Roots, Mary J. Blige, Jodeci On Board For College-Fund Benefit LP

Join Chante Moore and reunited R&B group Guy in offering new and familiar tracks to all-star album.

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

College Fund.

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

deserving individuals."

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.