quartet Famil and released through Atlanta-based indie label GMG Music Group in 2008. There is very little - if any -  information on it and I basically found it incidentally while searching through the group's back catalog on Amazon. Although 1 song "Gangsta Gangsta" is still streaming on their SoundClick page, there is no mention of the rest of the work anywhere. Somewhat similar to their earlier stuff on Universal with Vincent Herbert, it is mainly sample-heavy R&B but with a slightly more soulful edge. They wrote all the tracks themselves but for one ("Rookie".) Sadly the last thing of interest from this very underrated group. I have no idea if they are still performing together or not but one member Dreamy has since begun trying to carve out a solo career for herself in East Orange, NJ.

Taken from inside booklet:
"Vivacious, sensational, vocalicious, beautiful and dynamic are the adjectives describing this sister quartet called "Famil". This "diva dynasty" was born and bred in "Brick City" fashion (Newark, NJ) and is one of the natural resources hailing from this great city and state. Newark is currently being positioned to be the rebirth of a new "Mecca of music" and Famil will be a part of the continued heritage of famous artists residing from the great state of New Jersey.

The group is comprised of blood sisters, Dreamy, Kristy, Natasha and Jasmine who all bring their own distinct styles of dauntless charisma to the vocal mix. Famil's vocal stylings include rhythm and blues, hip-hop, and the traditional African American church training of gospel music.

Famil, formerly signed with Universal/Motown Records, has since ventured out on their own and remains a powerhouse of kinetic vocal ability ready to take the music game to new heights."

Mic Check 2:57
Hood Chic 2:47
Gangsta Gangsta 3:38
Interlude 0:16
Fanatic 4:56
New Man 4:18
I Got It 3:06
When It Rains 3:17
Oooh Waaa ft Lava 1:45
Maybe 3:19
Maybe Remix 3:38
Money Talk 3:33
Rookie 3:41

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Nee-Nee AKA Anisha Nicole: No Means No (CDM) (Base Hit Records, 2003)

More indie R&B, this time out of San Diego and the daughter of former major league basketball player Tony Gwynn. Signed to her mother's label, she managed to break into the Billboard top 100 with the above release and a few years later went on to release a whole album which featured production from big name producers DJ Premier, Full Force and Vincent Herbert. I shall be posting this in due course but this single is notable as it did not appear on the track-listing and was recorded under an earlier alias "Nee-Nee (Gwynn)" While her album is pretty much in line with work by similar mainstream artists at the time, this single has a slightly more eclectic sound...

No Means No 3:53
No Means No (Without Rap) 3:53
No Means No (Remix) 3:40
No Means No (TV Mix) 3:52

Monday, July 13, 2015

Ránell: Come To Me (CDM) (Hood Records, 199x)

Mega rare mixes of Ranell's Come To Me, which was the only single to be taken from her equally scarce self-titled album. No date of release but Discogs info on the vinyl states 1999.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Four Colourz: FourColourz.com (BMG Ariola, 2000)

Bay Area female quartet who's debut release was written & recorded in Germany. Their Discogs profile describes them as a pop-rap group but their music is early 2000s R&B in the vein of 3LW with a slight hint of Europop. Not fantastic but certainly one of the better European contemporary R&B groups I've come across along with Juice and Dignity...

Intro 1:18
ABCD 3:33
Dog Me In 0:51
Dog Me Out 3:20
Can You Feel Me 3:54
Who 3:33
Get With You 4:24
Rain On Your Parade 3:54
Anything 3:27
What 4:38
Missing You 3:31
Sisters 3:31
California 3:50
Thank You 0:38

3rd Faze: S/T (Edel Entertainment, 2001)

DC-meets-Britney with former touring group 3rd Faze who were at one point poised for big things but unfortunately owing to epic bad decisions by their management and former Columbia Records CEO Tommy Motolla found themselves dropped within a year. Thankfully, they were more influenced by DC than Spears though there are one or two cheesy pop stinkers that I avoid. Mostly produced by little known producers who do a good job of emulating urban pop sounds from the years preceding, particularly from Rodney Jerkins and a few others. Not really in the same league as AJA but not bad for what was essentially a children's group at the time...

Shy 3:12
World Of Make Believe 3:26
If Ever You Feel the Need 4:46
Over You 3:12
Go Slow 2:59
Chameleon 3:54
Not Like Her 3:29
Throw the Roses 3:28
They Don't Know You 3:02
How Can You Tell 3:06
Dance 3:57
Boy You Gotta Go 3:19
Believe 3:46
Go for It 1:57

Friday, July 10, 2015

Tha' Rayne: Still Reigning - The Mixtape (Promo Vinyl Comp) (2002)

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 Artista's merger with Sony BMG in 2004. The above vinyl compilation - stylized as a mixtape - and a further 5-track CD sampler are currently the only

Thursday, July 9, 2015

LovHer: S/T (Album Advance) (Def Soul, 2002)

Along with Isyss, LovHer was another R&B girl group that emerged in the early 2000s that was lost in the hype of Destiny's Child. The group, consisting of members from three different states, was formed by former Dru Hill singer Sisqó, in the late 90s and brought to prominence as Def Soul's first female R&B group in 2002. Unlike Destiny's Child, LovHer had soul and some semblance of street appeal about them but unfortunately their time on the music scene was the shortest yet. After the lackluster performance of their first and only single How It's Gonna Be, the band was dropped from their label and their debut release was cancelled. As far as

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Honey Luv: Trippin' (White Label VLS) (2003)

Another hidden group from the early 2000s, this time signed to rapper Nelly's former label Fo'Reel Entertainment and formally known as the Bay-area Pinay R&B group Premiere in the mid 90s. As Premiere they released one album but as Honey Luv they  never even made it past one buzz single. This is the only thing that I could find by them and was pressed onto white label vinyl in 2003. I believe that it might've been manufactured in Japan although I am not entirely sure. It features two songs Trippin', which samples The Isley Brothers' 1983 song Between The Sheets, and the B-side track It's On, which is typical early 2000s urban-pop stuff. I don't know who the producer was but the vocals are very Mariah-esque, particularly on the title track. It's a shame they never went anywhere, not even in the underground with fellow Pinay R&B group One Vo1ce, but as I said previously the early 2000s was probably the worst time to be any female R&B group other than Beyonce...

Trippin' (Radio) 4:15
Trippin' (OG Mix) 4:14
It's On 3:16
Trippin' (Inst) 4:17

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

TG4: Time For The New (Advance CD) (T.U.G. Entertainment/A&M Records, 2002)

Yet another group to emerge in the early 2000s along with Isyss, LovHer, Her Sanity and Lyric was Sevyn Streeter's former group Tom Gurl Four (Abr.TG4) Signed to Chris Stokes' T.U.G. Entertainment in 2001, the band released two singles Virginity and Two Minutes but neither were a success and the members shortly went their own separate ways. Their debut album Time For The New was 'shelved' and limited copies were only ever available for promotional purposes. It was primarily produced by Chris Stokes' production team Platinum Status with additional input from his sister Juanita "Smooth" Stokes and Marques Houston. The album's sound was a little more futuristic pop than the others but the use of auto-tune in most, if not all, of the songs was pretty excessive. Admittedly the result was slightly ahead of its time for the early 2000s and not dissimilar to the rubbish being churned out by Streeter nowadays but it is annoying all the same. At the end of the day, they were obviously geared more towards teen pop audiences - a female B2K - although there are a few good songs here.

Featuring Juanita "Smooth" Stokes on tracks 2 & 3 who was then going by her new alias Needa-S. She was the next to be shelved in 2002 when T.U.G. Entertainment shut down the production of her fifth album What? This was a project I would've liked to have heard

Intro 0:27
Can't Trust A Friend(ft. Needa S) 3:42
Zip It Up(ft. Needa S) 3:50
Virginity 3:44
Pop The Question 4:23
Busted 3:44
Sweat 3:19
Way Gone 3:57
Two Minutes 4:19
My Pillow 4:31
Best Friend 3:42
Secretly 3:52

Monday, July 6, 2015

Ránell: S/T (Hood Records, 1998)

Along with Traneen's Diary, here is another super rare indie R&B album that fetches big bucks. Sadly there is no - and I mean zero - information on the singer anywhere but the project did spawn at least one single Come To Me in 1999. Most likely influenced by a wide range of artists not limited to Monica, Brandy, Aaliyah and Mary J. Blige in the late 90s, the style is predominantly smooth R&B mixed with a little hip hop soul.

Many thanks again to Stuart for this great contribution to my collection :-)

The Things You Do For Me   3:35
Never Get My Lovin    3:20
Get WIth Me    4:41
Why So Much Pain    1:42
You Know What I Want    4:38
Come To Me    4:02
How Do You Like It    1:18
Who Told You    0:58
Who Told You About Me    3:35
Whatever You Want    4:46
Move On    3:20
Ready For Your Love    4:58
Say The Word    3:41
Give Thanks    2:48

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Tina: Are U.Bout' It? (Offda Hook Records, 1997)

MEGA RARE first release from New Orleans singer Tina Ashton, whose sophomore album I have posted here. It spawned one single Are U.Bout' It? which was released on J-Town Records, a subsidiary of Jackson, Mississippi blues/gospel label Malaco Records. Like her 2002 album, it appears her earlier album was released on a small private label, possibly her producer's. Despite being released almost five years apart, they both  have a very similar sensual/smooth R&B sound...

Are U.Bout' It? (With Rap) 4:44
Sweet Thang 4:48
Wiggle It 4:02
Inhale My Flow 3:52
Love Me For Me 3:32
T.I.N.A. 1:50
Crazy Thang 3:50
Roll With Da Flow 4:39
Dreamin' 5:30
I Want You 3:23
What's A Girl To Do? 4:26
Come Git It 4:25
Are U.Bout' It? (Without Rap) 4:42

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Temmora: Talk To Me (LEG, 2002)

Another fairly decent album from Memphis, TN artist Temmora. It's primarily contemporary R&B with jazz, Gospel and even some country influences. Some tracks later appeared on a subsequent release Any Other Girl which was released in 2005.

Try N To Play A Player 3:36
Talk To Me 3:33
I'm Not Impressed 3:48
Why 3:47
I'll Love Someone Later 3:41
Try N To Play A Player (Remix) 4:51
Peal Me A Grape 5:00
Have Faith In Me 3:59
Catch Me If I'm Falling 5:15
Right Face Wrong Time 3:53
Mary Did You Know 3:36

Sassey: The Sassey Project (AMC, 2001)

One and only release from former reigning Miss Jr. America and featuring contributions from former 90s New Jack Swing persona Colin England and CA rapper E-40. The project spawned one single Kiss You featuring Ghetto Romeo which was released via Universal Records in 2002. The single is still available as a digital download but this album, released via independent label AMC, is currently not. Mostly upbeat but sadly a very short project at just over half an hour long.

Intro 1:28
Gonna Need Somebody Else 2:57
Not Too Far 4:09
He Say, She Say 3:48
Gone Again 3:10
Kiss You 4:13
Can't You See 3:29
Dirty Drawlz 4:46
Gonna Need Somebody Else 3:03
Prayer 1:14

Friday, July 3, 2015

Jennifer: S/T (B Town records, 2000)

Another indie R&B singer from the early 2000s, this time hailing from Dallas and on Louisiana-based label B Town Records. Her only single, the G-Funk influenced Y U Callin' Me? was released in March of 2000 but despite being described as somewhat of a breakout hit, information is very thin on the ground to the point of being non-existent. Mainly smooth R&B with G-Funk and old skool sentiments.

Intro 0:07
Get Out 4:48
Y U Callin' Me 4:13
My Booky 4:00
Like I Do 3:25
To My Homegirls 3:46
L.O.V.E. Love 4:08
Feel Like Makin' Love 4:41
If You Gotta Go 4:02 
Fantasia 5:31 
Jesus Keep Me 4:13
Somethin' For My People 5:00

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Miss J: Curious (Image Records, 200x)

More rare indie R&B out of Tennessee. No date of release is given but I believe that it is post 2000 judging by the use of the term "Crunk" in one song. The style is teen contemporary with Crunk'n'B and bass influences a la Ciara. The vocals aren't great but do remind me slightly of Mya and Ashanti.

Intro 0:45
I'm So Curious 3:35
She's So Fly 3:58
One Wish 2:54
Secrets 3:38
Dance With Me 3:58
My Ladies 3:47
Ways Of The World 3:10
Still Burning 3:41
Why? Skit 1:05
Why? 2:32
Gonna Be Alright 3:29
Miss J 3:16
I'm Saving Myself 3:21
The Heat 3:25
Thinking Of You 4:22
A Hater's Anthem 2:49
I'm Gone 4:06
Get It Crunk 2 Nite 3:25
Believe 4:23

AJA: S/T (Big 3 Records, 2003)

After focusing on predominantly African-American artists for my forgotten female R&B groups section, now I shall give a brief mention of a few of the more R&B-ish Caucasian ones that were active in early 2000s. Unfortunately many of them went the route of The Spice Girls but there were a few that tried to appeal to the urban market. Alas a good majority of them still had more in common with Britney Spears than TLC but among the very few that I could find that really stood out was this sister duo from St George, Utah.  Signed to independent pop label Big 3 Records during the early 2000s, this was their one and only album and features contributions from Bad Boy's Mario Winans and rapper Biz Markie. Though I wouldn't go all out and call them an R&B group necessarily it definitely stands apart from the other more poppy stuff by similar artists from this era, such as with the label's previous group Mpress and Fergie's former group Wild Orchid. Even P.Diddy could not get his group Dream to sound this cool.

Movin' On (Prod. by Mario Winans) 4:13
Shake It Baby 4:27
Mmm Yeah (With You) 4:35
He's All Mine 4:01
Sunshine 3:32
Missing You Interlude 1:48
Missing You 5:29
Shy 4:00
I Know 4:08
On And On [Featuring Biz Markie] 3:34
[Make It Hot] Hotter 4:13
The Heartbreak 3:42
Friends 3:31