NEW YORK — For R&B outfit Pretty Ricky, the past 12 months have been more cause for celebration than concern.
Sure, group member Pleasure parted ways with the fellas — and rather publicly, breaking the news on the BET Hip Hop Awards red carpet. But 2007 marked the first time that the Miami crooners landed atop the Billboard albums chart when their sophomore set, Late Night Special, debuted at #1, selling more than 132,000 copies during its first week.
Now the fellas are focused on making sure they experience similar success in 2008, while also bringing some new blood into the group. They were quick to point out that the group hadn't broken up, nor was there any friction between their brother Pleasure and the rest of the guys. The idea for Pleasure to leave was discussed prior to the seemingly out-of-the-blue announcement, said Baby Blue, PR's most vocal member.
"Pleasure, you know, he's not in the group anymore," Baby Blue told MTV News. "But he wants to do a solo album, and he's still signed to our label [Atlantic Records' Bluestar Entertainment]. So we just negotiating and trying to figure out which directions we want to go in, whether we want to do the solo album or not.
"There wasn't any creative difference," he added. "Because we're a family. Growing up, you get older and want to see what else is out there. It doesn't mean you're leaving your family; it's just exploring other opportunities. We gonna be there and support him 110 percent."
In the meantime, Baby Blue, Spectacular and Slick 'Em have hit the Web in search of a fourth member, specifically a singer they can bring into the fold. The three remaining members are rappers first and singers second. They want to have an album turned in to Atlantic by February.
"We want to stay true to the sound," Baby Blue explained. "We're a hip-hop and R&B group. The three of us rap, and the fourth member has to be a singer just to keep the music consistent."
If the downsized trio's plans come to life, their search for a replacement will hit the small screen via a reality series. The group is pitching the plot to several networks. According to Baby Blue, the focus will be on the fit of a new member more than anything.
"It's more about [whether a new member can] be another brother and just cope with all our family issues or whatever," Baby Blue said. "And they got to be a woman magnet. They got to know how to deal with these ladies, 'cause that's one thing we got to do. That's why the music is all about women, because Pretty Ricky loves the ladies and the ladies love Pretty Ricky."