The Rude Boys
|The Rude Boys|
|Origin||Cleveland, Ohio, United States|
|Genres||R&B, soul, new jack swing|
|Labels||Atlantic Records (1989–1993)|
|Associated acts||Gerald LeVert, LeVert, Men at Large, The O'Jays|
The Rude Boys
A 90s R&B vocal group from Cleveland,Ohio. Joe N Little III, Edward Lee Banks, Larry Marcus and Melvin Sephus were discovered by Gerald Levert. Their 1990 LP, Rude Awakening, included the single "Written All Over Your Face," which made it to #1 on the Billboard R&B charts and #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, It also won 1991 Billboard Award for R&B Single of the Year. "Are You Lonely" also reached #1 on Billboard's R&B charts.
Joe N Little III along with Edward Lee Banks was discovered by Gerald LeVert singing in a local night club in Cleveland, Ohio, LeVert expressed that he wanted to further hear them sing again and possibly sign the two, at that time both were the lead singers of a local R&B group along with members Larry (Bingo) Marcus and Melvin Sephus. In 1988, LeVert presented the group to Sylvia Rhone - then Senior VP of Atlantic Records - and in turn got them signed to the label.
The band's 1990 debut album Rude Awakening, started slow with its first release "Come On Lets Do This" which peaked at #38 on the Billboard R&B charts. However, it was the group's second single, "Written All Over Your Face" that made the group a sensation, as the single topped the R&B charts and, The song showcased the vocals of Joe N Little III and Edward Buddy Banks, with a cameo appearance by Gerald LeVert the single rode the charts for 31 weeks, and finally made it to #1 on the Billboard R&B charts and #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, It also won 1991 Award for R&B Single of the Year ("Written All Over Your Face").
The group would score a second #1 hit on Billboard R&B hit from this album in 1990, "Are You Lonely for Me" written by Joe N Little III and Tony Nicholas, With the well-rounded, riffing baritone of Little and the vibrating, towering tenor of Banks, the single rose straight to the top. Another song released from the album "Heaven" peaked at the # 15 spot on the Billboard R&B chart, The album Rude Awakening would peak at #10 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and #68 on the Billboard 200.
Riding on the success of their two laid-back number one singles from their debut release, the boys followed up their debut with Rude House in 1992, with the first single My Kinda Girl. Falling short of the number one ranking, the single peaked at number #2 after 18 weeks on the Billboard R&B chart. and the next single to be released, Go Ahead and Cry peaked at #43 on the Billboard R&B charts.
Staying under Gerald LeVert's tutelage, Little went on to do a solo album up under Atlantic Records entitled Puttin' It Down in 1994. Little also went on to team up with LeVert as a writing team on multiple occasions, writing and producing for Levert's solo projects and on other notable artist such as The O'Jays, Temptations, Keith Sweat, LSG, and stable mates Men at Large, where LeVert, Little, Nicholas and Banks teamed up to write and produce "So Alone," which peaked at No. 5 spot on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip Hop Chart and No. 31 Billboard's Hot 100.
After being dormant for nearly a decade, the group reunited again after Gerald LeVert died due to an accidental overdose of over-the-counter and prescription drugs in November 2006. The talks started after they performed at their mentor's funeral. All four original members performed. Larry Marcus later died in October 2016.
Throughout their career, The Rude Boys appeared on Soul Train, Showtime at the Apollo, The Arsenio Hall Show, and Party Machine.
Awards and nominations
- 1991 Billboard Music Award won for The Rude Boys No. 1 R&B Single of the Year ("Written All Over Your Face").