HOLLYWOOD — Everybody, Blackstreet’s back. No, not Backstreet as
in the Boys, Blackstreet as in “No Diggity.”
New Jack Swing pioneer Teddy Riley revealed at Tuesday’s BET Awards that he
and Chauncey Hannibal have put aside their bitter rivalry and re-formed the
group with singers Mark Middleton and Eric Williams.
Those four have also reunited with past Blackstreet members Levi Little,
Dave Hollister, Joseph Stonestreet and Terrell Phillips for a ballad
fittingly titled “Bygones,” according to a spokesperson for their new label,
Blackstreet are recording an album now and plan to release it October 22.
“The name of the album is Level Two, though we’re not really sold on
the name yet, but Level Two is the idea,” Riley said.
So far the group has recorded with Havoc from Mobb Deep and hip-hop legend
Erick Sermon, who produced a portion of the band’s 1994 self-titled debut.
“We have more people coming,” Riley said. “They want to get in on the
project because they hear what the first single is sounding like, so they
The kickoff single, the party track “Wizzy Wow,” features guest vocals from
Mystikal. Blackstreet are shooting a video for the track late next month in
Toronto. “It’s just an unbelievable track,” Riley said. “Everybody loves it.
We tested it everywhere. We were gonna drop it at the end of August, but
they pushed it up to August 1st.”
The group, which had gone through several lineup changes, split bitterly in
1999, with Riley suing Hannibal for slander over comments he made on a solo
album (see “Blackstreet Reunion Unlikely,
Says Teddy Riley” ).
Since then Riley has maintained his status as a top producer, working with
‘NSYNC, Michael Jackson and Joe, including his #1 hit “Stutter.”
Blackstreet won a Grammy for their 1996 single “No Diggity,” which featured
guest vocals from Dr. Dre.