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: Total, Kissing You
As my avid readers know, I immensely love the nineties R&B sound. While SWV, TLC, and Xscape were the premier girl groups until Destiny Child hit the scene, I wanted to show some love to Bad Boy’s female R&B trio Total.
After signing with Bad Boy Records, the group made an uncredited appearance singing the hook on The Notorious B.I.G’s “Juicy” in 1994. Frank White would later return the favor providing a memorable Hot 16 to the group’s debut single, “Can’t You See,” which would start building momentum for the group.
Hip Hop vibes continued with the second single, “No One Else.” However, the album’s third single, “Kissing You,” put the group in a different light for me. The legendary Raphael Saadiq wrote and produced this bop which showcased the trio’s voices. When creating the song, Saadiq wanted to represent NYC and linked up with guitarist Brian Julian.
Group member Keisha handled the first verse and the bridge. Pam sang the second verse while Kima joined in on the hook. I’ve always loved the song because it reminds you of the newness in a relationship. I was in middle school when the song hit the airwaves, so naturally, I felt like the trio was singing to me.
It would be a crime if I didn’t mention Puff Daddy’s remix of the song “Kissin’ You/Oh Honey.” Puff was already known for using samples to make hits, and for this remix, he used Delegation’s 1978 hit “Oh Honey” to create an even mellow vibe that tops the original.
F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, “Then he kissed her. At his lips’ touch, she blossomed for him like a flower, and the incarnation was complete. I think that quote effectively solidifies Total’s “Kissing You.”
Final Grade: A
“Kissing You” and the remix are available on all streaming platforms.
More reviews to explorer
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