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“People have their love for the albums that followed, but ultimately, I feel that the success of Blackstreet was more about the unity between us – and that’s something thing I couldn’t force.You can’t make people have unity, you can’t make people be loyal and you can’t force people to have a good synergy with others.
IT WAS an unfortunate saga that saddened their fans and still has many perplexed.
But when news broke last year that Blackstreet member Chauncey ‘Black’ Hannibal was suing the group’s fellow founding member Teddy Riley over use of the name Blackstreet, it was clear all was not well between the band’s two original members.
And it turns out that Riley is somewhat of an honorary Brit.
“A lot of people don’t know I used to live in the UK,” he says. I did Kool Moe Dee’s first, second and third albums there; I did Billy Ocean’s Get Out Of My Dreams album there; I produced for Jonathan Butler out there and Boy George – I practically lived out there.
” The group has seen a number of line-up changes over the years, with Riley – who, as the group’s main producer, is widely considered as the brains of Blackstreet – famed for altering the band’s members from album to album.
The celebrated producer, who, before launching the group, enjoyed success with his New Jack Swing trio Guy, says that one of the reasons he switched things up with Blackstreet was because he couldn’t force “unity” between the band members.
One of the cliches of his work was how remixes of R&B songs and their original versions with a rap monologue, i.e. By 14, upstate New York rappers began making music to his tracks.
Under the guidance of local music producer Gene Griffin, Riley formed the short-lived group Kids at Work.
Managed by Gene Griffin, Riley's work with Guy pioneered the "New Jack Swing" style of R&B, which had been showcased previously in Riley's productions for Keith Sweat ("I Want Her"), Johnny Kemp ("Just Got Paid"), Bobby Brown ("My Prerogative") and others.
Riley infused his own unique blend of hip-hop beats, R&B progressions and the gospel vocal stylings of Hall to create the archetypal New Jack Swing sound on Guy's eponymous debut.
Fresh, Today, Keith Sweat, Heavy D., Usher, and Jane Child, and his groups Guy and Blackstreet (although he was not the first to fuse rapping with singing); his consistency and drum ideas had some influence on modern-day R&B, which since him contained more samples and rapping segments as well as singing, a practice which in part was reiniscent of the then work of the Jackson family. A child prodigy from the age of five, he began playing instruments in church.