*R&B music has always been soulful and arguably intensely sexual. The creativity of the ’90s music scene turned it up a notch introducing new sub-genre categories of neo-soul artists like Maxwell; the acapela sounds of Boyz2Men; and the sensuous slow jams of H-Town.
We asked H-Town’s Dalvin (G.I.) and Shazam about the ’90s R&B music, noting that nearly every male artist began taking their shirts off during their performances.
G.I. laughed and explained, “It was about connecting with the fans. Everybody just took a little bit from each other’s shows. We shared what worked.”
H-Town wrote and produced over 80% of their music and, unlike many other artists in the past, owns 50% of their masters; Sony owns the other half. In 1993, H-Town was first signed to Luke Skywalker Records, owned and operated by Luther “Luke” Campbell. In 1994, Campbell was sued by filmmaker George Lucas for unfair use of the name “Luke Skywalker,” a character in the film blockbuster “Star Wars.” Campbell was also in a feud with Dr. Dre (Death Row Records). As a precaution, H-Town was accompanied by about 30 bodyguards due to alleged threats to Campbell that could possibly trickle down.
H-Town spent 16 months on an international tour. During that time, the group learned that Campbell was secretly collecting performance fees from promoters, in addition to categorizing performances as “promotional dates” to avoid paying the artists.
H-Town successfully sued Campbell. However, they were forced to return over 50% of their $650,000 settlement when they learned that Campbell owned the mortgage company from whom they had purchased their homes. H-Town was left with less than half to split three ways. H-Town also discovered that their manager was signed to a Campbell-owned management company.
In 2003, an auto accident took the life of the group’s lead singer Dino (Shazam’s twin), his fiancée and unborn child. H-Town took a six-year hiatus.
Shazaam said, “We went through a tough phase … We’re dedicated to be even stronger men in life.”
The proliferation of the Internet introduced G.I. to the music sharing and social website, MySpace. After creating a page, hundreds of fans reconnected with H-Town, encouraging a comeback.
Just like Luther Vandross before them, H-Town was identified as providing the ideal backdrop music for “baby making.” Recognizing their contributions toward increasing the population, H-Town will release their first studio album in 10 years, “Child Support.”
The album, due to drop in June, reunites Jodeci (K-Ci, JoJo, DeVante, Dalvin) for a spin-off of H-Town’s ’90s hit single “Knockin’ Da Boots,” which sold more than two million copies. A decade later, H-Town offers “Knockn’ Ya Heels Off” and a remix which includes Pretty Ricky. H-Town has emerged from their challenges as wiser businessmen. Shazam established the record label, Shazam Music Inc. and G.I. has created G.I. Entertainment.
Ever popular on the international scene, H-Town regularly performs from Australia to Canada, and all countries in between. Their new album, business ventures and upcoming projects are sure to bring them closer to home, much to the delight of devoted fans. To keep up with H-Town, visit www.HTownLegends.com.
Watch “Knockn’ Ya Heels Off”: