Both halves of this R&B twin bill have more in common than just their prominent positions in urban music. Neosoul diva Stone, a South Carolina native, traces her roots all the way back to Sugar Hill Records, where she was part of the rap trio Sequence in the early '80s. In fact, she nearly reunited with the old Sugar Hill house band -- which later became Tackhead -- during the group's recent reunion tour. "I had so wanted to make it," she confessed recently from her Chicago home while recuperating from a sore throat. "But I had to try to get ready for this tour of my own."
Stone also did plenty of session work, like the Tarheel-born Hamilton, who gained a rep during the '90s as a poor man's Nate Dogg. His gospel-drenched vocals graced songs by Tupac, Busta Rhymes, and Eve, but it took two unreleased solo albums (and a third that was unjustly overlooked) before Hamilton clicked on his own with 2003's Top 40-charting Comin' From Where I'm From.