Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Ms. Toi`s "THaT GiRL"....

Rewritten with an album review added & new links, originally posted 08.18.2009...






Yes~Yes y`all I`m back with a lil` Chi~Town/ Inglewood flava for y`all courtesy of Ms. Toi. Now for those folks out there that don`t know of her I`ll do my best to school y`all....LoL, so here goes...Toikeon Parham (or Ms. Toi to the HiP HoP world) was born in Chicago, but her family decided to move to Inglewood, California when she was 11 years old. According to her parents Ms. Toi has always been an entertainer, at a young age she was singing Chaka Khan songs before she could even speak. Her first taste of the Music Industry came when she played the role of the 'other woman' in R&B group Mokenstef`s "He`s Mine" music video. Shortly after that Ms. Toi became the lead dancer for the girl group Thick & The Girls (Couldn`t find any info` on `em). During this period in time Toi was truly motivated because the lead rapper of Thick & The Girls was slippin`, always forgettin` her lyrics during live performances due to heavy alcohol consumption. Toi felt embarrassed, dancing for someone that couldn`t represent HiP HoP the right way -- so she made sure folks took notice of her dancing skillz. When Ms. Toi looks back now she can laugh because she understands that it was her beginning & everyone has to start somewhere...


Even though she was getting some props for her dance skillz, she really wanted to rip the mic! While she was working on her rappin` techniques she linked up with Brooke Payne, Ronnie DeVoe`s (of Bel Biv DeVoe fame) uncle, who later became Ms. Toi`s first management team. Shortly after that Ms. Toi recorded her first professional song with Ronnie DeVoe titled "Life Styles Of The Rough & Sexy". She then toured with Ronnie DeVoe & ended up linkin` up with another Rap group named the Militia when she returned home to L.A. Now the Militia was a group that producer & former Dr. Dre understudy Emanuel Dean put together along with emcees Lord G, Diz, Deviuz & Mr. Tan. Mr. Tan was also a part of the L.A. group Da Phat Pak along with Ms. Toi ( I couldn`t find any info` out there on this group so if ya know something school me!). Ms. Toi originally linked up with them to be featured on the remix for their single "Burn" (which is the first time I heard her rap), but the chemistry between them all was real natural so the label (Red Ant Records) put `em all in the studio for about a week`s time & they finished up an album. They shot a music video for the "Burn [Rmx]" with all 5 Militia members & even followed things up with a second video for their track titled "Who`s The Next MC To Crumble", but shortly after that Red Ant Records went bankrupt forcing the Militia to branch out on their own individual solo~careers...




Things really started to PoP off for Ms. Toi one night when her homie K-Mack, a member of the Rap group The Comrads, called her up asking her to hit up the studio to help Ice Cube finish up a song that he was recording at the time. Cube was recording "You Can Do It" which also featured Mack 10, he was about to scrap the track altogether but things changed once Ms. Toi hit the studio & blessed it with her vocals. The song became an overnight phenomenon, getting mad radio play & also ended up landing a spot on the soundtrack for Ice Cube`s film "Next Friday". Shortly after that in the year 2000 Ms. Toi joined the legendary "Up In Smoke Tour", things were lookin` real good for her career! Maybe just a lil` too good though since she thought that she was gon` end up gettin` a deal thru Ice Cube, but nothing materialized even after numerous efforts by Toi herself...




Things didn`t work out with Ice Cube the way she thought they would, but soon after her doubts faded out of her mind other labels started pursuing her. Eventually Ms. Toi signed a deal with Universal Records to release her first solo album titled "That Girl" which was released in 2001. Ms. Toi says she did everything in her power (she even co-executive produced the album & also co-produced many of its songs) to make the album a successful one, but the label just didn’t understand her. So with little to no promo for the album, ish was a commercial failure. Maybe it`s because Ms. Toi chose to stray away from the sexually explicit angle that she rocked on "You Can Do It" & instead focused on empowering women & offering a more complete portrait of the female experience in America. Don`t get it twisted though, there`s some good music on the album. It`s definitely worth checkin` out...




As for the album I`ll drop a quick lil` summary for y`all. Guest appearances come from the likes of Toi`s homegirl Cl`Ché, E-40, MC Ren, Squeak Ru, Poppa LQ, Nelly, Ali & Murphy Lee. Production is handled by Dame Grease, Phantom Of The Beats, Don Saunders, Mike City, Jason Epperson, DJ Don, Rhythm D, Doug Rasheed, Mike "Punch" Harper & even Ms. Toi herself. The album opens with the the title track "That Girl" which features her homegirl Cl`Ché over a Dame Grease produced beat, the hook has a slight Reggae vibe to it. It makes for a nice introduction for the listeners as Ms. Toi discusses the rough roads that she`s traveled to get to where she`s at now. "Handclap" is alright, but definitely sounds like an attempt to get some play on the radio with it`s commercialized vibe. The beat`s catchy, it`s hook simplistic, but Toi still manages to spit decent lyrics. "Love Me Or Leave Me" features vocals by Dalya Riley on the hook, while the Don Saunders beat complements the song`s overall message. Here Toi chooses to get a lil` more personal with this one, telling her loved one that he`s either gon` love her for who she is & respect what she`s doin` or he can get to steppin`...




E-40 makes an appearance on "Work A Twist" produced by Mike City. Like the beat the song`s decent, but nothing super spectacular which is a shame because these two artists are definitely capable of delivering much better. I can`t lie though E-40 makes the hook more catchy than it should be just by the funny way he says the song`s title. "Can`t None Of Y`all" features some more vocals from Dalya Riley while the song carries somewhat of a commercialize feel to it. Ms. Toi is basically on brag mode with this joint, lettin` folks know that no one can step to her. "C`Mon" is another joint that isn`t anything special, it`s not wack but you can definitely tell they were attempting to hit the radio with this vibe. Nelly, Ali & Murphy Lee are featured on "Be Like Me" a braggadocio joint that`s backed by a nice Jason Epperson beat....LoL, honestly I don`t know if I have heard anything else that Jason has done, but I like this beat. As for the tune I can`t really get into because I`m not much of a Nelly fan (NEVER was) & his homies don`t make this song any better. It`s not wack, it just has that Nelly-ized vibe to it & I simply can`t stand it....LoL




"Fly Chick" features The Transitions on a joint that`s sort of similar to Foxy Brown`s "Big Bad Mama" vibe but it has a bit of a darker sound to it. To switch things up Ms. Toi decides to keep it hood on the Squeak Ru assisted & street soundin` "My Dogs & My Locs", a DJ Don produced track which also features an Ice Cube sample used for the hook. "Bonnie Ride" carries the street vibe along as Toi lets the listeners know that she`s down to ride & die for her Clyde (man), while Dub Niche helps out on the track. Poppa LQ is featured on "Well Say That" a DoPe back & forth convo` between a hustler & a woman that he`s trying to hook up with carried on over Rhythm D`s backdrop which only enhances things. I`d have to say that this song is my favorite on the entire album, the way it`s done is great because both artists have good chemistry together. Ms. Toi decides to put a woman`s twist on 2Pac`s "Wonder Why They Call You Bitch?" with "Wonder Why..." featuring Dub Niche. It`s basically the female version with Toi speaking about a male 'trick' instead. It`s not a bad song at all, I actually find the hook pretty catchy....LoL




"Bangin`" has an appearance by the 'Villain In Black' MC Ren & is produced by Dame Grease. Unfortunately the song`s a lil` disappointing, to me anyway mainly because I was expecting some spectacular ish.....LoL, it`s not wack but the simplistic hook & the beat itself just don`t cut it for me. "Here To Stay" is probably my least favorite song on the album, the beat just doesn`t seem to complement her flow at all. The "Love Me Or Leave Me [Rmx]" once again features Dalya Riley, it`s not bad but I prefer the original version more. The album`s closing track titled "When I Bust" is another DoPe tune & a great way to bring things to an end. The Mike "Punch" Harper beat really meshes well with Ms. Toi`s braggadocio flows. So there ya have it y`all go `head & peep the album for ya`self...



Ms. Toi - That Girl
Label: Universal Records
Released: 2001



1. That Girl {ft. Cl`Ché} [Prod. by Dame Grease]
2. Handclap [Prod. by Phantom Of The Beats]
3. Love Me Or Leave Me {ft. Dalya Riley} [Prod. by Don Saunders]
4. Work A Twist {ft. E-40 & Stef} [Prod. by Mike City]
5. Can`t None Y`all {ft. Dalya Riley} [Prod. by Don Saunders]
6. C`Mon [Prod. by Phantom Of The Beats]
7. Be Like Me {ft. Ali, Murphy Lee & Nelly} [Prod. by Jason Epperson]
8. Fly Chick {ft. The Transitions} [Prod. by DJ Don]
9. My Dogs & My Locs {ft. Squeak Ru} [Prod. by DJ Don]
10. Bonnie Ride {ft. Dub Niche} [Prod. by Mike City]
11. Well Say That {ft. Poppa LQ} [Prod. by Rhythm D]
12. Wonder Why... {ft. Dub Niche} [Prod. by Doug Rasheed]
13. Bangin` {ft. MC Ren} [Prod. by Dame Grease]
14. Here To Stay [Prod. by Mike "Punch" Harper]
15. Love Me Or Leave Me [Rmx] {ft. Dalya Riley} [Prod. by Don Saunders]
16. When I Bust [Prod. by Mike "Punch" Harper]















Some newer music...







N`JoY...

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