Donell Jones had already made a name for himself, writing for the likes of Usher, Jade, and Madonna, when his debut album My Heart hit stores in the summer of 1996. Jones’s debut featured the hit singles “In The Hood,” “You Should Know,” and his cover of the timeless Stevie Wonder classic “Knocks Me Off My Feet.” Furthermore, two of the album tracks, the slow jams “No Interruptions” and “I Want You To Know,” are better songs than some folk’s entire discographies that entered the music game in the last twenty years.
Slow Jam Saturday: Timberland & Magoo feat. Aaliyah, Man Undercover
The late great Aaliyah Haughton easily avoided the sophomore slump in late summer 1996 when her album One in a Millon hit record stores. Aaliyah’s label lined her up with some of the hottest producers of the time, including Daryl Simmons, Kay-Gee, Jermaine Dupri, and Rashad Smith. However, her tracks with a then up-and-coming Timbaland truly helped Aliyah find a different sound.
Timbaland produced nine of the album’s seventeen tracks. The time spent working on One in a Millon led to a successful working between the two. A year later, Timbaland and his partner were preparing to release their debut, Welcome to Our World, featuring two appearances from Aaliyah. The first was “Up Jumps da Boogie,” and the second was
“Man Undercover this week’s pick for Slow Jam Saturday.
Toward the end of Welcome to Our World, Timbaland & Magoo provided the listeners with two slow cuts. “Joy” (featuring Ginuwine and Playa) and Aaliyah’s contribution. The track begins with Timbo’s signature drum sound, with Baby Girl and Missy Elliot’s voices lushly blending before Aaliyah croons the first verse.
“I, I, like the way, way, you get down, down
(that’s the way I like it)
You’re the kinda guy
That makes mom feel proud
Don’t have to show you’re the boy, oh
I, I, like you the way that you are
I like my man undercover
Smooth dark brotha
Fly to the bone
You don’t need no fly jeep
To come and scoop me
You can drive what you own
(thats the way I like it)
A man undercover
Smooth black brotha
Fly to the bone
Don’t need no Gucci sweater
To make you look better
You can wear what you own.”
What I’ve always liked about the song is how Aaliyah eludes admiration for her man while avoiding crass lyrics. Toward the end of the track, Timbaland drops back in to drop a few bars. A fan favorite for years, “Man Undercover” is worth a listen if you’ve never heard the song.
“Man Undercover” is available on Timbaland & Magoo’s Welcome To Our World and Ultimate Aaliyah on all streaming platforms
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Often it’s hard to believe it’s been thirteen years since GOD called the King of Pop home. Since his passing, fans have enjoyed some of his unreleased music. A few weeks before the official anniversary, the MJ estate blessed fans with Thriller 40.
Big Daddy Kane was easily one of Hip Hop’s brightest stars when his third album, Taste of Chocolate, hit record stores in October of 1990. Kane was known for boasting about his talent as a microphone checker, but as any Hip Hop head will tell you, Kane possessed a first-rate technique and rhyming skills to match his bravado.