Where Are They Now? 11 Singers and Rappers Who Didn’t Blow Up Like We Thought They Would…
We’ve talked many a time about people we used to jam to in the music industry who didn’t go as far and become as big of staples in said industry as we thought they would. To put it less than nicely, they fell off. It could have been that their sound just wasn’t all that, or that their look wasn’t HOT enough (no crotch shots, no love) for the mainstream, but you won’t find these people with near as many fans as say a Drake or a Rihanna has today. Not to say that they didn’t have their share of success, but c’mon, where are they now?
After Amerie dropped her debut album, All I Have, the future looked incredibly bright for the Korean and African American singer. She had a different look, a different voice, and a great personality. And once she dropped “One Thing,” the lead single for her second album (Touch), which hit number eight on the Billboard Hot 100, I assumed more and more doors were going to open for the singer. But while she had Beyonce’s producers for her second album, she didn’t have Bey’s success. Though Touch did reach gold status, it wasn’t enough for her label, Columbia Records. She was dropped in 2007. Since then, Amerie released another album, In Love and War, which didn’t sell well at all thanks to a lack of radio support. She has hopes to release a new album, under the name Ameriie, and she’s given herself a big makeover by chopping off her hair and slimming down her nose.
Okay, I’m kidding. I never really thought that Lil Zane was going to take over the rap world, especially not when he spent a majority of his time trying to sound like 2Pac, and the other half rocking bandanas and furs. But he definitely had a couple of tracks that had people two-stepping. “Call Me” anyone? Remember his verse on “Anywhere”? Well, after those successful turns, his star dimmed a bit, he released a few albums under the radar, did some acting (The Fighting Temptations), had a child, and even went to college. Zane is back to recording, including dropping diss tracks against folks like the Game, and allegedly has his own record label–US Entertainment.
When Mya sashayed on the scene singing alongside Dru Hill frontman Sisqó, letting folks know that it was all about her, and that she was going to be movin’ on (you know she wears a size 4 right?), it seemed that her airy voice and dance moves were here to stay. After dropping her debut album, she released her sophomore effort, one of my favorites, Fear of Flying, and everybody was singing “Case of the Ex” with one finger in the air to emphasize that they were feeling it. But as dope as some of her tracks were, she never really rose to the heights of other big female performers and vocalists. Maybe it was because that voice was just too airy, but she decided to try things outside of music after a while. She did some movies (including some BET Thursday night classics…) and even wound up on “Dancing With the Stars,” taking second place in the ninth season. You can catch her performing overseas these days getting some checks.
Silkk The Shocker
Speaking of Mya, who else was jamming to “Movin’ On” with Silkky Silkk? Just on a quick sidenote, did you know they dated for a few years? Anywho, Vyshonn King Miller, the little brother of Master P and C-Murder, came to fame with the rest of the No Limit Soldiers in the late ’90s, and dropped a couple of albums from time to time, including The Shocker and Charge It To the Game. He also tried his hand at acting as well, appearing in movies like Hot Boyz, and Bout It. To this day, he still acts, as he most recently appeared in a film called Reservations. Oh yeah, and if you want to see him rap in person again, good news for you: Silkk is said to be going on the No Limit Forever International tour with Master P and Romeo…Yaaaaaay.
They were like the baby version of TLC, but without all the hits and the iconic yet quirky fashion sense. Natina (above in the middle) was like the Left Eye of the group, while Shamari, on the left, (who is married to Ronnie DeVoe from BBD) and Brandi (on the far right) took turns as T-Boz and Chilli. They had a couple stand out tracks from their platinum-selling debut, including “808” and “Bring It All To Me.” But after that they were dropped from their label, had their second album shelved for a long while, their mentor passed (Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes), and their third album, which they released a single for (“I’m Good”), was also put on the backburner. They even split for a minute with Natina (who was once engaged to and has a child by Kurupt) working in the church. But they did get back together! And then split again for good…
The year was 2003, and around that time, Cassidy was coming on to the scene with his cute self. He dropped the album, Split Personality, with the cut “Hotel” (hey, R. Kelly) and in 2005, Cassidy also released the album, I’m a Hustla, which came with the popular single of the same name (which included a sample of Jay-Z). But after the fact, Cassidy got into legal trouble following a fatal shooting he was involved in (and had to serve eight months in prison for), and not to mention that he was also in a car accident that scarred his face permanently. Because of all these distractions, a career that seemed to be going in the right direction was brought to a halt with the quickness. Since then, he released the much ballyhooed “Drink and My Two-Step” track, but that was about it after a while. He released two more albums, one under Carmelo Anthony’s Kross Over Entertainment (and that one only sold 5,200 in its first week out…ouch). He’s done some acting (Next Day Air), and most recently in July, he released a new mixtape for his fans. Can we call it a comeback???
1996 seems like so long ago, but that’s the year the trio (who occasionally replaced members with the late Orish Grinstead) of Kameelah Williams and sisters LeMisha and Irish Grinstead released their debut album, No Doubt. They had originally come out years before and sang on the song, “This Lil Game We Play” with the group Subway. Anywho, they dropped classics like “Get It Together” and “Steelo” as a new and improved trio, but they had no hits greater than “Where My Girls At?” which was produced by Missy Elliott. After that, they had other good songs like “I Still Love You” and “Star,” but slowly but surely, the group became defunct. Kameela, who became the lead vocalist when they dropped their debut album, went on to become a solo artist and have a baby with Musiq Soulchild. She’s working on a solo disc now. Irish and LeMisha tried to release music with their sister Orish, but she passed away in 2008 of kidney failure. As great as their music was, they could never maintain the mainstream success they garnered from songs like “Where My Girls At?” and wound up being one of many black girl groups to dissolve. But I will say that the 702 album from a few years back was THE business.
Chingy Ching got a raw deal when he came out. Unfortunately, he tried to be the “It” St. Louis rapper after years of Nelly holding things down and dominating the charts. But he didn’t let him have all the shine. After Chingy signed with Ludacris and Disturbing tha Peace, he made chickenheads everywhere who loved to do the chickenhead happy when he dropped “Right Thurr.” With “One Call Away” coming in soon after (and a feature from Jason Weaver), and “Holidae In” with Snoop Dogg, it was safe to say that his debut album, Jackpot, was a platinum-selling success. He looked damn near unstoppable. But if hip-hop has taught us anything, it’s that everybody can fall off sometime. Aside from his second album, Powerballin’, Chingy’s CDs since his debut have been unsuccessful commercially, and he fell out with Ludacris and DTP (though they would reunite later) in the midst of it all. Oh, and let’s not forget that he found himself caught up in a scandal with a transgender model claiming they had messed around (even though she lied). He had a few more somewhat successful songs, but it was safe to say that the Chingy train was finally pulling in the station…Nice muscles though!
The ladies of Changing Faces, Charisse Rose and Cassandra Lucas, got their start working together as background singers for the R&B diva, Sybil. But when they teamed up and got some help from R. Kelly, that’s when they finally got their big break. “Stroke You Up,” “Foolin Around,” and “G.H.E.T.T.O.U.T.” were their biggest hits and they were definitely the late night jams and hits finding their way on to a bevvy of mixtapes back in the day. But by 2000, the ladies were teetering on irrelevancy with songs that were barely charting. But don’t sleep on them, because Rose and Lucas announced that they have a new project coming out this year and that they are back making musical magic with R. Kelly. We’ll have to wait and see if the results are worth the long wait!
Duuuuuuude! Who didn’t love at least one of the members of Immature, later known as Imx, back in the day? Personally, I always held a flame for Romeo, but most folks were kissing and clutching their Batman posters pretty hard (thanks Right On!). They released a few awesome kiddie albums, including On Our Worst Behavior and Playtime is Over (which had the hit single, “Never Lie” ), but kept it going as they grew up, changing their name to Imx and releasing a few more albums. They didn’t have their Immature success, and by 2001, they gave the group a rest. They’ve all been doing their thing since then, especially front man Marques Houston, who has acted in numerous films on his own, had his own TV show (“Cuts”) and had some solo success with songs like “unclothed” and “Clubbin.” But Houston (“Batman”), Jerome “Romeo” Jones, and Kelton “LDB” Kessee came together in 2011 for a quick photo to let fans know what’s up. See below…
Grown a** men and these “Li’l” names. I’ll never understand it. Anywho, in the early Millennium, before the Mike Joneses and Paul Walls were coming out of H-Town and all the suburban kids knew about them (but of course, way after Bun B and Pimp C), Lil Flip was holding things down. He had been around since the late ’90s (remember “The Way We Ball”?), but really received major popularity when he dropped the album, U Gotta Feel Me. It had hood classics for days, including the still popular “Game Over (Flip),” and the track “Sunshine.” This was also around the time that he worked with David Banner on “Like a Pimp” (love that rachetness!). But since then, after two more discs, like many rap artists, his star has also faded amongst those outside of Texas (though he’s still relatively huge down there with his fan base). But don’t get it twisted! He’s still out here recording, and has plans to drop a new album, a book, and even a line of alcohol soon enough.