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The Best You Never Heard: JoJo, Teedra Moses, Tamia & Michael Jackson

The Best You Never Heard: JoJo, Teedra Moses, Tamia & Michael Jackson

This week’s edition of ‘The Best You Never Heard’ serves up songs by teen star JoJo, Teedra Moses, Tamia and the King of Pop Michael Jackson. Drop me your suggestions for future installments at sam@thatgrapejuice.net

 

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JoJo – The Way You Do Me

 

JoJo’s 2006 effort ‘The High Road’ saw the teen star embrace a more Urban-inspired sound; one of the standout examples of this was the Swizz Beats (yes, Swizz Beats) produced ‘The Way You Do Me’. Now, depending on how you wish to interpret the song’s lyrical content, it can be considered somewhat risque – especially taking into account her age. Saying that, there’s no denying this one’s a banger

 

Listen: The Way You Do Me

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Teedra Moses – You Better Tell Her

Songstress Teedra Moses has been steadily building up an army of loyal followers since the release of her critically acclaimed LP ‘Complex Simplicity’ back in 2006. Indeed the former stylist-to-the-stars served up one of that year’s most solid efforts IMO. Filled with great cut after great cut, ‘You Better Tell Her’ stands as one of my personal favourites.

 

Listen: You Better Tell Her

 

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Tamia – Too Grown For That

 

 

Lifted from Tamia’s most recent album ‘Between Friends’, the Darkchild produced ‘Too Grown For That’ makes this week’s edition for a number of reasons. Aside from the fact that it’s one of the album’s most solid tracks, the uptempo, club-ready production is a welcome departure from her traditional (mid-tempo/ballad) forte. A true testament to Tamia’s versatility as an artist.

Listen: Too Grown For That

 

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Michael Jackson – We’ve Had Enough

Taken from Michael’s 2004 greatest hits set ‘ The Ultimate Collection’, the previously unreleased ‘We’ve Had Enough’ shows that the King of Pop is still at the top of his game. This rousing track is very much in the vein of Michael’s worldwide hit ‘Earth Song’. Laced with enough ‘Michaelisms’ to echo the ‘glory days’, this one is a winner.

Listen: We’ve Had Enough

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Your thoughts: Hit(s) or Miss(es)?

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The Best You Never Heard: Nivea, Luke & Q, Fya & Kiley Dean

The Best You Never Heard: Nivea, Luke & Q, Fya & Kiley DeanThis week’s edition of ‘The Best You Never Heard’ serves up songs by Nivea, Luke & Q, Fya and Kiley Dean. You can drop me your suggestions for future installments at sam@thatgrapejuice.net

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Nivea – Okay (Red-Cup Remix)

It’s not often that a song’s remix is better than the original, however this was very much so the case with Nivea’s ‘Okay’. Featured on her 2005 effort ‘Complicated’ (along with the released version), the track boasts entirely new lyrics, production as well a feature by then-husband The Dream. The ‘Crunk Craze’ that swept the industry a few years ago makes it all the more understandable why the original was released instead of this standout cut.

Listen: Okay (Red-Cup Remix)

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Luke & Q – My Turn

Some of you may remember R&B duo Luke & Q from their brief appearance in Destiny’s Child ‘Soldier’ video. Described by Beyonce herself as being ‘the total package’, the group generated a moderate buzz back in 2006 with their debut single ‘My Turn’. Indeed the pair’s unique combined vocals make for an engaging listening experience; Q’s smooth tenor complements Luke’s husky delivery surprisingly well. Though things seem to have gone quiet with the guys, there’s no denying the gem that is this track.

 

Listen: My Turn

 

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Fya – Must Be Love

 

 

Somewhat echoing the sentiments expressed by Estelle recently, UK trio Fya serve as prominent example of how the majority of urban acts here aren’t supported by the industry. The girls burst onto the scene in 2003 with their own brand of Dancehall-flavoured R&B, spearheaded by, this, their awesome debut single ‘Must Be Love’. Despite releasing a solid follow-up also, the girls were dropped by Def Jam UK soon after; a shame considering their potential was endless.

Listen: Must Be Love

 

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Kiley Dean – Kiss Me Like That

Set for stardom back in 2003 as a protegee of Timbaland, Kiley Dean found herself at the receiving end of label drama – eventually severing ties with the hit-maker’s short lived Beat Club imprint. Having recorded two shelved albums for the label, the Timbaland produced ‘Kiss Me Like That’ stands as a personal favorite. Dean recently signed with Matthew Knowles and Music World, with an album slated to drop this year.

Listen: Kiss Me Like That

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Your thoughts: Hit(s) or Miss(es)?

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The Best You Never Heard: Toni, Keri Hilson, Estelle & N2U

The Best You Never Heard: Toni, Keri Hilson, Estelle & N2U
This week’s edition of ‘The Best You Never Heard’ serves up tracks from the likes of Toni Braxton, Keri Hilson, Estelle and R&B quartet N2U. You can drop me your suggestions for future installments at sam@thatgrapejuice.net

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Toni Braxton – Midnite

R&B songstress Toni Braxton delivered, what I feel to be, her most cohesive effort for a long while yet in the form of 2005’s ‘Libra’. Though the album only achieved mild success, tracks such as the smooth mid-tempo ‘Midnite’ highlight the LP’s more deserving (of success) nature. A great mix of ‘vintage Toni’ and more contemporary production, ‘Midnite’ definitely shows Braxton can more than hang with the current crop of female artists out at the moment.

Listen: Midnite

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Keri Hilson – Hands & Feet

As Timbaland protegee Keri Hilson continues to prep her debut ‘In A Perfect World’, we shine the spotlight on ‘Hands & Feet’ – a not-so-tact cut she had featured on the soundtrack to Usher’s 2005 movie ‘In The Mix’. From the Southern, club-ready production – courtesy of Danja – to Keri’s swagger with her delivery, this one is a winner. Despite having floated around for a few years, I hope it gets a placement on her album.

 

Listen: Hands & Feet

 

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Estelle – Free

 

 

While Estelle is perhaps most known for her recent chart topping effort ‘American Boy’ (both here at home and Stateside), the Londoner has been on her grind for several years now. Released back in 2004, when the multi-talented star was signed with Virgin, ‘Free’ stands as a great track, with an even better message. Random tidbits: Listening to this after so long kinda makes me see where the early Lauryn Hill comparisons came from; real Lauryn-like / LOL at “Put the weave down, do something with yourself”.

Listen: Free

 

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N2U – Baby Mama Love

Jermaine Dupri’s ill-fated stint as the Head of Urban at Virgin Records didn’t prove to be all bad; R&B crooners N2U were one of the first (and only) signee’s to the label under JD’s headship. ‘Baby Mama love’, taken from their 2005 debut ‘Issues’, is an awesome track on a number of fronts. With its engaging and unconventional subject-matter, as well as their stellar vocal delivery, the song stood as one of my personal favorites from that year.

Listen: Baby Mama Love

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Your thoughts: Hit(s) or Miss(es)?

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The Best You Never Heard: Fantasia, FDM, Mashonda & Tweet

This week’s edition of ‘The Best You Never Heard’ serves up tracks from the likes of Fantasia, FDM, Mashonda and the Southern Hummingbird Tweet. You can drop me your suggestions for future installments at sam@thatgrapejuice.net

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Fantasia – Two Weeks Notice

Though the success story from Fantasia’s underrated self-titled sophomore effort was undeniably ‘When I See You’, the album definitely boasted several equally as solid tracks. One of the standouts IMO is ‘Two Weeks Notice’. With its clever word-play, as well as Fantasia’s stellar vocal delivery, this stands as one of my favourite R&B songs from the last few years.

Listen: Two Weeks Notice

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FDM – Playground

Some of our UK visitors may be aware of homegrown R&B trio FDM (formerly known as Fundmental’03). Having burst onto the scene back in 2005, the guys served up what I feel to be their best release yet in the form of ‘Playground’. Arguably ahead of its time (or market aka UK), the track didn’t really garner the attention it deserved. Still, the uptempo cut goes hard, even today. {FYI: FDM have relocated to the US having signed a joint-venture deal with Geffen/Interscope late 07. Their debut album should be hitting stores before the year is out.}

 

Listen: Playground

 

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Mashonda – Blackout (ft. Nas)
Most noted for her 2005 smash ‘Back of the Club’, as well as being the wife of hit-maker Swizz beats, R&B singer Mashonda served up the club-banger ‘Blackout’ as the second release from her admittedly terrible debut ‘January Joy’. Unsurprisingly produced by Swizz, Mashonda’s swagger compliments the gritty, street sounding beat really well. Nas’ verse adds to what is an already great track.

Listen: Blackout (ft. Nas)

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Tweet – Taxi

Lifted from Tweet’s sophomore LP ‘It’s Me Again’, ‘Taxi’ serves as a reminder of the Southern Hummingbird’s oft under-appreciated appeal. In an industry filled with gimmicks and microwaveable hits, the soulful ‘Taxi’ highlights that there is still good music and genuine talent out there.

Listen: Taxi

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Your thoughts: Hit(s) or Miss(es)?

 

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