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The Best Of 2019

Our greatest finds of 2019 including the lost album from Miami trio Three Tymes Luv, unreleased demos from various songwriters and the last contributions ever to our very successful Virginia Beach crate-digging section.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Dae'1: Demo (EP) (1995)

More obscure music on tape with this 3-track demo from an Atlanta male vocal group. While I can't really place "Soken Wet," the final 2 tracks are very reminiscent of the style of Boyz II Men and Jodeci during the 90s era. Sadly despite being recorded onto a high quality Type II tape, the quality on these two tracks is not the best with track 3 in particular sounding like it may have been recorded off local radio.

Soken Wet 5:18
Finally (We Made It Girl) 6:00
Choosey Lover 5:45


Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Tre' Mayne: R-U-Ready (Cassingle) (Buena V Records, 1996)

More dope R&B from Georgia with Tre' Mayne, an artist on a subsidiary label to Bellmark Records in the mid 90s whose sexy R&B style was somewhat similar to R. Kelly. I don't know if his then-forthcoming album "My Own Thing" was ever released or not but as per allmusic, he released an album in 1999 titled "How Many Licks".  

R-U-Ready 4:33
R-U-Ready (Instrumental) 4:33


Friday, September 20, 2019

J-7'even: Make It Hot (Promo VLS) (Richboy South Ent., 200x)

The second of my former featured artists' posts and again introduced on my blog sometime back in 2015. From Atlanta, GA, the group's first single "Taste" was produced by Rico Lumpkins (TLC, Vega et al) but this and the above promotional 12" (produced by Llyod Turner & Kelvin Bradshaw of Atlanta-area group Basic Black) are the only two things that they ever did and seemingly the only two releases in the label Richboy South Entertainment's catalog. No date of release but guessing around the same time as their previous single. 

Radio Edit w Rap 4:04
Club Mix w Rap 4:26
Acappella 4:26


Nee Nee Gwynn AKA Anisha Nicole: Let's Go/I Don't Care (Promo VLS) (Base Hit Records, 200x)

Former featured artists revisited beginning with San Diego-based singer Anisha Nicole whose album and earlier single I featured on this blog back in 2015. The daughter of former major league basketball player Tony Gwynn, she signed to her mother's label in 2003 and managed  to break into the Billboard top 100 with her first single "No Means No" followed by an album "19" which featured production from some big names such as DJ Premier, Full Force and Vincent Herbert. Released under her former alias Nee Nee Gwynn, the above songs did not feature and were only ever released as a "mailing advance" to local DJs. The style is less poppy than "No Means No" and more in line with the mid-2000s R&B sound of her album. "Let's Go" especially brings it to the max with the ethnic instrumentation popularized by Scott Storch and others while "I Don't Care" would not have sounded out of place on a Destiny's Child or Beyoncé album. Altogether a very commercial sounding artist for her day.

Let's Go feat. Deuce Poppi  3:32
Let's Go (Instrumental) 4:45
Let's Go (Acappella) 3:45
I Don't Care 4:11
I Don't Care (Instrumental) 4:11
I Don't Care (Acappella) 4:07




Tuesday, September 17, 2019

j'mykaels: Nevermind (CDM) (J'Lon Entertainment, 1996)

From Minneapolis, MN, another smooth EP from an unknown male artist and a mixture of acoustic soul and Jodeci-style 90s R&B. I don't know much about him but appears to be connected to a former backing dancer for Prince Johnny Walker. Although it may have started out in Minneapolis, the label J'Lon Entertainment is now based out of Virginia Beach.

Read more about him and see his demo here!

Nevermind 4:18
Nevermind (Instrumental) 4:21
Talk Sex Remix 1:15
Talk Sex 4:28


Monday, September 16, 2019

Ultimate Pleazure: The Man In Me (EP) (Big Daddy Entertainment, 1998)

Yet another classic CD found while digging through the crates in and around Virginia Beach and the follow-up to their previous self-titled EP recorded as a quartet with Donald "Theo" Thorogood in 1994. It is a variant of "Emotions Of A Real Man" which was released the previous year. I don't know if this particular one counted as a single but it omitted "Kitty Kitty" and "Na Na Bandit" for radio versions of two other existing tracks. The duo themselves hail from Chesapeake but this is the second time that our friend has found one of their CDs during his regular excursions and this particular one was signed by group member Vernon "T-Luv" Battle. You can read more about them here.

Kitty Kitty 4:18
Dreamin' 5:25
Na Na Bandit 3:43
Still In Love 4:43
Lover Not A Player 5:02



Listen to more of Napo's finds here:

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Stand4Truth: Totally Abandoned (Self-Released, 2002)

I first became curious about this group after seeing their demo on eBay. Granted, I am not the biggest fan of gospel but do like some of the more contemporary stuff, notably by female groups. Sadly the cost of it ($100) was just too much at the time and taking into account much of the other stuff that the seller sold for ridiculous prices was not very good, I declined to buy it. Was it as good as the seller obviously thought it was? I found their whole album a few weeks back for a somewhat normal price and decided to find out...Sadly it is mostly all acoustic type stuff  but there are a few quite good tracks, not blazin' stuff but nice contemporary gospel/soul tracks. Obviously, this was just a project that they recorded for their Church and not something really intended for a more wider audience but at least now I know anyway and didn't have to spend $100 from yet another ridiculous seller on eBay to find out. 

The Urgency Part 1 0:40
Only One Life 4:28
Bond Of Love 2:58
Where Is Hope 5:11
I Know 3:05
Mirrored Image 3:10
The Urgency Part 2 0:55
Life Is A Vapor 3:46
Mr Ditty 2:18
Mercy Psalm 3:15
Totally Abandoned 2:43
The Urgency Part 3 1:04
Free 4:52


Thursday, September 5, 2019

Ross Sistas: Lucky One (CDM) (Destini West Records, 2002)

Further music from the Bay Area with the Ross Sistas, a further Filipina group that first appeared on a compilation Best Of The Bay Volume One (2000) along with many other Bay Area-based Asian-Pacific American groups and artists not limited to Pamela Serrano, Epic Voices and others. Unfortunately they appear to be primarily a pop group - "Lucky One" is very much the epitome of a Disney-esque pop ballad and its remix very much suited for the OPM market - but judging by the strength of "Baby I'm Yours", I would've liked to have heard their other work if any ever existed. I can definitely see the similarities to Premier and other Filipina groups from that era on this track.

Lucky One (Dance Mix) 5:16
Lucky One (Slow Ross J.A.M.) 4:46
Baby I'm Yours (Bay Area R&B Mix) 3:21
Lucky One (Original Pop Ballad) 4:44
Bonus (Unplugged) 4:59
Bonus (Acappella) 4:43


Wednesday, September 4, 2019

BAJ: Demo (EP) (270 Incorporated, 2001)

From Cali's Bay Area, a further female group demo from 2001 with 3 tracks. I know nothing about them but the sound - smooth & funky R&B - is very much reminiscent of the late 90s era.  Sadly due to its age, the sound is not the best on the first two tracks. I am guessing the disc was either exposed to sunlight or the glue in the paper label leached through to the dye later bellow and corrupted much of the data there - a common phenomenon on these old CDrs, particularly ones with adhesive paper labels. Most of the audio, particularly during loud passages, has static and jitter, but fortunately the the one track that does play perfectly - a smooth mid-tempo number about moving on from a fickle relationship - is pure fire. It appears to be a cover of a song from another group Ol' Heads which was originally from a year before. Whether the two groups were related in any way, I cannot say but according to the back of this CD, this group were between 15-17 years old when this particular project was made.

I Might Just Love You    4:03
Just You And me    4:05
Pack Your Bags & Go    3:50