The Shop Boyz are back in town and they're ready to wreck the hip-hop game. The rap trio, comprised of Rasheed "Sheed" Hightower, Richard "Fat" Stephens and Demetrius "Meany" Hardin, rose to fame with their hit song "Party Like a Rockstar" in 2007. Later that year, the track would earn them a Best Rap Performance Grammy nomination and the No. 2 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
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Now, nearly ten years later, the group is aiming to take the music sphere by storm again as they landed in New York to promote their new single "Party All Night" featuring Vina Mills. One of their first stops included the 19th Annual Rainbow PUSH Wall Street Project Economic Summit hosted by Jessie Jackson Sr. The event focuses on honoring hip-hop legends as well as giving young creatives a chance to shine.
But before the rockstar crew took the stage at the event, they sat down with The Boombox to discuss their new single, plans for the future and whether or not they still party like rockstars.
The Boombox: It's been almost ten years since "Party Like a Rockstar came out. What have you guys been up to since then?
Sheed: We basically been creating new music, we've been doing a lot of touring. I know it seems like we haven't been doing anything new but actually we've been weighing out our options for these labels. You know, we were nominated for Grammy, sold a million ringtones, we have a lot of accolades. So it's nothing for us to have a meeting with any label and say "Hey what's the deal to do this project?" But, we've just been independent, we've been independent since we got off a major label. Basically what we've been doing is just planning for this moment right here.
Fat: I mean we have more freedom. A lot of freedom to be creative in our own craft. We were really young when we made that song -- we're still young. So it's good. It's perfect. It's the perfect time.
Sheed: Yeah, it's a lot different with a major label. They decide what music to put out. Now, we decide what music we're going to make, what we're gonna put out when we wanna do it. It's just more freedom.
Sheed: We like independent producers, we like untapped producers. That's the best people we like to work with. We don't really like big name producers but we like untapped producers.
Fat: Ain't nobody, we just like to make good music. Any rapper or singer -- R&B, pop, country artist, whatever wanna make some good music, we're open to it.
Sheed: I like a female artist, I think her name is Emeli Sandé. She's a hot artist overseas and I like -- what's that guy's name? He sings "I'm the man, I'm the man." -- Aloe Blacc. And Phil Collins, that's my favorite.
Meany: Everybody know who I want to work with. Rihanna. I gotta do a song with Rihanna. I like her style, she do a lot of singing and I like to sing.
Sheed: It's going well. It's getting picked up in a lot of radio stations. Our video premiered on MTV, BET. We're getting a wonderful response and it's just the tip of the iceberg. It's just like a sample of a single almost. Just getting the response that we've been hoping for.
Fat: Just our lifestyle. It's all a part of our lifestyle. It's all a part of our night so that's our lifestyle. Like for real. Like literally.
Fat: We have two mixtapes. They in talks right now, they about to drop. We're not trying to be mixtape artists but it's by popular demand that we dropped one. We gotta LP, we gotta album coming out in June or July. It's called Untitled. It's crazy, it's a mixture of genres, good music, fun.
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Sheed: It's a wide range of music and we rather for our fans, our critics, our naysayers, our bloggers to come up with their own concept of when they hear it. And it's something that's never been done before -- it's untitled. It's a sound that's never been created. We don't want to give it a name yet -- we have the name but we'll let people talk that crazy first.