Which Cheryl Lynn Disco Hit Fueled These 2 90s Hip-Hop Party Starters?
In the fall of 1978, Disco was going on strong. While a lot of the 1970s genre’s biggest hits have not translated to Hip-Hop, some have. Cheryl Lynn was one such singer. In the middle of the decade, the Los Angeles, California songstress was instrumental to The Wiz. Later a major Michael Jackson-starring film, the theatrical R&B/Disco adaptation took the road, with Lynn playing background on vocals.
By ’78, the church-honed Cheryl would ink with Columbia Records. Her self-titled debut would waste no time putting its hit to the front. “Got To Be Real” was the first thing Heads heard when consuming the November, ’78 LP. The platinum single, which she co-wrote, would be a bold declaration of love in synthetic times. The sultry lyrics entering each verse, and over-dubs would make for a crossover record that shot up the charts.
By the 1990s, Cheryl Lynn’s career had slowed down a bit. She would strike gold again, via 1983’s Preppie, an album produced by Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis. Previously, Lynn had sought of production by notables such as Luther Vandross and Ray Parker, Jr. Entering 1990, however, Lynn was working on independent albums, and reportedly was unsigned at 1990.
Notably, 1990 would be a reawakening year in the music of Cheryl Lynn. Upstart Father MC (one of the first acts Puff Daddy would sign to Uptown Records) entered the scene with Father’s Day. The album would pack breakthrough single “I’ll Do For U.” Co-produced by Mark Morales (f/k/a Prince Markie Dee, of the Fat Boys), the record was an accessible, PG-13 Rap for Uptown/MCA. Father MC, marketed strongly to females, would illustrate his gentlemen image, with Lynn’s bassline (beefed up, a tad). As the Hip-House era ranged on, Puff, Prince Markie Dee, and Father MC cleverly went back to a Disco record that had gotten burn through the early House scene:
Two years later, another MC would use Cheryl Lynn’s beat to bust onto the scene. Bronx, New York MC Positive K had been heard on Brand Nubian’s acclaimed One For All debut. Once mentored by late X-Clan member Professor X, the 12″ hopeful would sign with Island Records for his 1992 debut, The Skills Dat Pay da Bills.
Although DJ Jazzy Jay and Big Daddy Kane would produce on the album, it’s lasting hit was made by none other than Positive K. “I Got A Man” was a whimsical, careful track about hollering at taken ladies. “I Got A Man” was a free-wheeling message about trying to make moves at a time when everything was not so clear-cut. The record definitely spoke to the times, where Naughty By Nature had achieved a meteoric rise thanks to “O.P.P.”
Notably, the hit has two videos—the first is directed by none other than Hype Williams. The other version, directed by Jeff Byrd, is not available online.
Sadly, Positive K (who remains active in Hip-Hop), would not release another LP for more than 15 years.
Cheryl Lynn, now 58 years old, has not released a studio album since 1995’s Good Time.