The 1998 R&B Albums Rate (Whitney Houston, Lauryn Hill, Brandy and Monica): WINNER REVEALED! | Page 15 | The Popjustice Forum

The 1998 R&B Albums Rate (Whitney Houston, Lauryn Hill, Brandy and Monica): WINNER REVEALED!

Discussion in 'Charts, rates etc' started by londonrain, Mar 11, 2018.


Which of these artists' followups do you like the most?

  1. Brandy - Full Moon

  2. Monica - After The Storm

  3. Lauryn Hill - MTV Unplugged No. 2.0

  4. Whitney Houston - Just Whitney...

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
    vague, AshleyKerwin and Sprockrooster like this.
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  3. Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
    vague, Mirwais Ahmadzaï and Rem like this.
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  5. Thanks! Glad to know you're both still up for scoring this!
    soratami and ohnostalgia like this.
  6. Time for another installment of ALBUMS WE COULD HAVE RATED!

    If you want to see the previous installments, they're all handily linked in this post on page 1.

    This week we're focusing on a one-hit wonder who never really escaped her mentor's shadow.


    Nicole - Make It Hot

    Release date: August 25, 1998
    Chart peak: #42 US​

    Celebrating its twentieth anniversary this year is the debut album by Nicole Wray, who released this album under the name Nicole on most editions.

    Nicole was raised in Portsmouth, Virginia, the hometown of Missy Elliott. After Nicole and Missy were introduced, Nicole was signed to Missy's label The Goldmind and released Make It Hot at the age of 19, led by the title track, which was a #5 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified gold, as well as making it to #22 in the UK. The single was written by Missy Elliott and Timbaland included features from Missy and Mocha, along with uncredited vocals from Kelly Price, and the video also features cameo appearances by Aaliyah, Playa, Ginuwine, Timbaland and Magoo.

    The follow-up single, I Can't See, also featured Missy and Mocha, but failed to replicate the success of the title track, missing the charts entirely in the US and only making it to #55 in the UK (where, confusingly, she was credited as Nicole Ray - a name that was also used on some editions of the album). Unfortunately for Nicole, the album missed the top 40 in the US and failed to chart at all.

    A third single, Eyes Better Not Wander (written by Smoke and Static Major from hip-hop group Playa), made it to #71 on the Billboard R&B chart but also missed the Hot 100. Static Major had written Are You That Somebody? for Aaliyah, which was a hit the same year, and went on to write several more classics for Aaliyah, including Try Again, More Than A Woman, We Need A Resolution and Loose Rap.

    Nicole went on to feature on Missy's 1999 single All N My Grill, which went to #20 in the UK and #64 in the US, but never had another charting single in the US or UK. She started work on a sophomore album, entitled Electrik Blue, but after lead single I'm Looking didn't really make an impact (only making it to #66 on the US R&B chart in 2001), the album was shelved. She then signed a deal with Damon Dash at Roc-a-Fella Records and started working on a new proposed sophomore album, called Lovechild, but the proposed lead single from that project, If I Was Your Girlfriend, stalled at #57 on the US R&B chart in 2004 and so Lovechild went the way of Electrik Blue.

    Various other Nicole tracks kept appearing on mixtapes and soundtracks, and she released a couple more singles - I Like It and I Found You - from a third attempt at a sophomore album, but the album never arrived.

    She finally managed to release an album in 2013 as part of a duo called Lady (in collaboration with UK R&B singer Terri Walker) and then in 2016 rebranded herself Lady Wray and released her second solo album, Queen Alone. Unfortunately, as an independent artist with only one chart hit to her name, she's long since kissed any chance of chart success goodbye, but Make It Hot stands as a solid collection of material harking back to the heyday of Timbaland and Missy's collaboration skills.
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  8. Come and do it! It’s all pretty great R&B and you may discover a few new faves. I’ve had commentary already indicating that certain voters may be stanning for a few new acts after this rate...
  9. In case anyone likes Nicole Wray and would like to explore further, her post-Make It Hot peak is the following...

    Who knew that The Black Keys could be so good?

  10. This is really good. I assume Nicole got involved (she's featured on three tracks on this album) because Damon Dash was heavily involved with this particular Black Keys era. She sounds so solid here!

    My favourite Nicole song is still All N My Grill, which made it to #33 in the Timbaland rate @KingBruno ran (with 10s from @LE0Night, @haps and you).

    I remember when @berserkboi attempted to enter the version with MC Solaar in the PJOPS round I hosted.

    (It was the fifth of the seven submissions he sent in that round.)
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
    vague, Island, Ray and 7 others like this.
  11. Ha! My flopping legacy! That and two bottom finishes, what will I do next? Host with the first entry not to hit double digits perhaps?
  12. You have some interesting rate goals.

    Incidentally, I know that people won't necessarily know the albums I'm spotlighting - that's kind of the point of me spotlighting them - but if you like or dislike any of the singles I post, please feel free to post here to say so! It'll be interesting to see how people's taste in songs that didn't make the rate compares to their taste in songs that did.
  13. I absolutely love All N My Grill. Nice finally learning a bit more about who that "Nicole" featured in the song is.
  14. It's a shame she didn't really take off. She was the same age as Aaliyah and Brandy and a year older than Monica and could so easily have fit in with the teen R&B sound that was popular at the time. A full second album with Missy and Timbaland would have been great.
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