Harlem Arts Alliance Presents: On the “A” w/Souleo
The Force MD’s are ready to reclaim the spotlight with a slew of new projects including their appearance at the St. George Library Center for the Q&A series, Fame and Fortune. The R&B group best known for hits including “Tender Love” and “Love is a House” will share their financial challenges and lessons learned. One of the topics they will touch on is going bankrupt in the 1990s.
“At one time we had a whole record company and machine working with us to make momentum. When we were bankrupt we had to take the ball in our hands,” says original founding member, Stevie D. “That experience let us know who our real friends were ‘cause when the money went we didn’t get the calls no more from people in the industry. It’s hard. You gotta be in this business to maintain through all the trials and tribulations.”
Surviving is something that the group has been doing as they are experiencing a resurgence with their new single, “1-2 Step” featuring Chubb Rock from the forthcoming album, Soul School. Plus they are the subjects of a forthcoming documentary Force MD’s Relived, launching an online clothing line and a book about the group titled, Necessary Force.
The power and legacy of Chess Records will be discussed during a gallery talk for the exhibition Motown to Def Jam. Panelists include Dr. Syleecia Thompson, Chris Mooney and Jamar Chess, the grandson of Leonard Chess (co-founder of Chess Records). For Jamar, Chess was a groundbreaking label not only for its music but also for its ability to help bridge the racial divide between whites and blacks in the 1950s. His favorite example of this, is an appearance by the legendary Muddy Waters at a family bar mitzvah. “It was interracial and no one did that. Muddy Waters came and it wasn’t an issue. But outside it was a big issue. This is before the civil rights movement,” he says.
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