Where Are They Now: ’90’s R&B Groups

November 14, 2012  |  

When we did the Where Are they Now Viral Video Sensations, we asked you what other themes and topics would you like us to explore.  Well, Realgirl responded with “Where Are They Now ’90’s R&B Groups,” and as you all know, I love making those beautiful smiles on your faces appear, so we’re taking it back to the ’90’s!  Now there are groups who have already been focused on on this site and through recent reality shows (Boyz II Men, Jodeci, Tony! Toni! Tone and En Vogue).  So, let’s get to it, and to get yourself in the mood, listen to KP & Envyi’s “My Boo” (who almost made the cut):

112

When the group, formerly known as “Forte” met Diddy in Atlanta, Georgia, they changed their name to 112 and became artists under the Bad Boy banner.  With their debut album named 112, released in 1996, they took listeners by storm with singles like:  “Only You,” and “Cupid” which I change the lyrics slightly to sing it to my daughter.

Once it ’90’s turned into the ’00’s, they continued to make music and was nominated for a Grammy for their song “Peaches and Cream” in 2001.  The group left Bad Boy and creative differences drove them to disband and start pursuing solo projects, but reunited under their own label One Twelve Music Group.  They officially reunited for a tour in 2012 and performed in sold out shows.

MINT CONDITION

Though they were formed in the ’80’s, Mint Condition’s R&B songs gained prominence in the ’90s.  With hits like “What Kind of Man Would I Be,” and “Breaking My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes).”

Though Keri Lewis left the group to produce music for other artists, Mint Condition is still performing and releasing CDs that are welcoming rave reviews.  In 2011 they celebrated their 20 year group anniversary.

SWV

The Sisters With Voices from NYC originally was a gospel group, but then went the secular route in 1992 with hits like “Weak,” “I’m So Into You,” and “Right Here/Human Nature.”   They were a force up until 1998 when they took an hiatus.

During the hiatus Coko attempted to release a solo album but didn’t pop off as largely as the SWV albums did.  She went back to her gospel roots and did multiple Christian songs with different artists (particularly Brent Jones and the TP Mobb’s Midnight).  She released an album “Rhythm and Spirit:  Love Can Build a Bridge,” which featured artists like Jennifer Hudson, Fantasia Barrino, and Patti LaBelle.  She married the drummer of Israel and New Breed, “Big Mike” Clemmons, and had a second child with him.  She also performed in the all black cast version of the Vagina Monologues and toured with them.

LeLee seemed to have a harder time, with three children and being temporarily homeless after the group disbanded.  Her former group mates, who were financially stable had no idea of her destitution until they read an interview she did with Sister2Sister magazine.  But, she got back on her feet.

Tamara had a two year modeling contract with Ford Modeling Agency.  She later married Tennessee Titan Eddie George and the two had a son, to add to George’s son from a previous relationship.  She got her Bachelors in 2004, and began a career as a writer, contributing to the Souls of My Sisters: Black Women Break Their Silence, Tell Their Stories and Heal Their Spirits anthology, and writing her own book with Katrina Chambers:   Player hateHER: How to Avoid the Beat Down and Live in a Drama-Free World.  But it was Tamara’s reality show, “I Married A Baller” that seemed to bring the group back together (they sang the theme song for the show).

Now that they’re back together they started back touring and releasing music.  They released an album “I Missed Us,” which was released this past April.

BLACKSTREET

Jumping on the scene in 1993, the R&B group hit platinum status with singles “Before I Let You Go,” and “Joy.”  But it wasn’t until “No Diggity,” with Dr. Dre, was released in 1996 that the group gained prominence in mainstream music, by winning a Grammy for the song.  But with great power comes great differences, and the group seemed to have a revolving door of group mates (maybe the former group mates didn’t like using two fingers to indicate “tonight” in the  “Don’t Leave Me” video, which bugged me… great song though).  The group disbanded in 1999.

But alas, they came back together in 2003 and released Level II.  They broke up while the members pursued individual projects… then got back together.  But it seems like it’s sticking now because a new record is set to be released in 2012.

TOTAL

In 1994 when Biggie released “Juicy,” who would have known that the New Jersey trio, Total, would take the R&B world by storm.  Almost all of their singles “Can’t You See,” “No One Else,” “Kissing You,” and “Trippin‘” reached platinum status.  The grouped stayed together until 2001 and quietly broke up.

During the break up, member Keisha Spivey married Omar Epps and they have 3 children.  Kima did vocals on her sister’s, Vita’s, rap EP, and Pamela has stayed active in the black social scene, by continuing to release her own music and going to prominent events.  Though Pamela’s solo grind has been effective, on her twitter account she announced that the group was heading back in the studio that year and for everyone to expect some new Total music soon. *smiley face*

BROWNSTONE

“If you love me, say it! If you trust me, do it!”  Good memories… okay, the LA bred group came together in 1994.  In 1995 they released “If You Love Me,” which was nominated with a Grammy.  The group released multiple singles that gave them success.  They were signed to Michael Jackson’s MJJ record label, and you know his standards were extremely high.  But after an extremely intensive touring schedule, they lost group member Mimi Doby and replaced her.  But in 1998, after internal drama gripped the group and they had multiple people leave, only to be replaced by others. Eventually, the group separated.

After leaving, Mimi quit singing all together and became a teacher, while the others attempted solo careers and a comeback in 2007.  But as of now, you could have caught Nicci Gilbert on “R&B Divas,” but it seems like that’s not going to be the case for the second season.

JADE

From 1992 to 1995, Jade was LIVE!  The group released a large amount of singles and even had the It factor to be asked to appear in movies (The Inkwell, my FAVORITE), and TV shows (90210 and New York Undercover).  Though they were big, the label they were under folded, but not before stiffing the ladies on some much deserved dividens.

They all continue to do solo work, but hey, don’t take my word for it, in Madame Noire’s exclusive interview gave us the tea.

Soul 4 Real

1995’s “Candy Rain” brings back memories of elementary school like none other.  And the single and album with the same title was produced by Heavy D.  The group went on to work with Mr. Combs on their second album, “For Life.”  Each album charted and did pretty well, but their 3rd album, “Heat,” failed to get enough love to even chart in 1999.

In 2007 they formed their own record label to release a new album but in 2009 three of the members were arrested on 145 counts of identity fraud.  So… yeah…

BLAQUE

Jeez, if identity theft wasn’t bad enough, let’s go to the tragic loss of the group Blaque.

1997 they appeared on the screen with the single “808” and gained mainstream popularity and international fame with their single “Bring it All to Me.”  After having parts in the film Bring it On, their second album going platinum, and working on their 3rd one, their star seemed to be on the rising track.  However, when Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez died, they went to Elektra Records who shelved their album.

Natina left the group, but the group continued to tour overseas and release singles but failed to gain the same popularity they had initially.  But Natina eventually came back to the group and they started working on a comeback album, but Natina Reed was tragically hit by a car and died.

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  • jazzybelle

    “my boo” was ghost town djs… kp & envy was “shawty swing my way” source: #atlborn

  • JT

    I absolutely LOVE 112…all of their albums. There are quite a few songs of theirs that stay on repeat!

  • Solo40

    The three members were arrested but two were released after finding they had no knowledge of what their other brother was doing. Brian was the only one jailed.

  • Mrs. urban

    What happened to Ideal?

  • disquete

    So fun to read this. 112 remains a favorite. What about Shai? Az Yet?

  • clove8canela

    I loved Total’s first album. I think “Can’t You See” was the first song I played at least 1000x. I couldn’t get enough of it. And every time I’m out & hear “Candy Rain” that still takes me back. Loved this list!

  • Zeta03

    Yes, definitely do a part 2: Mokensteph, Voices, Kut Klose, City High, Koffee Brown, Ruff Endz, Zhane, etc!

  • nolimit_soldier

    Anybody remember a female group called “Gyrl” from the 90s?

    • breezy

      The title of their song escapes me now, but I can still remember the video with them in the club. That was my jam

  • Jay

    I appreciate what Madam Noire tries to do in talking about our lost 90’s R&B musicians, but there are all kinds of inaccuracies in most of these. For starters, Blaque’s second album was never released, so how could it go platinum?! They didn’t even talk about Taj from SWV almost winning “Survivor” a few years ago….i could go on and on. I just hope that in the future, if you’re going to do this, don’t be lazy about it and actually do some real research.

    • Mhhmmm

      Thank you. And state all the facts-Soul 4 Real still records music, have solo projects going, but unfortunately one brother is still serving time.

  • QueenNTheMaking

    This list needs a part 2..

  • candice fox

    changing faces??

    • Suchalady

      Allure, imajin, H-town…

      • Blue Juice

        I know a little about H-Town. The lead singer Dino was killed in a car accident with his pregnant fiance on 1/28/03 (Rip). Actually on 11/18, he would have shared his 38th birthday with his twin Shazam. Apparently, they (Shazam and GI) have an album called Child Support whose release date is on hold and yea thats all I know about H-Town.

  • amberfierce

    I miss 90s music

  • nay

    Where is 702

  • curlyk

    i’d really like to know what Another Bad Creation is up to.

  • jenn

    kp and envy sang shorty swing my way not my boo. i still listen to shorty swing my way on my ipod

    • Kendra Koger

      Sorry!! When I was typing it I was listening to “My Boo,” and meant to write “Shorty Swing My Way.” I also meant to tell everyone to peep a younger Polow da Don in the video in the “Shorty” video.

      • If you need a proof-reader/editor, I’ll do it! I love this site, but HATE the grammatical errors and overuse of slang.

  • NKontroLikeJanet

    112 can still get it! All day, Everyday! Especially that Part III album! That Q, Mike, Slim and Daron interlude!

    • Tamz

      Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaassssssssssssssssssss!!!!

    • Native_Noir

      WUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU Co-Sign On that INTERLUDE!!!! Lawd you just got me hype! **Logging off to go dust off Part III**

    • clove8canela

      Amen! Why didn’t they make that a single?! We used to bump that 1 minute interlude on repeat!

  • IllyPhilly

    Just jamming out to my 90’s GG playlist! on deck -Jade