Today’s report features the classic slow jam ballad “Something In My Heart” from mononymous west coast R&B singer Michel’le, off her 1989 self-titled debut. Released on Eazy-E's Ruthless Records, and produced entirely by Dr. Dre, the album was a success, certified Gold after 5 weeks. "Something..." has a nice, laid back, jazzy feel. Michel'le's powerfully emotive vocal is the centerpiece, while Dre's production, with its classy piano strikes, warm synth bass, and saxophone highlights, compliments perfectly. It also showcased Dre's skill with original compositions beyond his aptitude with sampled beats.
In 1989, Ruthless had released a series of classic hip-hop albums like Straight Outta Compton by N.W.A., Eazy-Duz-It by Eazy-E, and No One Can Do It Better by The D.O.C.. However, while artistically significant and embraced by the fans, these records received virtually no mainstream airplay due to (what was seen at the time to be) controversial lyrics and themes.
Michel'le, who first started as a featured vocalist affiliated with Dre's former group World Class Wreckin' Cru, offered Ruthless an opportunity for mainstream crossoever legitimacy. She became an immediately memorable personality thanks to the striking contrast between her strong, soulful vocal delivery and her squeaky, childlike speaking voice. Her album, which offered uptempo new-jack cuts like "No More Lies" and "Nicety" and tender ballads like "Silly Love Song" and "Something In My Heart", offered just as dramatic of a contrast with the customary 'gangsta' rep of Ruthless.
The strategy was a success, with Michel'le's album and its five singles receiving notable airplay and Billboard recognition, on both the R&B and Hot 100 charts.
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