Although in some cases, “bless” might be a stretch:
Whatever Happened to: The Braxtons
Now, we all know Toni, who released her sixth album, Pulse, a few weeks ago. But sadly, no one remembers her sisters. Originally brought together as a female Jackson 5, The Braxton’s first single, “Good Life,” didn’t take off. Listen to that clip and you can tell that Toni was destined for stardom. She quickly went solo, winning six Grammys and becoming one of the biggest names in the industry.
It took awhile, but three of the four remaining Braxton sisters regrouped and released So Many Ways in 1996. The video for the title track is as weird as I remember. And is that Tyrese roaming around in the video? Although it was likely unintentional, the girls came off as a very watered-down version of Toni herself. And it didn’t help that Toni was at the peak of her popularity at the time – it just reminded listeners that they weren’t on their sister’s level.
Should They Come Back: Unless they’re singing backup for Toni, I’ll pass.
Whatever Happened To: MoKenStef
Board meeting in the mid-90s: “So girls, we need a name for your group. Any ideas, Mo? What about you, Ken? What do you think, Stef? Wait, that’s it! MoKenStef!”
And so, the worst name EVER for a group was created. At least that’s how I imagine it happened – they couldn’t have put much more thought into it than I just did.
Monifa, Kenya, and Stephanie released their one and only album, Azz Izz, in 1995, featuring their infamous chickenhead ballad, “He’s Mine.” Why are these women bragging about dating an unfaithful man? I might pick on these ladies, but I can’t front on their success – “He’s Mine” climbed to No. 7 on the Billboard charts, the biggest hit of all the ladies we will feature today. You couldn’t walk down the halls of my high school without hearing some girl saying “He might be doin’ you, but he’s thinking about me.” My high school was so classy.
They followed that hit with “Sex In The Rain,” which just sounds impractical. Shockingly, that silly song didn’t do very well. All three fell off the face of the earth shortly after.
Should They Come Back?: Nah, we have enough ghetto ballads these days.
Whatever Happened to: Kut Klose
Now, before you start giving me a hard time, let the record show that I would love these girls even if they weren’t hand-picked by Keith Sweat. Lead singer Athena Cage had an amazing voice. Sure, they’re mostly known as glorified backup singers for Keith on songs like “Get Up On It” and “Twisted,” but they had some great songs of their own, like the sultry “Surrender” and “I Like.”
Athena was set to go solo, with plans to release Art of A Woman in 2001. She even dropped a video, the so-so “Hey, Hey.” But the album was shelved, breaking my heart. I do have a few tracks from it – check out “Take It Out On Me” and “You.”
Fellow group members Lavonn Battle and Tabitha Duncan were touring with Keith and Athena as of a few years ago, but they’ve been relatively quiet since.
Should They Come Back: Athena definitely should return, the rest, ehh, I’ll catch you on Keith’s next tour.