Forgot About Friday/Donell Jones

“U Know What’s Up”…..the dearly departed Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes.…..”Where I Wanna Be”…….baby makin’ crooner and one hell of a talent. 

Yes, those are all of the music memories and moments that make up the career of one sleek and sophisticated R&B maestro and songwriter, Mr. Donell Jones, who in his late ’90s/early ’00s hey day…..simply had it goin’ on. 

Born the son of a gospel singer, Jones grew up on the South Side of Chicago and threw himself in music at a young age to escape the streets that plagued his road to stardom during his younger years. Working hard to keep his passion afloat, Jones met former Heavy D & The Boys member  “Eddie F” Ferrell along the way and together they formed a partnership with L.A. Reid and Babyface’s legendary label, LaFace.

Mr. Jones first hit it big in 1994 thanks to his penmanship on Usher‘s “Think of You,” which hit number eight on the Billboard R&B Charts. It was from there that Reid and Face gave him the green light to record his solo debut, which would end up being the stylish, soulful 1996 release, My Heart

Although the album was a moderate success thanks to singles “In the Hood,” “You Should Know,” and Jones’ cover of the Stevie Wonder classic, “Knocks Me Off My Feet,” it was the singer’s songwriting and music production that caught the ears of everyone in the industry and beyond. This would lead Jones’ quickly becoming an established songwriter in the late ’90s, penning songs for 702, Drea, a few more for Usher and many, many more before releasing his smashing sophomore set, Where I Wanna Be, in 1999. 

Of course, it was this album that truly put Jones on the music map, as it not only went platinum, but gave us bedroom ready smashes like the still woke title track, the thumping, “Shorty(Got Her Eyes On Me,” and of course, “U Know What’s Up,” which features that irresistible cameo from the one-and-only, Mizz Lopes.

Jones released a two successful follow ups–2002’s Life Goes On and 2006’s album chart topping, Life of a Gemini, but let’s face it, the careers of pretty much every late ’90s dominating hip hop and R&B artist seemingly became forgotten right around then and Jones’ later sets–Lyrics and Forever–failed to resonate with that mainstream audience (meaning…all of us) that he once owned. 

But if there’s one thing that we do know, it’s that you actually had to have talent to make it happen like Mariah back then, and Donell Jones simply had it and then some.

And that’s something we should never, ever forget. 

Plus, you know that you’re still trying to be Julia Stiles in that classic “U Know What’s Up” flavored Save the Last Dance montage. Yes, you. 

Groove on, Mr.Jones, groove on. 

Want more shit like this all of the time? Then follow Philly Mixtape right here and here, bish. 


Forgot About Friday/Blu Cantrell

“While he was scheming
I was beamin’ in the Beamer just beamin
Can’t believe that I caught my man cheatin'”

Those are the classic opening lyrics to “Hit ‘Em Up Style(Oops!),” the monstrous R&B laced revenge anthem by flame haired chanteuse, Ms. Blu Cantrell.

Throw in that luscious horn sample and that one-of-a-kind beat produced by legendary producer Dallas Austin, and well, it looked like our window shattering songstress was headed straight on a rise to the top of the charts forever, gurl. 

Eh, not so quite. But it sure was fun while it lasted, wasn’t it? 

Born in Providence as one of five siblings, Cantrell fell into the world of jazz performance at a young age, only later to be entranced by her watching her mother sing at local churches.

It wasn’t long before the “Oops” diva began recording demos, and eventually her powerful pipes caught the ears of C. Stewart…aka the one-and-only producer bad boy himself, Mr. Tricky Stewart.

While she was crafting studio for the werk that eventually went into her 2001 debut, So Blu, the singer sung along the road to stardom singing backup for a buffet of bona fide crooners including Gerald Levert, Faith Evans and Aaron Hall.  

It wasn’t long before “Hit Em Up Style” didn’t just storm into our lives like a kiss off groove from the music heavens above, but it bulldozed its way to number two on the Billboard Hot 100 in the summer of 2001 (“Bootylicious” kept it from the top spot..twas a good summer) and earned the songstress two Grammy Award nomination including for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and and Best R&B Song, and she even nabbed an American Music Award nomination for Favorite Soul/R&B New Artist, all in 2002.


Although Cantrell released a follow-up album, Bittersweet, in 2003 (and garnered another Grammy nod) and did give us another hit, “Breathe” co-starring Sean Paul, but the album quickly lost steam on the charts and would ultimately become her last studio set. And while we may never know just exactly what she’s up to these days, there’s two things we must take away from spilling music tea about the one-time career of Ms. Blu Cantrell…

Number one….the early ’00s were truly the last great era of pop music…and number two….”Hit Em Up Style” is still one hell of a track. 

Go on, gurl. 

Want more shit like this, like, all of the time? Then follow Philly Mixtape right here and here

Blu Cantrell cover photo courtesy of You Tube. 


Forgot About Friday/Cobra Starship/Leighton Meester

While we didn’t know shit about Cobra Starship or where the fuck they come from (they’re from NYC and actually parted ways just last year) what we do know (or sort of remember) is that there have been many, many summer nights boozin’ along to their Billboard Hot 100 smashes, “Good Girls Go Bad” co-starring Leighton Meester, “You Make Me Feel” co-starring Sabi (who’s also Brit Brit’s “Drop Dead Beautiful” co-diva) , the fist-pump worthy “#1 Night,” and the no doubt Philly themed, “Hot Mess.” 

There’s also a guarantee that it’s been at least five years since you worked it out to any of the tracks listed above, so why waste any time….just dive in like you did at the bar that night in your ’20s as you were gettin’ your Cobra Starship life. It was the best. 

And speaking of the fabulous Ms. Leighton Meester, we absolutely can’t leave out the short lived music career of everyone’s favorite Gossip Girl diva (all shade, Ms. Blake), who delivered a pair of sugar coated pop singles–“Somebody to Love” and “Your Love’s a Drug–, one eh cover of “Christmas(Baby Please Come Home)” and one twangin’ country album, Heartstringsthat most people wouldn’t know was out unless they looked on Spotify. #itsthere 

Coincidentally, Ms. Meester’s music career was never heard from again after she stole the spotlight, err, acted alongside Gwyneth Paltrow in Country Strong, but anyway…who cares? Let’s dance along with Leighton once again…you know you want to. 

Happy Forgot About Friday!