They Reminisce Over You Podcast

Total, Zhané, Deborah Cox, Tamia, Nivea cover art for episode 68 of the They Reminisce Over You Podcast

May 11, 2024

Episode 68 - Hey Ladies: Total, Zhané, Deborah Cox, Tamia, Nivea

Episode Summary

It's been a while since we've dropped an episode about the ladies, so on this one we're talking about 8 of them. Yes, 8. We're diving into the world of R&B with a spotlight on some of our favorite voices. First up, we have the First Ladies of Bad Boy, Total. Kim, Keisha and Pam. Then we're heading north of the border to talk about two vocal powerhouses in Tamia and Deborah Cox. Next up, we're getting into the luscious harmonies of Zhané, and we close out the episode talking about a hidden gem from Atlanta, Nivea. This episode promises to reignite your love for classic 90's R&B.


Miguel: Welcome back to They Reminisce Over You. I'm Miguel.

Christina: And I'm Christina. So it's been a while since we talked about the ladies. So for this episode, we're going to talk about eight of them.

Miguel: Eight?

Christina: Eight.

Miguel: OK.

Christina: To make up for lost time.

Miguel: Sounds good.

Christina: OK. So we got a trio. We got a duo and we've got a few solo acts to talk about.

Miguel: Alright.

Christina: So I think we should just get right into it.

Miguel: Sounds good to me.

Christina: And y'all just going to have to see who we talk about as we go along.

Miguel: It's in the show notes anyway. They've probably already seen it.

Christina: There's that. All right.

Miguel: Let's get into it.

Christina: Let's do it.

Miguel: OK, so we are going to start with how I put it into the list here. The bad boy, cross out the boy, and bad girls, who are Keisha, Kima and Pam. Total.

Christina: Yes.

Miguel: I gave you a list of artists to choose from, and this was one of the ones that you chose. So why did you choose Total for us to talk about?

Christina: Well, you know, Bad Boy was big in the 90s. You had Lil' Kim and Faith and Mary unofficially. So there were the ladies of Bad Boy that I already liked. But Total was kind of almost like girl Jodeci. And so you know how I feel about Jodeci. So of course, why wouldn't I like girl Jodeci?

Miguel: True.

Christina: And then also, you know, that hip hop swagger, like, I liked Aaliyah. So it just fit all right in with what I was listening to already. And the difference with them, I think, than some of the other girl groups is there was a lot of hip hop style and hip hop swagger, but their music, I think mostly because of how the samples were chosen and produced. Their music was mostly R&B, but it had a little bit more of a hip hop feel than just hip hop styling or hip hop clothes. So I think that was something that I really liked about them too. And then like, their first single, their first official single as a group started with a Biggie verse.

Miguel: Yeah, that was cheating.

Christina: So, yeah.

Miguel: That was an unfair advantage to have Notorious B.I.G. doing the first verse on your first single.

Christina: True. But it wasn't like it started with a high and then the girls came on. You're like, ugh, that's a waste of a Biggie verse because they kept it going though.

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: Even though they got a bit of a cheat code, they lived up to what was laid out for them.

Miguel: So they did two albums. On those two albums... We're not going to talk about every single song, but what were your favorite songs from the two albums that they actually made?

Christina: Well, it's kind of like two totally different songs, "Can't You See," of course, and then "Kissing You," which is like a really nice sweet ballad. It still kind of had that, the same Total swagger, but it's like a completely different song that it's like, you know, it's a ballad. So those two are like my absolute favorites off of the first album. But for the most part, I liked most of the album. There's "No One Else." And I mean, this is history. Like, the remix has Foxy and Kim on it together.

Miguel: The only song that ever released with the two of them on it.

Christina: And Da Brat's also on it.

Miguel: Yeah. But she's on both.

Christina: Yes.

Miguel: But this is the only song that ever released that has both Kim and Foxy Brown.

Christina: Right. So that just automatically, you know, makes it a classic, I guess, 'cause we'll prob--it's likely you'll never get that again.

Miguel: Yeah, I'm not holding my breath for that. I don't see it happening.

Christina: I did watch--rewatch the video and they are never in the same scene together, so...

Miguel: You know, I never noticed that. I'm gonna have to go back and look at it.

Christina: I just noticed that when I went back to watch it. So at the beginning, when they're like planning the bank robbery, Foxy is there with the girls and I can't remember if it was Diddy or Biggie. I think it was Biggie. And then some random woman. I'm like, who is this person[1]? Is she supposed to be like the stand in of a Lil' Kim because she don't look nothing like her and I have no idea who she is. But then when they actually do the heist, Lil' Kim is there and that's it.

Miguel: I'm going to have to go back and watch it.

Christina: And then they have the little scenes of them on the white background, but they're never together.

Miguel: Yeah, I didn't remember that. But I did see a picture from the shoot maybe a week or so ago on Twitter. And there's the two of them in the picture together. So they were definitely there at the same time.

Christina: Maybe it was just edited that way so that, to keep us talking.

Miguel: Well, this was before they were beefing.

Christina: Yeah, that's true. That's true, because all that stuff came out like, after. But anyways, let's get back to Total.

Miguel: Yes.

Christina: So this is definitely a historic song. It's not like my top favorite from the album, but I do like it. And then there's this song with 112 singing the hook, this Bee Gees sample, "When Boy Meets Girl."

Miguel: Yes.

Christina: Yes. I always love that song.

Miguel: I'm going to go with "Can't You See" for obvious reasons, because we talked about it earlier. Biggie was the cheat code on that. But since that really doesn't count for me as a Total song, even though it's theirs, I like it more.

Christina: But he only has one verse at the beginning. It's still their song.

Miguel: I know, but it's an amazing verse.

Christina: OK.

Miguel: So I'm not going to count that one.

Christina: Alright.

Miguel: And I'm going to go with "No One Else"." Both versions, the one with Kim and Foxy and the one without.

Christina: OK.

Miguel: Those are my two favorites.

Christina: The one with just Da Brat.

Miguel: Yeah. And with their second album, I wasn't a fan of it as much because it was really Missy heavy. Because she did the majority of the writing on the album. She did a lot of the production on the album. So it was different from the first album. It wasn't as hard hitting to me. It still had elements of what the first album had, but it wasn't like I said, as "Ungh!" like the first. And that's what I liked about the first album.

Christina: Yeah, I agree. From the second album, I think the two standouts was "Trippin'" and "Sitting Home." I also re-watched the video, "Sitting Home," and it's hilarious. I completely forgot.

Miguel: With what's her name? Faking the guitar playing?

Christina: No, no, no, that's in "Kissing You."

Miguel: Oh yeah, yeah.

Christina: No, no, "Sitting Home," Pam is the main character in the video and her boyfriend, her unappreciative boyfriend is Ed Lover[2]. And he's like, you know, "When I get home, I want you out of here!" So she throws this party and she's giving away all his clothes and shoes and stuff to the men that come to the party. They're having dance routines and all that. And then he comes home and the house is just like cleaned out. And he has a little tantrum at the end. It's just silly.

Miguel: That was a recurring theme in the 90s where people are getting kicked out of their apartments and houses, because Biggie did it in one of the Junior M.A.F.I.A. videos where they had the fake Faith. And what's her name? From New Jersey. Long Kiss Goodnight.

Christina: Redhead?

Miguel: I cannot think of her name right now but--

Christina: It's on the tip of my tongue!

Miguel: Charlie Baltimore.

Christina: Charlie Baltimore.

Miguel: When she was wearing the wig and the fur coat pretending to be Faith and she got kicked out of the house. And then Trina kicking, what's his name? Warren Sapp out of the house and they used his jersey as a floor mat. So there was a lot of people getting kicked out of their houses in the 90s and early 2000s.

Christina: Hey, 90s and early 2000s. I think that's when we were like, we're going to break free from these like relationship chains. It's a bad relationship. Why am I here? I was just rewatching these videos, I'm like, Keisha is so damn pretty. And I just kind of like, um, like the three of them just had their own different styles, but it didn't feel fake. You know how when you have like put together groups, they'll be like, this is the shy one and this is the tough one or whatever. The three of them had their own styles, but it felt like it was natural.

Miguel: Yeah, it made sense.

All right. You got anything else you would like to say about this album or these albums, I should say?

Christina: I would say it's almost a no skip album.

Miguel: The first one?

Christina: Yeah, the first one.

Miguel: Okay.

Christina: The self titled first one. However, you know, I've said this before. I hate those damn sex skits that they did in the 90s.

Miguel: Yes.

Christina: But this one's even worse. Okay. Knowing what we know about Diddy now, it makes it even weirder that he's doing a sex skit with his quote unquote employee.

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: And that it was Keisha...

Miguel: He's getting spanked.

Christina: He's getting spanked. And yeah, it's just weird. And I'm just like, ugh, I didn't like it then. I damn sure don't like it now.

Miguel: It was weird and off putting at the time.

Christina: Yes.

Miguel: And listening to it again today, because I completely forgot about it. So it took me off guard when it came on. And I wanted to turn it off, but I had to see it through.

Christina: Same! I was like, I remember it, but I just kind of wanted to like, see it through. And the fact that it comes on right before "Kissing You," which is like the sweet ballad.

Miguel: It doesn't make any sense where it is.

Christina: If you're re-listening to the album, man, just skip it.

Miguel: Yeah, you don't need that.

Christina: You don't need to hear that again. It's just weird.

Miguel: Yes.

Christina: So yeah, that's that on that. Other than that, I love the first album.

Miguel: OK. So what is your favorite moment from the career of Total?

Christina: I would say the "Can't You See" video because that just like, really introduced me to them, like made an impression. Because I don't know if I knew this and just forgot, but I didn't realize--I just, was reading their Wikipedia today that they sang the "Juicy" hook.

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: And then I was like, they couldn't put them in the video at least?

Miguel: Nope.

Christina: Nope, they are in it!

Miguel: They are?

Christina: I re-watched the video and they just look like party goers.

Miguel: Yes, you're right.

Christina: Yeah.

Miguel: But it's only two of them.

Christina: No, all three of them are there.

Miguel: All three of them are there?

Christina: I saw them. It took a while to pick it out. So Kima has short hair. That threw me off because her hair is really short. So it took me a moment to recognize her. Because her hair is short the way Keisha's is and Pam, but we usually see her with longer hair when they became Total. So it threw me off. She's wearing a red bathing suit[3].

Miguel: Yeah. Now I remember seeing two of them in this. I didn't realize that all three were in the video.

Christina: Yeah. However--

Miguel: They're not known in the video.

Christina: No, but you can see Kima mouthing it in one of the scenes and it's like, of course she knows the words.

Miguel: I'm going to have to go back and look at it.

Christina: Yeah, so anyways, my favorite moment is the "Can't You See" video. They stand out. They're different.

Miguel: For me, I'm going with the "No One Else" video because like you said, it's a monumental moment because it has Lil' Kim and Foxy Brown in the video. So that's going to be my choice. It's my favorite Total moment.

Christina: Okay. All right. So three down, five to go.

Miguel: When you put it that way, I didn't realize that there were going to be so many since there was only like four topics, but there's eight people.

Christina: Yeah.

Miguel: All right. So this next batch is what I labeled as "The Canadians."

Christina: Yeah.

Miguel: So if you don't know who that is, we're not talking about Drake. We're talking about Tamia and Deborah Cox.

Christina: Yes. So why did you choose them?

Miguel: A couple of days ago, there was like one of those prompted tweets where people are like, engagement farming.

Christina: Yeah.

Miguel: And it was like, what from the pandemic still stands out to you? And someone replied with a video of Tamia and Deborah Cox performing Whitney Houston and Cece Winans' "Count on Me"[4]. And that's what led me to it. Like you know what? You don't talk enough about Tamia and Deborah Cox. So that's why I decided to add them to this list.

Christina: All right.

Miguel: Because they can both sing.

Christina: Yes, they are vocalists.

Miguel: But their popularity never matched the talent for some reason.

Christina: Right.

Miguel: Just listening to the music over the past couple of days and watching the videos, I don't understand why.

Christina: And both of them were backed by big people.

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: Like, Clive Davis and Quincy Jones.

Miguel: Yeah, they were major labels. They were backed by two of the biggest people in music history. The songwriters and producers on the albums were top notch. But for whatever reason, they just didn't become huge stars to match their talent. And I just don't know why.

Christina: Before we get into, I guess, a little bit more specifics of each, I kind of feel like this is similar to our discussion about Teedra Moses. Because they all came out around the same time. They have a similar-ish sound, sort of. The only difference with Teedra is she wasn't really backed by anybody big.

Miguel: Right.

Christina: So that's a little bit more understandable, but maybe there was just too many?

Miguel: I guess.

Christina: I don't know. Because they're always part of the conversation. So it's not like they're unknowns.

Miguel: Right.

Christina: But at the same time, like, I think they should have been bigger than like, Ashanti?

Miguel: It's not like-

Christina: Is that a hot take?

Miguel: No, it's not like they were one hit wonders.

Christina: Yeah.

Miguel: They had hit records. They had videos that were getting airplay. They're doing tours. So they were out there. They are just not as big as I thought they should be. If that makes sense.

Christina: I wonder...hmm...

Because when I was watching a bunch of the different videos, you know, that you see the typical comments, "oh, they're so underrated." And I was like, what do y'all mean when you say underrated? Because they are definitely known.

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: And I saw a performance of Tamia on "The Donnie and Marie show"[5]. And I was like, that's random. And I was like, okay, so it's not like they were just on like the BET or like, since they're both Canadians, not like they were just on MuchMusic. Well, they had to go to the US to find success, which is a conversation for another day when it comes to Canada and urban music. So it's not, I don't know, like what is it? Because it's not like they're unknown.

Miguel: Right. Everything works.

Christina: And I feel like calling them underrated is not right either.

Miguel: Yeah. Because like I said, they have hit records, they have music videos, people know who they are, but they're just not where they should be in terms of recognition.

Christina: Right.

Miguel: Because they can sing. They're both gorgeous. One of them is married to an NBA player or former NBA player. Like everything is there for them to be like super duper stars, but they're just not. I don't get it. I like both of them.

Christina: I do too. Let's start with Tamia.

Miguel: All right.

Christina: So what are your favorite songs of Tamia's?

Miguel: There's many to choose from.

Christina: Yes.

Miguel: But I'm going to say, well, I'm going to say two.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: Obviously, the first one is "You Put A Move On My Heart."

Christina: Yes.

Miguel: Because that's the first thing that we saw her in. And I'm like, who the fuck is that?

Christina: That was on Q's Jook Joint in 1995.

Miguel: And you know, I'm not into that kind of Babyface...

Christina: Right.

Miguel: Slow jam type music. But this video comes on and I'm like, hello.

Christina: Hello!

Miguel: Hello, ladies.

Christina: Hello, pretty lady who can sing.

Miguel: And I forget who said it. I watched a video today. They're talking about her specifically. Oh, it was the the Sinbad video that you sent me when she was on Vibe[6]. And he said the same thing. He was like, this song just does something to people.

Christina: Right.

Miguel: It's very hypnotic and it puts us in a trance and she's just like, [mimics singing].

Christina: Yeah, in that little black outfit.

Miguel: Yeah. So that's the first one I'm going to choose. And then the second one, I'm gonna go with "Whispers."

Christina: "Whispers?"

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: I don't even know what song that which song is that?

Miguel: Oh, you're just going to have to listen to it.

Christina: Which album is it off of?

Miguel: I don't remember. I think it's the second album.

Christina: What? How did I miss this? "Careless Whisper?"

Miguel: No, not the "Careless Whisper" cover. It's either the second or the third album. Let me look.

Christina: I'm going to look too, because like, what did I miss? Oh, it's on this album.

Miguel: Yeah. So, the third album, More.

Christina: I'm going to have to listen to it again. I can't think of it off the top of my head.

Miguel: Yeah. So, that one, my other choice was going to be "Love Me in a Special Way," because you know I love DeBarge.

Christina: Yes.

Miguel: And she covered that one. So, I decided to go with "Whispers" instead. What about you?

Christina: I too had problems. "You Put a Move On My Heart." Like you said, that's like the first song. And back to the whole why isn't she bigger? First of all, she is, you know, backed by Quincy Jones and then he decides, oh, I'm going to make her my first single off of this album. And then the song is just amazing. But I guess I didn't really want to pick that because I kind of think of it as like a Quincy Jones song.

Miguel: Okay.

Christina: Kind of like I guess when you were saying that "Can't You See" with Total is like, to you, it feels more like a Biggie song. So, "So Into You." That's just one of my top songs, R&B songs ever.

Miguel: I know this.

Christina: I have this "summer crush" playlist.

Miguel: And that one's on it?

Christina: So it's that, it's "Be Your Girl." It's "Why Don't We Fall In Love?" Like it has this sort of sweet sound of like young love, summer, sunshine, that kind of thing. So there's just something about that song. It will always be "So Into You" and the original. I am not a fan of the Fabulous version, even though I think that version kind of helped her get sort of like, a resurgence. But I have to go with the original.

Miguel: I agree.

Christina: I also really love, off of the More album, "Officially Missing You" as well, but "So Into You" just kind of edges it out though. I know her powerhouse song is "Stranger in My House." So if you really like you want to hear vocals, "Stranger in My House," but it's a little bit lower on the list for me personally.

Miguel: So what about Miss Deborah Cox?

Christina: This was hard as well, because the songs that I like from her, it's like a whole bunch of different types of producers. So it's like all different sounds. Her music is all over the place in terms of the producers.

Miguel: Yes.

Christina: 'Cause the first single, "Sentimental"...

Well, first of all, so her debut album, self-titled, came out in 1995 and the first single was "Sentimental." She's got Omar Epps in the video. Her second single, "Who Do You Love." She's got Flex in the video and Janet Jackson's dancers. So I'm like, okay, she's got like everybody in the videos here.

Miguel: Yeah, that was the last thing I watched before I started setting up was that one with Flex.

Christina: "Where were you last night?"

Miguel: Yeah, "Who Do You Love?" "We saw him at the club." "He said he went out with his friends".

Christina: Did you hear one of the girls was like, "we should take our earrings off."

Miguel: Yes, when they were going out to the door.

Christina: Yep, to go have a dance battle with them. So I love love "Sentimental." I think that was a great debut single and this was produced by Dallas Austin. And then there's like an album cut called "My Radio." And I'm like, this song kind of reminds me of "Sentimental." And then I looked at the credits, I'm like, oh, produced by Dallas Austin. So I really like that one. That's definitely one of the options. And then in the second album, One Wish, came out in '98. I really love "It's Over Now." I can't remember who produced it. And then she also did "Things Just Ain't The Same" on the Money Talks soundtrack. And then the One Wish album has the dance version. So that's one thing that I could not do with Deborah Cox, is she always had some kind of like dance mix. And I just, it's just not for me.

Miguel: You can't get into the, "HOW. DID. YOU. GET HERE!" [mimics bass drops]

Christina: Yeah, [sighs] I can't do it. So I was upset that the dance version was on the album, but the original version is on the Money Talks soundtrack. And then when I was listening to the third album, The Morning After, I completely forgot about this song, "Up and Down." And this came out in 2002. So this is like peak outside time, out in the club. I was watching the video, the horrible fashion. Like we used to wear capris with heels and thought that was cute. And like just the clothes, I was like, yeah, good times. So this is some good times. Because this was when I had like just moved to Toronto and I was assembling my new girl crew and going out to the clubs and stuff. So it was like, a good time. And then I was thinking about the sound, I was like, oh, this is a really cute song. Completely forgot about it. Also, a remix with Jadakiss, which makes sense because Jadakiss is like, on Teedra Moses song, so he's just like the guy.

Miguel: The remix guy.

Christina: The remix guy, right? And then I looked at the credits and it was produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. I'm like, of course, because just when you hear the song, I don't know if you remember it, but it gave me Janet Jackson vibes. I'm like, oh, well, this is why. So it's not really like a song that I would, as much as I loved it, I heard it--listened to it like three, four times in a row. I wouldn't really call this like a quintessential Deborah Cox song though.

Miguel: OK.

Christina: So because of that, I'm not going to pick it as my favorite, so I'm going to go with "Sentimental."

Miguel: Well, you know which one I'm going to choose.

Christina: The one produced by DJ Quik.

Miguel: I'm going with "One Wish" because it was produced by Quik.

Christina: Yes.

Miguel: So it hits me in my L.A. heart.

Christina: Right from the [clap clap].

Miguel: From the very beginning. I'm all in on that one. I do like "Nobody Supposed to Be Here," the original version.

Christina: Yeah, it's not the "oontz oontz" version.

Miguel: That one's OK if you're like out at a pool somewhere. And it's hot. You got a drink in your hand. I'm OK with it there, but I don't want to listen to it on my own.

Christina: No.

Miguel: But the original when she's just, "No, no, nobody!"

Christina: "No, no, no! No, no, no!"

Miguel: So I'm going with that one.

Christina: Yes. If you want to see her stretch her vocals, that's the one.

Miguel: Yeah. So what is your favorite moment from either of these two? It doesn't have to be both.

Christina: So I picked one for each. So, you know, we talk about that age between about 10 to like your early teens where you start to discover your own tastes.

Miguel: Yes.

Christina: So a lot of the music around that time is what we really have a lot of nostalgia [for]. But there's also that 19 to early 20s when you're like outside.

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: Early adulthood. So that's like the second phase of what makes you nostalgic. So I feel like the Tamia, "So Into You" video kind of captures that. Because she's just hanging out with her girls and like--also just noticed today that one of the girlfriends in her video is Nicole Richie. I was like, hey, I know this little face right here. Which when I told you, I didn't really I was like, what's the connection? Why is Nicole Richie in this video? And you were telling me that like Tamia was discovered by Nicole's aunt, right?

Miguel: No, by her mom.

Christina: Her mom, her mom.

Miguel: Well, her adoptive mom, she was hosting an event for multiple sclerosis and a bunch of celebrities were there and she was just hired as entertainment to sing. And as she's singing, the entire room is like, who is that? Quincy Jones is like, I need her to come with me and "You Put A Move On My Heart." The rest is history.

Christina: So the video I picked for Deborah Cox or the moment is the "Who Do You Love" video. And this was for the dancing. So this is one of those videos where I memorized the dance routine. And I haven't seen this, watched this video or attempted the dance routine in, what, like 20 years or something. But I was like, hey, I remember like half of it. Not bad considering I haven't thought about it in a long time.

Miguel: I don't know any of the moves. I just remember the video and then again, I watched it.

Christina: Yeah, because I remember specifically like, hey, those are literally all of Janet's dancers.

Miguel: Right.

Christina: So I was definitely into it.

Miguel: Well, my favorite moment is actually a twofer. And it's that video that I was speaking about earlier when they were singing the Whitney Houston and Cece Winans song. So that's my favorite moment for the both of them. And we got it at the same time.

Christina: Yes.

Miguel: I also read, speaking of seeing them at the same time, that they were supposed to be in a group with Kelly Price at one point. And they recorded a couple songs, but it just never came to fruition in terms of them doing a full album.

Christina: That's a lot of powerhouse voices in one group.

Miguel: It is. But I thought that was interesting. I never knew that.

Christina: Every song will be like a divas live session.

Miguel: Exactly.

Christina: All right. So we got two more down.

Miguel: Yes. And let's move on to this second batch--or the third batch, I should say, that I put under the "unsung heroes" category. And I call them the unsung heroes because not only are they known for doing their own music, but they're also known for doing hooks on other people's music as well.

Christina: Yes.

Miguel: The first being "Ring My Bell" by Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince.

Christina: So they go way back.

Miguel: Yes. So we are talking about Zhané now.

Christina: Well, I guess you kind of explain why you chose them unless you got some more reasons you want to add.

Miguel: I do. I actually have a reason to go along with this. Because after What's the 411?, produced by Zhané [Pronounced Jah-Nay] is probably the second, maybe third, quote unquote hip hop soul album. Because they're singing over these hip hop beats that Kay Gee put together. Actually I think Diary of a Mad Band might have come out in between the two albums, but it was very close.

Christina: I think Diary of a Mad Band came out... Actually now I can't remember. If it was '94 or '95[7].

Miguel: Okay, so this one was before that.

Christina: It's possible. I can't remember.

Miguel: Well, I know they were all early.

Christina: Yeah.

Miguel: But What's the 411? started it and I'm pretty sure this was the second or third of those type of albums once the transition out of New Jack Swing started happening. So that's why I wanted to talk about them because they were there at the forefront.

Christina: Well, let's talk about that pioneering album then. Pronounced Jah-Nay, released in 1994.

Miguel: Yes. So the first time I did hear them, like I said, it was on "Ring My Bell" by Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. I didn't know who they were at the time, but the first time I actually quote unquote knew them was on the Flavor Unit compilation. They were on that and we mentioned it when we did the Queen Latifah episode as well.

Christina: I forgot about this. And well, you said we talked about it. But "Hey, Mr. DJ" was featured on the compilation?

Miguel: Yes. And then also that ends up being their first single as well.

Christina: I remember the compilation, but my memory is a bit fuzzy of where I heard them first, but I definitely--"Hey, Mr. DJ" was the first time I recognized them as a group called Zhané.

Miguel: And like Total, they only had two albums as well.

Christina: Well, two is better than none.

Miguel: Yes. And they're both good.

Christina: Yeah.

Miguel: It's not like they're two shitty albums. They're both really good and I like them both.

Christina: Yeah. The first album, the Pronounced by Jah-Nay [Pronounced Jah-Nay], I like the majority of that album too. There's a good mix of like party songs and then there's some mid tempo, a couple of slow songs. And like when you're thinking, you know, vibes, like they're a vibe, like their voices are so soothing.

Miguel: Which is why they have a song called "Vibe."

Christina: Yes. Which is very fitting because their voices are so soothing. But it works well with, like I was saying, they got some slow songs, they got some mid tempo stuff, but they also got like party songs and it all just works. And as you were saying, with a lot of it being produced by Kay Gee of Naughty By Nature, it's funny because when you see Naughty By Nature doing their music, it's very like, we're standing on a pile of rocks with like machetes and like looking, you know, serious and stuff. But then in the video--

Miguel: They make all this party music.

Christina: Yeah. Then in the "Hey Mr. DJ," everybody's dancing and stuff and having a good time. Well, Naughty By Nature isn't in the video, but Kay Gee and what are they called? Like the Rottin Razkals were in it. But they're just dancing and having a good time.

Miguel: Hey, you know, one of my favorite things is seeing Vin Rock roller skating in uh... actually, it's the "Jamboree" video with Zhané in it.

Christina: There you go, because if Zhané is there, it's a party.

Miguel: So of their first two albums, their only two albums, actually, what are your favorite songs?

Christina: So the first album was hard to pick because I love "Sending My Love," which is mid tempo, but kind of like a ballad. Well, it's a love song, I guess. But I also really love like their party songs, like "Groove Thang." And then they also have another ballad, "Love Me Today," that I really like, too. But they're so different from each other, it's hard to pick. So I'm kind of jumping between "Sending My Love" and "Groove Thang." And I think it depends on mood.

Miguel: That makes sense.

Christina: But they also had a song on the Low Down Dirty Shame soundtrack, "Shame," which is also another cute uptempo song. But that's not on either of the albums, it's on the soundtrack. So I think for the first one, I'm going to go with "Sending My Love." And then for the second one, Saturday Night, I'm going with "Request Line."

Miguel: That works because I chose "Request Line" as well from the second album. But for the first, I'm going with "Vibe."

Christina: OK, because they're a vibe?

Miguel: Yes, they are. And I mentioned this when we did the Where My Girl's At? episode, how they're always singing in harmony, which you said you didn't recognize until I pointed it out.

Christina: Yeah, I did not just never consciously thought about that.

Miguel: Yeah, they do sing separately on some verses, but a lot of it is them singing together, both hooks and in the verses. So that I liked because it was different. So what is your favorite Zhané moment?

Christina: You know what? I think I might switch it up. In my notes, I had initially put the "Hey Mr. DJ" video because, you know, I love a good party scene.

Miguel: Yes.

Christina: Because in '94 or whatever it was, you know, I'm sitting here thinking about I want to be grown up and go to these things, these fun looking parties and whatnot. And move out of this town. So that was my initial moment that I put in my notes. But I just remember, now that I brought up "Shame," in that VHS that we have in our storage room. When I told you about my little dancing days in high school.

Miguel: Yes.

Christina: "Shame" was one of the songs.

Miguel: Okay. We definitely have to dig this out now.

Christina: But I don't know if I'm going to feel shame if we dig this out.

Miguel: How about I let you watch it first?

Christina: I mean, I can remember it in my head. It's cringy, but it's, yeah, I did it.

Miguel: It can't be any worse than me and unnamed friend who I'm not going to say, singing Bell Biv DeVoe ballads, a cappella on cassette. That sounds horrible.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: I know it's probably worse than your dancing.

Christina: Other people liked it, so I guess maybe it's not that bad.

Miguel: Well, I'm going to say for a fact that nobody's going to like hearing me and my unnamed friend singing, "When Will I See You Smile Again?"

Christina: That's hilarious.

Miguel: It's terrible.

Christina: Why is this the first time I'm hearing about this? You've never told me about this before. Because you feel shame?

Miguel: I didn't tell you about it, but my brother did once. You just don't remember.

Christina: Oh, I don't remember.

Miguel: Yeah, one of the times we were in L.A. because he found the cassettes.

Christina: [Gasp] Okay, I'm going to ask him for it next time we go visit.

Miguel: I told him to destroy it.

Christina: He probably didn't. Alright. Well, we do have the video in the storage room and a VCR.

Miguel: Hey, it needs to happen.

Christina: So there's "Shame," Janet Jackson and Mary J. "Love Is All We Need."

Miguel: Well, I'm going to move your shame along. And my favorite moment for Zhané is not actually on either of their albums. But it's on Busta Rhymes, "It's a Party."

Christina: "It's a Party." Yes.

Miguel: That's my favorite of anything they've done.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: Yeah. That's the one.

Christina: Okay okay. I'm sensing a theme as well. That a lot of these artists that we're talking about today, they have this very sort of like, very sweet sounding voices, but they're always doing songs with rappers like Busta Rhymes. And we'll talk about someone soon who did, you know, a hook for Mystikal. There's a lot of [mimics aggressive rap]. But then their voices, I don't know, maybe if it just offsets it, that it kind of works.

Miguel: Yeah, I can see it. And since you brought it up, bringing up Mystikal. For the last one, I call this section "the hidden gem." And that's going to be Nivea. And this was another one that you chose.

Christina: Yes, I chose her.

Miguel: So why did you choose her?

Christina: Well, I chose her because, you know, I love Teedra Moses, and you know, I love Amerie. And I put her in the same category as them in terms of like having a similar sound. And as I think we talked about in the Teedra episode, Teedra Moses wrote "Still in Love," which is actually my favorite Nivea song as well. So I think it's a natural pick for me. I like Christina Milian and Ashanti, not as much as the rest of them, but they all kind of like have a similar sound.

Miguel: True.

Christina: If you like one, you probably like the rest of them. You may like one more than the other, but they are sort of in the same cohort. So yeah, I really like Nivea. And I think probably the reason why I don't listen to her more, and you kind of pointed this out when I made a little playlist for you, is there's a lot of collabs with some bad rap in it.

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: Well, maybe not a lot, but there's a couple. Like the song with Nick Cannon.

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: He didn't need to be on that. I mean, I think they were dating at the time, but he didn't need to be on that.

Miguel: She was dating Nick Cannon too?

Christina: Yeah, I'm pretty sure.

Miguel: I didn't know that. I know she was engaged to Lil Wayne twice and married The Dream.

Christina: And which is probably why there's another song with some not so great rapping by The Dream on it.

Miguel: Yeah. That's all I got. Because outside of her being on "Danger" and the singles, I didn't know anything about her. Like I saw the videos, I would hear on the radio, but I never really dug into her albums until this week. And then the playlist you put together for me. We've mentioned this a few times where there were times when there would be a song that had a rap verse on it and radio stations would take the rapper off.

Christina: Because hip hop racism or hip hop, uhhh...what do we call it? Not racism. Or is it racism?

Miguel: Whatever it is.

Christina: Whatever it is. People are like, we don't want that rap stuff.

Miguel: Yeah. But I think in this case, they should have taken rappers off of these songs.

Christina: There's a few of her songs where...

Miguel: Because I know Nick Cannon had his little rap thing going a few years ago, but nobody needs to put Nick Cannon on a record as the guest rapper. So...

Christina: And The Dream, he is like an amazing songwriter. Like so much of his work is like my favorite stuff.

Miguel: I don't need to hear him rap.

Christina: I don't need to hear him rap.

Miguel: At all.

Christina: Yeah. So maybe Jadakiss should have jumped on one of these songs.

Miguel: Exactly. If you need somebody to jump on an R&B song and not fuck it up.

Christina: Like it worked with Mya. It worked with Teedra. It worked with um...

Miguel: Usher.

Christina: Usher. And Deborah Cox, which I just mentioned a little bit.

Miguel: So if you need somebody to jump on an R&B song, call up Jadakiss.

Christina: Yeah. However, "Okay" with Lil Jon and YoungBloodZ, that worked out.

Miguel: It did.

Christina: But that's because it was like, it was already like, a crunk song.

Miguel: Yeah.

Miguel: It was more of a Lil Jon record.

Christina: Yeah. Technically, it's her song.

Miguel: Yeah. But she was kind of fit into a Lil Jon production.

Christina: So that one worked out.

Miguel: Instead of trying to shoehorn a random rapper on a song. And it didn't work. Because "The One For Me," well, "The One For Me," the song, "The One For Me," it was moving along nicely until The Nigga Who Shall Not Be Named showed up rapping and ruined it.

Christina: Yeah. I completely forgot when I put that list together for you because I was just kind of skimming the songs. I was like, oh, yeah, I like this song, I'm going to put it on the list. And I was like, oh, I tricked you into listening to "him."

Miguel: So I'm sitting there bobbing my head along with it. And then Robert shows up.

Christina: Robert.

Miguel: So I'm like, come on, man, how you going to do this to me?

Christina: Yeah. But you know what? Like music is just dicey now because Mystikal is kind of in that He Who Shall Not Be Named category, Diddy is in that category. I don't know. What are we supposed to do?

Miguel: Use Serato stems to take them off these songs and just play versions of them without it. That's all.

Christina: I guess.

Miguel: So what are your favorite songs from her catalog?

Christina: Well, as I already said, "Still in Love" is my all time favorite Nivea song. Maybe because I just love Teedra so much.

Miguel: I think it's that.

Christina: Mostly because I love Teedra so much. But "Don't Mess With My Man" is also, I really like that. A lot of the songs that I like from her is like the peak club period again. Like "Don't Mess With My Man" is a cute like, you know, you can have two sides because she's singing "Don't mess with my man." And then Jagged Edge is singing "Don't mess with my girl." Kind of have that back and forth. And as I mentioned, "Okay," that's a club song right there. Lil Jon's on it. That's like peak club song with the girls. "Get your hair done and your nails did." "Buy you a drink, make him pay for it." Like it's just, it's like a cute club song.

Miguel: Right.

Christina: But yeah, I didn't really dig into her albums that much either. It was mostly the singles that kind of had me listen to some more of the albums, but it is still a bit more singles based. I also really like "Just in Case."

Miguel: I'm going to go with "I Can't Mess With You."

Christina: Oh, yeah. That's also one of--like "Still In Love" was my favorite song. And then "I Can't Mess With You" was actually my second one. But somehow I left it off my list. But glad to hear you like it, too.

Miguel: I'm going with that one. And "The One For Me" minus Robert. You can cut it off once he comes on.

Christina: There is an unedited version of "I Can't Mess With You," which is "I Can't Fuck With You."

Miguel: Oh, I did not know that.

Christina: Yes, I was going to put on the list, but I forgot to look for it. You can decide which version you like better.

Miguel: I will go back and listen to that one. I know it's probably going to be the dirty version.

Christina: But other than that, it's pretty much the same song. I can't remember. Does that version have a rap on it too now?

Miguel: I would imagine so. He ain't going to write that song and not have a rap on it.

Christina: Yeah, I can't remember exactly, but yeah, there's a dirty version.

Miguel: All right. So what is your favorite Nivea moment?

Christina: You know what? When I was thinking of the favorite moments, I realized that I didn't really watch a lot of performances or interviews of really any of these artists. And I think when they were out, I didn't have money to be going to concerts and stuff, the way we've been going hard the last couple years. So most of my favorite moments are just the music videos. So I'm picking the "Okay" video, which as I had already said before, this is peak club song with the girls. So it's nostalgic for me because of that. However, there is stuff all over YouTube in terms of performances and interviews. So I'm going to dig into that a little bit more. I just started like, a BET special, The Untold Story of Nivea's Complicated Career.

Miguel: Oh, OK.

Christina: So maybe I'll get some insight into what happened to her.

Miguel: Well, the one I'm choosing for my favorite moment is a video you actually showed me a couple years ago.

Miguel: It's another BET video called Finding Nivea[8].

Christina: Oh, this is the one.

Miguel: Oh, it's the same one?

Christina: Yeah, the same one. I was just reading the YouTube title, but the little hashtag is #FindingNivea.

Miguel: Yeah. You've seen this already because you showed it to me a few years ago.

Christina: I forgot then. I'll need to rewatch it then.

Miguel: But there's one section at the very beginning and I can't remember exactly what she said, but you can hear like the crew start laughing in the background and it's like the opening five or six seconds of the video.

Miguel: And then basically she just talks about her career from the beginning and how the record label said that she was going to be the Black Britney Spears. And how they wanted her to be this pop princess and she's doing all these pop records and they didn't think she was urban enough. And she's like, I'm urban. How am I'm not urban.

Christina: Right?

Miguel: So I would suggest people watch that because like I said, it gives pretty much insight into her career, what she's been up to recently and all that stuff.

Christina: I just remembered something too. That VH1 thing where they were putting trying to put together a super group and it was Kiely from Cheetah Girls / 3LW. And then like, the two twins from...ah, I forgot the group. And then Pam from Total and Nivea was one of the potential group mates. And there was one scene where like, everybody's just arguing and talking and stuff. She's just like, looking for snacks. I'll just stay out of it. "Do they have rice cakes?[9]" She found some rice cakes. She's just munching on them in the corner while everyone else is like yapping and stuff.

Miguel: That's funny.

Christina: I was like, OK, I think I might like her style. You know, I'm here for the tea, but I'm not going to be a part of it.

Miguel: Yeah. That is funny. All right. So before we wrap this up, is there anything that you would like to say about these eight ladies that we spoke about?

Christina: I think I'm heavily biased, but even just listening to these eight ladies and then getting sidetracked by all these recommended videos, like we really did have the best music.

Miguel: I agree. I definitely agree. So that wraps up this episode of They Reminisce Over You. Thank you again for coming back and listening to us. If you haven't told a friend or family member about it, go ahead and do that. Send them this episode and bring them into the family.

Christina: Relive your youth, your youthful days.

Miguel: Get nostalgic with us. Like I said, thank you for coming back and listening. We try to do this every two weeks, so we'll be hitting you over the head with a new episode two weeks from now. I don't remember what it is. Oh--

Christina: Heavy D.

Miguel: It's gonna be Heavy D.

Christina: And the Boys.

Miguel: So come back and check that out. We also have a monthly newsletter called Liner Notes. Comes out once a month. It costs you nothing. All you have to do is go to and you can sign up there.

Christina: It's fun to read.

Miguel: And it's free 99. It costs you nothing.

Christina: And it's always a funny gif.

Miguel: Yes. Several funny gifs. I usually open with one and I close with one.

Christina: Yes.

Miguel: Also, we have playlists that we put together for all of our episodes. There will be one put together for this episode as well. So you can check that out on our website or hit the link. That will take you to our Spotify page. If you need to get some merch or if you want to get some merch, go to That is our store. We have t-shirts, hats, mugs, socks, all sorts of goodies.

Christina: Hoodies.

Miguel: Hoodies.

Christina: Stuff.

Miguel: Stuff. Just a lot of stuff. It's not podcast related. It's nostalgia related. So go check that out as well. That's, t-e-e-t-h-a-n-g dot com. I don't know what else we have to say here because I'm hot and I'm hungry and I want to turn the AC back on.

Christina: Yes, we turn the AC off to make the audio better for y'all. That means we are now sweating.

Miguel: Yes, so the windows and doors either have to open or the AC is going back on. And we're going to do that right now. So we will see you or you will hear us again in two weeks. Bye.

Christina: Bye!