The funniest thing about getting older is realizing that we become exactly like our parents.
Take music, for example. It’s easy for longtime music fans to criticize today’s artists for raunchy content and oversexed lyrics. Ever see a 10-year-old girl doing nasty booty dances at a church outing? I have. Many, many times.
It’s easy for us to yell about Ciara slinging her gluteus minimus around, corrupting the minds of today’s youth. News flash – our minds were just as corrupted, just as our parents’ minds were. Your momma n’ dem had Clarence Carter and Marvin Sease.
And we had ol’ nasty H-Town. Remember them?
(disclaimer – some of the following videos might not be very safe for work, unless your job doesn’t mind guys thrusting their pelvises and women with bad weaves in bikinis.)
Kevin “Dino” Conner and his twin brother Solomon “Shazam” Conner teamed with their friend Darryl “G.I.” Jackson to form H-Town in 1992. The group, of course, is named after hometown of Houston, Texas. I’m still waiting for a group to emerge from my hometown of Portsmouth, Va., so it can be named P-Town. Anyway, the trio’s demo wound up in the hands of the infamous Uncle Luke, who gleefully led them on the path of freakiness.
Immediately, H-Town hit hard and fast (ahem, so to speak) with 1993’s “Knockin’ Da Boots.” I was always annoyed by the euphamism – how exactly does one knock boots? Bumpin’ uglies, I get that, but not boot knockin’. Maybe you readers with foot apparel fetishes can help us out in the comments.
Or, maybe not.
“Knockin’ Da Boots” bumped uglies all the way up to No. 3 on the charts and propelled H-Town’s debut, Fever For Da Flavor, to platinum sales. The follow-ups “Lick U Up” and “Baby I Wanna” were just as raunchy – and the ladies loved every minute. But just when parents started to scold girls for eyeballing shirtless men with high-top fades, H-Town would tone it down (slightly) with tracks like “Keepin’ My Composure.”
H-Town’s success landed them a spot on the Above the Rim Soundtrack in 1994. “Part Time Lover” was typical H-Town – grown men begging for sex. Sheesh. And y’all give me grief about Keith Sweat.
At the end of 1994, H-Town returned with their second album, the gold-selling Beggin’ After Dark (see what I mean!). The most memorable track from this set was “Emotions.” The video featured Dino being seriously hurt in a car accident. About 10 years later, life would tragically imitate art.
In 1996, the trio released, in my opinion, their best song – a cover of The Persuaders’ “A Thin Line Between Love and Hate,” for the Martin Lawrence movie of the same name. Just a few years ago my brother told me that Lynn Whitfield’s psychotic character terrified him at the time. I’m glad someone was convinced by the “acting” in that movie.
By the time their third album, Ladies Edition: Woman’s World, rolled around, the guys had dumped Uncle Luke and, not surprisingly, the raunchiness was greatly toned down. The kinder, gentler H-Town retained their fans and solid tracks like “They Like It Slow” and “Natural Woman” helped them strike gold once again.
From about 2000-2004, it seemed like every six months the music industry lost a star. Tragedy struck in 2003 when Dino was killed in an automobile accident, eerily similar to H-Town’s “Emotions” video. The following year, Shazam and G.I. reunited for Imitations of Life.
In recent years, there have been murmurings of a new album. There’s a video for “Knocking Your Heels” that featured the corpses of Jodeci. And then there’s the bizarre “Call Me Mr. Pacman.” Uh huh.
Should They Come Back?: Allegedly they will – eventually. Judging from the weird Pac-Man song, the new album Child Support will be a return to their freaky roots. All the young girls who idolized these guys are now in the work force and likely will shell out money to relieve their fantasies – ironically while yelling at their daughters to turn off Ciara’s latest video.