Monday, May 29, 2006

Don't Walk Away Boy

Jade was one of my favorite girl RnB groups of the early 90's. Jade consisted of Tonya Kelly, Joi Marshall, and Di Reed. They debuted on the "Class Act" soundtrack in 1992 with the hit single "I Wanna Love You". With that success an album quickly followed. Although Jade was a "manufactured" girl group, one would have never known. The chemistry these girls had on record and video was undeniable.

The debut album was eventually certified Gold, thanks in part to the now classic singles "Don't Walk Away" (recently covered in 2004 by British flop reject singer Javine), and "One Woman". Jade capitalized on this success even further by releasing a live album the following year. With no break in between albums, Jade presented their sophomore effort in 1994, "Mind, Body, & Song". The second album had a more refined sound and definitely showed a lot of maturity. Over 12 years after its release it still sounds fresh. The girls not only improved their sound but also their image! Giant Records must have given them a new hairstylist because the girls embraced the album cover with some fierce weave! Maybe this is where all of the "Beyonce's" of today got their inspiration?

The first single, "5,4,3,2 (Yo Time Is Up!) failed to make a big impact at radio and a "sophomore slump" seemed imminent. However, the second single quickly changed that and saved the album. "Everyday Of The Week" was featured on the popular Fox television show "Beverly Hills 90210" and was subsequently placed on the "College Years" soundtrack. The song was a Top 40 pop hit and was all over radio and video stations. Jade couldn't be stopped....or so it seemed.

Jade abruptly split up while "Everyday Of The Week" was still on the charts and further promotion for the album was cancelled. I remember listening to Casey Kasem's weekly top 40 countdown and hearing the sad news. Very little explanation was given. I was heartbroken and for years wondered what went wrong. I have had a hard time finding information on these lovely ladies, but to my surprise Diva Planet caught up with Tonya a few years ago. In the interview she explains how the girls quickly became disillusioned with the music business and realized they would be better off financially pursuing normal careers outside of Hollywood. She claims the group didn't break up due to internal strife and there was even a brief reunion for a funeral in 2001.

I would be very curious to hear what the other 2 girls have to say! As I ponder that question, I leave you with their smash hit, "Every Day Of The Week".

Friday, May 19, 2006

Missing Times Three

Born 7 minutes apart to a Mexican father and an American mother, Vicky, Sylvia and Diana Villegas, aka The Triplets, are best known for their 1991 smash You Don't Have To Go Home Tonight.

Prior to their breakthrough hit they released a little known EP in 1986 on Elektra Records entitled Break The Silence. Details about his release are really hard to come by, and as a long time fan myself I did not even know of it's existence until I recently stumbled upon it on ebay. It's nothing like their material recorded in the 90s, as it sound very typically 80s. Of note Duran Duran guitarist Andy Taylor plays on a few tracks.

What happened betweeen the 1986 EP and 1991 seems to be a mystery. So let's fast forward to 1991, shall we? Now signed to Mercuy Records, the Villegas sisters release their debut single You Don't Have To Go Home Tonight which quickly becomes a hit peaking at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Their debut album ...Thicker Than Water was charted as well and peaked at #125 on the Billboard Album Chart.

A second single, the gorgeous Sunrise failed to chart. Though some of you may remember the title track being played during the final scene of the infamous graduation episode of Beverly Hills 90210.

While their full length debut was not the huge success it should have been, they were able to record and release a Spanish language version of their debut entitled Fuerza del parentesco which was released in 1992. Sombras y silencios (the Spanish language version of Dancing In The Shadows) charted at #11 on Billboard's Latin Singles Chart in 1992.

During the fall of 1993 the girls released their one and only album w/ EMI Latin entitled Algo mas que amor which billed them as Las Triplets.

By 1994 the title track peaked at #2 on the Billboard Latin Single Chart. The song was actually a Spanish language version of I've Been Waiting For You by the Guys Next Door. An English language version was also included on this release. The 2nd single to chart was Mi mundo entero and that peaked at #27.

Since 1994 little to no information exists as to the whereabouts of The Triplets. It's a shame they did not record more as they had gorgeous voices and if marketed right could have given Wilson Phillips a run for their money. So we contine to ask ourselves...where are they now? While we wait let's watch the video for You Don't Have To Go Home Tonight:

Friday, May 12, 2006

Just Call Her Nicety

Under the guidance of rappers Eazy-E and Dr. Dre, Michel'Le released her debut album in late 1989 on Ruthless Records. Her first single, "No More Lies" reached #7 on the Hot 100 and the album eventually was certified platinum after spawning 4 more pop/rnb hit singles (including her clever ode to girls that are "nice" and "nasty", appropriately titled "Nicety"!). In addition to her fierce music, Michel'Le was probably also remembered most for high pitched Betty Boop speaking voice. Her singing voice though was completely different. It was loud and distinct. Girlfriend could throw down like a veteran diva!

Now, after her debut album is when things got strange. I am hoping someone can fill us in here at Milk Carton Pop Stars as to what really happened. From what I gather, Dr. Dre and Michel'Le were romantically linked and had a child together. When Dr. Dre formed Deathrow Records with Suge Knight, there was a legal battle between him and Eazy-E to free Michel'Le (along with Dr Dre) from their Ruthless contracts. Ok, so all of this information is documented and well known. Dr. Dre won his court battle and they left Ruthless Records, but what I don't understand is why did Michel'Le wait until 1998 to release her sophomore album??????

"Hung Jury" barely sold 200,000 copies. I think this was an extreme case of too little, too late. The album was rather underwhelming and lacked the sassiness of her debut album. All remained quiet again with Michel'Le until 2003 when she performed a song on the "Dysfunktional Family" soundtrack, but as far as I am concerned she has been missing since 1998! Her Wikipedia entry says she is married to Suge Knight now with whom she has had several more children and that she is working on a new album. Can anyone confirm this? I have googled Suge Knight's name and I cannot find anything official to back this up.

Michel'Le, we miss you girl and we want a proper follow up to your debut album!

I leave you all with the "Nicety" video.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

If You Feel It

Forgive me for my lack of knowledge on this next artist, but I honestly do not know much about her pop past. Regardless, today at MILK CARTON POPSTARS we've chosen to highlight one of Freestyle's loudest...Denise Lopez. I vaguely remember her back when I was a kid , but it wasn't until early last year when Chicagosexbox made me a copy of his freestlye DVD video collection that I really took notice. Upon viewing the videos over and over, I instantly fell in love w/ Denise's big hair and even bigger voice! Why on earth had I not been a fan of this woman before?

Let's watch the video shall we?

HOLY LOUD!!! She's up there w/ India as the loudest freestyle bitch ever! You know cause freestyle female singers only came in loud or tone deaf. It was very difficult doing research on Denise because there isn't that much info readily available. Let's take a quick look at her pre-A&M days courtesy of

By the time Denise Lopez achieved success in 1988 with the dancefloor and pop-radio hit "Sayin' Sorry (Don't Make It Right)," she had already paid her dues via several earlier singles deals with TNT and RCA. Neither of those hit pay dirt, but one single ("If You Feel It") made its way onto this well-produced pop-dance set and became a semi-hit.

What little I was able to find was via this website. Denise Lopez released her debut album in 1988 on Vendetta/A&M records. It was entitled Truth In Disguise and was heavy on the dance (particularily freestyle) songs and the occasional ballad. This album has been out-of-print for quite some time and the asking price is usually $30+ for the CD.

There were three singles released from this album according to The pop/dance hit Sayin' Sorry (Don't Make It Right) peaked at #31 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was a #6 hit on the Billboard Dance charts. Two other singles were released, If You Feel It (#94 Hot 100, #22 Dance) and Too Much Too Late (#21 Dance). The album itself peaked at #184 on the Billboard Album Charts in December of 1988.

Denise's second album was entitled Every Dog Has Her Day and was released in 1990. It did not chart...

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

It did however produce 1 single Don't You Wanna Be Mine which peaked at #86 on the Billboard Hot 100...

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

So we ask where has Ms. Lopez been for the past 16 years? Any info would be greatly appreciated. I've searched high and low and no one seems to know the whereabouts of Denise nor what she's doing now. All I do seem to find is a Swedish singer by the same name.


Thanks to Justin for giving me the heads up about Denise's earlier recordings as Neecy Dee! I was able to purchase the 12" on ebay from someone who is friends w/ Charley Marrota, the producer of her 1984 dance single Best Of Me. I inquired if he knew anything about Denise's current whereabout's and he was able to offer me this tidbit:

I believe she is now married and has a child or two, living in North Jersey somewhere.
Hey it's something!

Monday, May 08, 2006

HWA: Hoez With Attitude

These three lovely hoez burst onto the rap scene in 1990 with their independent album, "Livin' In A Hoe House" on Drive By Records. Originally from Chicago, they moved to LA to pursue a music career. The members were: Kim "Baby Girl" Kenner, Tanya "Jazzy" Kenner, and Dion "Diva" Devoux but like any good girl group there were some lineup changes later on. For the second album "Diva" was replaced by "Go-di", and when one of the girls got pregnant "Baby Girl's" cousin, Ty James took her place. Coincidentally, Ty was the daughter of the legendary Rick James!

The group's name was a take on NWA (Niggaz With Attitude) and much like fellow female rapper Choice, the hoez used explicit rhymes to combat all of the misogynist rap songs by men at the time. The hoez wanted it to be known that they were sexual predators and would not stand for men's shit!

Their debut album was nothing spectacular production wise, but lyrically HWA left a mark on the listener's brain. No topic was taboo, whether it be the struggles with a not so well endowed boyfriend ("Little Dick"), phone sex hotlines ("1-900-Bitches"), good pussy ("Tight"), cunninglus ("Eat This"), or the days in the life of a nymphomaniac ("Freaky Daze"). The album's first single and probably the least explicit song from the album, "Funk Me", received respectable radio airplay and video rotation on the Box.

In 1994 HWA returned with an EP titled, "Az Much Ass Azz U Want". The only single was "Just A Little Action". The hoez outdid themselves with the music video. Apparently the video was so raunchy that not even The Box would air it. Considering The Box generally aired all of the videos the other music stations wouldn't, one can only imagine how truly explicit this video must have been! I wonder if the album cover was any indication.........

Now under the supervision of rap legend Eazy-E on his Ruthless Records label, the hoez's second release boasted better production, lyrics and a nicer album cover! This EP has most definitely aged well like many of the other "West Coast" rap releases from the era. Lyrically, no new territory was explored, but the EP's purpose was to prepare the public for the upcoming full length album "Hoez In Training". Unfortunately with Eazy-E's untimely death the following year that album never happened and HWA split. Baby Girl went on to record a solo album on a Chicago independent record label but other than that, these hoez remain missing in action!

I wonder if I call 1-900-Bitches if someone will know the answer........


And look what I found on Amazon from 1997!!!!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Karyn White was a huge part of my childhood and was a huge part of what is now known as the New Jack Swing era. During the late 80s and early 90s Ms. White was all over the music charts. So we ponder...

Upon her debut she scored big pop & r&b hits w/ Superwoman, The Way You Love Me, and who could forget this one:

With her second release came the #1 hit Romantic and my personal fave The Way I Feel About You:

A third album came and went in 1994 entitled Make Him Do Right. A few years ago I remember some DJ did a new dance version of Superwoman w/ Karyn's vocals. But what's she up to now?

Aside from raising her family it seems she's working on a new album! I couldn't find more info but according to her wikipedia entry:

White left Warner Bros. Records in 1995 and dropped out of the music public eye for many years. She currently resides in Santa Barbara, California and will record her first album in well over 12 years. The album, Action Fighter is slated for release in the fourth quarter of 2006.

Not sure if I'm loving the title, but I'm so loving a new album. While searching I came across this recent picture:

She looks good! As we wait more info on Ms. White, I leave you w/ some links to futher your Karyn obsession:

A Karyn White fan page
Karyn White & Pebbles mailing list

Monday, May 01, 2006

Choice Is Choosie

For the very first installment of Milk Carton Popstars I've chosen none other than the very first XXX Lady of Rap, Choice (let me just say this...Lil' Kim ain't got nothing on Choice, she sounds like Mother Goose in comparison). Choice, what can I say about her? Hailing from Texas, the first lady of Rap-a-lot Records burst onto the scene in 1990 w/ her debut album The Big Payback which was a minor hip hop hit.

But it wasn't until her sophmore album Stick-N-Moove released in 1992 that Choice gave us her nastiest rhymes w/ songs like Choice Is Choosie, Tales From The Sexside and One Just Ain't Enough. But it wasn't just big cocks and rubbing her p*ssy that Choice rapped about. She took on serious issues on the classic HIV Positive, the video got heavy rotation on the now defunct The Box. What with lyrics like this, who wouldn't take her seriously?:

A tisket a tasket, a condom or a's your choice. Make the right one

My devotion to Choice is owed to my Milwaukee Sister whom I am sure can give us a lot more insight into the enigma that is Choice. It is because of him that a slew of homos the world over have started a gay cult following for Choice. I wonder if she even knows?

So where the hell is Choice now? We ran into some queens from Texas recently at Roscoe's who swore up and down that they knew her. That she was so and so's cousin. Well if you're so and so we'd love to know what the hell happened to her? Leave us a comment here or email us at


Remember as a kid seeing on the side a milk carton a missing kid? Well we're kinda stealing that idea and instead of a missing child, we're focusing on missing pop stars. Be it a group, solo act, etc. So I look forward to sharing w/ you all. Thanks and don't forget to bookmark us!
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