The Jazzyfatnastees, Tracey Moore and Mercedes Martinez, began as a quartet, signing a short-lived deal with Tommy Boy Records in November 1993. After the deal dissolved in 1995, the group met hip-hop legends The Roots. The two provided guest vocals on legendary hip-hop outfit's 1996 album Illadelph Halflife. Seduced by the creative energy of the city and inspired by their warm welcome into The Roots' musical family, the ladies decided to make Philadelphia their home.
By 1998, two of the original group members had gone their separate ways, and the two remaining members, Moore and Martinez, unexpectedly found themselves a duo. Undaunted, the two signed to Motive Records, The Roots' imprint on MCA, that same year. They wrote and co-produced their debut album, The Once and Future, in conjunction with The Roots, manager and producer Richard Nichols, and Scott Storch, longtime Roots collaborator and current producer for Dr. Dre, Christina Aguilera, Mobb Deep, Jay-Z, and others. The album, released in the fall of 1999, was well received and favorably critiqued by publications such as Time Magazine, The Source, Jane Magazine, USA Today, and The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Fearing that their music would get lost in the hubbub commercial scene, the Jazzyfatnastees took it upon themselves to create a forum in which they and other women artists that fall into the left-of-center, urban alternative categories could promote and develop their material on a regular basis. Black Lily: A Women in Music Series, was born. The showcase quickly became a weekly series at The Five Spot in Philadelphia in the early '00s and has expanded in recent years to include festivals London, Paris, Japan, Los Angeles, and more.
After the success of Black Lily, the Jazzyfatnastees released their sophomore album The Tortoise and the Hare in September 2002. The album reflects the duo's complimentary yet very different vocal styles and various influences, which include pop, soul, rock, jazz and Latin. "The jazzy lyrics, the fat harmonies, and the nastee tracks, it's all about the music," says Moore. In addition to their own releases, the Jazzees have also collaborated with a variety of musical standouts, including Stevie Wonder, Michelle Ndegeocello, Outkast, De La Soul, Blackilicious, and Eric Benet. The pair's third album, The World Is Coming, has been released for limited downloading.
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