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If you’re pursuing a dream of “making it,” it seems as though getting fame might be difficult, but maintaining it is even harder.  Let’s take a look at people who were able to make an impact in the music world, and then slowly faded for now.

Mims

Mims first gained national attention with the infectious song “This is Why I’m Hot” from his Music is My Savior album in 2007.  After the song went platinum, he went to work on his sophomore album Guilt, which had two singles that were popular, but were not the hit that “This is Why I’m Hot” was. After he decided to leave Capitol Records, due to him feeling as though he didn’t get the money that he was owed, he engaged in a legal pursuit which has slowed down his musical journey.  He still features on songs, like “Mr. Taboo” from the artist Cyn (no Santanna), and others. Here’s a video of him fully explaining his battle with Capitol Records.

Nicole Wray

When Nicole Wray first came out, she had what you wanted.  She had what you needed, and she expressed that musically in her hit single “Make it Hot.”  With the fabulous production from the musical duo of Missy Elliot and Timbaland, the song hit number 5 on the Billboard Charts. After the song came out, Nicole Wray took a hiatus from music.  Struggling with what she wanted and how to express it made her walk away from the mainstream music scene, until she hooked up with talented singer Terri Walker and the two formed the duo “Lady.”  In 2013, they released an album by the same name, and their music is a mix of soul and funk influences for a fun, phenomenal sound.

Crucial Conflict

Crucial Conflict was everywhere that it shouldn’t be in 1996, and what I mean is that it was all over school yards, because that’s where I always heard their music.  Their hit song “Hay,” which was about the joy of dried grass (or the figurative meaning, who really knows what they were rapping about.  Am I right?). The song peaked at the 18th spot on the Billboard Charts.  The group would frequently collaborate with other Chicago artists like Do or Die and Twista, until, like the puffs of smoke they exhaled, they slowly seemed to evaporate. Currently, the Chicago group is still intact.  They continue to perform, having been working on music, with hopes of releasing an album soon.  Here they are in action:

Shawnna

When Ludacris signed the Chicago native, and former Infamous Syndicate member, Shawnna to his DTP label, the two collaborated on many of his singles.  She appeared on songs like “Stand Up,” “What’s Your Fantasy,” and such before she released “Gettin’ Some.” Shawnna and Luda were supposed to release a Battle of the Sexes album which didn’t happen due to some behind the scenes issues.  Then she left the label and dipped off. During her hiatus she “had some babies” (see interview below), but once she came back she was welcomed with open arms in the music industry by artists who had her feature on their songs.  After releasing a mixtape in 2012, she’s still working on music and looking forward to releasing an album.

G.S. Boyz

This was the moment that my old-ness became self-aware. G.S. Boyz first came on the scene with their instructional song about doing the dance “The Stanky Legg.”  Though the song just taught you how to wiggle your leg as if you were waking it from a deep slumber, the song was certified Gold, and made way for the single “Booty Dew” which wasn’t as successful. The G.S. Boyz disbanded in 2013, but two of the members still make music and have kept to the theme of songs that focused on current dances.  Here’s an example:

Cherish

Sisters Farrah, Felisha, Fallon and Neosha knew that they had musical abilities and after their family moved from the midwest to Georgia, they were able to showcase their talents in the group Cherish.  From working with top people in the music industry like Da Brat, Kandi Burruss, and Jazze Pha, the group finally hit their stride.   The familial quartet made musical success with their single “Do It To It” from their second album. After the popular single the group has continued to make music and release albums.  Their latest album has been pushed back.  However, they have been releasing singles from it, and they’re actually pretty good.  Here’s one below:

Rich Boy

The former Tuskegee college student, Maurice Richards, became Rich Boy and dropped the gem:  “Throw Some D’s.” After that single became popular, he released others that didn’t fare as well.  The extra attention to his music also brought attention to the conclusion of an assault trial he was ordered to pay the victim over $300,000. Since then, Rich Boy has seemed to stay out of trouble and in the booth.  He continues to work on new music, tour, and according to his twitter he should have a new project coming out soon.

Brooke Valentine

“Girlfight” was an anthem of female aggression that featured music powerhouses Lil Jon and Big Boi alongside Brooke Valentine. The song was largely popular and a hit in the top 30s on the Billboard chart. However, Brooke decided to step out of the limelight, and that hiatus allowed her to get some perspective, as expressed on her website:

 “You know, I’ve been singing since I was 12 years-old; so by the time songs like ‘Girlfight’ and the Chain Letter album hit, I’d been doing this for quite a while. In this world, you just can’t have all career and no balance. I gave birth to my son London, who I love and adore. He requires a bit more attention [he has cerebral palsy] than what the average parent has to give to a child. I’d been fighting to be released from the deal with Virgin Records. I was no longer in love with the industry and with the politics that go with it. I needed a break. I needed to live life. But I want my fans to know, though, that I never fell out of love with music or creating it.”

After, she came back under the new moniker B. Valentine and has been making her presence known again. I’m not even going to lie, I loved the foolishness that was “Girlfight” when it came out, but I LOVE the new direction that B. Valentine has taken. 

Young B.

Whenever I see this “Chicken Noodle Soup” video… I just don’t know.  I always feel a little confused by it… But the song that paired Young B. with DJ Webstar became a hit.  Though many people might not have understood it, the moment Kidz Bop made a cover of it, you just accepted it.(No questions Kidz Bop… not one.) After the song, Young B. has continued to rap, and she just recently celebrated a birthday on June 29th.

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