By TIM DAVID HARVEY
"(TGT is the) ultimate R&B fan experience. Me, Tank and Ginuwine been talking about this forever. The reason why this makes sense is that besides all of us being R&B singers, we're all good friends. Every time I see Tank, every time I see Ginuwine, we all had good energy regardless."-Tyrese.
It doesn't get much bigger than this. LeBron James and his Miami Heat basketball boys aren't the only big three taking their throne this Summer. With a holy trinity of combined singing, dancing and production talents, Tyrese, Ginuwine and Tank give us 'Three Kings' by royal R&B decree. Like LeBron, Kobe and Jordan on the latest cover of SLAM. It's time to watch the throne this August 20th because after hitting the road and touring everywhere in America, the legends of the Summer are about to suit and tie up like Jay-Z and Timberlake on the way to the release of their debut album. This trio of legends and their '3 Kings' album is set to smarten up a genre and remind real music fans of what they've been missing when it comes to real R&B.
The kings have spoken...or more like sung. The dream these three friends and their fans had back in 2007 has been made real. Genuine talent brought to the light by their record labels last year and more importantly by the hard work and perseverance from the three themselves. It has got them to this point this year, with a tour taking America by storm and now the eagerly anticipated, long awaited album release this August. Talk about hype and buzz. This is more than business, more than record sales. Forget a label redemption. This is an R&B revolution. With supergroups like LSG, Blackstreet, Guy or Boyz II Men now the sounds of your playlists past and groups like Jagged Edge and 112 on milk cartons the genre needs this. With R&B music reaching too much for the auto tune, dance hall or younger, throwaway themes, it's time this rhythm and blues music got back to the true essence of it's soul. Thanks to the mature, grown artists of Tyrese, Ginuwine and Tank assembling like the Avengers we now have exactly that to rejoice and marvel at..
Big things come in threes. Like 'Star Wars', 'Lord Of The Rings' and 'Batman' trilogies and now these soul superheroes and godfathers of R&B are here to save the day with some out of this world talent ready to be made champion. The R&B Rat Pack of Mr. Gibson, Elgin Lumpkin and Durrell Babbs are as real as it gets. After remixing Tank's hot, hit single 'Please Don't Go' (off the incredible, inspired 'Sex, Love & Pain' album), TGT offered up an array of songs, including 'One Night Stand' (where Ginuwine had a duet with his best man Tyrese), 'Lost In Our Love' (a Tank solo) 'Cant Blame You', 'Lay Down My Life' and a fantastic feature on Slim Thug's 'Let Me Grind'. Still it wasn't till the build up of the Atlantic Records release of '3 Kings' this year that we heard the real singles. Like 'Sex Never Felt Better' and it's for the fans stage setting video and the latest, greatest 'I Need'.
This truly is what the game needs like 'Lessons In Love', 'Tearing It Down' and 'Weekend Love'. These are just some of the names of tracks off the new album that will redefine an R&B genre which is saturating but not selling. It's about to be refreshed with three individual superstars and friends who share more than just charisma and sales. The chemistry between the three extends more then the fun you can see them having on Instagram behind the scenes. Picture this on your Twitter and Facebook feeds, you can see it on stage and are about to hear it in the studio. These three where meant to do this together. All their classic albums are about to cumulate into one great piece which will have a legendary legacy in this Urban Soul and Hip-Hop genre. There might even just be a feature from Tyrese's great mentor and friend R. Kelly. Now with the R in R&B's seal of approval what more do you need?
It just keeps getting better and better for this guy. The guy that started out singing about Coca Cola on buses so he'd never have to take a bus again and the guy that remodelled himself into a crossover talent with Tommy Hillfiger. You best believe they'll be calling again. The guy that rewrote his career with his inspirational 'How To Get Out Of Your Own Way' book and his magnificent 'Manology' collaboration with Run DMC legend Rev Run is about to put pen to paper once again. His next brilliant book 'Black Rose' will turn a page and be packaged with the double 'Black Rose' album-to go along with a 7 part documentary ('A Black Rose That Grew From Concrete')-which will also be his first double rap/R&B album since Black-Ty's debut on the amazing number 2 rap chart topping album 'Alter-Ego'. An album that is said to be his most personal album to date. The album will also be his last....wait...what?!
Yep that's right the hardest working man in entertainment who deserves a break has said his next album coming next year will be his final R&B bow. Although we all may cry 'say it aint so' and hope for a Jay-Z or Jordan like return we must respect this man's wishes and be thankful for the music he has released (like his 50 track free 'Invisible Bully' tape). From his self-titled platinum debut in 1998 and the gold high-charged '2000 Watts' which took this 'Baby Boy' to maturity. A maturity that saw the gold standard of 'I Wanna Go There' and it's huge 'How You Gonna Act Like That' and 'U Don't Give A Damn About Me' singles and the incredibly, inspired release of his latest and greatest 'Open Invitation' album on his Voltron Records influential imprint. An impression that left us with the big club-mover 'Too Easy' (with fellow '2 Fast, 2 Furious' marquee star and franchise petrol head Ludacris) and his new 'Sweet Lady' in the huge single 'Stay'. A 'Soul Train' song of the year award winning number that was number one for 11 weeks on the Billboard Urban charts and rebirthed his return to R&B, a return that fans will hope to see again and again soon.
"TGT is in the building....we're about to shut it down".-Ginuwine.
Tyrese's highest charted album sold 76,000 copies in it's first week and with fresh, great tracks like 'Nothing On You', 'Best Of Me', 'Angel', 'Takeover', 'I Miss That Girl' and more it has now moved 360,00 units and counting. The Grammy nominated star isn't the only big-seller in this group of big hitters. The G in TGT, has been going as way back as far as he and 'The Best Man I Can Be' co-star Tyrese have been friends. The man named after Lakers legend Elgin Baylor is a great in his own right with a talent level that is genuine. Ginuwine is the first-mega star of this trio to really break. From the Timbaland production, Aaliyah, Missy Elliott and Static Major, Superfriends days to the maturing in the game. This guy brought dancing to the urban soul game after Michael Jackson but before Usher, Ne-Yo, Chris Brown and them. One of the only guys to cover a Prince song ('When Doves Cry') and have The Artist's acclaim (according to G, Prince approached him in a club, complimented him and then disappeared in a veil of smoke as only the Purple King can), and someone late legend Luther Vandross called "one of the good ones", Ginuwine is the truth.
The double platinum 'The Bachelor' truly changed the game as Timbaland and G ushered in a new musical sound and style for the constantly envelope pushing genre of urban music with the mega hit of 'Pony' that's classic success has rode for decades now (it made an appearance in Channing Tatum's big movie 'Magic Mike', has been rocked out by Far and recently covered by Rihanna...does she know what the songs about?). The beautiful 'Tell Me Do U Wanna' and the following '100% Ginuwine' album kept things 100 and 2 million selling, before 'The Life' featured more mainstream success. Things got real mature and grown on 'The Senior' which really planted a seed on G's return in 2003. Just call it his 'Open Invitation' back in. In the linear thank you notes Ginuwine even told Tyrese that "the game owes" him...and now it's safe to say it has...and G too as they continue to further their success.
A success Ginuwine carried on and out in his decade of great maturity. With the bold 'Back II The Basics', the brilliant 'A Man's Thoughts' (where Ty was seen acting in G's 'Last Chance' video) and the beautifully timed valentines release of the signature 'Elgin' (TGT released their first, lead single this February 14th), R&B haven't sounded this great or mature thanks to the 'I Love You More' and 'I'm In Love' dedicated singer. That was until his fellow T's came back. One being the legend Tank and his artillery of mega hits. The man who has wrote and produced hits for the likes of Monica, Donell Jones and another actor/singer in megastar and Django himself Jamie Foxx, as well as his fellow group members (expect him to man the boards marvellously on this 'Kings' set). The man built like a machine and with an army of hits, made his debut in 2001 with his 'Force Of Nature' album and a fresh, soulful remix of Ja Rule's 'Race Against Time' for the rap stars 'Fast & Furious' movie soundtrack (Tank technically actually appeared in the Fast franchise before his TGT brother).
"TGT is a lifestyle...it's about bringing that real thing back. You know real men, real singing, real love. Anything associated with The Temptations, The O'Jay's, Marvin Gaye, Teddy Pendergrass".-Tank.
The gold albums continued with 'One Man', but things became much bigger and better once Tank blasted his way onto the music radar joining the Grammy family. 'Sex, Love & Pain' truly was a classic and a game changer (we'd still love the sequel) with creative classics like 'Wedding Song' and the original 'I Love Them Girls'. The absolutely amazing 'Now Or Never' followed with collaborations with everyone from Drake to Chris Brown (the first of many). Before people had time to recover from the radio buzz of this fall album came another to begin the Summer of last year. 'This Is How I Feel' in this writers opinion many be the stars best. The chart-topping continued with an album that came fresh off the heels of not only another but the great 'Diary Of A Mad Man' mixtape which continues this songwriters entries of studio ready hits. The hard-working man stepped it up with Chris Brown on the incredible album opener 'Lonely' and gave us hit after hit, even paying 'Compliments' and a new, great artist on his label Kris Stephens mind (a great new artist for Tank, like Knight was for Ginuwine and Lyndriette is becoming for Tyrese). Even now with all these releases and a new TGT record coming Tank has given us his biggest and best, cult hit with 'Shots Fired' (again with Chris Brown). As we await yet another great album it looks like thanks to another shot, this Tank and his iron and steel-hard hits are bulletproof.
Still even with all he, G and Tyrese has coming in the music, movie and writing world the three are putting everything on hold as they give their all to this TGT project from the studio to the stage with no hiatus. You saw them on track at the Soul Train Awards with their classic cover of The Commodores 'Zoom' and now these guys are truly flying away. The billboards are about to be Tyrese's next box-office, Ginuwine is going to re-influence the game like he did in the 90's and Tank is going to cap off the greatest three years of his career with his biggest three yet. The royal appointment is set and heads will role. It's this three kings game of thrones now. This TGT is more than a big three...its 'the giant three'. The R&B Avengers of Iron Man, the Hawk and the Wolverine are about to swipe and shoot at the competition that needs to bolt up with their iron will. 17 tracks (or "missiles") are about to be launched. When it come to R&B this once, twice, three times a group are as real as it gets (for reference just check Tyrese's lament on his early struggles ('Taking Forever'), Ginuwine's deep, emotional dedication to his late parents ('Two Reasons I Cry') and Tank's honest and humble 'Better Than Me'). No further proof is needed the three crowns fit. We don't know quite yet just what the great legacy of TGT and their '3 Kings' album will be...but from what we've seen and heard, it looks to be legendary. Tyrese, Ginuwine and Tank...let's hear it for them. And the winners are....
"You know it's a passion project and I don't really know if anybody see's how big this will really can be the way I do. Ginuwine and Tank can see it but I don't even think they see what I see as far as how big this can go"-Tyrese.
TGT-SEX AINT NEVER FELT BETTER