With their debut album Bluestars, Pretty Ricky seeks to fill the urban boy band void left by the breakup of B2K and other groups. However, they put a twist on the boy band formula by having more rappers than singers.
Pretty Ricky is made up of the sons of Joseph Blue Smith, an entrepreneur who came up with the idea for the group and signed them to his Blue Star Entertainment International label. Corey “Slick ‘Em” Mathis, Diamond “Baby Blue” Smith, and Spectacular Smith are the rappers while Marcus “Pleasure” Cooper is the group’s lone singer. Like most boy bands, Pretty Ricky’s music is aimed directly at the young female audience. Unfortunately, that’s probably the only audience who will really enjoy it.
Pretty Ricky takes the boy band formula of sweet sentiments and adds a healthy dose of raciness. This results in songs that go from borderline sappy to borderline nasty, sometimes in mid-verse. The lyrics are simplistic and silly. The only song that uses the silliness to its advantage is “Grill ‘Em,” one of the few songs that doesn’t deal with sex. You can’t help but laugh as the rappers rattle off everything they have that is blue. Also, some songs are still appealing despite their flaws, such as “Call Me,” “Juicy,” (with its I-can’t-believe-they-said-that chorus) and “Grind With Me,” the group’s current hit single.
Another problem with this album is the way the group sounds. The rappers sound too similar to each other. Sometimes, the only way to tell them apart is to wait for one of them to say his name in a verse. All of their voices get annoying after a while and the album is probably a little longer than it should be. It also doesn’t help that Pleasure sings on every song on the album. It would’ve been nice to hear one song without singing (or even one song without rapping).
Overall, Bluestars will probably be a hit with its target audience. Those who are not part of the group’s audience will find a few decent songs and that’s it. I don’t see Pretty Ricky becoming the next B2K but one never knows. These brothers do have some ambitions beyond music and this is just their first album. Time will tell if the group will stick around, fade into the woodwork, or spawn successful solo artists.Powered by Sidelines