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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. 

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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! 

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Forgot About Friday/Seduction

“Can you feel it beat, can you feel it beat, can you feel my heartbeat? 

Since momma always said speak the truth when it comes to that music, if you’re not simply feeling it once the perfectly harmonized intro to Idalis DeLeon, Michelle Visage and April Harris aka the one-and-only Seduction‘s ’90s smash, “Heartbeat,” kicks off…you clearly have no f@#king soul. 

So, for those who may not be aware of everything Seduction served out back-in-the-day, you’re about to get schooled in this week’s Forgot About Friday with a fabulous lesson..for your music life. 

While Expose owned our ’80s lives and Destiny’s Child owned our ’00s lives, with the exception of En Vogue who were the fine essence of all things ’90s girl groups (there might have been a few..hundred), the tantalizing tunes and funky flow of Seduction came to a very close second place comparison in serving it all up and then some to the Billboard charts and all of us. 

(Side note-no shade to TLC as we all know they were in a music class of their very own..and Total, Mokenstef and Changing Faces…love ya…but what are you even doing here..we’ll get you gals later).

And here is where it all started all the way back in the late ’80s when C+C Music Factory creator and first class DJ Robert Cliviles formed the group and put the gals’ style, sass and one-of-a-kind sound on top of those irresistible ’90s house beats that we still can’t escape from no matter how hard we try.

But really, why would we want to? Like anything Cliviles touches (see..every single one of his remixes..ever), his all-seeing creative eye was right on the money with the smashes that Seduction began to serve out, which of course includes “Heartbeat” (the extended version is the only one that you need in your collection), “Could This Be Love,” “Breakdown” and “(You’re My One and Only) True Love.” 

Of course, we must show our love to the track that started it all, the cheeky, “Two To Make It Right,” which coincidentally was taking over airwaves and the charts the same exact time as Mr. Rob Bass’ similarly titled classic dance anthem, in which any ’90s kid knows that our swagger and our Sony Walkman headphones we’re gettin’ all sorts of right when that pulsating pair of tracks took over in 1990.

But like pretty much every girl group of the ’90s (with the exception of DC as Destiny Fulfilled was Beyoncé getting ready to be Beyoncé, the pulsating powerhouse of Seduction lasted a hearty handful of years on the charts before the gals went their separate ways. While DeLeon and Harris eventually brought on new members Sinoa Loren, Eunice Quiñones and Maria Fiora after Visage left to go kick it with Ms. Rupaul, let’s face it, the original flavor of Seduction will always seduce us whenever or wherever it takes over anything we do in this crazy little thing called life. 

Speaking of Ms. Mish and her bestie, Ru, we all know she went on to rightfully own her judges chair and her judgement on everything the fabulous queens on RuPaul’s Drag Race present us with every season (which is on Fridays now…anybody hear?), and if serving up all of this ’90s diva music truth isn’t enough for you, she was also the head mistress on The S.O.U.L.S.Y.S.T.E.M’s 1992 groove, “It’s Gonna Be a Lovely Day.” Or, if that doesn’t ring a bell, just think of that song from The Bodyguard soundtrack that was the only single released among all of those Whitney owned classics. 

And for that alone, Ms. Michelle Visage betta werk. 

Of course, we all know Ms. Idalis DeLeón went on to become a prominent MTV VJ (that’s someone who hosted music video rotation for any millennial out there and yes, that was a big thing), and also became quite the acting diva as well taking on roles on TV shows such as Living Single, Six Feet Under, Nip Tuck and feature films like Running Scared and Vicious Circle. In fact, she still has the acting big today and inspires other fellow acting dudes and divas on how to get bit with iDalisMedia, which teaches the kids how to brand their act through precision on camera performance while serving up lessons on career brand media strategy. And if there’s any spunky diva out there who can add just the right amount of flair into any of our lives, it’s certainly everyone’s favorite female VJ from back-in-the-day. Sorry, Kennedy. 

Ms. April Harris also went on to succesful career with it all, going on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree from Howard University’s School of Communication and has slayed lead roles in traveling stage productions of Dreamgirls, Wicked Ways, Smokey Joe’s Café, The Wiz and many, many more. This not only proves that Harris and each one of these lovely ladies had it going on, but that Mr. Cliviles was absolutely right in putting them together and giving us the rhythms, rhymes and the reasons why we’ll always love the classic music art of Seduction.

Now, there’s just one thing left to do…dance.