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


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


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




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


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


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

Comments 5

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  1. Luke April 7, 2008

    I agree with you on “Libra”, it is my favourite overall Toni album of her career. “Take This Ring” and “Sposed To Be” are absolutely immense!

    “Hands & Feet” is produced by Danja, not Timbo Sam. 😉 I didn’t think this was a strong cut personally. I love the lyrics but Danja’s production lets it down a little for me, he could have given her some of the fire he brought to the Britney/Keri tracks like “Gimme More” and “Break The Ice”. I know Keri’s album will have stronger material than this courtesy of The Clutch!

    I am annoyed people seem to have forgotten about Estelle’s first album, which was just as good as her new one. I mean those gorgeous strings on “1980” will never leave me, that is a classic song!

  2. k April 7, 2008

    ‘Midnight’ was my jam, I rinsed that Libra album to death, my other faves were ‘Please’, ‘Sposed to Be’, ‘Take This Ring’, ‘Trippin’, and ‘Finally’.

    Free was my favourite song off Estelle’s first album. That song has such a positive message, and melody is smooth.

  3. Anonymous April 7, 2008

    Lol when i first heard Baby Mama Love, i thought it was a tune done for a joke, the way it was sung and everything lol guess i was wrong! But yeah it was done nicely.

  4. Anonymous April 7, 2008

    Libra was a great album. I don’t know what it is with Toni and record labels and you can’t always blame the labels but in this case I blame Blackground, because at least Laface made her a multi platinum superstar even though they were paying her 35 cents an album, in the end they gave her her money back. She should have never left.

  5. T April 7, 2008


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