Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Boys

The Boys were an R&B group consisting of the Abdulsamad brothers from Carson, California. The brothers are:
  • Khiry (born on November 8, 1973)
  • Hakim (born on March 26, 1975)
  • Tajh (born on December 10, 1976)
  • Bilal (born on April 17, 1979)
Along with music, the brothers have experience in acting as well. 

Hakim provided the voice of Franklin in "This is America, Charlie Brown." and guest-starred on television shows such as "Gimme a Break," "Diff'rent Strokes," "The Facts of Life," "Hill Street Blues," "Fathers and Sons," and "Amen." He also appeared in the movies "Wildcats" and "Ernest Goes to Camp." Bilal and Tajh have each guest-starred on "Amen" as well. 

As an infant, Tajh played the infant Kunta Kinte in the 1977 television mini-series, "Roots."

Khiry and Bilal started singing when they were 9 and 5 years old respectively. Originally, it was only the two of them, but then their other brothers later joined them when they began entertaining in public for tips.

They first started singing in public when they were unable to afford a Father's Day gift for their father, Jabari. Their mother, Angela suggested that they sing at the beach in Venice, California which turned out to be a good idea as they earned more than $50 in just a few hours.

Jabari took his sons to that beach every weekend during the summer of 1984. They did 8 shows on Saturday & Sunday, earning $12,000, which was more than enough to pay for their school clothes & books that fall.

The following summer, the boys earned $22,000 and were only allowed to perform during summer break. Their parents' goal was to shape their sons into productive adults. Even though Jabari majored in early childhood education in college, he worked as an ironworker and ran a carpet cleaning business for extra income.

In the summer of 1986, the brothers decided that they didn't want to perform at the beach anymore and wanted to make records. Angela and Jabari attended a four-week course at the Los Angeles Trade-Technical College called "Entertainment Management" which taught them the ropes of the entertainment industry.

The boys performed at local talent shows and private parties. At one talent show, the announcer asked Angela the group's name. At first, she responded with "my boys," but later changed her answer to "the Boys" and the name stuck.

Jabari delivered a self-produced demo to MCA, Motown and Solar Records and all three companies wanted them, but they chose MCA Records.

After Berry Gordy retired from Motown, the boys were moved there and Jheryl Busby became in charge. Not only could the boys sing, they wrote & produced their own songs, making them Motown's youngest producers.

While working on their debut album, the boys befriended Babyface & him and L.A. Reid worked on the tracks: "Lucky Charm," "A Little Romance," and "Dial My Heart." At first, the boys didn't like the songs, but after Babyface performed them live at their house, they changed their minds.
In 1988, The Boys released their debut album, "Messages From The Boys" which peaked at #33 on the Billboard 200 and #3 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart.  
The first single, "Dial My Heart" which peaked at #13 on the Billboard Hot 100, #18 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart, #2 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart, and topped Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart for a week in December of 1988, staying on the chart for 23 weeks. In the U.K., the song peaked at #61 on the U.K. Singles chart.
The second single from the album, "Lucky Charm" became another hit for The Boys, topping Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart for a week in April of 1989, staying on the chart for 16 weeks. It also managed to peak at #14 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart. In the U.K., the song peaked at #94 on the U.K. Singles chart.
The third single, "A Little Romance" peaked at #29 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 10 weeks.
The last single from the album, "Happy" peaked at #57 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for only 8 weeks.
In 1990, The Boys released their self-titled second album which peaked at #108 on the Billboard 200 and #24 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart.
The first single from the album, "Crazy" peaked at #29 on the Billboard Hot 100, #7 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart, and topped Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart for a week in September of 1990, staying on the chart for 17 weeks. In the U.K., the song peaked at #57 on the U.K. Singles chart.

The song was even featured in a Pepsi commercial and Jabari established a 900 number that for $2.50 a minute, you could chat with the Abdulsamad brothers in supposedly "real time" and became successful.

Jabari was able to do this without interference or compensation to Motown Records because he kept all of the Boys' ancillary rights. Motown wanted to get the group a manager because of Angela and Jabari's inexperience in managing, but the parents refused and continued to be their sons' managers.
The follow-up single from the album, "Thing Called Love" peaked at #14 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 17 weeks.
The last single from the album, "Thanx 4 The Funk" peaked at #26 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart and #8 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart, staying on the chart for 16 weeks.
In 1992, the Boys released their last studio album, "The Saga Continues...." peaked at #191 on the Billboard 200 and #45 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart.
The only single from the album to chart was the title song, which peaked at #15 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart, staying on the chart for 14 weeks.

After their contract expired in 1993, Motown Records offered the Boys a new six-year deal which they accepted, but later decided that they didn't want to record for the label anymore.

Motown also offered them a label deal, HAK Records, but they passed on the two acts they produced: Small Change and another music act. After leaving Motown, the Boys had seemingly dropped off the face of the earth and into obscurity.

In later years, Hakim and Bilal moved to Gambia and have been performing & recording as The Suns of Light since 2000. They operate two recording studios in Gambia where they produce themselves & locals.

Hakim has also worked with New Kids on the Block and Akon. Khiry works in film & video production in Los Angeles, California. Tajh works in merchandising in Atlanta, Georgia.

To see the Boys' YouTube page, go to:
https://www.youtube.com/user/jabboys7

To see the music video for "Dial My Heart," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4__w8MOaLo0

To see the music video for "Lucky Charm," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoX3hEuvn7U

To see the music video for "A Little Romance," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kND3DWUVmzE

To see the music video for "Happy," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TFwKwtI8MQ

To see the music video for "Crazy," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TzePE4ufMI

To see the music video for "Thing Called Love," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3X0AiAO82I8

To see the music video for "Thanx 4 The Funk," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwXnCagZzaI

To see the music video for "The Saga Continues," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5edckCLicKs


[updated on 03/09/13]

4 comments:

Maxwell K said...

Love, love, LOVE your blog!

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JNez said...

wow this is great! i'm introducing my daughters to boy bands from back in the day and the boys were the ish! i was 15 in 1988 when they were jumping off. good, good memories!

added you to my feeds. are you on twitter?

Kyleigh said...

To JNez:

I'm glad you've visited my blog. To answer your question, I am not on Twitter. (Quite frankly, I have never heard of it before.)

I hope you enjoy my blog and keep checking back for more great new music!!

htowndisaster said...

The Boys/The Suns have a new website: http://www.vibeout.tv

New releases from Hakim and Tajh, new pictures (March 2009), videos, blogs, etc.