The Roots, reunited R&B group Guy, as well as singers K-Ci & JoJo of Jodeci, Mary J.
Blige and Chante Moore will contribute new and previously released tracks to
Summer Heat, an all-star R&B/hip-hop album benefiting the United Negro
The album, scheduled for release July 27, will be stacked with unreleased remixes and
familiar songs. It will be preceded by a two-week tour, beginning July 19 in Miami and
featuring beatboxer Rahzel of the Roots as well as a number of supporting acts.
"We're always appreciative of any effort that supports the mission of the UNCF," said
Charles Smith, director of marketing and promotions for the 55-year-old organization,
"because [efforts such as Summer Heat] help lower the costs of education for
Proceeds from the album and tour, Smith said, will be earmarked to make college more
affordable for students primarily minorities seeking aid from the UNCF,
whose 39 member universities range from Atlanta's 3,000-student Morehouse College to
the 2,000-plus student Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Summer Heat features previously released tracks from Philadelphia hip-hop
collective the Roots, who collaborate with acclaimed Chicago rapper Common on the
song "Act Too (The Love of My Life)" from the group's latest album, Things Fall
Apart. The benefit LP also includes songs from R&B singers Eboni Foster ("I Like
Everything You Do") and Jodeci singers K-Ci & JoJo ("Never Say Never Again").
Among the other previously released tracks on the album are songs from
soul singers Moore ("Down on My Knees"), Jesse Powell ("You [Dark Child
Remix]") and Melky Sedeck ("To Sir With Love").
The album boasts seven previously unreleased songs or remixes from the
likes of reunited R&B supergroup Guy ("Goodbye Love 2000 [remix]"), queen
of hip-hop soul Blige ("Beautiful [Black Starr Remix]") and R&B acts
Avant ("Separated"), IMx (formerly known as Immature) ("In and out of
Love"), Rahsaan Patterson ("It's Alright Now"), Darryl "Day" Pearson
("How Many Times") and Ametria ("Not About Me").
The partnership between MCA Records, which is releasing the album and whose artists
will be on the corresponding tour, and the UNCF will extend beyond the Summer Heat
projects, according to label spokesperson Jennifer Ballantyne.
According to Ballantyne, a number of still-unnamed MCA artists will be on hand for the
next Evening of the Stars UNCF gala fund-raiser, the date of which has not yet been
This year's event, held in January, featured performances by such R&B acts as Lou
Rawls, Boyz II Men, Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds, Patti Labelle, Stevie Wonder, Celine
Dion, Brian McKnight, Ashford & Simpson and the Commodores.
Rahzel, a vocal percussionist, will headline the Summer Heat tour, with support from
Avant and IMx, as well as Ametria in selected markets, R&B group Youth Edition in
Chicago and Melky Sedeck in New York. Rahzel's upcoming solo album, The Fifth
Element: Make the Music 2000, will hit stores in late July.
Following the Summer Heat tour kickoff in Florida, the outing will make stops in Atlanta
(July 20), Washington, D.C. (July 21), New York (July 22), Boston (July 23), Detroit (July
24), Chicago (July 27), Minneapolis (July 28), Dallas (July 29) and San Francisco (Aug.
2) before wrapping up in Los Angeles (Aug. 3).
The venues for the tour have not yet been announced.