The end of the millennium has been pretty rough on the Carver Ranches-birthed R&B group Pretty Ricky. First, last year original Pleasure P quit the group to pursue a solo career. His single "Boyfriend #2" peaked at number 43 on the Billboard Hot 100 -- a higher position than any Pretty Ricky song has reached since 2006.
So they replaced him with a guy named 4Play, and recorded a new album called 80s Babies, set to be released late last year. Its lead singles, "Cuddle Up" and a remake of H-Town's 1993 slow jam "Knockin' Boots," received decent airplay and YouTube circulation -- especially because of the ridiculously sexed-up video for the latter. That, and they posed nude for Vibe (R.I.P.).
But the album itself got leaked, and never materialized. Eventually, it turned out the band had been dropped from its label, Atlantic, and the album was shelved permanently.
Then 4Play quit. Then band member Spectacular made the mistake of recording his bedroom dance moves for YouTube.
But America loves extra chances and comebacks, and Pretty Ricky's members are still all 25 and under. And thus, the group soldiers on.
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4Play has been replaced, by a fellow with the awesome name of "Lingerie" (That barely makes sense -- Does he wear it, or just like it on others?). And though 80s Babies may never see the light of day in public release, the group has retooled.
Yesterday, the Atlanta-based label Big Cat Records announced it had picked up the group for a distribution deal on its next album. Big Cat is an independent who's dealt mostly with street rap; its biggest sellers have been a few records by Gucci Mane.
Still, the imprint boasts distribution through Tommy Boy, so Pretty Ricky will still wind up everywhere there is left to buy records. The album is set to be self-titled and is due out on September 19. The lead single, "Tipsy," is already making the rounds.