Indiana Black Expo’s Legends of Hip-Hop Concert will not be an event to miss this year with its packed line-up of hip-hop icons.
This year the special event will showcase the talents of Bell Biv Devoe, Force MDs, Full Force, Biz Markie, MC Lyte and TROOP in a concert at Conseco Fieldhouse. On July 17, fans of old school hip-hop and R&B will be able to enjoy a night full of talent for $10 and $15 tickets, with VIP tickets only $25. For more information, visit indianablackexpo.com or call (317) 925-2702.
Following is a run down of the talent:
Bell Biv DeVoe is an R&B group that branched off from New Edition. It consists of three of New Edition’s previous members, Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins and Ronnie DeVoe. Bell Biv DeVoe released its debut album “Poison” in 1990, on MCA Records. “Poison” reached No. 1 on Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop chart, and its title track, along with its second single, “Do Me!” both reached No. 3 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. The group’s last album was released in 2001 and the members of Bell Biv DeVoe continue to perform. They also participated in several New Edition reunions, and continue to perform with them on occasion.
Force MDs is an R&B vocal group, formed in 1981 in New York. The Force MDs were among the first R&B vocal groups to intermix doo-wop with hip-hop beats. By the time the Force MDs got a record deal, signing with Tommy Boy Records in 1984, the group had already developed into a contemporary R&B group, with its top 10 R&B hit “Tears” from the album “Love Letters.” The 1985 single “Tender Love” proved to be a huge success, peaking at No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and staying on the chart for 19 weeks. The Force MDs had its first R&B No. 1 hit in 1987 with “Love Is a House,” from the group’s third album, “Touch & Go.”
Full Force, the “original hip-hop vocal band,” includes Brian George, Junior Clark, Paul Anthony George, Lucien George Jr., Curt Bedeau and Gerry Charles. The group has produced and written music for Patti LaBelle, Jasmine Guy, The Force MDs, Britney Spears, James Brown, Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam, Backstreet Boys, La Toya Jackson and Selena. The group produced Rihanna’s 2005 hit “That La, La, La,” which appears on her debut album “Music of the Sun.” The Black Eyed Peas’ worldwide hit “Don’t Phunk With My Heart” was also written as a collaboration between Full Force and will.i.am of the Peas.
Marcel Theo Hall, better known as Biz Markie, does it all as an American rapper, beatboxer, DJ, comedian, singer, reality television personality and commercial spokesperson. He is best known for his 1989 single “Just a Friend.” On Nov. 11, 2010, Markie sat in with The Roots on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” and performed “Just a Friend” with actor Jeff Goldblum.
MC Lyte is a rapper who first gained fame in the late 1980s and became the first solo female rapper to release a full album with 1988’s critically-acclaimed “Lyte as a Rock.” In 1996 Lyte began what is now a successful voice-over career. She has voiced campaigns with several corporate brands. Lyte also voiced a short-lived BET show called “The Boot” and in 2008 signed on to become a voice for the branding of the STARZ network.
TROOP, an acronym for “Total Respect of Other People,” has had three No.1 singles and 10 top 10 singles on the Billboard R&B Charts. The group has also completed five albums, which include three certified gold and one certified platinum album. TROOP has also been showcased on “The Late Show with David Letterman,” “Soul Train,” “The Arsenio Hall Show,” “Showtime at the Apollo,” and appeared in the feature film “New Jack City” singing a cappella. Additionally, the group appeared on the “New Jack City” soundtrack with Queen Latifah and Levert, in a medley featuring cover versions of The O’Jays’ “For the Love of Money” and Stevie Wonder’s “Living for the City.” Steve Russell of TROOP wrote “Take You Down” for Chris Brown, “No Air” for Jordin Sparks and the Grammy award winning “Invisible” for Jennifer Hudson.