Dj Pope Takes Us Inside His "90's House Music" Compilation
In the 1990’s, the US Soulful House music scene was at its zenith worldwide. Coming out of its raw, precocious age of the late 80’s, US Soulful House (termed Underground, back then) competed vigorously with Rap and R&B, even to the point of an ill-fated marriage between Rap and House that had some shining moments as Hip-House. Major labels were snatching up the more consistent Soulful House music artists, regional sounds from Chicago, Jersey, Detroit, Baltimore and NYC became more sophisticated with accompanying music videos. Underground clubs dotted the northeast and were responsible for breaking regional hits that ultimately became national hits then worldwide anthems reinforced by radio stations that had its finger on the pulse of the underground. Chicago native, DJ, Producer, Songwriter, Baltimore planted DJ Pope came into his own in the within the underground House and Soulful House music scene of the 90’s. His affinity for the vocal performance is evident in his DJ sets and the music he creates. Pope has put together an interesting retrospective of eleven 90’s underground Soulful House jewels (some of his favorites) that didn’t quite reach the massive commercial successes of 90’s Soulful House tunes we now deem classics but were strong dance-floor stompers that were certainly contenders for club land anthems. We were luckily enough to chat with DJ Pope to go through the album in depth, track by track
1. LNR “Reachin” (Extended Vocal dub)
Produced by Larry Thompson & Rick Lenoir, Written b7 R. Lenoir & L. Thompson. House Jam Records 1993
This tune reminds me of Chicago House Music, It gives me that feeling when House music was fun and free. It was the perfect record to start my mix show off on WEAA 88.9FM
2. Brothers In The Struggle “Come Together” (Little Kids Dub)
Produced by DjPope, Written by DjPope & Nicole Love for Pope Pump Muzick ASCAP. Emotive Records 1992 ***Bonus Track
This dub mix was a staple on my radio mix show “The Underground Experience”.
3. Brothers In The Struggle “Come Together” (Dockins Come On Mix)
Produced by DjPope, Written by DjPope & Nicole Love for Pope Pump Muzick ASCAP. Emotive Records 1992
This tune is special to me because it was my first record I produced and co wrote with my then girlfriend. My college buddy Charles Dockins helped make this deal possible with his great mix, that Tony Humphries was banging ever week on his legendary New York mix show.
4. Billy “Jack” Williams Ft. Jeanie Tracy “Call It Love” (4007 Mix)
Produced, Written and Mixed by Billy “Jack” Williams for Critical House Mylo Blue Publishing Productions DC 10 Records 1996
I can remember being in the studio when Charles was working on this remix and when I first heard it, I fell in love with it, right then and there I knew it would be a classic.
5. Blunted Dummies “House For All”
Produced by Shawn Caesar & Ty James. Dj Boy Records 1992
This tune right here also brings back good memories of being on the radio here in Baltimore. One Saturday night I am on the air and the phone rings in the studio, so I go to answer it and it’s two local dj’s Sean Cesar & Scotty B. After ringing them in and hanging up the phone. I am thinking what do they want, considering that they played a different style of dance music than I played. When they got up to the station
they handed me this test pressing. Again I am thinking, why are they giving me a record, I don’t play Baltimore Club Music? Let me tell you when I dropped the needle on this record I was in shock in a good way, so much that I played this track twice that night on the radio.
6. Leslie Joy “What Is Happiness” (D & T Mix)
Produced by Dino & Terry Demopoulos, Shem Ali,Written by Shem Ali, Vocals by Val Timothy, Crash Records 1995
This tune was a staple in Baltimore at a party we called Oasis. This record had that Soul factor in it and it fit just right for our dancers. The brothers out of Canada Dino & Terry had their finger on the pulse back in the 90’s.
7. Project 4007 Ft. James Howard & Joe Wormly “It’s Our Turn” (LP Version)
Produced, Mixed by Charles Dockins, Written by C. Dockins, J. Howard, & J.Wormly Vocals by James Howard & Joe Wormly Emotive Records 1993
This record was close to my heart, because I can say I broke this record in Baltimore playing it from pitch control cassette deck. The late Joe Wormly hung out with one of my roommates in college, they both sang on Morgan State University choir. One day after class I came home and when I walked into the house I heard this singing in the basement, so I went down stairs to investigate. Joe’s voice was strong and smoothed at the same time, after they were done I asked him if he ever thought about singing House Music, his response was no but he would try it. I introduced him to Charles and the rest is history.
8. DC Track Team “Pressure” (Metro Mix)
Produced For 95 North Productions by Doug “Lone” Dog & Richard “Party” Payton, Emotive Music,Party Payton Music,Dungeon Culture Music. Emotive Records 1993
The 90’s had some great production teams and one of them was 95 North along with their many alias. It seem like Rich & Doug could do no wrong with everything they touched, The Pressure was one of those tracks that definitely got the party jumping. It was one of your go to tracks if your dance floor was loosing its energy.
9. Maydie Myles “Keep On Luvin” (Deep Luv Mix)
Composed, Produced,Egineer,Mixed by Kingsley O. Lead Vocals,Backing Vocals Maydie Myles
This was one of my go to vocal records that I knew folks would start screaming and jumping up and down loosing their minds. Some 20 plus years later this record still has the same effect on the dance floor, straight classic.
10. Baltimore Soul Tree “Hope In Your Soul” (C-Dock & Oji Original Extended Mix)
Produced,Written by Charles Dockins & DjOji, Vocals by Sande Velocity Recordings 1998
Another tune that was very close to my heart. It was produced by two of my College friends Charles Dockins and my business partner DjOji. I have always found myself more attracted to vocals than instrumental tracks. This was one of those vocals that spoke to my heart with its lyrical content. Songs like this made it easier for me to tell my story when playing music.
11. Kingsley O. “The Hard Key Track” (Deeper Keys Mix)
Composed by. Performer,Producer, Mixed by Kingsley O. K4B Records 1995
My Boston buddy Kingsley O had the head bangers, this track had a type of aggression in it that had your speakers rumbling and the bass booming. This peak hour track was non like any other 90’s track.