R&B (Younger Generation’s Style)
I know some of you may, or may not have a issue with this category; but, I don’t care because it’s my blog, and I can write what I want. I’m old enough to have experienced the clear difference between R&B then, and R&B now. They are clearly not the same. In fact, the generational gaps are so huge, they really should have came up with a new name for the current genre they call R&B. Keep in mind, my words are NOT an attack on younger performers/music, I’m just making a case that today’s R&B should be called something different (maybe without the “blues” part). Most of today’s “R&B” sounds more from a branch of hip hop than anything else. Just sayin’.
Album: 112 (1996)
I’m sitting here grinding my teeth, as I am forced to consider that this song needs to be placed in the old school category. Not because I don’t feel this wasn’t an awesome song back in the day, but because it feels like only yesterday! It was 24 years ago this song hit the radio waves. Yet, how many 30 or 35 year olds are playing their music today? Well, I guess the reality is (like I’ve mentioned numerous times before), with the new age of music streaming, there’s just too much music we now have access to, and I believe this is at least 50% responsible for the loss of Black music history. In fact, just the loss of overall American classic music in general. The other half is households simply not playing enough classic oldies. We’re not so far in the future where no one possesses vinyl records anymore! Shit, I still own a lot of cassette tapes from my teenage years for goodness sake!
They’ve Made Many Collaborations!
Their song “Only You,” is probably my most favorite hit from the group. It reached #4 on the Hot 100 Chart. Personally speaking, I definitely feel this song has earned the right of being “barbecue cookout worthy!” 112 has done many, many collaborations with other artists/groups. However, I felt they were so talented, they really didn’t need to. This was probably my biggest pet-peeve when the 90s came along in regards to music. Every new and up coming artist was encouraged to collaborate with another to better promote themselves. I hated that because I saw how easily a group/person can become other artist’s “sidekicks.” Or even backfire, and be seen more of a backup singer, or an extra of some sort.
But, I’m happy to say that a lot of those hookups with other artists proved to be extremely beneficial. My most favorite song was a cover they produced along with a group called “Allure (remember them?).” That song was called “All Cried Out,” originally performed by Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam. Man, I played this song so much, I’m surprised my CD did not turn in to dust. I was pissed to find out it only peaked at 18 on the Hot 100 Chart. I’m sure it had to have been at least #1 on the R&B chart. Spotify alone has it at 5.5M plays, and keep in mind this was long after streaming was even a thing.
Their Biggest Collaboration?
I’d have to say their biggest collaboration in my opinion has to be Puff Daddy, with the release of “Missing You (1997),” a tribute to B.I.G. Another huge hit by 112 you shouldn’t forget is “It’s Over Now (2001),” which reached #6 on the Hot 100 Chart. Over creative differences, the group left Puff Daddy’s label and signed with Def-Jam around 2002. But, I don’t believe these guys had repeated the same level of success under Def-Jam as they once did under P. Daddy’s label. Although they did have a top 40 hit called “Hot & Wet (2002)” featuring Ludacris, but that was about the extent of it (I could be wrong about that). Honestly, I think Puff had his hand on this song too. Puff really was the golden producer of his time. They should have stayed with Diddy.
Album: Tasty (2003)
I’m not sure if her “milkshake” is still bringing all the boys to the yard; but back then, this song was the sh*t in the Black community. I absolutely loved the video to this song, I thought it was freakin’ hilarious as hell!! 🤣 It’s been about 15 years since this album first came out; I think her milkshake is more like yogurt by now! 🤣 😜 You can just imagine all of the things happening in that video happening for real in the hood, I guess that’s what makes it so hilarious to me. But you know what? This was actually a pretty good album I think (for the most part). This album has a lot of good cuts I haven’t heard before. Check out “Trick Me (WARNING! HAS PROFANITY),” also check out “Protect My Heart,” it reminds me a lot of Toni Braxton’s style of music. Almost the whole album is pretty nice (I think).
Ladies, ladies!! If you did not think that Montell Jordon was one of the finest men of the 90s to ever grace hip hop with his presence, something is definitely wrong 👀 🤣. He had the looks and the talent! But, WTF happen to Montell? Once he was burning up the charts in the mid 90s, and now it seems as though he fell off the face of the earth! Well, not exactly, but it sure seems that way. While the music industry has forgotten about him, and just thrown his accomplishments aside like a piece of rag cloth, his fans still remember him.
In 1995, Montell ripped the Billboard charts to shreds, when he released his smash #1 hit, “This Is How We Do It.” In addition, it was #1 on the Canada Dance charts, and #1 in the UK. I need to try and give my readers some perspective as to how massively popular Montell was. First, the song was not only #1 on the Top 100 Charts, it stayed number one for 7 weeks! Some of today’s most memorable hits has NEVER been #1 for seven weeks consecutively! That’s jaw dropping! Another example (just to give you an idea), music streaming wasn’t even a thing in the 90s. In fact, I’m not even sure if it had even started yet. But Spotify has calculated over 86M+ streams to-date. I could only imagine what the numbers are like on other streaming services.
But, Montell didn’t stop there! He had other massive hits as well. Such as his 1998 song “Let’s Ride,” Let’s Ride was one of my least favorites, but never the less, it reached #2 on the Top 100 Charts. In that same year, he released a song that I absolutely loved called “Get It On Tonight,” which reached #4 on the charts! I used to dance to that all the time, the music was so smooth, unique, and groove-able.
Montell Has Written a Book called “Becoming UNFamous.”
Now, albeit, I didn’t read his book, and I’m NOT judging Montell, but from the little I know about his book, it appears VERY typical. In it he talks about how he devoted himself to god and the church, blah blah. We’ve heard that same thing from people such as the late Vanity, of Vanity 6. We also heard the same story from the legendary Al Green. The story is either, they weren’t selling any records anymore, so they “turned their lives over to god;” or something life altering had happened to them, that literally scared them in to the church. I literally feel like I could predict most of the stuff in his book.
Like many other classic artists who moved from one genre to gospel, that magic they once had that gave them the hits we all know and love, usually gets left behind as well. The only thing we can do is reminisce on the oldies that made them great once upon a time. The last I checked, Montell is still married to his wife of 25 years, Kristin Hudson, and they’re both very happy. Good for him.10% off your purchase with code LNK10. Excludes clearance.
Ok. This morning I decided to randomly sync some of my personal music to my Spotify. The first classic that popped up was from Adina Howard! Now, I’m not a huge Adina Howard fan because she was way to explicit for my taste. However, I do acknowledge the fact that she is a very talented singer. But sometimes I used to think she didn’t think so. A lot of artist use explicitness or profanity when their producers think it’s the only way their going to sell records. Then again, I also used to think both her music and persona lowered the standards for younger females (but I digress). Regardless of how I felt about Adina then, I couldn’t deny the awesome grooves of her song “Freak Like Me,” released in 1995, recorded for Elektra Records. Funny thing about this song is that, everything about it was so perfect (melody and composition), I didn’t even realize how explicit it was until I started listening to the words 😀 So many people had a hand on writing this song, and that includes (you’d be surprised to know) the legendary William Bootsy Collins. With so many people collaborating to write this one song for Adina, who would even believed it would hit #2 on the charts!! Well desired though. Very nicely put together! Adina has not had another hit since then. Well, after about 12 years, she has a new album out now called “Resurrection,” looking like a big o’l drag queen if you ask me. Let’s see how it does, but personally I’m not impressed.