Monday, October 11, 2010
Tony! Toni! Tone! Makes "It Feel Good"...
When you think of Oakland California you think of many artists, including Billy Joe Armstrong (Greenday), Digital Underground, Keyshia Cole, and many more, But a time in the late 80's where the hip hops of a house party rang sounds of much "Gangsta Rap", A R&B male group from Oakland California took the separate route from the normal sounds the west coast had to offer then, and smooth sailed into our parents hearts with their "New Jack Swing". Tony Toni Tone broke ground in 1988 with their Gold album "Who?" the singles "Born Not To Know", "For The Love Of You" and "Baby Doll" were all Top 10 R&B singles on Billboard, but still these men D'wayne Wiggins on lead vocals and guitar, his brother Raphael Saadiq (born Charles Ray Wiggins) on lead vocals and bass, and their cousin Timothy Christian Riley on drums still had something to prove....Natural talent and a damn good ear out weighs the popular....
("It Never Rains In Southern California")
Their second album and most favored "The Revival" in 1990 took the R&B charts and spectators by storm with their hits "It Never Rains In Southern California", "Feels Good", "The Blues", and "Whatever You Want"(Later sampled by Ludacris) all topping the R&B charts. "Feels Good" was the group's first single to breach the Top 10 of the Hot 100and managed to go gold. But was just platinum enough to hang your hat on? Flash forward to current charts 100,000 albums sold is now considered "platinum status" when long ago the days of Platinum were only the beginning even for a new artist trying to break away from the pack.
Platinum (For those who don't know) ='s one million records, which equals 10 million one dollar bills(assuming cd sells at 9.99) for your record company to disburse among themselves, your marketing manufacturing, and blah blah blah also any other trinkets you've desired through you hiking up the hill to platinum status(eventually getting to the artist's pockets)....Now Platinum they may have been but the flash of a next album which with artists now would mean more jewels, more bad chicks for the video, more cars,...more more more yet less musical inspiration, but did Tony Toni Tone disappoint their fans with the continued success?....
NOPE..a pit stop in 91' from the Boyz in the hood soundtrack (A very hardcore soundtrack at that , which reached number 1 on the R&B charts) "Me and You"...made us believe we were on to something with the lyrics... Now that the both of us really know each other/Its time that we explore one another/ YEAAAAHHH!!!! BABY!/ (Sorry that was my favorite part)
("Just Me And You")
93's "Sons Of Soul" was truly the new nickname for these boyz from the hood tracking up hill once more. Now having more than enough "Rank" to say "The R&B name lives on through Tony Toni Tone". "Sons Of Soul" Took on double platinum status and had hit singles "If I Had No Loot" which hit #7 on the Hot 100, "Anniversary" which reached #10 on the Hot 100, and "(Lay Your Head On My) Pillow" which reached #4 on the R&B charts.
A Boy Band you couldn't call these funk survivors, sell out's... no, but what you can call them are the glue that kept 80's R&B/ New Jack Swing funky colorful and youthful..
The term "New Jack Swing" or swingbeat is a fusion genre popular from the late-1980s into the mid-1990s. It fuses the rhythms, samples and production techniques of hip-hop and dance-pop with the urban contemporary sound of R&B. The new jack swing style developed as many previous R&B styles did, by combining elements of older styles with newer trends. It uses R&B style vocals sung over hip hop and dance-pop style influenced instrumentation.
It was coined by writer-filmmaker Barry Michael Cooper (screenwriter for the films New Jack City, Above the Rim, and Sugar Hill) in a cover story in the Village Voice titled, "Teddy Riley Groove Master: Harlem Gangsters Raise a Genius"
Ms.A's Favorite: "Whatever You Want"