On March 30th at 7 pm CST, I had the pleasure to interview TROOP. The legendary R&B group which consisted of five black young American all male singing group from Pasadena, California. Troop had earned three #1 singles and ten singles that were top 10 for weeks on Billboard. Their achievements have earned them five albums that included three certified gold and one certified platinum album.
THE MEANING BEHIND TROOP
TROOP stood for something more than just a group but actual meaning. Total Respect Of Other People. The group is most well known and respected for its record-breaking number of R&B hits including the cover versions of the songs “All I Do Is Think of You” and “Sweet November”, originally performed by all-time singers The Jackson 5 and The Deele, respectively.
The original song “Spread My Wings” also took off as a number-one hit in during their career.
Starting in the 1980s, after winning on a televised lip singing talent show called “Puttin’ on the Hits,” the group had begun to earn interest from record labels.
Troop was a group created by Rodney Benford with childhood friends Steve Russell, Allen McNeil, John Harreld, and Reggie Warren, whom all eventually signed with Atlantic Records. Troop released their single “Mamacita” from the groups album in 1988. “Mamacita” had gone as high as Number 2 on the Billboard’s R&B Chart.
BODY OF WORK
“Spread My Wings” and “All I Do Is Think of You” (a Jackson 5 cover) were all singles from the album Attitude. Hitting number one charts and remained in the top 10 for several weeks. Attitude went platinum in 1990.
In 1992 Deepa was released, resulting in the single “Sweet November” hitting number one on Billboard. The group doubled back from Deepa with two more albums, A Lil’ Sumpin’ Sumpin’ (1994) and Mayday (1998).
After releasing Mayday in 98, Troop took a break to rebuild, redirect, and refocus on other work behind
the scenes. From writing and producing projects, collaborations and other endeavors it helped to shape the men they are today.
In 2004, Troop reconnected and begun touring the country while finishing up their sixth album. Since returning, they’ve headlined several shows and also shared performances with other artists they toured with in the past. Artists like Boyz II Men, Brian McKnight, Keith Sweat, Silk, Mario and Jon B.
Troop was showcased on The Late Show with David Letterman, Train and It’s Showtime at the Apollo. Troop made an appearance on the feature film New Jack City, singing a cappella while participating in a soundtrack with Queen Latifah and Gerald Levert. Producing remarkable covers of The O’Jays’ “For the Love of Money” and Stevie Wonder’s “Living for the City”.
In October 2006 “Troop” collaborated with “The Mixx” radio station, becoming the root the group and its growth. Russell is the singing voices of several characters, among them doo-wop singer Little Albert and the five brothers who make up the Jackson 5 pastiche (The Campbell Connection) in the 2006 film version of the Broadway musical Dreamgirls.
Steve Russell also wrote “Take You Down” for Chris Brown, “No Air” for Jordin Sparks, and the Grammy Award-winning “Invisible” for Jennifer Hudson. In February 2010 he released his solo CD titled So Random which became the first release from his label Motel Music Media in January 2010.
Allen McNeil released his sophomore solo album Send for Me in November 2011 . Allen has also stepped into the role of an activist. In 2014, John “Jon Jon” Harreld announced that he was dedicating his time to working on a solo project and later released a single covering Luther Vandross “Never Too Much“, which is also in connection with this new project. Unfortunately, Reggie Warren passed away on March 14, 2021, after an illness that he fought over time, He was 52 at the time.
For more information, you watch the interview live on Facebook