Friday, December 14, 2018

Smiley: Betcha Didn't Know (VLS) (Jewels Records, 200x)

Hardcore hip hop and R&B from Smiley, a female MC from Detroit who was mostly active between 1989-1983. She was known for her single "Smiley But I'm Not Friendly" and became the first female rapper from the town to receive a gold plaque. She was also known for her popular local video show The Smiley Show, which ran for 7 years. I don't know much about this particular recording by her but B-side has an almost garage house vibe with spoken word vocals and ad-libs throughout. The slowed down remix then turns it into a smooth R&B track and has different lyrics altogether and additional vocal refrains. A versatile artist who raps and sangs! Many thanks again to Stuaaart for the contribution.

Betcha Didn't Know    3:33
You Ain't Tippin' Me    3:51
You Ain't Tippin' Me [V.I.P. Mix]    4:00

iCandi: Can't Believe (Promo VLS) (Urban Street/So Famous Ent., 2003)

More unknown R&B from a Midwestern female duo comprised of Yolanda "La La" Brown and Loree Marzett aka iCandi. Very synonymous with music from that era with Beyonce-esque vocals and embattled subject matter, "Can't Believe" is a mid tempo  joint while the Souther-nish "Ooh Wee" was produced by Midi Mafia as per the shout-out at the beginning. I don't know much about them as a duo but Brown was apparently tipped for big things - she featured on the track "L.I.F.E." by Lyfe Jennings in 2006 - but sadly thereafter was the victim of homicide with her then-boyfriend at a studio in Wisconsin.

Can't Believe 3:45
Can't Believe (Instrumental) 3:52
Ooh Wee!  3:39
Ooh Wee! (Instrumental)3:39

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Deon (AKA Dion "Deion" Jenkins): Don't Stop (R&B Music Entertainment, 2004)

Featuring production from DJ Hi-Tek, here is another find from the crates in and around Virginia Beach and hails from Falls Church, VA. Smooth early 2000s R&B at its best, the artist himself actually hails from Cincinnati, Ohio and is nowadays known by his actual name Dion or Dieon (Jenkins.) He's worked with The Game, 50 Cent and other prominent rappers in the early 2000s and was once signed to Aftermath Entertainment (although his album was not released.) He also worked with Hi-Tek on an album that allegedly went unreleased although I am uncertain if any of the songs ended up here. His latest EP "Time Wasted" can be found on Soundcloud and Bandcamp and all but 1 of the tracks are lifted from here. Sadly despite his level of professionalism and being linked with many high-profile rappers and producers, he is yet to release an actual solid album. Time Wasted for this talented guy for sure. Many thanks again to Stuaaart for the contribution and as always to our Virginia Beach dude for finding it. 

The Call 1:45
Heartbreaker 1:54
Messy 5:28
Tell Me 3:34
Certified 4:34
No Games 4:49
You Never Told Me 4:39
Wide Open 1:22
Overdose 4:09
Don't Stop 4:50
Grounded 5:22
The Last Call 1:22

~See all of our Virginia Beach finds here~

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Rita Mosley: S/T (RM313° Entertainment, 1998)

Prior to  "Sin City" and "Unleashed", Detroit native Rita Mosley released the above album - which I am presuming was her first - in the late 90s. Despite obscurity, it is a solid album with only the remix of "Freak-N" being something I probably could pass on. A blend of smooth 90s R&B and Sade-esque neo soul, it's not mentioned anywhere online but as per Discogs it yielded one single, the double-A-Side "Freakin'"/"Motown Funk" in 1998.

Motown Funk 3:02
Freak N (Featuring Pimpeht) 3:34
My Love -N- 3:37
You Are The One! 5:06
Check It Out 4:01
People Change 3:34
Whatever Happened? 4:03
Life 3:17
Nightcap 4:13
Better Days 4:07
Freak N (Re-Mix) 4:17

Monday, December 10, 2018

Blaque: Blaque Out (Promo CDr) (Trackmasters/Columbia, 2001)

A first rate effort from Lisa "Left Eye" Lopez former group and sadly shelved by the label Columbia in 2001. I don't know the exact reason but the lead single "Can't Get It Back" (produced by Salaam Remi) barely scraped Billboard's Top 100 Hip Hop/R&B chart. Sadly UK R&B group Mis-Teeq's version (recorded the following year) was probably more well known. Featuring production from Remi, Dallas Austin, Full Force and Jasper Cameron, it had slightly more street cred than their first

Monday, December 3, 2018

Shawn: Demo EP (VPT Productions & Entertainment, 2006)

Obscure 6-track demo from an artist that I cannot find anything about but style is mature mid-2000s modern soul/contemporary R&B with a "live band" feel. The company VPT Productions & Entertainment still appears to be active and are a management firm and talent booking agency from the Atlanta, GA area. I don't know if this is an earlier incarnation of the same artist of not but does an amazing rendition of Jennifer Holidays "And I Am Telling You."

 Is This My Romeo ft. BZ    4:47
Your Mother And Me    4:59
And I Am Telling You    4:16
A Woman Now    4:59
Your Mother And Me [Club Mix]    6:25
Outro    0:33