About a year ago, I got an early Christmas gift when my very good friend Donnie gave me a link to a blog full of the most random, dated R&B that I’ve never heard of in my life. Unfortunately, that blog is now dead and gone, but I managed to salvage some of the best (read: worst) covers there.
In no particular order:
1. Renaizzance – Intimate Thoughts
First, a question.. .why did everybody feel the need to spell shit the wrong way? “Hello, ladies and gentlemen, we are Peaches and Cream, only it’s spelled PeichezzZ and Kriem because we’re crafty and clever.” Anyway.
You can’t convince me that that wasn’t done by somebody’s 14 yr old little brother with MS clipart and the first edition of Paint Shop Pro. Doesn’t it look like an airbrushed Rest in Peace t-shirt? (PS – WHY DO THEY HAVE A BEST OF ALBUM?)
2. Phinace – In Memory Of
Speaking of resting in peace… is this an album cover or an obituary?
Roshan King, Tyrell Jones, Juan’Tre Jenkins, Santonio Washburn and D’Brandon Smith, members of the singing group Phinace, were called to their Heavenly Home after their El Dorado ran into the side of a Waffle House on their way to a gig at Roscoe’s Snackin’ Shack. Homegoing services will be held at the First Corinthian Leather Baptist Church of Christ and will feature a gospel rendition of their hit “Finesse That Lady” as performed by the Holy Twerkers.
3. Mind – Is That the Way
And speaking of church… somebody call New Bethel and tell them to come get their choir directors. And wtf is the little cartoon keytar for??
4. J Gist – R&B Gangster
Can someone explain to me how this works? Being an R&B gangster? In my head, I’m seeing this J Gist dude breaking out in a song and dance routine in the middle of a robbery. Or singing “gimmie the drugs” to the tune of Luther’s ‘Never Too Much’ in the middle of a deal (gimmie the drugs Gimmie The Drugs GIMIME THE DRUUUUGS! *duuuuun, dun dun dun DUUN!*). Am I on the right track? Anyone? Bonus points if you can tell me how the hell to pronounce this dude’s name.
5. Gary & Rogers – Don’t Deny It
Larry Blackmon minus codpiece plus Jheri curl?
6. Le Gent – Le Gent
It’s the expressions that make this cover so awesome to me. Brown suit dude: ‘If this goes well, I’ll be able to use this picture on my card when I become a Century 21 agent.’ Red suit: ‘Dance break in 5… 4..’ Black suit dude: ‘Oh, hello cameraman! I didn’t see you there! Isn’t this a pleasant surprise!’ Yellow suit dude: ‘Do you see this? Do you see the color of this suit? This is a motherfucking mustard yellow suit. Huh? It’s yellow! Can you believe that?? Mustard yellow!!’
Because nothing says romance like Kroger flowers, dollar store chocolate, Champipple, and three greasy faces.
PS – is that Shirley from ‘What’s Happenin?’ holding the flowers?!
8. Highland Place Mobsters -1746DCGA30035
So I could talk about what a blatant rip-off of Dru Hill these cats are, or about how REAL mobsters don’t fucking make R&B albums, but I’ve got a more pressing problem: the album title. Why would u name your album something that no one can pronounce or remember?? “Excuse me, do you have the new Highland Place Mobsters album in stock?” “I can look and see. What’s it called?” “I think it’s one-seven-eight-three-pee-ex… um, naw it’s one-seven-two-nine-zee… fuck it, just give me that new Dru Hill.”
That’s not an album title. Looks more like a cheat code.
PS – is that Stoney Jackson pissed off in those handcuffs in the middle?!
9. Po’, Broke & Lonely – No Money No Honey
Seriously? This is seriously the name of your group? Po Broke & Lonely? Are those your names? The adjectives that best describe you individually? Is that Po on the left, Broke in the middle and Lonely on the end?
Why not just call yourselves “No Redeeming Qualities” or “Don’t Fuck Any of Us?”
Okay, this next one I actually did save for the end as our big finish. Ladies and le gents (see what I did there?), I give to you…
10. 1-900 – One Nine Hundred
Motherfucking tiger print. And an actual tiger.
What do you think the rest of that implied 900 phone number is? I bet it’s probably something like 1-900-BABY-OIL or 1-900-NASTY-XTACY. Or 1-900-OH-SHIT-A-TIGER. I’m gonna go with the last one.