Boyz II Men members attend the Billboard Music Awards.
At Mohegan Sun Casino, where the romance in the air is piped in through the ventilation system and profound loss occurs at the craps table, we sat down with one of the ultimate boy bands. Fresh off a performance with The Package Tour (co-headlining with 98 Degrees and New Kids on the Block), the Boyz, now very much "men," spoke with The Daily Meal about the role of all things food and drink in their lives and art.
The Daily Meal: So… let's talk about music and food...
Shawn Stockman: Music and food go great together. When you're eating some good food and some really nice tunes are playing, the coordination stimulates the senses. Sound and taste and touch and all that. It augments the whole experience.
Wanyá Morris: Especially when you got a nice young lady at your house. You cook dinner for her. Sets a mood.
TDM: What’s the most seductive meal?
WM: (instant response) FETTUCINE. Nice Italian meal. Some bread. Fettuccine.
SS: Fettuccine and bread!
Nathan Morris: I’m going with sautéed peppers, chicken medallions, and green sautéed vegetables.
TDM: So is eating definitely a key date component? Not right to the drinking?
WN: You gotta eat.
NM: See I don't drink, so all I got is the eating.
SS: Still, a nice red wine stimulates the palate. It just makes food taste that much better.
TDM: Does food play a role in your songs?
All: (sing in perfect harmony) Pour the wine, light the fire.
WM: There's a lot of champagne being poured.
TDM: Was Boyz II Men the first to pour out Cristal in their videos?
SS: We didn’t pour on anybody.
WM: We were the first R&B group to tip our 40 out, for the brothers who wasn't there.
Boyz II Men's Shawn Stockman Reveals the Group's 'Pretty Corny' Original Name: It Was 'So Gross'
Boyz II Men held the record for the longest weeks in the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for 23 years — but the four-time Grammy-winners almost went down in history under a "pretty corny" name.
"It all began when we heard New Edition&aposs song &aposBoys to Men&apos on the radio," founding member Shawn Stockman, 48, tells PEOPLE. "Nate [Morris] and I were on the phone talking about changing our name because we thought the one we had sucked." (At the time, the group was going by Unique Attraction, but a teenaged Stockman knew he had to come up with something more suitable.)
"I was like, &aposYo, that should be our name. I&aposm telling you, it sounds like a concept,&apos" the tenor vocalist recalls. Bandmate Morris wasn&apost very fond of the new moniker at first, "but he couldn&apost find anything better, so we stuck with that."
"Thank God that song came on. It was an evanescent moment," Stockman says, laughing.
To date, Stockman admits he still cannot stop poking fun at the group&aposs original name.
"Unique Attraction — ugh, so gross!" he jokes. "It was such a Philadelphia name. If you grew up in Philadelphia, you know exactly what I&aposm talking about. It was cheesy, but it was the vibe back then."
The career of Boyz II Men really did become a concept — the success story of Philadelphia youngsters Stockman, Morris, 49, Wanya Morris, 47 (no relation) and their former bandmate Michael McCary, 49, who left the group in 2003. (In 2016, McCary revealed on Iyanla: Fix My Life that he was coping with multiple sclerosis but chose to keep his diagnosis private at the time.)
Representing Boyz II Men while chatting with PEOPLE ahead of their Valentine&aposs Day virtual show on Sunday (in collaboration with DoorDash and Shake Shack) as part of a "Love Delivered" experience, Stockman details the group&aposs journey from releasing 18 Billboard bangers (including 10 Top 10 hits and five No. 1 songs) to performing in both the Super Bowl and the Olympics.
Viewers can stream the group&aposs virtual show on Sunday at 8 p.m. EST on Twitch, plus DoorDash and Shake Shack&aposs respective Instagram and Facebook Live channels.
Out of all Boyz II Men&aposs hit songs, Stockman tells PEOPLE, "I don&apost have a favorite. I love them all because they&aposre parts of the story that made us who we are."
But there is one that stood out from the rest — "End of the Road." "It shocked me the most," he tells PEOPLE. The quartet recorded it during a day off from touring at a Philadelphia studio, where they met with Babyface, L.A. Reid and Daryl Simmons. "We didn&apost think much about it after we left."
Yet "End of the Road"me the group&aposs first Billboard record-breaker. With 13 weeks at the No. 1 spot on the pop and R&B charts, it dethroned the previous record held bylvis Presley. Not long after, Boyz II Men released "I&aposll Make Love to You" in July 1994. It spent 14 weeks atop the chart. Months later in November, they debuted "On Bended Knee" which dethroned their summer jam, making them the third musical act to ever replace themselves in the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, only after Elvis Presley and The Beatles.
"We were like, &aposOh snap, we didn&apost expect this.&apos We knew there was something special about it. We didn&apost know it was gonna do that well. &aposEnd of the Road&apos changed our lives. It took us to another plain internationally," says Stockman.
"Not saying we weren&apost successful before, but boy, &aposEnd of the Road&apos took us to the phase artists dream of."
Stockman says part of what contributed to their success is their upbringing. "We do our best to be courteous and kind to everybody because we were raised by parents that made sure we were mannerable. That translated through our music."
Though the group had achieved fame by 1991, the moment Stockman personally realized Boyz II Men had made it big was when they sang the national anthem at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
"At the arena they said, &aposLadies and gentlemen, singing the national anthem, Boyz II Men.&apos The lights and camera flickers went on. Then a guy working for the network said, &aposThere&aposs over a billion people watching, have a good show,&apos and he walked off," Stockman laughs at the nerve-wracking comment. "That was a defining moment where I felt, &aposWhoa, this is major.&apos"
Another memorable moment for Stockman was when they performed at Super Bowl XXXII halftime show. "To know that historically we were part of one of the biggest, most important events in American history, there aren&apost too many things bigger than that. The Super Bowl is special because you know everybody in your hometown is watching."
But as a football fan — he mostly wanted to see the game.
Stockman remembers another crowning achievement for Boyz II Men — when they won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with vocal in &apos91, the first year they were nominated by the Recording Academy.
"It was amazing. It was off-camera, like the pre-Grammys," he tells PEOPLE. "It was funny, some of Sounds of Blackness were there. We were crying like babies and they said, &aposIt&aposs okay baby. Congratulations.&apos"
"I&aposm sure there are pictures on the internet of me crying," he says with a laugh. "It was emotional to know, &aposWow, I&aposm a Grammy Award-winner&apos and to hold that trophy you&aposve seen your idols win."
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Boyz II Men also appeared on an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, starring their longtime friend Will Smith. "We&aposre Philly boys and we have a history growing up in the same neighborhoods and being in the business. It was like hanging with homies."
"We were extremely proud of Will and seeing his success grow," Stockman recalls. "It&aposs nice to see other brothers blowing up in a really good way. That&aposs what I remember the most."
"There are a lot of things that have happened that when I look back on it, I&aposm like, &aposWow, that was a moment,&apos" he tells PEOPLE. "You don&apost remember every detail, but you remember how you felt."
Today, Stockman can look back on his career feeling proud that he accomplished what he felt was the most challenging part of fame. "Still believing in us and in what we&aposre able to do while staying authentic," he says.
On what he would tell his younger self, "The key to life is patience. &aposRelax, be patient. Be cool. Be yourself and continue to move in a natural way and everything will be all right.&apos"
And everything did turn out all right. Stockman released his solo album Foreword in April. More recently in December, he teamed up with his longtime collaborator Danny O&aposDonoghue to release "Everything."
"This is one of the gems that came out of this daunting past year," says the hitmaker. "The song is about the concept of a man proposing to his woman, nervous as all hell as most men are. The build up to that moment and the actual gumption to get down on one knee and actually do it, no matter how scared he was. I probably wouldn&apost have been able to articulate that before I got married."
Amid the pandemic, Stockman is happy to spend more time with his wife Sharonda, whom he wed in 2001, and their three children Micah, Brooklyn and Ty. He says, "I hope everyone stays safe and continues to do the right thing. Wash your hands, wear a mask."
Boyz II Men is proud owner of their Bordeaux brand, Harmony Wines. "Both grapes have to blend well or be in harmony, thus the name," Stockman tells PEOPLE. "It&aposs synonymous with our music and what we&aposve represented as brothers, family, friends and fraternity, which is romance, togetherness and intimacy."
I have been a Boyz II Men fan since Motownphilly the very first CD I ever owned was II. Over the years I’ve watched them be both celebrated and forgotten in and by the music industry. I’ve seen great albums such as Full Circle, Evolution, etc. be looked over as the “new wave” of music and artists has been ushered in. People have told them to throw in the towel and even called some of their music “uninspired”. For me, Boys II Men has never disappointed, even with 3 members they've never missed a beat. Collide proves that these gentlemen can literally sing ANYTHING. I watched an interview with them and they said that they wanted people to get rid of what they think Boyz II Men is supposed to sound like and just listen to the music with an open ear so that’s what I did. I’ll admit it’s hard to do that when you have a preconceived notion of who a group is and what they are supposed to sound like. Boyz II Men stepped out of OUR comfort zone for THEM on this album and if you listen, I mean really listen to this album with an open ear you won’t be disappointed. They’ve covered just about every genre of music and they’ve done it very well!! Now I consider myself a true music lover, I love every part of it from the instruments to the lyrics to the voices, etc., etc. Predominantly I listen to hip-hop and R&B, but I like anything that sounds good no matter the genre and this album is great no matter what kind of music you like there is literally something on there for everyone. Of course we will always love the ballads and the classics however, with voices like Boyz II Men it would be sad to see them be confound to one genre/type/style of music. Voices like this don’t come along very often I’m happy to see them exploring all types of music. I think this is an AMAZING album, definitely better than anything that’s out right now. So to the fellas, from a day one fan, I say GREAT JOB and please continue to stay together and give us incredible music.
I happened across the last ten minutes of the show The Talk and saw that Boyz II Men were releasing a new album. Being a long-time fan, and having enjoyed their performance on The Talk, I immediately purchased their album (and what I love about Amazon is that I can get immediate gratification through mp3 downloads).
Wow! Wow! And did I say Wow! The new album spurs a new direction in their music. It isn't so much as the traditional R&B that we expect from Boyz II Men, but I love it. It's more of the pop sound that we're hearing today with the group's own sultry spin to it. It's pure genius for the group to reinvent their sound yet still display the amazing talent that we've come to know and love from them.
The album includes an eclectic mix of pop sounds and even a nod to the jazzy swing of what sounded like from the Sinatra era. My favorite tracks on the album are: Diamond Eyes, What Happens in Vegas, Losing Sleep, So What, and then the title track Collide. They have some beautiful ballads on this track, something that you do expect from some of the greats, such as Boyz II Men.
Different sound, but same amazing talent. I love this new album, and I'm so glad that they endeavored on such an ambitious change to their music. If you're looking for an evolution from their past, new music from an old group favorite, then you'll be delightedly satisfied. I highly recommend this album.
‘If I Was A Man, That Would Have Never Happened.’ Kandi Explains The Reason Behind The Tension With Boyz II Men
The unearthed beef between Kandi Burruss and Wanya Morris of Boyz II Men is not over apparently. In case you missed what happened, a couple of weeks ago, during an Instagram Live interview with Eddie Levert, Burruss shared that she had never been disrespected in the way that she was when she worked with Boyz II Men.
After Kandi&rsquos comments, Morris explained that the tension between Burruss and group came because they were arguing about who should get credit for writing a particular song. We don&rsquot know how much Kandi contributed (although Morris did admit Kandi wrote the chorus) but the members of the group did not want to list Kandi&rsquos name.
Not only did Morris give context for the argument, he also threw a little jab at Kandi saying, he could &ldquotake her or leave her.&rdquo
Later, he spoke about Kandi&rsquos vocal abilities saying she couldn&rsquot sing better than a random contestant on America&rsquos Got Talent.
Well, Kandi got wind of those comments and now, she has something to say.
On her YouTube channel, Kandi addressed Wanya&rsquos shade.
&ldquoI&rsquove had so many people come up to me and ask me about the whole situation. Clearly, he did not understand why I was offended because the way he told the story, is not how I felt. And then I noticed he tried to throw a little shade at the end. Hmm. You need to be a housewife, honey.
But it&rsquos all good. No shade here. I love the group Boyz II Men as far as them being artists. I think they&rsquore amazing. I have no shade about them, their career or anything like that. But I did have a bad experience.
He made it seem like I just had an issue with the splits. But that is definitely not why I said they were my worst experience. I thought that I had been cool with Wanya and Shawn. I had hung out with them before and I thought they were real cool people so I was really looking forward to working with them in the studio.
I asked them how do they usually do their splits. Instantly, attitude shifted. &lsquoWhatchu mean, how we do our splits?&rsquo I was like, &lsquoWell, I was just wondering.&rsquo Because everyone has a different way of doing it. They said, &lsquoOh you want to talk about splits.&rsquo&rdquo
Kandi thought maybe because it was late and they were tired, they didn&rsquot want to discuss it then.
But they did. The group wanted to give another producer Shakespeare who came up with the music, 50 percent. And wanted to split the rest evenly amongst the group and Kandi, meaning they would each get 10%
Kandi had worked on two songs with them. And while she agreed that would work for one song, the other she had handed to them almost fully completed.
&ldquoThat ain&rsquot gon work on that song. Mind you on top of that Nate wasn&rsquot even there. Ima get the same as him and he ain&rsquot even here. That didn&rsquot make any sense to me.&rdquo
Eventually they agreed to give Kandi 25 on each song. &ldquoIt sounded fair to me. Yeah that&rsquos fine that&rsquoll work.&rdquo
&ldquoAs soon as they got back in the car, they called my manager who was in the studio with me. They said, &lsquoWe just thought about it. We ain&rsquot giving her 25 percent on the one song. She can only get 10 on that but we&rsquore still going to take 25 percent.&rsquo&rdquo
A bad situation got worse when they said, &lsquoAnd I can&rsquot believe she even fixed her mouth to ask us about some splits.&rsquo
How I fix my mouth to ask them about some splits? What the f*ck you mean? They said, I should be happy that I&rsquom even working on their album. Of course I&rsquom pissed because I&rsquom like it wasn&rsquot personal for me. I was just trying to do business and handle my business. But they were getting like they were so important, I should not have even asked them. At that point my manager was trying to get off the phone because he knew I was getting mad.
I was venting to Shakespeare and my manager not about the splits but about how they were handling me.
The next day, come to the studio, I&rsquom thinking it&rsquos cool. We&rsquore refreshed. They buzz the door. I&rsquom right at the door so I got to open the door for them. The next day Mike didn&rsquot come. It was just Nate, Shawn and Wanya. They walk right by me. One of them even brushed past me and didn&rsquot even speak. And I opened the door for them. They walked right by me like I wasn&rsquot there. Then they told my manager that they didn&rsquot even want me in the room to have the discussion about the song or whatever. They only wanted to talk to Shakespeare and my manager. They refused to speak to me and talk to me about the business of the song. I was pissed because I was like, you would have never done another man like that. If I was a man, that would have never happened. If I was a guy, they would have never, in a million years, handled a dude like that.
I felt like it was multiple things. I felt like it was a lot of ego. They felt like someone writing for them, with them shouldn&rsquot have been able to ask about splits. And for two, I think me being a woman they didn&rsquot have to do business with me. I did not raise my voice at them, I didn&rsquot curse at them. Matter of fact, Mike, the nice one, called my manager back and said, &lsquoPlease tell Kandi I&rsquom sorry for the way everybody handled her. That wasn&rsquot cool.&rsquo
It wasn&rsquot just me. So I know I&rsquom not crazy.
I&rsquom not holding grudges. Since then, I have seen them. I&rsquove spoken to them. But if someone asks me what was my worst experience. I&rsquom sorry. That is the truth. I did not imagine it. It definitely happened. And it was disrespectful as f*ck. I don&rsquot care if you feel like I should have got 5 percent or 2 percent, it&rsquos still a discussion to be had if we&rsquore doing business.
I know that I&rsquom well enough accomplished on my own that your shade means nothing to me.&rdquo
You can listen to Kandi&rsquos full recap of this situation in the video below.
But then they topped it by revealing that hitmaker and former "American Idol" judge Paula Abdul would be joining them on her first tour in 25 years!
"We're bringing happy back," said Donnie Wahlberg, who posed with his fellow New Kids Jordan Knight, Joey McIntyre and Danny Wood (Jonathan Knight is currently in Africa, they explained) Boyz Shawn Stockman, Wanya Morris and Nathan Morris also joined them.
Collectively they represent some of the biggest acts of the 1990s TODAY's Matt Lauer noted that they were responsible for over 200 million albums being sold.
But everybody lit up when Abdul (who's most recently been seen as a judge on ""So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation") strolled into the studio looking adorable and was showered by confetti.
"I've got eight brothers!" she joked, referring to the guys in the bands. "I'm going to be envied by many."
Naturally, the crowd went wild. And we suspect that's only a preview of coming attractions, starting in May when the tour kicks off in Columbus, Ohio. (Tickets go on sale on November 16.)
Kandi Burruss says she clashed with Boyz II Men over song credit, Wanya Morris responds
Burruss may be better known now as a real housewife, but she’s also a member of Xscape for which she wrote several songs. She has also written big hits for other artists, including “No Scrubs” for TLC and “Bills, Bills, Bills” for Destiny’s Child.
During her years as a songwriter, Burruss also worked with the platinum-selling Boyz II Men, but had little good to say about it.
Per Madame Noire, while on an Instagram Live this week, the singer-songwriter spoke to legendary musician Eddie Levert and his daughter about the most memorable times she’s had as a singer/songwriter. In response to their question about who was the most difficult person she’s worked with, Burruss referenced the Grammy-winning group.
Wanya Morris and Kandi Burrus once clashed over songwriting credits (Getty Images)
“I hate to do it, I hate to do it,” Burruss said, but then continued, “Ain’t no love lost, I mean this is 100 years later so it doesn’t even matter. But yeah, I had a bad experience in the studio with Boyz II Men.”
“We fell out after that. It was an issue. I don’t think I’ve ever been disrespected like that before in a studio in my life. It was crazy, really. But at the end of the day that was a long time ago. Clearly, you know, we’ve moved past that or whatever.”
While Burruss didn’t specify the issue, other than to say “it wasn’t about the singing,” Wanya Morris, a member of Boyz II Men, responded to her comments by explaining the situation in detail. He said she and the group clashed over songwriting credits for a track they all worked on.
“We’ve been taught you write [a song] and you split [songwriting credits] down the middle that way there’s no discrepancies,” Morris said on his own Instagram Live. “We finish the song, and once we finish the song, she started talking about splits. Now the song wasn’t actually finished but she started talking about splits.”
In music industry parlance, ‘splits’ are the percentage of songwriting credits that each writer is given on an individual song. If the song is a top seller, how much of a split they get can make a big difference in terms of royalties.
The song that was most likely the point of contention is “Beautiful Women” — the only one in Burruss’ discography that she is listed as a co-writer with Boyz II Men. It was on their 2000 album Nathan Michael Shawn Wanya, which only went gold in the United States.
There were just two singles released from that album and it’s largely considered a disappointment coming after the group’s record-setting run with “End of the Road” and “One Sweet Day” with Mariah Carey.
“Now we’re from the old school,” Morris continued. “We’re from the ‘Aye, you write a lyric, I’ll write a lyric’ — it’s really about just building this whole thing together. She started talking about splits and we sat there and we were like ‘Splits?’ First of all we didn’t even finish sing the song yet. We didn’t finish writing the song yet. Why would we talk about splits?”
Morris said that Burruss, who wrote the song’s hook along with producer Kevin ‘She’kspere’ Briggs, became harder to work with after the group “made a little bit of a stink,” as he described it. He did acknowledge that most musicians nowadays work the way Burruss suggested at the time.
Despite the contention, Burruss and Boys II Men did work together again. But Morris says for him personally, he could “take her or leave her.” He did admit he watches her on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, saying that she often shares some valid opinions on the popular reality show.
But, he added, ” [Kandi] can’t get on here and sing better than Jayna Brown (a contestant on season 11 of America’s Got Talent). She can’t get on here and sing better than Liamani [Segura] (a self-taught 12-year-old singer)… but I respect her opinion and I respect what she says.”
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It’s official: NKOTB going on tour with 98 Degrees, Boys II Men
Our dreams are coming true: NKOTB is going out on tour with 98 Degrees and Boyz II Men!
The new s boy band mashup is NKOTBSBBIIM98D.
Okay, so maybe that doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but we’re still excited: The New Kids on the Block confirmed that they’re going out on yet another tour &mdash this time with openers Boyz II Men and 98 Degrees.
Man Candy Mondays: New Kids on the Block >>
Yes, you read that right: 98 Degrees is officially getting back together with all four original members &mdash Nick Lachey, Drew Lachey, Justin Jeffre and Jeff Timmons &mdash for a tour starting May 31 in Uncasville, Connecticut.
“It just seems like we are getting better and better,” NKOTB singer Joey McIntyre told People while confirming the news. “We’re excited to get out there, rock out and have fun.”
The tour will coincide with the release of NKOTB’s new album, 10, scheduled for release on April 2.
So, why add Boyz II Men and 98 Degrees to the bill? It’s a win-win situation for all.
“There is a lot of nostalgia and we embrace that,” McIntyre added. “But it always feels young and fresh. I guess that’s one of the great things about being in the music business is that you never have to quite grow up.”
98 Degrees turns up the heat on Today >>
Nick and the rest of the 98 Degrees guys haven’t publicly commented yet, but last year he told Fanhattan.com that NKOTB’s reunion sort of pushed them toward a reunion.
“You see them go out and do that and have fun and have success, but we always said, ‘You know, we leave the door open on the reunion. We&rsquove never broken up. We&rsquore just taking a break,'” the new dad said. “For us it was more about the timing being right, everyone&rsquos schedule being in the right place and I think now we&rsquore at the place where that&rsquos actually starting to happen.”
Kandi Burruss Recalls Sparring with Boyz II Men in Studio, Wanya Morris Responds
*Singer and songwriter Kandi Burruss was recently pressed by Eddie Levert of the O’Jays about who was the most difficult artist she collaborated with in the studio. The “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star recalled being “disrespected” by Boyz II Men back in the day, and one of the group members has now responded.
“Ain’t no love lost, I mean this is 100 years later so it doesn’t even matter. But yeah, I had a bad experience in the studio with Boyz II Men,” Kandi told Eddie and his daughter (see clip below).
“We fell out after that [session in the studio]. It was an issue. I don’t think I’ve ever been disrespected like that before in a studio in my life. It was crazy, really. But at the end of the day that was a long time ago. Clearly, you know, we’ve moved past that or whatever,” Burruss explained.
“It was kind of weird for me because we were friends prior,” she continued. “Well, some of us were cool — I didn’t know everybody but I knew a few of them. We had hung out different times prior to being in the studio working together so it was kind of unexpected to me that working together would have that result. It wasn’t a good situation.”
Kandi Burruss Recalls Working With Boyz II Men, ‘I Don’t Think I’ve Ever Been Disrespected Like That Before’ — Wanya Morris Responds
While on Instagram Live earlier this week, singer and songwriter Kandi Burruss spoke with Eddie Levert of the O&rsquoJays and his daughter about some of her most memorable moments while working in the studio over the years. After mentioning the highlights, she recalled an experience with Boyz II Men leaving her feeling extremely &ldquodisrespected,&rdquo and now Wanya Morris, one of the group&rsquos members, has responded.
&ldquoI hate to do it, I hate to do it,&rdquo Kandi said after Levert pressed her a bit to come clean about who was the most difficult group or person she&rsquos collaborated with in the studio. Spilling the tea, she continued, &ldquoAin&rsquot no love lost, I mean this is 100 years later so it doesn&rsquot even matter. But yeah, I had a bad experience in the studio with Boyz II Men.&rdquo
&ldquoIt was bad &mdash it wasn&rsquot about the singing at all,&rdquo she clarified. After nodding her head yes when Levert asked if it was because of the attitudes the group had, she continued, &ldquoWe fell out after that [session in the studio]. It was an issue. I don&rsquot think I&rsquove ever been disrespected like that before in a studio in my life. It was crazy, really. But at the end of the day that was a long time ago. Clearly, you know, we&rsquove moved past that or whatever.&rdquo
&ldquoIt was kind of weird for me because we were friends prior,&rdquo she said of her standing with the group before all of them worked in the studio. &ldquoWell, some of us were cool &mdash I didn&rsquot know everybody but I knew a few of them. We had hung out different times prior to being in the studio working together so it was kind of unexpected to me that working together would have that result. It wasn&rsquot a good situation.&rdquo
More recently, Morris decided to comment on what Kandi had to say and shared his own recollection of what happened between her and the group during that infamous session in the studio. According to him, the disagreement stemmed from different rules of trade regarding who would be given credit (and royalties) for different parts of the song as they went through the songwriting process.
&ldquoWe&rsquove been taught you write [a song] and you split [songwriting credits] down the middle that way there&rsquos no discrepancies,&rdquo Morris said of how he and the Boyz II Men crew were taught the songwriting process should go. Speaking on how things went differently with Kandi at that time, he confusingly continued, &ldquoWe finish the song, and once we finish the song she started talking about splits. Now the song wasn&rsquot actually finished but she started talking about splits.&rdquo
&ldquoNow we&rsquore from the old school,&rdquo Morris explained, giving more context to the process he and the boys were used to. &ldquoWe&rsquore from the &lsquoAye, you write a lyric, I&rsquoll write a lyric&rsquo &mdash it&rsquos really about just building this whole thing together. She started talking about splits and we sat there and we were like &lsquoSplits?&rsquo First of all we didn&rsquot even finish sing the song yet. We didn&rsquot finish writing the song yet. Why would we talk about splits?&rdquo
Mimicking what Kandi supposedly said at that time, he recalled her saying, &ldquo&lsquoI mean well because I came up with the hook and the hook is the major part of the song.'&rdquo Basically, Morris then claimed that he and the rest of the Boyz II Men crew had been in the music business long enough at that point to know how crediting worked as it related to songwriting &mdash even though he admitted Kandi&rsquos method is the industry standard way of working now.
&ldquoWe made a little bit of a stink,&rdquo he said of how things went down with Kandi during that session. &ldquoAnd it wasn&rsquot anything crazy like &lsquoWho do you think you are?&rsquo It&rsquos just like &lsquoThat&rsquos not how we work.&rsquo From that point, it became a little bit harder to work with her.&rdquo
Towards the end of the clips down below, Morris threw Kandi some shady jabs. Despite noting that the group ended up working with her again after that blow-up in the studio &mdash and describing her as &ldquoa cool person&rdquo overall &mdash Morris also said, &ldquoTo me personally, I could take her or leave her.&rdquo
He also mentioned that he watches her on TV and knows she often has valid things to say as one of the stars of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. According to The Jasmine Brand, he shadily added during his Instagram Live, &ldquo[Kandi] can&rsquot get on here and sing better than Jayna Brown (a singer from season 11 of America&rsquos Got Talent). She can&rsquot get on here and sing better than Liamani [Segura] (a famous self-taught 12-year-old singer)&hellip but I respect her opinion and I respect what she says.&rdquo
From what it sounds like, Kandi was just trying to assert her worth as a songwriter in the studio and secure her bag. Do you think she&rsquoll respond to what Morris had to say?
CMT Crossroads: Boyz II Men Talk Country Debut with Brett Young
The struggle was real for Brett Young in his attempt to narrow down his dream setlist for the latest CMT Crossroads with Boyz II Men’s Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris and Shawn Stockman. Young loves every song they’ve ever recorded, and his first concert experience ever was a Montel Jordan show with Boyz II Men at Irvine, Calif.’s Irvine Meadows in 1995.
“I’ve been so informed as an artist by their music,” Young told CMT’s Cody Alan backstage with the group at their CMT Crossroads concert. “When I went back to learn the songs we were going to do … I just put their albums on, and I thought, ‘There’s like 700 singles here.’ They have never put out a bad record.”
“Brett fell right in and wasn’t afraid to do things that were at first might have been uncomfortable vocal wise,” Stockman said.
Both acts agreed that country and R&B music share similar connections in their respective times in music. In the ‘90s, no genres were more popular than country music and R&B. Boyz II Men dominated the charts with a series of hits including “I’ll Make Love to You” and the Mariah Carey collaboration, “One Sweet Day.” And R&B continues to revitalize nearly every genre of modern music especially today’s country music. Young’s heartfelt ballads could easily share the same playlist including Boyz II Men’s biggest hits, and Thomas Rhett’s flashiest songs could do the same with Bruno Mars’ music.
“We always talk about how country music and R&B are parallel [genres],” Nathan Morris said. “It’s one of those things where you can tell a great story, and if you’ve got a great voice behind it, you win.”
CMT Crossroads will feature new live arrangements of Boyz II Men songs, “End of the Road,” “Motownphilly” and “Water Runs Dry” among others, as well as Young’s “Mercy” and “In Case You Didn’t Know.” The hour-long concert special premieres Wednesday (March 27) at 10 p.m. ET.
Here’s more from CMT.com’s backstage interview with Boyz II Men and Young:
CMT.com: Brett, how much has Boyz II Men influenced your sound?
Young: Their music was so present and prevalent in my life when I started writing songs — the soul and the unique way that you all sing together. Every once in a while, when you guys sing your solos, I can tell who’s who, but when you’re singing together, it’s like who’s doing what right now? It’s incredible … It pushed me as a singer before I even knew it was doing that.
As the best-selling R&B group of all time and after being together for nearly 30 years, how do you account for Boyz II Men’s longevity?
Wanya Morris: I think in music, definitely there were times where we thought we weren’t going to do this much longer. But we thought about the music and the people who took our music into their lives, it actually felt like it would be doing a disservice to stop. And at the same time, we love each other, and we’re brothers. Just like brothers, we go through things, and we argue. But the respect level of what we mean to each other and how we feel about each other is always there. There’s a need for each other in each others’ lives to do what we do.
With Babyface having written some of your biggest hits, what do you look for when recording new material?
Nathan Morris: Melody is always first and lyric is second. Then after that, it’s up to us to where we want to take the song. Melody and lyric are important. They’re the key to making the song what it is … There have been quite a few R&B records that have been covered by country artists and vice versa.
Wanya Morris: A lot of songs we sing have country intonations and basically has a vibe that if they’re sung by a country artist, it would be country. Who’s to say “Water Runs Dry” couldn’t be a country record? When Brett sings it, it sure sounds country to me.
Young: When you get a good melody, a hit is a hit, is a hit.
I can’t think of any genres that were hotter in the ‘90s than country and R&B. And R&B continues to revitalize different genres of music today. What does it mean to you for Boyz II Men to be part of that conversation, and what makes it timeless?
Wanya Morris: We’re just happy that we’re still around and guys like Brett still get inspired by it. That’s what it’s all about at the end of the day. We want to leave music that people can use long after we’re gone. That’s what good country and good R&B is supposed to do. It’s supposed to inspire the next generation of stars. Just having this mashup is a testament to what good music does. And [Brett’s] a guy that has made a lot of great music for a lot of people. As far as I’m concerned, we’re on the same train riding the same ride.
Brett, “Water Runs Dry” is a regular cover in your set. What is it about that song that feels good to you?
Young: Aside from the obvious being it’s one of my favorite records they’ve ever put out, you’re trying to make your show fresh every time you go out on a new tour, and you don’t want to play the same covers. I knew I wanted to play one of their songs, and it had all the elements of a hit country record already. All the people in my band are such huge fans and great singers as well so I was going to give them an opportunity to sing with me. We’ve been doing that for a couple months now. It’s crazy I get to sing it with [Boyz II Men] tonight.