Keyboardist Raymond Jones and singer Norma Jean Wright (who co-wrote Keni Burke's "Risin' to the Top"), who were former members of Chic, united to become the duo State of Art. Their self-titled debut was one of the premier releases of film director Spike Lee's Columbia-distributed 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks label, whose roster also included Lonette McKee. The R&B-charting LP was smooth, adult urban R&B, whose core sound at times recalled Soul II Soul. Besides romantic love themes, the lyrics touched on the political ("Police State" and "Unity"), "Understanding" went to number 35 R&B in late 1991, and "Laughing at the Years" charted 89 R&B in the spring of 1992. Wright appeared on Jones' Intimate album, which was issued during the spring of 2002.
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