The highly-acclaimed Unsung series from TV One returns for its twelfth season and opens with a look at the group that exploded onto the R&B scene in the 1990s with their upbeat and smooth sound, Soul For Real.
The season premiere of Unsung will focus on Soul For Real, the group consisting of four brothers who performed with voices and stylings that were mesmerizing and had a tone that connected the old and the new sounds of R&B. Formed early on, the group of the four Dalyrimple brothers – Chris a.k.a. Choc, Andre a.k.a “Dre”, Brian, a.k.a “Bri” and Jason a.k.a Jase were known for their vocal talents with Choc showing his chops as a songwriter growing up, and wound up being heard by the late iconic rapper Heavy D., who brought them to Uptown Records where they signed in 1992. The group would release their debut album Candy Rain in 1995, with the album title track being the first single. That single would land them the number one spot on the Billboard R&B and Hip-Hop song chart that year and hold at number two on the Hot 100 chart. A second single, “Every Little Thing I Do” also gained heavy popularity on the charts, followed by “If You Want It”.
Soul For Real capitalized on the success, going on tour and releasing a second album which was produced by Sean “Diddy” Combs and Heavy D in 1996 entitled For Life in 1996. But internal conflicts on the direction of the group, including some tension with their label after Andre Harrell’s departure led to their exit from Uptown Records in 1997. The group would go on to release a third album, Heat but afterward, life became tumultuous as they underwent a hiatus from music which saw one member have run-ins with the law. But the brothers never gave up, and are currently living in Atlanta, Georgia while making music, having recently put out the single “After The Rain” in honor of their late mother in addition to pursuing solo musical projects and other business endeavors.
Hip-Hop Wired got the opportunity to speak with Brian and Choc before the premiere of the episode to get their thoughts on what the experience was like and also what’s next on the horizon for the group.
Hip-Hop Wired: In the episode, you spoke plainly about how much your family and the strength of that bond helped you with your career and after. What advice would you share with young artists trying to balance their career and life issues?
Brian: What I would just advise, for young and old artists, those values need to be reinforced -it’s just like going to church. If you stay true to yourself, you stay true to the gifts that you’ve been blessed with. Also, know that its a business. A lot of it is 95% business, 5% talent. Don’t chase the fame, the fame is gonna come. Chase the knowledge. Because with the knowledge, comes everything.
Choc: I totally agree with that.
HHW: What was the experience like for you all filming this episode, being back in your hometown of Wyandanch, and getting the chance to relive those fond memories and spending time with the crew?
Choc: I can say, and I pretty much agree all my brothers feel the same way that it was a great reflection time. It was like a moment in time that we never anticipated. Going back to the house we grew up in, being in our neighborhood…those trips that we used to take when our mother and father would send us to the store, that’s the route we would take and it was surreal going back to that era in time when we were growing up. And we had recently lost our mom, so that made it more heartfelt for us. It felt good though, the best part was that people were recognizing us. People who we grew up with were approaching us like, “wow you guys are back around here?” (laughs) It was dope.
Brian: The way we bonded with the crew, I’m not gonna front – the Unsung crew, when you’re filming with them you’re getting to bond with them and them really experiencing where we were from like Choc said they were heartfelt moments. It was almost like going back in time. There were tear-jerking moments going back to those areas, like going to the Apollo, Wyandanch – just walking down the same pavement from back then when we were wishing upon a star. We wish we could’ve gotten to other places like Hev’s neighborhood and other places like that, but the means didn’t allow it for us. But it was an amazing time that we bonded to that depth.
HHW: What do you hope your fans, old and new, will take away after seeing this episode in full?
Brian: What I want them to take away, if they didn’t know, that we’re ordinary people we went through life making certain decisions we weren’t proud of and that we made amazing decisions that allowed the world to know our name. I would really love for the world to get a chance to look at this and know that me and my brothers are an amazing group, we have individual endeavors. We are regular people, we have our ups and downs but hey, keep fighting. That’s the only way you know you can win.
Choc: I would definitely agree with that, and add that you guys are going to get a more personal look at us. We’re kind of a mystery to everybody due to the long hiatus after making the mark we did in music. I just want people to walk away feeling a little bit closer to us than they’ve ever felt.
HHW: Lastly – we noted that there are some new projects on the way that were mentioned. Can you talk about those?
Brian: I’m glad you asked! Right now, Soul IV Real we have our latest project, “After The Rain” which is our latest project that we put out. There’s something else in the works, don’t want to really reveal it but stay super tuned. Go to all streaming platforms, wherever you get your fix for R&B, look up “After The Rain”. We’ve been putting out music for years, like “Love On Me” and other songs. My brother Andre, he raps, Jase he has solo projects that he’s been putting out. Right now we want the world to know that Soul IV Real is like the Wu-Tang Clan of R&B and we support and love everything about each other. Individually and collectively.
The season premiere of TV One’s Unsung featuring Soul For Real will air on Sunday, March 6 at 9 P.M. ET. Check out the trailer below for an early look at the episode.