Even their name is unique.
But that's not the only thing that sets Pretty Ricky apart from the rest of the pack.
From their configuration – one singer and three rappers – to their image – handsome, young and sexy – Pretty Ricky has been in a league all its own since they first hit the scene in 2005 with "Grind With Me," the smash single from their platinum debut CD, "Bluestars." Says member and resident producer Diamond Blue Smith, "In a time where record labels are generically making bands on reality shows, Pretty Ricky is the last of a dying breed."
With a sound that is one part hip hop, one part R&B, Pretty Ricky practically invented and single-handedly mastered the art of combining melodies, harmonies and dope raps. They took their signature sound and injected it into a predominantly hip-hop marketplace during a time when crunk music ruled the airwaves. The result was the birth of an exciting twist on both genres that would be imitated – but never duplicated – by their successors.
As a group, Pretty Ricky is known for their sexy, sensual (borderline raunchy) music and stage shows. But there's much more to these Miami natives, known individually as Diamond, Spectacular, Lingerie and Slick'em, than meets the eye. It's safe to say these guys really do mean business. Julie Greenwald, president of Atlantic Records, once proclaimed, "Diamond Blue is the new Puffy in the making." (Diddy himself referred to the band as "the new Jodeci.")
"Lingerie is our secret weapon," says Spectacular. "He's here for the ladies. His falsetto is sick." Hailing from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Lingerie made a point of appearing backstage at various Pretty Ricky concerts, and when the word got out that the group was looking for a new lead singer, he was ready to show them what he could do. "He just sort of popped out of nowhere," says Spectacular. "With him, it's game time, baby, and we're gonna win the Superbowl with this one!"
With so much maturity and growth exhibited by the group members in the past several years, it was difficult for them to narrow down selections for the forthcoming CD. "We just went into the studio and took our time with the material," says Diamond Blue. "We wanted the Pretty Ricky sound to permeate and be felt all over our listeners' bodies. With our first album, we were just getting into the game as professional artists. This time, we're showing our growth. We are really going to surprise our listeners with the subject matter and our vocals. We're actually signing in 10-part harmony."
The new album launches with the ear pleasing single, "Cuddle Up," on which Diamond Blue, Slick 'Em, Spectacular and Lingerie, offer a variety of tasty ear candy, ranging from white chocolate to caramel to dark chocolate. The track showcases the talents of one of the group's acts, female artists Butta Crèame. Slick 'Em's use of the slang word, "Tipsy," gave the group the creative idea to pen a song dedicated to the slang expression for making love.
Other than the collaboration with Butta Crèame, there are no guest appearances on the new album, a deliberate decision that the group made. As Spectacular explains, "We don't need to have features on this album; we are self-sufficient."
Although Pretty Ricky is at the top of their game and plans to unleash a series of entrepreneurial ventures including Pretty Ricky clothing and accessories, the group plans to continue their new tradition of having at least one remake on future albums. "We feel that Pretty Ricky represents Jodeci, Marvin Gaye and other successful R&B acts who came about in a time when there was real music," says Diamond Blue. "We will record others songs that people love and give them the Pretty Ricky touch. We want to pay homage to artists who were holding it down. We want our fans to remember where they were when they first heard our songs."
Pretty Ricky, the new bad boys of R&B, feel that one of the reasons for their success is that their music touches the inner soul. "We just wanted to accomplish the same feeling on this album so that it would be a continuation. We are in this forever."