A spokesperson for Blackstreet’s Chauncey Hannibal has denied British press reports that the band has called it quits. However, she has confirmed to MTV News that the group is having label problems.
Stories have circulated that Blackstreet has broken up after being hit hard by poor sales and infighting, and that Hannibal has been asked to leave the group by leader-executive producer Teddy Riley.
Hannibal’s lawyer, Louise West, says that her client is “110 percent” with Blackstreet and dismissed the stories as “trash.” West also dismissed a music-industry rumor that Riley was angry with Hannibal for taking on a production job and that Hannibal quit when Riley threatened to break up the band.
West told MTV News that like any family, there were times of tensions and tiffs, but she stated that Blackstreet is still very much a unit. “There’s been no split, no fight, no firing, and no quitting,” said West.
Teddy Riley himself appeared to confirm the breakup
stories to “Variety” last week when he told the publication he wouldn’t be recording as Blackstreet anymore. But West contends the tension is between the band and its label, Interscope, and not among the bandmembers.
“When you don’t have a successful record, there’s often tension between the artist and label,” West said.
Blackstreet’s sophomore album, 1996’s “Another Level,” sold more than four million copies in the United States, but the group’s latest effort, “Finally,” has reportedly only sold about 350,000 copies since it was released in April.
The “Variety” interview saw Riley expressing displeasure with Interscope, which distributes Riley’s own Lil’ Man Records. He told publication that the band wasn’t getting enough support from the company, “so it may be our final journey.”
“I’d rather just produce,” he said.
Representatives for Lil’ Man Records were unavailable for comment.