Tatyana Ali

Of course I couldn't talk about Lord Tariq and Peter Gunz without following it up with Tatyana Ali. Did that song sound familiar? It should have.

After "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" was canceled, its lead star Will Smith went on to star in a few movies like "Men In Black," "Independence Day" and "I Am Legend." You may have heard of them. However, one of its younger stars was also seeking to stake her claim in the entertainment world.

"Daydreamin'" came out after "Uptown Baby (Deja Vu)," but the former was a bigger success on the pop charts while the latter was a big hit on the R&B/hip-hop charts. I'm guessing because R&B radio was reluctant to play what was basically the same song over again, yet pop radio was ready to embrace the more lyric-friendly Ali version.

Why Ali never became a bigger star still baffles me to this day. She was signed to Michael Jackson's record label, had production from both Smith and superproducer Rodney Jerkins, went on tour with *NSYNC (if memory serves me correct, I definitely remember hearing that rumor about her dating Justin Timberlake), had a beloved following from "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" (remember "Make Up Your Mind"?) and could actually sing. Let's chalk it up to there being too many pop singers on the market during the late 90s.

I bought the "Daydreamin'" single as a kid and only recently picked up the now-on-bargain-bin-status album, mainly because I was so in love with this song, which seemed to air nonstop on The Box back in the day:

Holy good use of an old-school sample, Batman! Why wasn't this song a hit? Apparently she had some bigger hits in the UK, too.

How to make a comeback:

Ali recently made an appearance in the "Yes We Can" campaign for Barack Obama and you can check out some new-ish music on her MySpace page. Are these clues of a sophomore album? She says she's working on something "independently." I guess. Perhaps let's also work on making an acting comeback as well, since all of her newest movies go straight to DVD. Really? Was there a need for "Nora's Hair Salon II"?

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