When you think of Souls of Mischief you probably think of swift rhymes and slick flows and of course their seminal 1993 song/album 93 'til Infinity. But according to the group, when their label Jive Records looked at them in 1995 and saw an opportunity to turn the group into "a rap boy band."
According to a new profile in Esquire, where writer Chris Faraone got each member to tell the oral history of the group, Jive wasn't a big fan of Soul's second album, 1995's No Man's Land. At the time, the label was shifting into becoming a pop powerhouse with acts like Britney Spears, 'N Sync, and R. Kelly on the roster.
"We were kids, and because of that, they wanted us to be a rap boy band," said Tajai, to Esquire.
"Their example was Fresh Prince," said A-Plus. "They had gotten the first rap Grammy, so for them hip-hop was popping. They were hooking us up with other producers for a single and it wasn't working well."
Of course, the group never did do that and instead continued to be stalwarts of the underground after leaving Jive in 1996.
Despite the label turmoil, there is one thing that made A-Plus happy in the long run.
"I'm glad those songs never surfaced—they were bad," he said.