The Phat Cat Players' "Sundress" from their Make It Phat, Baby began climbing Billboard's hip-hop/R&B charts in early spring 2000. Just another release climbing the charts? Look again: This chart entry is on an independent label. Quite a feat in 2000. "Sundress" features sensual spoken word delivered in a sub-bass tone (think a spoken Barry White intro) by Coco Brown. The tone of the mellow jazzy track is in the same vein as the aforementioned "Icon of Love," as well as Arthur Prysock's classic LP This Is My Beloved. On the Parlane Entertainment label, the track first attracted attention when it was featured on the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show. After the radio stations that carried Joyner's show began to get requests for the track, they began to add it to their play lists. When it was discovered that the executive producer of "Sundress" was Oscar Joyner, the son of Tom Joyner, some scoffed at the release's success. But the fact remains that "Sundress" still had to stand on its own merit.
The Phat Cat Players came together in and around Florida A&M. Slater Thorpe attended Florida A&M University pursuing a degree in sociology/juvenile justice. He was a member of the university marching band's the Marching 100. He also began playing piano and bass and collaborating with other musicians, joining the Phat Cat Players as a background vocalist. Some of Thorpe's favorites are Earth, Wind & Fire, the Clark Sisters, Take 6, Phil Collins, Marvin Gaye, and Smokey Robinson.
Singer Terra Baker is nicknamed "Earthchild" because of the sultriness of her voice. Baker began developing that voice when she began singing in church at the age of three in Los Angeles. She sang in talent showcases and various performances at her Magnet High School in Orlando, FL. Upon graduation, Baker started acting in the Florida A&M Essential Theater. She draws from the inspiration of singers Sarah Vaughn, Whitney Houston, and performer Tito Puente, as well as her own family who are is musically inclined. Baker's tantalizing vocals can be enjoyed on "'Cause U Don't Know," which has a poignant take on the unemployed: "You don't know so I can't explain/come walk in my shoes/come feel my pain I'm going through."
Chyna Red started rapping at 16 while living in Houston, TX. She moved to Tallahassee, FL, to earn a public relations degree while minoring in theater and dance. At the same time she was hired by Atlantic Records as an Urban College Marketing Rep and also became an on-air personality for Tallahassee's number one urban station WHBX-FM.
Drummer Taurus Lovely has performed with the Count Basie Orchestra, at the Amsterdam Jazz Festival, and the Montreux Jazz Festival in Europe. In addition to performing with the Phat Cat Players, he's the leader of the Disney All-Star Collegiate Band.
"The Funky Violinist"