Whatever Happened To: Hi-Five

My, my, another year has come and gone. And one way I ring in the new year is by recording BET’s top 100 video countdown. Although I wind up fast forwarding through 98 of the videos, it’s still fun to relive the year in music.

By the way, I didn’t say DVR, I said record. I still own one of the last VCRs in existence. It’ll be worth big bucks one day. But I also thought Domino’s first album would be a collectors item. Ah, the ignorance of youth.

And speaking of ignorant youth – back to BET.

I’ve often lamented the fact that today’s children are exposed to such raunchy songs. Sure, we had our share of debauchery, but it wasn’t as prevalent as today. Look no further than the top three videos of 2009, according to BET – Jeremih’s “Birthday Sex,” Keri Hilson’s “Turnin’ Me On” and Jamie Foxx’s “Blame It.” I once dropkicked a couple of kids back in my Louisville, Ky., youth group for singing “Birthday Sex” IN CHURCH.

At least we had enough sense not to sing Bobby Brown in the Lord’s house.

But I digress. Remember the days of Hi-Five? Back when merely kissing was a big deal? Let’s look back.

Hi-Five originally consisted of Marcus Sanders, Russell Neal, Roderick “Pooh” Clark, Toriano Easly and my boy Tony Thompson. Yeah, their self-titled debut album cover looks like they stole their Olan Mills sample photos (don’t act like y’all don’t know what I’m talking about), but that album was a banger, thanks to the production of Teddy Riley.

As stupid as they sound claiming to flirt with 25-year-olds on 1990’s “I Just Can’t Handle It,” it’s still good wholesome fun. And “Can’t Wait Another Minute” had girls recording the song straight from the radio. Just like how I still record TV shows with a VCR…sadly.

But their biggest claim to fame was the No. 1 single “I Like The Way (The Kissing Game).”

Go ahead and click the link. I’ll be waiting for you to come back.

Like most of the “Whatever Happened To…” artists, this song was a blessing and a curse. Twenty years later, the song still stirs memories of the good ol days. But there was NO WAY they were gonna top the success of that song.

That didn’t stop them from trying to Keep it Goin’ On, literally, in 1992. Despite wearing suits that would make Steve Harvey go color blind, they made big waves with “She’s Playing Hard to Get” and “Quality Time.” I seriously doubt your hero Drake will sing about spending quality time with someone other than Lil Wayne. I know this is considered blasphemy, but as a kid I liked Hi-Five MUCH more than the overrated New Edition, thanks to songs like those.

The nice-guy theme continued on the group’s third album, Faithful. Almost two decades later, “Unconditional Love” is still off the hook. I still have no idea why this song was on the Menace II Society Soundtrack, though. And don’t forget about “Never Should’ve Let You Go” from Sister Act II’s soundtrack. No wonder their album didn’t sell – they gave all the good songs to soundtracks.

The group broke up following this album, giving lead singer Tony Thompson the chance to go solo in 1995 with Sexsational.

Um, Tony, that album title is messing up the wholesome image I’m trying to sell.

Anyway, I’m probably the only person who remembers his single “I Wanna Love Like That” – that was my song back in high school. “You’re sweet as kan-DAY!”

Despite that killer single, Tony’s solo career went bust. He tried reuniting the group in 2005 with four new members and a new album, The Return. And seeing how none of us remember anything about their triumphant return, even though it was just five years ago, we can safely say that things didn’t quite work out.

Things got even worse for poor Tony, who died in 2007 from huffing too much freon. Kids, keep sniffing magic markers and this too can be your fate.

Should They Come Back?: Without Tony, what’s the point? I guess our kids are doomed to get “wholesome” songs from Soulja Boy.

Visit our “What Ever Happened to…” archive for more on your favorite forgotten artists



  1. Well Georgia mae, I have a different memory of the group Hi-five….I was there in the studio almost everynite listening to them record with Lil tony doing most of the singing, my fiance at the time was A&R for jive records and co-wrote most of thier music, as a matter of fact he was responsible for there even being a Hi-five,I watched that kid at 12 years old suffer from having to work rather than play, i remember the studio having set up a video game and tv for him to keep him in the comforts of childhood, all the while he was living a grown mans dream of stardom, but thats show business I could tell you so much more but those memories I’d like to keep all to myself those kids were good kids from the hood who got lost on the path to fame, and the worst of it all was not 1 parent was ever there.

  2. please release latest pictures of Roderick pooh Clark

    • Yes!!!! Please give me more information on Roderick Clark!!! He was so fine to me. I really wished that he didn’t get into that car accident.

  3. Hi-Five was my favorite singing group. All of them were amazing!

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