The music of the 90s will forever go down as a memorable one in history. Often, the music of today samples popular R&B or Hip-Hop of that time, including classic fan-favorite B-sides. One such artist whose material often finds revitalization is Adina Howard.
Known for her biggest hit and debut single “Freak Like Me” and the Jamie Foxx assisted sleeper hit off of the Woo soundtrack “T-Shirt & Panties”, Howard’s debut was a promising one. Her first album Do You Wanna Ride impacted the industry with its racy material and sex appeal that many other R&B artists at the time did not showcase. The album achieved Gold certification by the RIAA, propelling Howard and her label to move forward with plans for a sophomore release.
Howard’s follow up album, Welcome To Fantasy Island, was well underway while she met Wanya Morris of Boyz II Men. During that time, Morris was involved in a romantic relationship with one of Adina’s labelmates who was also on top of the charts, R&B singer Brandy. That, however, didn’t stop Adina or Morris from “hanging out” or messing around. Their relationship would ultimately cause problems between herself and Brandy, and for her career.
Brandy gave an account of her experience in the love triangle during an episode of VH1’s Behind The Music. She spoke on meeting and falling in love with the “I’ll Make Love To You” singer, but revealed that “someone else” stole his heart. “He fell in love with someone else,” she said. “The worst feeling is to be in love all by yourself. That feels f*****d up honestly. It just does. And that’s the only way I can really put it.”
During an episode of TvOne’s Unsung that was centered around Adina, the Grand Rapids, Michigan native also got a chance to sum up the situation. “Two young ladies, a lot of their egos get in the way and were kind of going through it about a guy,” said Adina. According to a producer by the name of Bill Moss, once Howard and Morris met, nothing could be done to stop their chemistry. “Wanya met Adina and it’s on and poppin’,” Moss stated. “When you meet Adina it’s on and poppin’.”
Once the relationship between the two as well as the beef between Howard and Brandy caught the attention of their label head, Slyvia Rhone, she called Adina with a message to focus on the music and not their relationship. But it would be another phone call with gossip maven, Wendy Williams, that would drive the final nail in the coffin.
Never missing a chance to capture and exclusive for her listeners, Wendy got Howard on the phone. Adina then proceeded to let loose, as Moss recalled. “Adina opened up like she normally would,” said Moss. “Except, she had some choice words in there for Sylvia and for Brandy. That pissed Sylvia off, she was on fire.”
Howard’s comments and actions would ultimately rub Rhone the wrong way. “You can be a boss on your record,” said comedian and friend Joe Torrey on the show, “but don’t be a boss to the boss that makes you records or pays you to make your record.” Rhone then pulled the plug on everything that was planned for Adina’s second album. “I said something very inappropriate about the head of the label and she pulled up the emergency brake, and shut everything down,” Adina recalled. “And rightfully so because when you have the power to do that and you don’t like what people are saying about you, yeah.”
“You have two queens in one castle, and the one that writes the checks is going win,” stated Roget Romaine, owner of Mecca Don records.
However, fans that have been awaiting the album’s release have been given a reason to rejoice as it has been announced that Welcome To Fantasy Island will finally be given a proper release. Rhino Records announced via press release that in honor of Black History Month, they will be honoring Black music via a “series of high-profile vinyl reissues, first-ever digital releases, initiatives, activations, and collaborations.” Adina’s long-awaited sophomore album will be digitally released on February 19th.