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Philly Groove of the Day/Jill Scott/”Fool’s Gold”

For nearly two decades, Philly’s Jill Scott has been simply owning her spot on the entertainment scene. Whether it was making her debut alongside The Roots in the late ’90s, owning her solo career in the ’00s and beyond or landing roles on the big screen in Hounddog and Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married?, Ms. Scott has certainly proved to be a top-notch Philly diva. Even last year the soulstress continued down her slay path with a role on HBO’s #1 Ladies Detective Agency and the release of her sensual fifth album, Woman.

A bedroom ready set packed with a light R&B flow and Ms. Jill’s undeniable vocal sass, Woman is an album that’s full life and is mixed with the perfect blend of that one-of-a-kind Philly music swagger. Since it’s snowing outside (again) today, we really could sit here all day and mellow to out to Ms. Scott’s latest record, but love scorned album cut “Fool’s Gold” plays out as the perfect post-Valentine’s Day track for of those of you out there who still may be ripping up pictures of your ex, you now have the perfect Philly-centric anthem to go along with your day.

The breathy, breezy number is an even more reason why you should chill out to the light grooves served up on Ms. Scott’s latest romp, which has also been posted below for you. Enjoy! 

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Music Memory Monday/Mario Winans

Born and raised in Detroit, Mr. Winans is the son of gospel recording artist Vickie Winans and her first husband, Bishop Ronald Brown. Also, through his mother’s second marriage to gospel singer, Marvin Winans, Mario’s aunt and uncle are none other than magnetic gospel singing duo, BeBe and CeCe Winans.

Getting his start at a young age learning piano, keyboards, and drums, it wasn’t long until Mario learned how to work in a recording studio while still in grade school. After he graduated, he began producing gospel music professionally, eventually working with gospel music artists Fred Hammond, The Clark Sisters and the 175 members of the Winans gospel music family. 

A bit further down the road, he landed a production deal with Dallas Austin’s Rowdy Records and it was from there that he linked up with and penned several tracks for R Kelly and self-titled ’95 album, including the classics, “I Can’t Sleep Baby” and “You Remind Me Of Something.” After the success with Kelly, Winans released his debut album Story of My Heart in ‘97, which failed to chart. But luckily for him, Diddy and Bad Boy soon came calling and would put the gospel singer and R&B producer on the music map. 

Pretty much right from the start, Winans found instant success working alongside Diddy, first by playing drums on “Come With Me” by Diddy and Jimmy Page, which was based around the classic Led Zeppelin song “Kashmir” from their 1975 album Physical Graffiti, as well as being featured in that Godzilla movie. It was after that Mario gained a gigantic list of production credits for Bad Boy artists and beyond including Diddy, The Notorious B.I.G., Lil’ Kim, Destiny’s Child, Whitney, J.Lo, Ice Cube, Faith Evans, Loon, Black Rob, and 112. Really, his production list goes on and on and on. 

It was also during his producing reign that the singer finally broke through onto mainstream radio with the number two Billboard single, “I Don’t Wanna Know,” which was off of Enya’s “Boadicea” that’s all up in the Fugees’ 1996 hit single “Ready Or Not.” However, the success of the single came with a side of music shade after Enya and her representatives became angry since Winans did not seek her approval for use of her ultimate Pure Moods groove. Winans stated was unaware that the Fugees sample he had used had itself been a sample. So, if you’ll recall, a compromise was reached to credit the single as “Mario Winans featuring P. Diddy and Enya.” Ahh, Baby makin’ memories…what music bliss. 

While “I Don’t Wanna Know” became Mario’s only hit single, he also popped up on a number collaborations through the ’00s (“I Need a Girl(Part Two) all day), and eventually took home a Grammy for for Best Gospel Performance for his production work for on his aunt CeCe’s single, “Pray” Also, just to refresh your music memory, “I Don’t Wanna Know” follow-up single,”Never Really Was,” used a sample of the orchestrated beginning of Madonna’s 1986 hit, “Papa Don’t Preach” as its background music. However, the song failed to chart for some reason. Maybe it was the remix version that featured “Sunshine” rapper Lil Flip. That must have been it. 

Although his mainstream music career may have cooled, Winans is still heavy in the producing game, executing producing Diddy’s 2014 set, as well as new grooves for Jamie Foxx, Keyshia Cole and Fabolous.  Remember him?

Now there’s a Music Memory Monday for you. 

 

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Music Memory Monday/Mark Morrison

Music truth to be told, I don’t know how I made it through those awkward high school years without Mark Morrison’s “Return of the Mack” constantly on repeat in my Sony Walkman headphones. Come to think of it, I don’t know I make it through the days now without Mr. Morrison’s “comeback” ditty giving me new life upon every listen. Plain and simple–and I’m sure all my ’90s kids out there would agree– “Return of the Mack” is just that groove. Armed with that delicious Tom Tom Club “Genius of Love” sample, (take a row of seats, Mariah) deep R&B tones and Morrison’s unmistakable vocal prowess, “Return of the Mack” just might be (okay, it is) one of the greatest pop singles of all time. Really, how could you not be down with this song? 

One of the most successful British urban R&B singers of the mid-’90s, Morrison should have had a fluttering career past his trademark jingle, but due to the fact that he was constantly in trouble with law, it just never happened. However, ironically, if it wasn’t for jail, Morrison wouldn’t have pursued a career in music at all, because while serving a three-month sentence for causing an incident in a nightclub, he decided to take vocal lessons. Following his release from the slammer, Morrison logged some studio time with a full production team behind him and in the fall of 1995, he officially hit the music scene with his debut single, the club favorite,  “Crazy,” which became a Top 20 hit overseas.

“Crazy” was soon followed by “Return of the Mack,” which became a global smash and would usher in Morrison’s debut album of the same name, a bedroom ready set that’s all wrapped up in sex, soul, synths with just a touch of Europop. The album fared well on worldwide charts around the globe, which would help Morrison become the first black male solo artist from the UK to reach number one in the ’90s. Although Morrison’s career was going quite well, he continued down his destructive path, this time culminating in an arrest for trying to bring a stun gun onto a plane. He was convicted and sent to jail in early 1997, in which it was right around the same time he received four Brit Award nominations (he unfortunately didn’t win any), and “Return of the Mack” began to climb its way to number two on the American charts.

Since “Return of the Mack,” Morrison continued to record a handful of records and follow-up tracks, but none became the behemoth and chart crusher that “Mack” was. However, Morrison and his signature sonnet will forever be in VH1’s Greatest One-Hit Wonders vault, and thanks to its irresistible flow, “Mack” will continue to play on as one hell of a groove that still takes over our lives once its stomping opening kicks on.

Admit it…you know it does.