112 Merged Hip-Hop And R&B -- But Are They The Best Boy Band?
Who would've thought our [article id="1683534"]Battle of the Boy Bands[/article] could get so ugly? The BB free-for-all is already in full swing, as the respective fanbases vote for their favorites and sling mud at the competition. Not that 112 are the least bit worried. Slim, Q, Daron and Mike got their start on Diddy's Bad Boy Records and have been besting boy bands since their 1996 self-titled debut.
Oh, you aren't convinced 112 have what it takes to beat out the best of all time? Just check the stats! We thought Diddy told y'all that they won't stop — eh, eh, eh, eh!
By the time One-One-Deuce dropped Part III in 2001, they'd long proven their dominance in the world of R&B, but it was "Peaches & Cream" that would establish them as a formidable pop act. The naughty dance hit became their most popular track after it peaked at #4 on the Billboard's Hot 100 chart.
Before "TRL," it was 112 who were bringing the party to Times Square. The Atlanta quartet rode in an open-top hummer and danced the night away in their 1996 "Only You" remix video. To top things off, Slim and company not only brought the Notorious B.I.G. and Diddy along for the ride, they also introduced the world to Ma$e. Which other boy band can boast that?
Making crowds dance was damn-near a prerequisite for any artist signed to Diddy's Bad Boy label, and 112 had quite a few party-starters in their catalog. Still, it was the group's 1997 ballad "Cupid" that gave them ultimate staying power. The acoustic love song more than showed off the quartet's vocal chops and, more importantly, made young girls everywhere swoon.
112's self-titled debut came at the perfect time. The band capitalized off Diddy's penchant for producing perfect R&B/hip-hop mash-ups and their double-platinum first LP not only featured the Notorious B.I.G., but Ma$e and Mr. Cheeks as well. Thanks to Puff's vision, 112 were able to capture the street audience that the [article id="1683717"]clean-cut Boyz II Men[/article] could not in a post-Jodeci era.
If 112 hope to make any strides in the Battle of the Boy Bands, they have to get past 'NSYNC in a possible second-round matchup. Not that Diddy's foursome should be overlooking LFO, but Justin Timberlake and company will be especially tough to overtake.
Now Slim is humble enough to admit that if it isn't 112, his favorite boy band is New Edition, but be clear: He wants your vote.
"First of all, 112 brought a lot to the game," Slim pointed out to MTV News. "When we first came in, we were in the biggest music movement signed to Bad Boy with P. Diddy. With that, we were probably the first group to bring hip-hop and R&B together."
Voting in round one of MTV's Battle of the Boy Bands is now open and runs until noon ET on Thursday, April 26. Winners are determined by fan votes, so if your favorite band made the cut, make sure you keep voting. Spread the word on Twitter using the hashtag #BBB and like us on Facebook for updates!