Lil Fizz, J-Boog and Raz-B leave door open for future
While it was initially stated that the recent B2K split was due to irreconcilable differences, since then, members Lil Fizz, J-Boog and Raz-B have told media outlets it's not so much a breakup as a decision to end their relationship with Chris Stokes' management firm The Ultimate Group (T.U.G.). They say the move comes in response to alleged business improprieties they've uncovered.
While fourth member and "You Got Served" co-star Omarion has elected to remain under Stokes' management tutelage, the other three members have decamped to Las Vegas-based CMX Sports & Entertainment. That company is headed by CEO Antonio Brown, who says CMX is serving as the trio's "advisors and business partners" since they're still under T.U.G. management at this point in time.
"This is not a breakup. This has nothing to do with Omarion. We just want to be treated fairly," Lil Fizz, J-Boog and Raz-B said in a statement released to Billboard.com.
Brown declined to discuss such specific B2K queries as a possible replacement for Omarion. But he did say the group is retaining its name and will be "absolutely" affiliated with the CMX Music Group.
"These young guys [B2K] are business partners first, entrepreneurs second and artists third," he says. "CMX's goal is to remain a fully independent and integrated entity that helps our clients learn about the business of business and allows them to own some of their content.
"Content is all about ownership," adds Brown. "So we're teaching, preaching and re-emphasizing that concept, finding people who are interested in talking and connecting with others. Success is all about leveraging your resources."
Calls to Stokes for a response were not returned by deadline. In an earlier statement, he said, "We've had a great run together making hit songs, albums and now movies. The kids are growing up and are interested in pursuing their own careers."
In response to queries regarding B2K's future recording and other label commitments, Epic issued the following: "The members of B2K are presently having internal issues that they're working to resolve. The group has postponed upcoming tour dates in order to work out their differences."
The statement notes that Omarion is finishing his solo debut, which is set for a March release.