March 13, 2008
I've been on a 90's R&B kick all last week, shout-out to my girl Nately.
A good friend of mine has a bad habit of using hyperbole in almost everything he's describing. When he recommends a restaurant, for example, he'll go overboard and be like "yo fam it's got the best food I ever had in my life, you'll love it". Then I'll go there and the food may actually be decent, or sometimes not at all, but either way I'll feel a tad let down for it not being nearly as enthralling as he makes it out to be.
I tend to scold him sometimes for going overboard with that, but this time I've gotta take a cue for him and say this: the album to your right is by far the best, I wanna say the definitive 90's girl-group R&B album. Yep, I said it. And the craziest thing is that it was never released. Like my instrumental album Dream, Extinguished, it was shelved at the last minute; in their case, due to internal conflict not only within the group but between the label.
Missy Elliott, of whom I used to be a huge fan, spearheaded the Sista quartet during the Jodeci craze of the early 90's. Penning not only the songs for this album, but ghostwriting a few joints for Jodeci and Mary J. Blige as well (word has it she and Timbaland may have helped with some of What's the 411?), Missy got her start in this group, often dubbed as the "female Jodeci", before launching her super-successful solo career in '96. The other three members of Sista disappeared off of the face of the earth once the group dissolved with the rest of the Swing Mob/Bassment crew (Ginuwine, Playa, Tweet, Timbaland & Magoo), who broke from the camp amidst DeVante's shenanigans and started their own careers.
Every. Joint. On. This. Album. Knocks. I hate to use hyperbole but this is truly (to me) the best female R&B album of the 90's. There's only a very small handful of albums I can play front to back without skipping tracks, and this is one of them. I guess it makes it even better that the album unfolds as a sort of story as it progresses, from the Sista clan meeting DeVante for the first time (who sucks his teeth an uncomfortable amount of times throughout the LP) to finding love at the end. For vintage Timbaland beats (he didn't produce the entire thing, though) and early Missy raps (she's been doin' that "my booty go ba-boomp-a-boomp-boomp" stuff for ages, as you can clearly hear), look no further than this lost gem from 1994.
It sucks this album never saw a proper release, but say hey: that's what I'm here for. (download)