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"HipHopSoul Sunday"

by Eric on June 3, 2007

Mary J. Blige-What’s The 411? Remix Album

Damn, wasn’t Mary the sh*t back in the day? I’d have to place her debut “What’s The 411?” along with her second disc “My Life” amongst my favorites of all time when we’re talking about R & B. Released on MCA/Uptown in the winter of 1994, “The Remix” kept most Mary fans satisfied until the release of “My Life” which lead to hear crowning as the queen of “HipHopSoul”. Mary already came out the box in 1993 with a “Hip Hop Edge” that even the Champion hoodie, unlaced Timbs and saggin’ Guess jean “head” could appreciate. Truthfully, this is what a remix album is supposed to sound like, (save maybe for a track or two) most of the Mary’s cuts sound equally dope (if not better) than it’s original. “The Remix..”, actually featured a then little known MC from Brooklyn named “Biggie Smalls” (anybody ever heard of this dude?). Biggie appeared on the remix to Mary’s massive hit “Real Love” (gotta’ love those “Impeach” drums and can’t forget “Top Billin”) as well as the “What’s The 411?” remix (which originally featured an already dope verse from Grand Puba). Oh, and I almost forgot, Craig Mack also makes an appearance on the remix of “You Don’t Have To Worry” (the original initially appeared on the “Strictly Business” soundtrack) which is probably one of my favs off of “The Remix”. Released when Bad Boy was on the “come up” for lack of better words, before all the glamour & glitz went straight to Puff’s head. I mean, Bad Boy really could do no wrong around the time of this release and “What’s The 411, The Remix” is proof in the pudding…-Eric

Intro-Self Titled

Honestly, I really don’t have a whole lot to say about this self titled debut from Intro because I rarely ever let it play past the first two tracks. On the other hand, those same two tracks are some of my favorite R & B joints from our Golden Era (man, you had to through a lil’ R & B in there to switch it up once in a while). “Love Thang” which samples the Eddie Brickell joint “What I Am” (damn, my Aunt used to play the hell outta’ that sh*t, to the point were it made me nauseous) already popularized on the Brand Nubian classic “Slow Down”, is right up there with Jodeci’s “Come & Talk To Me” Remix & Mary’s “I’m Goin’ Down” Remix (remember the total jack of Big & Meth’s “The What”?…that’s Puffy for you!!). Next “Let Me Be The One” is soo damn smooth, utilizing the same riff used on Ed O.G.’s “I Gotta’ Have It” and Heavy D’s “Love Sexy”, coupled with it’s “New Jack Swing” undertones and Intro had themselves a banger (I listened to this this morning, and it’s held up pretty damn well). Sadly, this album will be most noted for Intro’s excellent rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “Ribbon In The Sky”. To listen to this album today, you really have to take it with a grain of salt because I’d be lying if I said it still sounds fresh. Most of the material has aged somewhat, but if for nothing else peep it for “Love Thang” & “Let Me Be The One”…-Eric

Yvette Michele-My Dream

Ahhhhh, my “diamond in the rough”!! Most folks are very familiar with Yvette Michele from her appearances on Volumes I & II of Funmaster Flex’s “60 Minutes Of Funk” mixtapes released in 1995 & 1996. Until recently, I..much like most of the cats who visit this site..was unaware that she had released “My Dream” on Loud Records back in 1997 (BTW, was she the only R & B act on the label?). It’s a damn shame too, because for the amount of bills I dropped purchasing her singles for “Everyday & Everynight”, “I’m Not Feelin’ You” (damn, I loved that sh*t on Funk Flex’s “60 Minutes: Vol.I!) and “DJ Keep Playin” (my sentimental favorite, if you’ve ever DJ’d you’d understand as well), I could have just as well bought the album for less. With production duties split on “My Dream” between Funkmaster Flex & Full Force (damn, that was surprising!) the album would’ve been bigger than what it actually was if it had been released a year or two sooner. If you can get maybe 6 solid cuts on an album, in my opinion you’ve done a pretty damn good job…and Yvette Michelle succeeds in doing so over “70′s roller skating-ish”. Funny thing is, this is indeed a Yvette Michelle album but she really isn’t the star on “My Dream”…it’s gotta’ be the beats! I’m quite sure you’ve already heard the three cuts that I mentioned earlier, so you know where I’m going with this. Yvette definitely isn’t the best vocalist in the R & B business for sure, but she does a good enough job “coasting” over much of the top notch production found here to keep the listener tuned in throughout the bulk of the disc. Now, I’m not the biggest fan of the “slow jams” found on “My Dream” but most of the “uptempo” tracks sound eerily similar to the likes of some of Zhane’s earlier work. Still, I’ve enjoyed this album quite a bit over the last two months (thanks AlbumBase!), as it is a pretty decent album released by a Funkmaster Flex endorsed artist…-Eric

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a-one June 3, 2007 at 7:31 pm

Good looks on that Yvette Michelle!

c June 4, 2007 at 9:30 pm

im not feeling you was a great song

super ugly June 5, 2007 at 5:32 pm

right after “My Life” by Mary, i was down in LA and my friend had a test press of a remix album for THAT album..which was amazing.. it had Lauryn, smif and wessun,and more.. It never came out and I lost my cassette of it. (by “lost” I mean, I let some chick listen to it and she never gave it back).I wish I could find that gem…

Anonymous June 11, 2007 at 2:43 pm

Yo wussup man!! 1st, let me big u up for this fantastic blog u’ve built up. U & ur accomplices have done a great job of this, that i would’ve love to be able to participate to (or, at least, do myself) if i could remember as much as u 2 do about my past in accordance with the musical genius that i was buying(well, buying, copying to tape, and then returning back to the shop, humm!!!) through out the 90′s. Good continuation as for that guys &, again, well done. Now, for the 2nd part of my main intention to leaving this long ass comment: even though the album wasn’t one of those many classic ones that came out in that era (Mary J Blige’s “What’s The 411?”, Jodeci’s 2nd “Diary of a Mad Band”, SWV’s “It’s About Time” to name a few R&B wise), Intro’s 1st was a good album. When it came out, i had to get a copy of the album on tape from my uncle (along with Aaron Hall’s one & a few extra track to fill the tape in – Father MC’s “69″, Snoop & Dre’s “Nuthin but a G Thang” & Ice Cube’s “Today Was A Good Day” to mentioned a few -). I was bumpin that tape throughout that year on my walkman. There was more to that album than you say man!!! The 1st 3 track, already, were great (you said 1st 2). Then u had those fantastic slow jams “Come Inside” & “Don’t Leave Me”. Not to mention the classic Stevie Wonder song “Ribbon In The Sky” (that, in all fairness, u did mention), that, i think they reprise, in their own unique style, quite well, makin it almost their own. I think this album deserved a bit recognition than u gave it & i was more than happy to do so. With that said, keep up the good work peeps! Some youngster might fall on this & learn a bit from the love & passion we had for these many different artists, which made that “Golden Era” of music so great!! walhas the french musical junkie. (

Anonymous June 29, 2007 at 7:32 pm

Mary’s “You Don’t Have To Worry” was on the Who’s The Man soundtrack, not Strictly Business. The song from the Strictly Business soundtrack was “You Remind Me” (which was her first solo video).

Quinton Wattigny July 13, 2010 at 6:40 pm

Oh boy. Am I the only one that finds this entire thing is insane?

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