Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam

"Lisa Lisa" redirects here. For the 1977 American film, see Axe!
Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam
Origin New York, New York, United States
Genres Urban contemporary, freestyle
Years active 1984–1991
Labels Columbia
CBS Records
Mass Appeal
Members Lisa "Lisa Lisa" Velez
Alex "Spanador" Moseley
Mike Hughes

Lisa Lisa (born Lisa Velez, January 15, 1966[1]) and her band Cult Jam are an American urban contemporary band and one of the first freestyle music groups to emerge from New York City in the 1980s.[2] Cult Jam consisted of guitarist/bassist Alex "Spanador" Moseley, and drummer and keyboardist Mike Hughes.[2] They were assembled and produced by Full Force.[2]


Velez is of Puerto Rican descent and grew up in New York City and attended Julia Richman High School in Manhattan, NY.[2] According to Spin Magazine, she was born in 1967 in Hell's Kitchen, NYC as the youngest of 10 to a mother who supported the family by babysitting and an absentee father.[3] She learned to speak Spanish at home and English in school.[3] Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam was formed after Velez auditioned with Full Force, a production team from East Flatbush, Brooklyn, at the age for 14.[4] The group released their debut album Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam with Full Force in 1985. She was signed by Columbia Records and the label released their single "I Wonder If I Take You Home" to the European division of CBS Records for the compilation album Breakdancing. Stateside club DJs began playing the single from the import LP, and thus the U.S. division of CBS, Columbia Records, released the record. It quickly became a chart-topper on Billboard's Hot Dance/Disco chart. It then crossed over to the R&B chart where it peaked at #6, and then to the pop chart, peaking at #34 in summer 1985. The single eventually went gold.

"I Wonder If I Take You Home" was followed by another club hit, "Can You Feel the Beat", which also went to #40 on the R&B chart in late 1985. A sampling of the lyrics of this song would later be used by Nina Sky for their hit single "Move Ya Body" in 2004. Their third single, the ballad "All Cried Out", also went gold, going to number #3 R&B and #8 pop in summer 1986. "All Cried Out" was later covered by Allure in 1997 and was a hit in 1998. Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam with Full Force went platinum.[5]

Their second album, Spanish Fly, was a huge success in 1987. It spawned two #1 pop hits, "Head to Toe" and "Lost in Emotion", both of which went gold and both of which sported a retro Motown flavor mixed with the Freestyle sound they were known for. "Head to Toe" also parked at #1 R&B for two weeks and stayed in the pop top 5 nearly three months. Lost In Emotion's video went on to become the 4th most played video of 1987 on MTV. Spanish Fly went platinum, peaking at #7 on the album chart. Other singles from the album were the ballad "Someone to Love Me for Me" b/w "Spanish Fly" (#7 R&B), "Everything Will B-Fine" (#9 R&B).[5]

In between albums they recorded "Go For Yours," which was featured in the movie Caddyshack II and is found on its soundtrack exclusively.

1989's Straight to the Sky was a moderate hit that included the Top 30 pop/#3 R&B single, "Little Jackie Wants to Be a Star", as well as the club hit "Just Git It Together". Two decades later, their hit song would inspire the name of the group Little Jackie.

Their fourth and final album, Straight Outta Hell's Kitchen, was less of a commercial success, though it did include a hit with "Let the Beat Hit 'Em", which reached the pop Top 40 and was a #1 hit on both the R&B and club charts. The group disbanded in 1991. Velez pursued both solo and acting careers, and Moseley and Hughes went on to do other projects.

Lisa Lisa released a solo album called LL77 in 1994, which included the moderate club hit "When I Fell In Love" (which was remixed by Junior Vasquez) and the notable single "Skip To My Lu", which hit #38 on the R&B chart. She resurfaced circa 2001 on the Nickelodeon series Taina, in which she played the title character's mother.

On June 24, 2008, Lisa Lisa presented an award at the BET Awards sparking interest that she may be plotting a comeback.

In 2009, Lisa Lisa released Life 'n Love, a full-length album of new material on Mass Appeal Entertainment featuring the single "Can't Wait" with guest rapper Pitbull. The album also features a cover version of the song "Stand" which was originally performed by Taylor Dayne on her 1998 album "Naked without You." The song "Que Locura" was also released as an iTunes single.


Studio albums

Year Album details Peak chart positions Certifications

1985 Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam with Full Force
  • Release date: August 8, 1985
  • Label: Columbia
52 16 96
  • US: Platinum [9]
1987 Spanish Fly
  • Release date: May 19, 1987
  • Label: Columbia
7 7 18
1989 Straight to the Sky
  • Release date: May 25, 1989
  • Label: Columbia
77 18 63
1991 Straight Outta Hell's Kitchen
  • Release date: August 20, 1991
  • Label: Columbia
133 29
1994 LL77 [A]
  • Release date: January 25, 1994
  • Label: Pendulum
2009 Life 'n Love [A]
  • Release date: July 14, 2009
  • Label: Mass Appeal
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Compilation albums


Year Single Peak chart positions Certifications Album


1985 "I Wonder If I Take You Home" (with Full Force) 34 6 1 24 41 12 Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam with Full Force
"Can You Feel the Beat" (with Full Force) 69 40 6 97
1986 "All Cried Out" (with Full Force feat. Paul Anthony & Bow Legged Lou) 8 3 96
1987 "Head to Toe" 1 1 1 52 15 1 16 9 82 Spanish Fly
"Lost in Emotion" 1 1 8 83 7 15 58
"Someone to Love Me for Me" (feat. Full Force) 78 7
1988 "Everything Will B-Fine" 9 22
"Go for Yours" (with Full Force) 19 Caddyshack II
1989 "Little Jackie Wants to Be a Star" 29 3 16 98 6 10 90 Straight to the Sky
"Just Git It Together" 16 7
"Kiss Your Tears Away" 26
1991 "Let the Beat Hit 'Em" 37 1 1 72 27 27 30 17 Straight Outta Hell's Kitchen
"Let the Beat Hit 'Em Part 2" 49 Non-album single
"Where Were You When I Needed You" 65 Straight Outta Hell's Kitchen
1993 "Skip to My Lu" [B] 105 38 42 34 LL77
1994 "When I Fell in Love" [B] 96 28
2009 "Can't Wait" (feat. Pitbull) [B] Life 'n Love
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

See also


  1. "Person: Lisa Velez: Biography". IMDb. Retrieved June 18, 2012.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Hur, Michael (2014-07-25). Shadows of the Music Industry. pp. 216–217. ISBN 9781312306059.
  3. 1 2 LLC, SPIN Media (1988-01-01). SPIN. SPIN Media LLC.
  4. Group, Vibe Media (2002-06-01). Vibe. Vibe Media Group.
  5. 1 2
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 "US Charts > Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam". Billboard. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
  7. 1 2 "CAN Charts > Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam". RPM. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
  8. "UK Charts > Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam with Full Force". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
  9. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "US Certifications > Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
  10. 1 2 "CAN Certifications > Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam". Music Canada. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
  11. David Kent (1993). Australian Charts Book 1970—1992. Australian Chart Book Pty Ltd, Turramurra, N.S.W. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  12. "BEL Charts > Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam". VRT Top 30. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
  13. "IRE Charts Search > Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
  14. "NL Charts > Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam". MegaCharts. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
  15. "NZ Charts > Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
  16. "UK Charts > Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2012-06-18.

External links

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