Whatever Happened to: Monifah

On the last episode of “Whatever Happened to…”, Ms. Concrete Jungle mentioned in the comments section that Tamika, the lost member of Xscape, was making appearances in one of those Tyler Perry plays.

Now I don’t want to be seen as a hater (I know, it’s too late for that…) but I never saw the appeal in those plays. They’re ALWAYS the same – a down-on-her-luck black woman dumps her cheatin’ man for a new man, and finds the Lord along the way. It doesn’t matter if the play is called “Mama Done Burned Up the Cornbread” or “Hot Grits A Flyin'” the plot is always the same. But those plays continue to draw big crowds so the money is there.

I guess since Monifah isn’t doing much these days she decided to get some of that “ghetto play” money. I’ve seen her advertised in at least one of those plays that make the rounds. I can’t remember the name – “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime Piece” or something. Anyway, let’s reminisce:

Monifah Carter, a protege of Heavy D, released Moods…Moments back in 1996 and it was pretty darn good. Her first single, “I Miss You (Come Back Home)” is what the industry is missing right now – a nice, heartfelt mid-tempo number that little girls can sing to their make-believe boyfriends. Her second single “You” was also a banger.

After a short hiatus, Monifah returned in 1998 with the platinum-selling Mo’Hogany. I’m sure you remember the jarringly nasty single “Touch It.” Here’s an odd story about that song – when I moved to Louisville in 2001, the radio stations played it nonstop. The fact that the stations here play three-year-old songs like they’re new is why I now hate the radio. I still don’t understand why 2Pac’s “Dear Mama” gets as much airplay as T-Pain.

In 2000, Monifah dropped Home, but not too many people noticed. The only song I remember from that album was “I Can Tell” and it’s “shocking” video. The lyrics of the song hint that Monifah knows that her mate is cheating and in the video, her man is cheating with, gasp, another man!

That’s the perfect plot for one of those Tyler Perry plays.

Should she come back? Sadly, I think the curtain has closed on her musical career. But if a playwright needs to cast a sassy choir singer for “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Choir Robe” she’s your woman.



  1. Sometimes, you are too much Edd! Hot Grits A Flying! Too funny! Well, personally, I still have Moods…Moments by Monifah. I was a fan back in the day. Do I think that she should come back? No. I think that she should leave well enough alone at this point unless she can do it REALLY big. And by that, I mean Mariah Carey Emancipation of Mimi big! A lot of these folks try to make a comeback and flop worse than when they were originally out. It takes times, hard work and heavy hitters to make a come back in this day and age.

    I see nothing wrong with her doing plays to help expand and showcase her talent. But as far as coming back on the circuit, I would say no. But who knows…these days, with some of the hot garbage that’s out, she might be a welcome reprieve.

  2. Music critique you are not cause Monifah still has some of the best pipes around and she is still singing. I hope she does come out with new music. My ears have grown tired of these crappy radio tunes and blogs like yours.

  3. Whoa, calm down, Monifah, it’s all good! I never questioned your pipes. These days, your best bet is to chase that Tyler Perry church lady money instead of competing with today’s radio trash. Can’t knock yo’ hustle.

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