When one road ends, another begins. Boyz II Men is along to serenade for the journey.
This is a special year for Boyz II Men. They are celebrating 15 years of being together by releasing a new album in late summer and are planning a new business venture with Donald Trump.
“Boyz II Men came along at a time when people were searching for real music,” reflects Wanya Morris, one third of the super singing group sensation. “We were able to help brothers who weren’t able to expresses themselves.”
They’ve sold 60 million albums over the course of their careers, providing the soundtrack for everything from weddings to funerals, making self-described “baby-making music” that still makes folks tear up with countless hits like “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye,” “I’ll Make Love to You,” “On Bended Knee,” “End of the Road ”and “One Sweet Day” with Mariah Carey. Safe to say, they could drive any cars they desire.
The foursome is now three men, and along the way, they’ve learned lessons that men need to hear. (Bassist Michael McCrary left the group in 2003 suffering from health problems).
“My message is the whole getting half-a-million dollar car is over rated,” says Shawn Stockman. “It’s not about the car; it’s about the man. We don’t have too much to prove to people. I’m proud to say it because I know how much work I put in. That’s something to be proud of whether I’m driving in a Maybach or a Honda Accord, I’m still me as a person and people respect me.”
“I was always over the top. I had to get everything,” says Nathan Morris, who copped he got a Nissan Pathfinder with his first royalty check. “It was all red, with the whole red lights on the bottom, black tinted windows, custom floor mats.”
Of course, when they first blew up, the members of Boyz II Men didn’t even have their driver’s licenses. “We were on subway and on foot at that time,” Nathan says. They were classmates in Philadelphia, boys with a dream. They happened upon Michael Bivens of Bell Biv Devoe, of New Edition fame, who signed them to their first deal with Motown Records with the catchy “Motown Philly” hit introduction jump-starting their career. Their first album Cooleyhighharmony (Motown, 1991) went to Number Three on the charts in 1991.
Though already a platinum recording artist, Shawn had to take the driver’s test three times to get behind the wheel. “I went to one DMV twice, so I’m going to another one in North Philly. This was around the time the record was out,” he laughs recalling the day he finally passed. “I’m so happy and people are laughing and saying that’s the dude from Boyz II Men.” He swears he comes from a long steady line of great drivers with good taste in cars. “My mother had a brown ’79 Impala. It was off the hook. I never realized how off the hook it was until I got older. When my mom would come out of the park or the driveway, she would rip up the street every time.”