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Monday, February 27, 2017

Mahogany: Take A Look At Me Now (Promo CDM) (Ghetto Hoodz Records, 200x)

More rare indie that may or may not have been destined for the major market at one point and fronted by R&B singer Jaheim. I am unsure of what the sample used is (if any) but the cut - a piano-driven hip hop banger - was partly produced by DJ Eddie F. No date of release but from 2004 as sourced from the vinyl...

Many thanks again to Stuaaart for the contribution. Stop by his Instagram here and show some luv 🙌

Main 3:51
Instrumental 3:51
Acappella 3:01
TV Mix 3:48

Friday, February 24, 2017

Jamie Knight: S/T (EP) (Self-Released, 1999)

Rare 3-track EP from a self-promoted Philly artist who might be known to some as Star Search's Junior Champion at only 6 years old. Her first album Spotlight was released at the tender age of 8 and the above EP - released in 1999 - contains 3 contemporary R&B recordings that showcased her later growth as an artist, particularly in the popular R&B genre. As far as I am aware, none ever appeared on an album but she recorded a sophomore CD The Secret's Out in 2007. Sadly I don't think it was ever widely released but a single What Goes Around featured a rare cameo from rap superstar Jay-Z. .

Many thanks again to Stuaaart for the contribution.

Say La Vi (Ta Ta) 5:23
Baby, Baby Don't Cry 3:46
Baby Be Mine 4:06

Danielle Senior: One Day (EP) (Breakproof Records, 200x)

Early indie release from UK vocalist-turned-songwriter and DJ Danielle Senior, whose first major claim to fame was as an artist signed to UK dance label All Around The World records in 2008. Prior to this - in the early 2000s - she was signed to a handful of indie labels where she was promoted as a pop artist along the same lines as Jamelia. Not technically R&B but partially produced by UK urban producer Colin Emmanuel (AKA C-Swing) who was mostly known for his uptempo takes on popular hits by Mary J. Blige, En Vogue and others.

I Wanna Get Next To You 3:39 (Rose Royce cover)
No Competition ft. Blemish 4:02
Take You Home 3:53
One Day 3:45

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Dee Dee Wilde: PG-13 (WC Records, 2001)

Sister to Eugene Wilde, veteran singer Dee Dee (real name Diane Broomfield) started out in the business with family in the disco troop Broomfield Corporate Jam in the late 1970s. After a brief stint here and in numerous other family projects, she released her first solo album No Way Out via Island Records in 1988 which spawned the two successful singles I Found You and Lap Of Luxury. Sadly all her additional work since - as with that of her brother Eugene - has been on independent labels with the above release (from 2001) being the most hard to find of them all. With more of a uptempo pop-R&B style as apposed to her original soul-R&B roots, it was not released commercially as it was decided that it not what her listening audience would be used to from her. Entirely produced by her brother Eugene, the album is a blend of contemporary R&B and funky pop songs.

Thanks again to my good pal Stuaaart for the contribution

Doesn't Matter 3:22
Let Me Remind You 3:49
Some Kinda Guy 4:34
Can't Get Over You 4:08
Real Good Time 4:03
Sunday Morning 4:30
Workout Song 3:18
Just How Much I Do 4:27
Wanna Be The One 3:43
Be Careful What You Wish For 4:10
I'm A Woman 3:27

Cym LaJoy: Change Of Heart (Another View Records Inc., 1995)

Another killer R&B artist from The Windy City who sadly I know nothing about but did a remake of Rose Royce's Car Wash in 1994 (which is included on this album.) Her CD spawned 2 12" singles of the progressive house/club style which - along with R&B and modern soul - was another one of Chi Town's biggest exports in the 90s. While Car Wash itself is of this genre, the rest of the album excels at smooth 90s contemporary R&B and New Jack Swing... Sadly no hits on any of the producers themselves - who did a great job here - but popular 90s remixer Ralphi Rosario gave the remix treatment to track 12.

Once again, a big thank you to my good pal Stuaaart for continuing to supply me with the goodies. More of his amazing steals to come.

U Can't Play Wit My Mind 3:59
Changes Of Heart 5:27
Car Wash (Original Mix) 5:30
So Special 5:01
Fade Away 5:43
Git Yo' Act 2-Gether Brotha 5:56
Playground (Hip Hop Mix) 4:09
Give It To Me 4:56
Love Thang 4:07
Playground (Smooth Mix) 4:15
Give It To Me (Remix) 4:44
Car Wash (Tribal Mix) 5:58


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

F.E. Cohen: My Story (Cohen Records Inc., 1995)

Second release from U.S.-born Jewish singer Ephee Cohen, whose first album and only single I posted back in October. His album especially was a mixture of many different styles including reggae, ballads and best of all New Jack Swing and smooth R&B jams. Altogether there were six songs sung in English with the remainder being sung in Hebrew. I don't think it spawned any singles but at some point after this, he released the steamy Cum With Me wherein he appeared more as a traditional male R&B singer. Both are pretty obscure and were released via his own label, which at the time was based out of Memphis, Tennessee.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Karla: Piece Of My Love (CDM) (It Be Knockin' It Records, 1994)

Cover of Guy and Teddy Riley's 1988 hit by an unknown Pennsylvanian singer. The main mix is pretty similar to the original but track 3 features a more upbeat 90s hip hop production with different vocals. Not much information anywhere - she was possibly affiliated with an 90s indie R&B/New Jack Swing artist called M.L. - but I don't know for absolute certain. Regardless, she is not the same artist also by the name of Karla who had an independent release out a year later titled For Love's Sake (Too Funky Records, Cat# 02881-1234-2.)

Thanks again to my good pal and regular contributor Stuaaart, who once again owns an ORIGINAL copy of this CD.

Radio Edit 4:07
Rap Prelude 0:27
Bonus (Hip Hop) Track 3:58
Piece Mixx 3:53
Karla's Edit 4:15

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Cherish: The Moment (Promo CDr) (Reprise Records, 2003)

Atlanta sister quartet Cherish first came to prominence in 2006 when they were discovered and signed by Jazze Pha to his Sho'Nuff label. Their biggest hit included the crunk'n'b-inspired Do It To It, which made no. 12 on the Billboard Hot 200 chart. Prior to this (in 2003), they were signed to Warner Bros.' Reprise imprint where they released one single Miss P. with So So Def rapper Da Brat. Unfortunately it was a commercial failure and the group was shortly dropped. As in the case of another one of Reprise's R&B signings at the time, Trinidadian singer D'Mello, the label had simply failed to give them or their music enough promotion. Truthfully - looking at the over-abundance of alternative rock rubbish that they had their name to at the time - I don't think they knew quite what to do with them. Up until then the closest thing to R&B that they had in

Cleopatra: 4-Song Sampler (Promo CDM) (Maverick Recording Co., 2000)


Further unreleased music from UK pop/R&B group Cleopatra and found on this sampler of advance music only. First beginning in 1998 as a pop group in the same vein as The Spice Girls, the trio - whose bouncy hits included Cleopatra's Theme and a cover of The Jackson 5's I Want You Back - took on a more urban approach for their second release which featured production from big name U.S. producers such as Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis. Ultimately due to poor promotion, the whole project ended up being shelved in their home country but did see a release in the U.S., Japan and some parts of Europe where again it pretty much went unnoticed. Regrettably, I don't know who the producer of the unreleased track is but it sounds vaguely Darkchild-ish. Possibly produced by Andrew Frampton or Debra Killings although I don't know for absolute certain. As far as I am aware, it did not appear as a bonus track on any edition of the album.

U Got It 3:24 (Produced by Stargate)
Sweat Me 4:51 (Produced by Daryl Simmons)
Who's Your Woman 5:05 (Produced by Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis)
I Just Want To Be 4:47 (Unreleased Track)



NOTE: Due to an unknown defect, all tracks had to be captured or recorded via analog cable from a standard audio CD player.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Shatasha: Demo (Candyland Band Prod., 1991)

Early 1991 demo from LA-based singer Shatasha Williams, who was mostly known for singing the hook on Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony's 1994 song Thuggish Ruggish Bone. Prior to this, she worked with N.W.A-affiliated MC Candyman (real name Candell Manson) in the early 90s and appeared on his own track Knockin' Boots in 1991. This established her career as a singer in LA and I am guessing the above demo - produced by Candell's Candyland Band - was recorded at around this time. I don't think she was signed to a major label; it was just a project that they did which they might have sent copies of to various people  although Candell himself was signed to Sony's Epic division. A mixture of hard hip hop beats and perky samples, also included on the demo is a vocal version his own track Candyman (or Candyman Theme), which features different production to the later version featured on his album. Nothing to do with Easy-E or Dr. Dre I don't think although Williams later went on to sign to Easy's Ruthless Records in 1994. Track 2 maybe also loosely based on N.W.A.'s song of the same name.

~Big thanks again to my good friend and regular contributor Stuaaart who owns an ORIGINAL copy of this cassette. I myself still feel a pang of regret passing it up before the usual folk got to it...

You Don't Love Me 4:09
I Ain't The One 4:11
Reconsider 3:40
Dance With Me 4:39
Whatcha Gonna Do With My Love 4:17
Candyman 5:06
Always On My Mind 5:10
I Remember 4:38
Can't Stop Loving You 5:21
Always On My Mind (Reprise) 5:12


Monday, February 6, 2017

Megan Rochell: You, Me And The Radio (Album Sampler) (Def Jam, 2006)

With a vocal range and style reminiscent of Brandy Norwood, Brooklyn native Megan Rochell was a former 5-time winner of Showtime At The Apollo who, after a chance meeting with Boyz II Men's Nathan Morris in Philadelphia one day, managed to secure herself a deal with Def Jam Recordings in the mid 2000s. Being primarily an urban label, they did not have a bad track record with R&B and hip hop artists but unfortunately - along with Sisqo's group LovHer in 2003 - Rochell was one of the unlucky ones. The president of the label at the time was none other than Jay-Z who (under LA Reid) had done an excellent job of nurturing the career of the lesser-talented Rhianna but simply failed to do the same for Rochell and others like her. Fellow Def Jam artist at the time Christina Milian - who was also dropped - cited budget cuts and the label opting to spend large amounts of money on Rhianna and her "umbrellas" instead. The Rochell project spawned two singles before its cancellation The One You Need (prod by Rodney Jerkins) and Floating. Following this, Rochell signed another bum deal with Jerkins' Darkchild Records. Sadly she is still yet to get a proper break. 

Many thanks again to my other good pal kingwazo for the contribution. 

The One You Need ft. Fabolous (Snippet) 0:56
Betcha 3:57*
Heartbreak (Snippet) 1:39
Let Go (Snippet) 1:34
I Still 3:49
Floating 3:56

*Also recorded by Brandy Norwood for an undisclosed project which leaked in 2009. 



Saturday, February 4, 2017

Deemi: Dying To Get Rich [Mixtape] (Family Ties Entertainment, 2006)

While she was still in the process of trying to blow up, Deemi and her team - NYC rap artist Chris Styles and popular production team Midi Mafia - released the above mixtape CD for the streets. Contributed by my good pal Stuaaart, some songs were to appear on her debut release but I am uncertain about  the others. It's a possibility that they were the original demos they used to get her a record deal with Atlantic but I don't know for absolute certain. Most are pretty raw although some of the music is very reminiscent of Alicia Keys' early work with sweeping orchestral passages, tinkly piano hooks and rich vocal harmonies.A lost gem of an artist, again it's such a shame that the label didn't know what to do with her. It seems being real only works when it is fake...

Featuring appearances by Styles P., N.O.R.E. and a boatload of other East Coast rap alumni.

Deemi !!! ft. Stik-E & The Hoods 2:40
Around My Way 3:46
Ain't Nuttin' Nice 2:57
I See ft. Styles P 2:33
Hood Niggaz ft. Precious Paris 3:22
Jump ft. N.O.R.E. 3:23
Two Kinds ft. Jaheim 3:09
Tree'd Up 2:54
Round Here 2:20
So Hood 3:23
Time Flies ft. Khryst 2:45
Paper ft. Balance 4:18
I Don't Care ft. ATM 3:22
Babydaddy 2:41
Wasn't Surprised 3:12
Soundtrack Of My Life 4:05




Deemi: Soundtrack Of My Life (Sampler CD) (Atlantic, 2007)

Like Fundisha, here is a further female R&B artist from the mid 2000s who was a little too real for the dopey general population. Compared to a young Mary J. Blige and mentored by NY hip hop artist Chris Styles, Deemi - real name  Tahu Jessica Aponte - quietly disappeared after one single (Soundtrack Of My Life) but with gritty subject matter ranging from cutting crack with her then-boyfriend to drug and alcohol consumption, it was no wonder why Atlantic - best known for girls-next-door such as Brandy and Estelle - quickly put the brakes on her album. True, it worked for Keyshia Cole in 2005 but she was nowhere near as blunt and by the time her second LP rolled around, even she had become just another R&B artist as the ghetto-worshiping masses couldn't handle the plain-speaking truth. As quoted from a Spin review (Jun 2007) "Brooklyn single mother of two weathers domestic abuse, drugs and despair, then cathartically belts out this years most devastating R&B moment." Sadly I don't think it ever leaked in full but an album stylized as a mixtape was released in Japan (see next post.)

Many thanks again to my good pal Stuaaart for bringing attention to this underrated artist. Sadly she is yet to make a comeback.

The Soundtrack To My Life 4:04
Little Girl (Snippet) 1:56
Sunshine (Snippet) 1:32
I'm A Be Alright (Snippet) 1:16
Love Explained (Snippet) 1:07
Hair Down (Snippet) 1:14