|I Luv This Sh*t||Downtown: Life Under The Gun|| |
|Ghetto||Downtown: Life Under The Gun|| |
|I Luv This Shit (Remix)||I Luv This Shit (Remix)|| |
|Downtown||Downtown: Life Under The Gun|| |
|Let Me Hit That||Downtown: Life Under The Gun|| |
|Make It Home||Make It Home|| |
|Nobody Knows||Downtown: Life Under The Gun|| |
|Don't Forget About Me||Downtown: Life Under The Gun|| |
|I Luv This Sh*t (Remix)||I Luv This Sh*t (Remix)|| |
Songwriter and vocalist Amber Streeter (aka Ambee, Se7en, Sevyn) was the first member of TG4, a pop-R&B outfit put together by Chris Stokes (Immature, B2K). In 2002, the group released a single, "Virginity," that reached number 88 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart. An album was recorded and shelved, and the group split. Streeter caught the attention of producer Rich Harrison (Amerie, Beyoncé), who asked her to join RichGirl, yet another group that released one minor hit ("24's") and recorded a shelved album. Once that group dissolved, Streeter established herself as a songwriter for Chris Brown (including "Yeah 3X," "Wet the Bed," and "Strip"), Kelly Rowland ("Keep It Between Us"), Estelle ("International"), Brandy ("Slower"), and Alicia Keys ("New Day" and "Limitedless"). She signed to Atlantic as a solo artist and released her first single, "I Like It," in 2012.
Andy Kellman, Rovi
Jhene is Lil Fizz of B2K's cousin. She toured with B2K in 2002 and appeared in the boy band's video for "Uh Huh."
Jason Birchmeier, Rovi
Longtime friends and veteran R&B singers Tyrese, Ginuwine, and Tank formed a trio, dubbed TGT, in 2007. They worked together on a remix of Tank's "Please Don't Go," and appeared on Slim Thug's "Let Me Grind," but they didn't make their alliance official until 2012, when they signed with the Atlantic label. Promising to provide pure and mature R&B, their first proper release was the ballad "Sex Never Felt Better," issued in February 2013. They plotted a full-length release for later in the year.
Andy Kellman, Rovi
R&B singer/songwriter B. Smyth got his start as one of millions of teenagers uploading YouTube videos of himself covering other artists' songs. Beginning in 2011, while just 17 years old, Smyth uploaded his versions of songs by Michael Jackson, Maxwell, Frank Ocean, and other established hip-hop and R&B stars, some of his videos eventually going viral and being re-posted by various media sources. His smooth style drew comparisons to more grown-up acts like Chris Brown and Usher, and before long his impressive video view counts had the teen performing at various talent showcases, eventually landing a deal with Motown in 2012. His debut single for the label, "Leggo" (featuring 2 Chainz), dropped later that year and quickly began racking up millions of video views.
Fred Thomas, Rovi
Coming up somewhere between Wiz Khalifa (loose flow, hedonistic lyrics) and Lil B (free spirit, love of alternative-flavored beats), Atlanta's Trinidad James went from viral to Def Jam signee, and all in his rookie season. Born in Trinidad but raised in Atlanta, Nicholas Williams was a 24-year-old manager of a downtown streetwear boutique when he decided to try his hand at rapping and become Trinidad James. That was late 2011, and in October of 2012, Trinidad dropped his debut mixtape, Don't Be S.A.F.E., which featured the viral hit "All Gold Everything." In December of that year, as the "All Gold Everything" video passed the three-million views mark, Def Jam announced their signing of the rapper and released the "All Gold Everything" remix with verses from T.I., Young Jeezy, and 2 Chainz added to the track. The label gave the Don't Be S.A.F.E. mixtape an official release in early 2013.
David Jeffries, Rovi
Known as Tity Boi in the Atlanta-based Playaz Circle, rapper 2 Chainz launched his solo career while he was still a member of the crew, in 2007, with the mixtape "Me Against the World". The 2Pac references continued with his 2009 mixtapes "Trap-A-Velli" and "All Ice on Me", but 2010's "Me Against the World 2: Codeine Withdrawal" hit his style on the nose with the last bit of its title, and when DJ Teknikz & DJ Frank White collected his best street tracks in 2011, the hard and hazy set of cuts was dubbed "Codeine Cowboy". That same year he was featured on David Banner's "Yao Ming" and Big K.R.I.T.'s "Money on the Floor," while a year later he landed on Kanye West's "Mercy" as well as Nicki Minaj's "Beez in the Trap." He also signed with the Def Jam label in 2012 and released the single "No Lie" before dropping his official debut, Based on a T.R.U. Story. Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, and Mike Posner were among the album's special guests, while production was handled by the likes of The-Dream and Drumma Boy.
David Jeffries, Rovi