Boy bands ruled the childhoods of many, especially through out the late '90s, early '00s. Within R&B realm there was the inception of B2K, the reconfiguration of Immature into IMX and the short-lived, but impactful success of groups such as 3rd Storee and B5. But, now that we're gradually progressing towards an age where questions such as "Who's B2K?" are prone to arise, where are the R&B boy groups of today? Thanks to the creativity and intelligence of Lady Gaga's manager, Vincent Herbert, and A&R, Walter Millsap, the boy band has been resurrected in the form of Mindless Behavior.
The quartet, who recently careened their '#1 Girl Tour' into New York City's Beacon Theater on July 14, has achieved an abundance of success in a short amount of time. Their studio debut, "#1 Girl," peaked at No. 2 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and No. 7 on the Billboard 200 late last year. The constant demand and dedication of their fans known as Team Mindless has sent them on nationwide tours, resulting in their Coca-Cola's Viewers Choice Award win at the 2012 BET Awards.
But, with all of their achievements, these teenage boys are far from big-headed. "We have a great camp around us," the 15 year-old Ray Ray tells Billboard's The Juice. "Conjunction Entertainment. They make sure we stay grounded. They keep us very level-headed. We keep each other very level-headed, too. We don't want to become big headed at all. You have to be nice to everyone."
"Self-therapy helps too," added 15-year-old Princeton. "Self-therapy, meaning you're talking to yourself and making sure you're stable mentally.
The quartet also draws inspiration from their fans around the world. During the interview, 16-year-old Prodigy donned a necklace with a music note charm that he received as a gift from a fan. "Our fans are really committed. They will fly to Africa if we have a show," he said.
While they've been showered with plenty of adoration from fans, according to Mindless Behavior their critics still look at them as just another pubescent boy band. "Every critic tries to give us the kid pass," Princeton said. "Like, 'Aw, this is the new kid group.'"
According to Prodigy, it's all about to change. The boys plan on progressing towards a new era with their untitled sophomore project."We're not how we grew up saying, *falsetto voice* 'Hey my girl, my girl…' No. Our voices ain't going to sound like that anymore; like Alvin and the Chipmunks."
"The second album is going show everyone that we're not kids anymore," Princeton chimed in. "We're teenagers. We're a boy band, but we're not kids."
Co-concept creator and A&R, Walter Millsap, has also been on the search for new material for their sophomore project as well.
"We're actually in the studio right now," 14-year-old Roc Royal revealed. "Our manager, Walter, actually went back to L.A. to produce some more records for us. So, we're about to come back out and record some more."
As their label, Interscope, readies the album's first single, the group point out something their fans will soon notice: vocal maturity. "It was so easy before," Princeton added. "Llike on stage it was, 'What's up ladies!' (in falsetto voice). Now it's, 'What's up ladies!' (in normal voice). it's a little scary."
In the future, the boys hope to do a little G.O.O.D Music with Kanye West, 2 Chainz, Big Sean, as well as YMCMB's Drake. When asked if they're concerned with the maturity level they hope to reach in their next project, each member shared the same answer: "No."
"We have the best fans and the best part of our fans is, our fans are growing up with us too," said Princeton. "What they're doing, we're doing and the music they're listening to, we're listening to. So we just hope our fans stay with us until we're 50."
In the meantime, Mindless Behavior plans to keep touring and living by the motto they beam acros the stage each night: "Keep Calm and Stay Mindless."