Lately I've been thinking...how can I bring more recognition/honor to some of the artists that I still bump today? I mean my whole mission when I started Streetz Radio (and Royalty Magazine) was basically to give exposure to artists and play pure, raw & uncut music! Today with that same mission in tact, I feel that the only way that we can truly keep real music alive is to keep it in rotation! I mean...Don't just talk about it...be about it!!! Right?....Right!!!
Well EVERYONE KNOWS that 90's (and honestly the late 80's through early 2000's) hiphop & r&b was in a class of its own! Although we will never truly get that era back, we can keep it alive by keeping it in rotation! By saying that, I will do my part by highlighting at least one artist from this era every week! I mean think about it...>>> With popular and watered down music just taking over the industry, it is easy for hiphop and real music period to get lost in the sauce. And once it is lost, sometimes you need a magnifying glass to find it or a telescope to project it back to the world. My goal is to overcome this obstacle as well as highlight some artists or legends in the game! I mean honestly a true fan like me never stopped listening (and I know others haven't either), so I'm not fully accepting on what has happened over the years. But it is what it is...so all I can really do is continue to show my support! Honestly a lot of these artists never stopped doing their thing either, so maybe they will gain a new fan or help a newer artist see music from a different perspective!
This week's Honorable Mention goes to:
Who are The Boys? Khiry, Hakim, Tajh & Bilal Abdulsamad (all brothers) are an American Boy group that progressed into the scene in the mid-late 80's. It is said that back in 1984, The Boys basically got their start by simply wanting to earn money for a fathers day gift. By using their talents to perform at Venice Beach, they not only quickly earned their gift money, but they returned to Venice regularly to do shows. By doing this, they eventually ended up earning thousands of dollars. A few years later when The Boys were ready to record, they signed with MCA records (later bought by Motown). Although they were a more self-contained group, their collaboration with LA Reid & BabyFace was evolving and it eventually helped them create their number one hit "Dial My Heart".
All I can say is after "Dial My Heart", it was over (in a good way)! The Boys were young, talented and oh so cute! They were just fresh and although they were young, their music was catchy, pure and audiences of all ages could relate! Over the years, The Boys went on to make some very successful projects. Being managed by their parents, they got into the business the right way as well as had that strong family support from the beginning.
Since their adolescent & teen days (as of 2000), The Boys have recorded at least four positive multi-genre albums under the group "the Suns of Light".
Here are some of The Boys albums/projects:
Message from the Boys
The Saga Continues
click here for discography
Just a few of my favorite tracks:
Dial My Heart
A Little Romance
Did you know?
- The Boys parents "Jabari & Angela" took a four week Entertainment Management course before letting their sons sign a record deal. By learning the ropes and gaining the knowledge they needed, they were able to save their sons millions. When The Boys eventually walked away from Motown, they were able to leave with most of their earnings intact.
- In 1990, Pepsi featured "Crazy" in a commercial. Jabari also established a 900 number where you can chat with The Boys themselves! The business was very successful and Jabari pulled it off with no interference or compensation owed to Motown. How did he do this? Well that four week course he took taught him about the importance of holding on to things like merchandising rights. In doing so, he was able to keep all of The Boys ancillary rights.
- The Boys left Motown due to not liking the direction Motown was trying to send them. The Boys were a clean, wholesome sort of group. It was like you can really feel an innocence and passion (suns of light) through their music. However by their 3rd album (the Saga continues), things started to take a turn. They started singing about booties and even using curse words (imagine that)! This was not The Boys idea nor the type of image they wanted to portray so they ended up leaving Motown as well as the industry because of that!
- After being inspired by Alex Haleys "Roots", The Boys relocated to Gambia, Africa.
- Today, Khalil lives in Los Angeles and works in the film and video production industry. Tajh works in merchandising and lives in Atlanta, GA (their parents live there as well). Hakim & Bilal remain in Gambia where they operate two recording studios.
Wow! If that is the reason behind their departure from mainstream, it just increases my respect for these positive black men! It also makes me think...well The Saga Continues came out in 1992. Could these be around the earlier days that the industry was planning the destruction of real hiphop & R&B? Well...(for us real heads that know) that is a whole other story in its own, but what I can say is, change doesn't always happen over night! It takes a lot of planning, practice and strategic moves to get effective results. I mean look at where we are music wise from then till now! How has it changed? Look at the direction it has went in! I am quite positive that The Boys were not the first or last group/artist asked to take their music in a different direction. How many did it? How many didn't? I don't know, but it seriously makes me think how many artists wouldn't comprise their morals or integrity for a dollar back then and if their career suffered the consequences because of their actions. Not to mention, The Boys were at the peak of their career. They were a real boy band that actually played instruments! Why change what's already working? As a real fan, aren't you still listening?
In 1988 "Dial My Heart" peaked at #13 pop; #1 R&B
In 1989 "Lucky Charm" peaked at #1 R&B
In 1989 "A Little Romance" peaked at #29 on R&B
In 1990 "Crazy" peaked at #29 pop; #1 R&B
In 1990 "Thing Called Love" peaked at #14 R&B
In 1991 "Thanx 4 the Funk" peaked at #8 R&B
In 1992 "Tonight" peaked at #3 R&B
In 1992 "The Saga Continues" peaked at #15 R&B
For more The Boys album/single awards, please click here.
Here is their >>> Biography
Check the Credentials >>> Click here for music credits
It was hard to find some of the Boys old work online (I looked everywhere for that Pepsi commercial) as well as I couldn't find any social media accounts for Khiry or Bilal. I am still looking so if I find it, I will update this. Also if you have a link, please respond. In the meantime I was able to find some info for Hakim & Tajh:
Follow Hakim on twitter @HakimsMusic
Follow Tajh (now Tajh Crown) on twitter @TahjCrown
Peep out these videos:
Where Are They Now? (Hello Beautiful)
Whatever Happened to The Boys? (Random Tandem)
You can also peep the Boys currently playing on this week's Whateva Wednesday's!
Written by TazDatMC for Streetz Radio