The Rude Boys, were originally by the legendary Gerald LeVert, while singing at a local nightclub in Cleveland, Ohio. LeVert expressed that he wanted to work with them and possibly sign them. Immediately after meeting The Rude Boys, LeVert began working in the studio with them, and in 1988 LeVert presented the
group to Sylvia Rhone, then Senior VP of Atlantic Records, who in turn got them signed to their first deal and label. Original members Joe Little, Edward Banks, Larry (Bingo) Marcus and Melvin Sephus’ 1990 debut album “Rude Awakening” and their hit single, “Written All Over Your Face” made the group an
instantaneous sensation. The single topped the R&B charts and showcased the vocals of The Rude Boys, with a cameo appearance by Gerald LeVert. The single rode the charts for 31 weeks, garnered the #1
spot and propertied the group a win for Billboard Music Award for R&B Single of the Year in 1991 .The
group would score a second #1 hit on the Billboard’s R&B chart with “Are You Lonely for Me” written by lead vocalists, Joe Little and Tony Nicholas. With the well rounded, riffing baritone of Little and the
vibrating, towering tenor of, now retired member, Edward Buddy Banks, the single shot straight to the
top. “Are You Lonely for Me” is also one of the few songs, since the emergence of videos, to gain the number one ranking without a video. The Album “Rude Awakening” would peak at #10 Billboard
R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and #68 on Billboard’s 200 and lead the male R&B group on a worldwide tour with Levert and The Ojays.
Riding on the successes of their two laid-back number one singles from their debut release, the guys followed up their debut album with “Rude House” in 1992. They came soaring back with the up-tempo hit “My Kinda Girl” (an underground new jack swing hit) which was powerfully complemented by superb vocals. The song was also remixed by then director of A&R at Atlantic Records Clark Kent a hip hop DJ and record producer from New York at the time Clark was pushing an unknown rapper from the Marcy housing projects in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY who would come to be known to the world as Jay-Z, This move propelled “My Kinda Girl” in the Hip Hop underground scene in New
York and abroad, also to support the single Jay-Z would go on to perform with the Rude Boys live at one of the Big Apple’s premiere underground Hip Hop Clubs. Falling short of the number one ranking, the single peaked at number # 2 after 18 weeks on the Billboard R&B chart. The Rude Boys since have continued on their quest to keep their fans entertained Original member Joe N Little III and his newly acquired members Gee LaBeaud and Keni Myles have moved on and have been performing shows across the U.S, and now in 2012 have released a new single “S.E.X.Y.” and will be releasing a full Cd entitled “Rude 20/20” in late 2012.
- Rude Awakening (1990)
- Rude House (1992)
- Rude as Ever (1997)
- Rude 20/20 (2012)
Awards and nominations
1991 Billboard Music Award No. 1 R&B Single of the Year “Written All Over