We're still a week away from the official first day of summer, but in case you haven't noticed, things are already getting unseasonably, well, steamy. And while that could be due to any number of things (like, say, global warming), we're willing to chalk up all that heat to gratuitous amounts of Pretty Ricky.
That's because America's foremost purveyors of over-sexxxed R&B — and the group that launched a thousand couch-humping YouTube clips — are back once again, with a new album (80's Babies), a new member (he's called 4Play) and a rather ingenious way of promoting both.
Late last month, the guys in PR launched "21 Days of 4Play," a series of videos on their MySpace page designed to hype the release of Babies (due August 26) and introduce the world to 4Play. The beefy crooner was hired to replace Marcus "Pleasure" Cooper, who split from the group under decidedly acrimonious terms last year. But as is generally the case with pretty much anything involving the libidinous quartet, the videos ended being so, so, so much more. (Check out five things we learned from the videos, in the Newsroom blog.)
Basically, they're the most amazing things ever. And as such, we felt we'd be doing you a disservice if we didn't provide day-by-day highlights of the series. What follows is an up-close-and-personal look at the gentlemen of Pretty Ricky — but not the kind that would make you have to go to a clinic afterward. Sorry, ladies.
» Day 1: We meet Pretty Ricky down in "sunny Miami" (though, from the look of things, it's actually more like "windy and overcast Miami"), where they're doing promotional shoots for Babies and talking about both foreplay and 4Play (it works on both levels!). The latter is introduced via a shot of his glistening abdominal muscles.
» Day 2: Each member of the group (with 4Play shown only as a muscle-bound silhouette) talks about the concept of the album, which Baby Blue — who now goes by the name Diamond Blue and who looks like he's channeling all three members of Bell Biv DeVoe simultaneously — sums up thusly: "This is '08. That's '80s backwards."
» Days 3-5: The other members of Pretty Ricky take turns pimping not only the album and their newest member, but also the general prowess of the group. Slick 'Em (the one with the dreadlocks) says that each member of PR is "spontaneous and full of vigor. ... You gotta have your grown man on, and you gotta be a beast in the bedroom." Blue calls Pretty Ricky "unstoppable ... undeniable." And Spectacular (he's the one who licks his lips a lot) tells us that "[For] the first album, Bluestars, you needed a tissue. Second album, Late Night Special, you needed a rag. This album ... you need a towel for all those tears."
» Days 6-8: A shadowy figure (whom we can safely assume is 4Play) talks about the prowess of 4Play. The ladies talk about the prowess of 4Play. And finally, 4Play, in silhouette once again, croons about the prowess of 4Play, bleating out, "There's a new sheriff in town ... and his name is 4Play."
» Day 9: 4Play — who, we should know, is "the number-one singer in the world" — is finally introduced, and he steps to the mic to croon another tale of his sexual prowess. Pretty Ricky fans, however, remain unimpressed. "He can sing — he ugly tho" is how one YouTube commenter puts it.
» Day 10: During an SUV trip up Interstate 95, we learn that Slick 'Em once told his fifth-grade teacher that he wanted to be a pimp. We also learn that, apparently, the difference between the suffixes "-tion" and "-tioning" is that "-tion" is a noun and "-tioning" is a verb. Or, as Professor Blue (who really is the MVP of the entire series) explains, "If we get a nice young lady, or a '-tion,' [and] by the end of the night we end up '--tioning,' that actually means that we ended up having intercourse, penetration, oral sex, kissing, hugging — whatever you want to call it — that's '-tioning.' "
» Days 11-12: The fellas work out and shoot dice at a fake craps table, sans T-shirts (4Play also does both in wraparound shades and a do-rag). There is much discussion about "the ladies" and "hustling." Hilarity ensues.
» Day 13: Sitting in what looks like your grandma's Florida room (potted plants, glass coffee table, bizarre jungle mural on the wall), Pretty Ricky hammer away on a keyboard and sing about having sex with '80s babies. Slick 'Em inexplicably holds a lint roller throughout.
» Day 14: In perhaps the most amazing moment of the entire series, Blue and 4Play sit in a shiny recording studio, both combing their hair (4Play's sole contribution to the group seems to be his ability to do this) while the camera slowly pulls out to reveal that Blue is wearing nothing but a wife-beater and jockey shorts. The duo then explain that they recorded the songs on 80's Babies "butt-ass f---ing nekkid," because, as Blue explains, "When y'all hear that riff, I want y'all to say, 'I wonder if he was nekkid when he did that?' And you know what you gonna say then? 'Yeah.' "
» Days 15-16: Miscellaneous photo shoots at a Miami soundstage. Nothing much of note here, save the group's matching Versace silk shirts and the faces Spectacular makes throughout.
» Day 17: The guys talk about their ideal mates while lounging in what appears to be an Egyptian tomb. 4Play says he's looking for "sex, love and romance" (he also says this reclining, shirtless, on King Tut's daybed), while Blue is less choosy. "I like thick girls, skinny girls, girls with one toe, girls with five toes, girls with 10 toes," he says. "Small, skinny, extra-large. It ain't a joking matter."
» Day 18: Back in grandma's Florida room, the guys caterwaul about the ladies. Grandma shuts the sliding-glass door.
» Day 19-20: Pretty Ricky recline in the studio and give 4Play a chance to tell the ladies what he's all about. He promptly sucks all the energy out of the room with a monotone soliloquy about "setting you up for a hot night" (he also touches his face a lot). Oh, BTW, everyone is wearing matching military outfits, complete with medals that apparently are on par with the Purple Heart. "Y'all can't take these stripes," Spectacular yells as the camera cuts to a close-up of said medals. "We earned them." They also go to the beach.
» Day 21: In the series' grand finale, we follow 4Play as he gets his Pretty Ricky tattoo, thereby signifying his loyalty to the group. He also signs a waiver, talks on the phone and — you guessed it — combs his hair some more, while the other members of the group look on like proud papas. Clearly the guy's a strong addition to the flock.