112 is the eponymous debut album from the R&B group 112. It was released on August 27, 1996 as one of the first R&B records on Sean Combs'Bad Boy label. The majority of the album was produced primarily by Combs, Tim & Bob and one of the first Hitmen, Stevie J. It also included contributions from group member Daron Jones, Al B Sure!, Kyle West, Arnold Hennings and Boyz II Men vocalist Wanya Morris. The album features label mates the late The Notorious B.I.G., Mase and Faith Evans. Three singles were released from the album: "Only You" (both original and remix version), "Come See Me" and "Cupid". All of the singles had music videos released.
Originally known as Forte while in high school and still in their teens, the group was discovered and developed by producers Tim & Bob. The duo tried to convince their mentor super producer Dallas Austin to sign them to his Rowdy Records imprint but he passed on the group. They eventually contacted Sean Combs after doing their demo.
The quartet enlisted the professional management services of Courtney Sills and Kevin Wales. While the group was performing at the Buckhead 112 Club in Buckhead, Georgia, Combs Invited the group to New York at Combs's studio, called Daddy's House, where they began recording in August 1995, the song "Why Did You Love Me" a b-side track - being recorded at their first meeting, with engineer Steve Dent. Combs signed the group to his record label, Bad Boy Records. Thereafter known as 112, named after 112 Club.
The group's debut single, "Only You," was released in the summer of 1996. It hit number 13 on Billboard Hot 100 and number 3 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. A remix version of the song was later released featuring label mates Mase and the late The Notorious B.I.G.. In July the song was certified gold, and preceded the self-titled debut album in August. Faith Evans, B.I.G., and Craig Mack contributed cameos on 112, which achieved gold-volume sales by the end of its first week. One of the tracks, "Come See Me," was released as the second single and reached number five on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and number 33 on the Hot 100 by January 1997. The third single "Cupid" was released in May 1997, which also made the top 40 and was certified gold in the same month and by August the song went platinum. The group toured with the Isleys, Keith Sweat, and New Edition, as well as with Puff Daddy and the Family, totaling four separate tours. The group spent 18 successive months on the road fulfilling tour commitments.
"Cupid" was performed on a 1997 episode of the Nickelodeon show All That and in a 1996 episode of Moesha where 112 appeared as Q's cousins who performed "Only You" for Kim Parker and Niecy Jackson.
Leo Stanley of Allmusic gave the album 4 out of 5 stars stating that "as the first romantic soul group on Puff Daddy's Bad Boy label, 112 at least has the appearance of originality. However, their eponymous debut demonstrates that this is only an appearance - in reality, they are much like a Boyz II Men clone. That's not necessarily bad, actually. 112 have strong voices, and their smooth harmonies are quite seductive, making the lack of originality in their music easy to overlook. A little more variety on 112 would have been nice—the album consists almost entirely of ballads—but the group's sound and Puffy's professional production make it a pleasurable record nevertheless."
Al B. Sure!- Producer
Charles Prince Charles Alexander- Mixing Deric "D-Dot" Angelettie- Programming
Daniel Beroff Assistant- Engineer Carlos "6 July" Broady- Remastering Danny Clinch- Photography Sean "Puffy" Combs- Composer, Executive Producer, Producer
Lane Craven- Engineer, Mixing
Stephen Dent- Second Engineer
Faith Evans- Vocals
Bill Esses- Engineer
Richard Finch- Composer
Rasheed Goodlowe -Second Engineer
Mr. Cheeks - Rap
Groovey Lew- Clothing/Wardrobe
Arnold Hennings -Producer
Stevie J.- Producer
Daron Jones- Piano, Producer, Composer
Michael Keith- Composer
Tim Kelley- Producer, Bass, Drums, Keys, Engineer, Mixing
Paul Logus- Engineer, Mixing
Chauncey Mahan- Engineer
Mase- Rap Tony Maserati- Engineer, Mixing
Wanya Morris- Producer, Composer
Nasheim Myrick- Remastering
Axel Niehaus- Engineer
The Notorious B.I.G.- Composer, Rap
Quinnes Parker- Composer
Michael Patterson- Engineer, Mixing
Herb Powers -Mastering Kelly Price- Vocals (Background)
Darin Prindle- Mixing
Alexander Richbourg- Producer
Bob Robinson- Producer, Keyboards, Piano
D.J. Rogers- Composer
Marvin Scandrick- Composer
Courtney Sills- Hair Stylist
Kevin Wales- Associate Executive Producer, Clothing/Wardrobe
Barry White- Hair Stylist
Doug Wilson- Mixing, Second Engineer