By Vaughn Schoonmaker
A couple weeks ago, I sat down with the boys of Mindless Behavior at Radio City Music Hall to learn who they are, what their band name means, and what fans might be able to expect in the next few years of their music career. As the opening act for Janet Jackson on her Number Ones Tour, the 13-year-old boys, Prodigy, Princeton, Ray Ray, and Roc Royal, were all smiles and incredibly humbled to be a part of the show. Click on the embedded video to check out Mindless Behavior and this is their Opening Act.
I found the boys to be anything but "mindless," as far as what I understood the word to mean prior to meeting them. Rather than a lack of knowledge or self-control, they explained to me that "mindless" is a lifestyle that means being true to yourself and ignoring pressure to act otherwise.
They've opened for other big names before, including Justin Bieber and the Backstreet Boys, so I was curious about what it's like to constantly stand in front of someone else's fans. Their faces lit up as they explained how happy it makes them to see other artists' fans dance to MB music night after night, knowing that regardless of age or music genre, their songs were finding appeal across the different fan groups.
The video for their first single, "My Girl," has nearly 7 million views on their YouTube site, and in case I had any doubt about their presence in mainstream entertainment, the dozens of girls screaming for them outside of Radio City settled that.
When we went outside to film them in front of the Radio City marquee, the girls were so loud and pushing so hard that we almost had to sacrifice the opening shot for our Opening Act story. Fortunately, the boys didn't appear to be phased by the ruckus, and the traveling parents and managers helped create a successful makeshift barricade.
Back in their dressing room, the bandmates had mountains of paraphernalia from the nearby M&M Store waiting for them, all purchased that day by their fans (or presumably their fans' parents' credit cards). "I am going to get diabetes!" Ray Ray exclaimed, holding up a Hershey's chocolate bar that was bigger than he was.
The four teens look forward to becoming the main act on their own tour someday. "When we headline our first tour, it's going to be something that people have not seen before," Princeton promised. "It's going to be something that the fans love," Prodigy added.
When Mindless Behavior took the stage at Radio City in March, they danced to heavy hip-hop beats in careful choreography, sang with vigor, and even dropped some rap in there. Sure enough, the Janet fan-dominated audience responded with a booming, enthusiastic cheer.