NEW YORK — 112 are done number crunching, at least when it comes to titling their LPs. After 112, Room 112 and Part III, the foursome has decided to use only words, Hot & Wet.
On their new LP, due September 9, the guys don’t deviate from their MO of harmonizing over hip-hop tracks and flaunting their choirboy voices against slow ballad beats.
“I don’t know what you’re doing to me,” they sing on the album’s first single, “Na Na Na Na,” which features Sean Paul and should hit airwaves at the end of June.
And if Q, Mike, Slim and Daron are clueless at the beginning of the song, by the time the cut is over, they are fully acquainted with what’s going down. That’s because they are calling the shots.
“Rock that ass, work your body, change positions, twerk it for me,” they melodically encourage over Daron’s bass-heavy beat that mixes bouncy down South funk with reggae.
112’s lanky member handles the bulk of the album’s production, and the group wrote all of the album’s songs except for one. The guys did show that there were no hard feelings with P. Diddy, with whom they had a recent contract dispute (see “112 Team Up With Sean Paul, Hope To Work With Ghostface Killah” ), as they looked to P.D. for a few tracks.
“Knock You Down” will probably remind you of a Jodeci song, and with good reason. Diddy co-produced the record with Stevie J., who worked with JoJo, K-Ci, Devante and Mr. Dalvin throughout their ’90s run.
“Make me wanna sweat when you touch me like that,” they later sing on the title track, which Diddy produced and will be laying his vocals on. Joe Budden also makes a cameo (see “Joe Budden Fights To Get His Voice Heard … Literally” ), delivering rhymes about sex with swiftness to match the uptempo flow of the beat.
“Drop them jeans, unleash the freak,” Joe spits on the track. “You looking so good I could taste the cigarette after we finish.”
“Right There for You,” another track Diddy had a hand in producing, finds 112 taking a more gentlemanly approach. It’s about the perennial girl who is not getting treated right by her man. The guys say they have no qualms about crying or even dying for their lady. “Whatever he won’t do, I’ll do,” they insist.
“We wanted to take it back to when you went to the club and could slow-grind with your girl,” Mike said Tuesday night at Right Track studio while he and his boys played selections from Hot & Wet for a handful of people.
“This is the realest thing 112 ever wrote,” Slim said about another song called “Everyday.”
“It describes our situation from top to bottom,” Q added.
“People look at us and say, ’Man, they got it made,’ ” the quartet details on the cut, using a sing-songy flow similar to R. Kelly’s on “I Wish.” “They don’t know what we been through.”
And as they later tell on the song, if it wasn’t “one damn thing,” it was “another damn thing” during the past five years. The group says that people slept on their songmaking skills even though they wrote many of their own hits. And even with all the smash records, their bank accounts stayed diminutive. If it weren’t for show money, they would have had no money.
Luckily for the guys, they have a fat new contract with Def Jam to help pay for those iced-out 112 pendants they all were rocking on Tuesday.
“The music that’s been out during our time off has been cool, but we wanted to make records that, [years later], you remember where you were the first time you heard them,” Slim said of the LP.