Blaque to the Future: The Afrofuturistic Girl Group Returns With Torch

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(Image Source: Columbia Records)

Whether you remember Blaque from their cameo in the music video for Lil Kim’s Not Tonight remix, their cameo in Bring It On, or from their self-titled debut album that featured songs like “808” and “Bring It All To Me”, their effortless blend of Afro-futurism, bubblegum pop, and r&b set them apart from other girl groups of the late 90s and early 2000s.

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Shamari Fears, Brandi Williams, and Natina Reed — may she Rest In Peace — made their debut on the charts with the hit single “808” at number 8, also managing to reach Gold certification. They went on to join ‘N SYNC and TLC on their respective tours in ’99 as opening acts then, after their first album went platinum, they dealt with record label drama while planing to release their second album Blaque Out.

Set for original release in 2001, Blaque Out was ultimately leaked on the internet after they were dropped from Columbia Records. An updated version of the album was released in 2007 only to be taken down and then re-released on iTunes in 2011.

After the tragic death of Natina Reed in 2012, Fears and Williams brought an end to Blaque. Until now. On May 31, 2019, the reinstated Blaque released Torch, a project that Fears and Williams referred to as their “most requested fan album”. Torch was originally set to be released in 2003 but, due to multiple issues, was shelved by their label.

To listen to Torch, find it on Amazon, Apple Music, or Google Play.

Written by

NYC-based philosophy graduate student whose work covers Genocide Studies, Repro + Enviro Justice, and Critical Race Theory. @moontwerk

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