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Black Music Month 2014: June 22 musical salute to 112

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It's Black Music Month. Enjoy the 2014 series. Support the artists. Buy their licensed music. And turn up as you dance along.

Brief history: In 2010, I wrote a music series honoring Black Music Month on Associated Content's site (republished on Examiner). The focus was to honor new R&B singers, veteran R&B singers, solo rappers, and evenly split the musical salute between female and male rappers. The only artists I was not willing to split up were Salt n' Pepa because they worked as a unit. In 2014, it's about time to salute more artists, but in the spirit of Salt n' Pepa's legacy, R&B groups and rap groups will be included. The pattern in 2014 will be newer R&B singers (from 2000 to present), R&B and/or hip-hop groups, veteran R&B singers, and then solo rappers, still evenly split between women and men.

Black Music Month Turn Up Factor "Turn down for what?": They're not the first to do it, but 112 was one of the best R&B groups that rode the line between hip-hop and R&B. They were nice on the eyes, and all of them could sing quite nicely. Of course they had the Bad Boy curse and didn't last long enough as a group, but they still made a lasting impression in the industry.

My Connection/First Memory to Artist: I played the 1999 single "Anywhere" so much that my cousin finally grabbed me by the shoulders and told me to stop clicking the repeat button. If not for that, I would've made her, her mother and my great great aunt despise that song. The only option I had was to go home and continue to play it on my own. To this day, I still love that song. When I saw Slim at a Real Men Cook Chicago event in 2010, I danced along the entire time he was onstage. I completely forgot it was Father's Day and I'd ditched my family. Their music is still relevant and timely today.

Numbers Don't Lie: Most of their songs were heavily embraced on R&B charts, and two songs that made it to the Billboard Top 100 were "Peaches & Cream" (29 weeks, peaked at number four) and "It's Over Now" (20 weeks, peaked at number six). On the top R&B/Hip-Hop charts, "It's Over Now" (29 weeks, peaked at number one), "Cupid" (31 weeks, peaked at number two), "Peaches & Cream" (34 weeks, peaked at number two), "Only You" (39 weeks, peaked at number three), "U Already Know" (29 weeks, peaked at number three), "Anywhere" (35 weeks, peaked at number five) and "Love Me" (20 weeks, peaked at number eight).

For the first series of Black Music Month artists republished on Examiner (originally on Associated Content), click here to see all 30.

Shamontiel is also The Wire Examiner, and for the gladiators, she's the Scandal Examiner, too.

Follow Shamontiel on Pinterest for all of her latest TV, book, music and movie reviews; photo galleries; entertainment saving tips and other entries, or subscribe to her National African American Entertainment channel at the top of this page. Also, follow her @BlackHealthNews, and follow this Pinterest board to read her celebrity interviews.

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