Is it something embedded in our parents’ DNA that requires them to embarrass their children?
I remember the first time I took my future wifey home to meet my parents. What do you think was the first thing my mom did?
A) Put my girl through the Ghetto Inquisition
B) Raved about how beautiful my girl is and how I’m such a great catch
C) Dragged out baby pictures of me naked in the bathtub
If you answered C, well, hi, mom.
I wonder if now-adult child stars are embarrassed to look back at their old work. You have to drive to my parents’ house to see embarrassing pics and hear shameful stories about me but for a lot of young starts, the Internetz is their personal scrapbook. How sad.
Remember Perfect Gentlemen? If not, you’re in for a hilarious treat.
You might not recognize the name Maurice Starr, but I guarantee you know his proteges. He was the mastermind behind two of the biggest teen acts in the ’80s – New Edition and New Kids on the Block.
Looking for this third charm, Starr teamed his son Maurice Starr Jr. with Corey Blakely and Tyrone Sutton in the late ’80s to form Perfect Gentlemen. If a group was named “Perfect Gentlemen” in 2013 they’d get laughed out of the industry, but the ’80s were simpler times. If they came together in this century they’d probably be named The Tight Pants District or iPod Shuffle or Swag Street Blues.
I’m shocked someone hasn’t already used Swag Street Blues. Consider that a freebie.
Anyway, Perfect Gentlemen toured for NKOTB before dropping their debut, Rated PG in 1990. Their biggest hit was “Ohh La La (I Can’t Get Over You).” If you’ve never seen this video, oh playa. Witness the worst video in R&B history.
LAWD, where to start…
– The ‘playground’ is clearly some old storage closet. They couldn’t afford to film outside?
– PG is biting LL Cool J’s “I Need Love” so hard that you can see teeth marks on the screen. Like LL, they also sound out of breath while recording, like they played a hard game of Horse on the court (i.e., the old storage closet)
– There’s a girl randomly dancing around who looks like Topanga from Boy Meets World. Brothers used to LOVE Topanga.
– PG uses A GIANT PENCIL to barricade the door from their rampaging fans (i.e., about four girls)
– They spend the end of the song rambling in a weird bit of spoken word about how they can’t find their dream girl. Playa, she’s outside! Move the giant pencil and go get her!
– No comment on the random bubbles flying around and the guys’ blue rhinestone jackets that they borrowed from The Golden Girls
The song was a hit, though, reaching No. 10 on the pop charts. And young girls (who didn’t know any better) swooned.
PG went through a bit of a lineup change by the time their self-titled sophomore effort dropped in 1993. Tyrone Sutton bowed out of the group and was replaced with new lead singer Miles Wheeler and Steven Reeves. As you can tell by their scowls on their album cover, Perfect Gentlemen decided to evolve with the times and gained a bit more edge. If you call passing notes in class “edge,” like in the “Don’t Forget to Call Video.” That track actually was pretty smooth and still holds up today. But I’ve always been a sucker for a saxophone.
Second single “I Need You” wasn’t bad, but am I the only one who thinks it sounds like an throwaway SWV track? Listen to it and see what I mean.
PG’s sophomore work didn’t achieve nearly the level of success as “Ooh La La” and they quickly faded away.
Where are they now? If you believe the always accurate Wikipedia, Blakely is in the military while the others are continuing their music careers. Wheeler specifically has been on the verge of mainstream success. He now goes by the name Masspike Miles and has been providing hooks for Ricky Rawse AKA, the Apartment Complex That Walks Like A Man. I hope he can convince Rawse to back away from the table sometimes.
Should They Come Back?: It’s kind of a shame – Perfect Gentlemen really started to hit their stride at the end of their careers with the addition of Wheeler. I’m confident they could have transitioned very well into the late 90s R&B scene. But in 2013? Nah, that ship has sailed although Miles still shows promise.
Lucky for us (and unlucky for them), we’ll always have YouTube to remind us of the good times. Ooh La La, playas.
But if they reunite as Swag Street Blues, they better cut me a check.