Society always celebrates the records that top the Billboard 200 album chart. Back of The Billboards is a Music Times weekly segment that looks at the opposite end: the new record that finished closest to the back of the Billboard 200 for the previous week. We hope to give a fighting chance to the bands you haven't heard of.
Week of 06/13/2014
WHO: Keke Wyatt
Keke Wyatt was one of the most slept on members from an era that started the current wave of solo female vocalists in pop and R&B. Although her 2001 debut Soul Sista has since gone platinum, it got no higher than 35 on the Billboard 200 and the nine years in between the first and second records didn't do much to boost her profile. Her first EP, Ke'Ke' , offers an adjusted approach that might do the trick.
Wyatt has always been light on guest stars (which is admirable in this writer's opinion), but when she has brought in help, it's been in the form of R&B stars similar to herself. Avant handled a few tracks on Soul Sista and Ruben Studdard came in for Wyatt's 2011 set Unbelievable. However, as Ariana Grande and Iggy Azalea demonstrated with "Problem," a mashup of genres is what sells: a pop or R&B vocalist matched with a rapper. Wyatt took this to heart on Ke'Ke', featuring Pusha T on the sexy "Rain," and hard-coming up-and-comer Nitty Scott, MC for "Remember."
The latter track rings with the perceived shade of Destiny's Child's later years, where everyone except Kelly Rowland knew that Beyoncé Knowles was the main attraction in the group. Wyatt reminds the unnamed subject that everyone is here to her, not them. Considering the significant downtime in her career, this is some rather deep water for the vocalist to be swimming in, and fortunately Nitty brings a life preserver.
No word yet on a follow-up full-length, but Wyatt could stand to make a comeback with some help from her friends.