When it comes to female groups, past and present TLC, will forever be my favourite. But this post is not about TLC, it’s about another female group who if I had to name my second favourite of all time would certainly fit neatly into that slot. Of course I am talking about Total!
New Jersey-bred trio Jakima ‘Kima’ Raynor, Keisha Spivey and Pamela ‘Pam’ Long made their presence well and truly felt when they burst onto the music scene with their debut self-titled album back in 1996. They were the first female group to come out of Sean ‘Puff Daddy’ Combs’ Bad Boy Records stable and possessed the same perfect combination of attitude, swagger and great music all Bad Boy artists (Faith Evans, 112, Ma$e and of course Biggie) from that era did! To sum it up Total were the ‘hood TLC (with their own something special)’ as I’ve heard people say time and time again. Can’t You See, Kissing You, No One Else (all from their first album) are still played in clubs today, and have becoming r&b classics over the years.
Nate Walka is a producer/songwriter/rapper from Memphis Tennessee. He is responsible for writing hits for Jamie Foxx (Blame It), Trey Songz, (Say Aah), and Alesha Dixon (Drummer Boy). Nate hails from Memphis Tennessee, and is gearing up for the release of his first mixtape. We caught up with him when he popped over to the UK to premiere some of his music at an exclusive listening party. His music can best be described as Electro hip pop with an 80s vibe, and kept the specially invited crowd entertained.
As we do with all our interviews,we asked him about his favourite memories from the 80s and 90s and I even got in on the act myself with a joint rendition of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Theme tune! We don’t sound half bad, maybe he will write or produce something for me next!
BET aired their documentary ‘My Mic Sounds Nice: A Truth About Women & Hip Hop’ earlier this week and someone over at their Washington DC offices must have read my mind, as this the timing of the programme is very apt, with all the debate surrounding Nicki Minaj at the moment. The show highlights the rise of women in the male-dominated world of Hip-Hop and the challenges they have faced, and no doubt continue to face. It features lots of great old school footage, as well as guest commentators including Roxanne Shante, Trina, MC Lyte, Lil Mama, YoYo, Eve, Missy Elliott, former The Source editor Kim Osorio and others. Check it out below:
I can’t believe that Toni Braxton has been in the music industry now for nearly 20 years! My, how time flies. I still remember her first single Breathe Again, and the short do she sported in the video. Short hair was to become her signature look in her early career and it suited her. Signed to LaFace Records in 1993, Toni certainly benefited from having legendary award-winning songwriting/music-making duo Babyface and L.A Reid executive producing her debut album. And gems featured on the set included aforementioned Breathe Again, Another Sad Love Song and How Many Ways.
Sabrina Washington, 31, is the former lead vocalist for now defunct British girl band Mis-Teeq. The girls racked up a number of top ten hits and a couple of platinum albums from 1999- 2005, but now after a few years out of the spotlight and recent memorable stint on ITV reality TV show I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, Sabrina is pursuing her career as a solo artist.
It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years since British singer/songwriter Craig David released his debut album Born To Do It. To me, that album is still one of the best UK albums of the last ten years, if not the best. It really set the bar when it came to fresh new ‘urban’ artists making music from the heart, and not trying to fit into the generic pop formula. Gems such as Fill Me In, 7 Days, Walking Away and Rendezvous sound just as invigorating as when they first came out, with the videos just as memorable!