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No Cover: The Force M.D.s

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

The Force M.D.s play an original mash-up of doo-wop, R&B and old school hip-hop. Their hometown performance at Staten Island’s Tappen Park, courtesy of the City Parks Foundation, was easily one of the summer’s best.


Before You Press Play

Hometown: Staten Island New York

The Facts: Without the Force M.D.’s pioneering hip-hop, doo-wop and R&B fusion, one could argue, there would be no Boyz II Men, New Jack Swing or even Justin Timberlake (gasp!). Formed in 1981 in Staten Island by Jesse Lee Daniels and his nephews Stevie D Lundy and Antoine “TD” Lundy, the group honed their vocal harmonies and live performance skills aboard the in-transit Staten Island Ferry in 25-minute busking sets between the Whitehall and St. George terminals.

New York radio station WBLS’s DJ Mr. Magic discovered them on the sea vessel and brought them to the attention of Tommy Boy records. The group added members Charles “Mercury” Nelson, DJ Dr. Rock and Trisco Pearson and broke through nationally in the mid-80s with the singles “Tears,” “Are You Real,” “Love is a House” and “Tender Love,” the last of which hit #1 on the R&B charts and appeared in the classic hip-hop flick “Krush Groove.” Rodney “Khalil” Lundy and Shawn Waters later joined the group.

The Sound: The Force M.D.’s (which stands for “musical diversity) embraced the Jackson 5’s concept of a family-based group and combined it with their love of doo-wop (Little Anthony & the Imperials, Whispers), R&B (Sam Cooke), funk & soul (James Brown, O-Jays) and rock and roll (Elvis Presley). But as hip-hop stormed NYC in the late-70s and 1980s, the Force M.D.’s fell under the spell of MCs like Melle Mel, Grandmaster Caz and the Treacherous 3 which greatly impacted the group’s sound.

At Tappen Park, Stevie D, Khalil Lundy and Jessie Daniel and legendary DJ Kev-Ski seemed to shout-out half the enthusiastic Staten Island audience bringing up a platoon of friends, family and young talents for guest appearances. The set’s many highlights include: Trisco’s heartfelt rendition of “Tears,” (11:15 mark); an awesome old school freestyling and beatboxing medley with the “The Addams Family” theme song, Doug E. Fresh’s ”La Di Di,” and, of Billy Squier (17:00 mark); the classic ballads “Tender Love” (29:00 - to which “so many babies were made”) and “Love is A House” (36:35). Even the late King of Pop managed to make an appearance (35:00)

Latet Release: Moment in Time, Nuwr (1995)

He Said, She Said: “Any group that has merged hip-hop and R&B are the children of the Force M.D.s” -- Doug E. Fresh (Force M.D.’s Relived)

Q: Do you feel like you’re underrated historically as Emcees and as singers?

A: “Yes, as Emcees I think again being from Staten Island we weren’t taken seriously. Dougie Fresh , Masterdon & The Def Committee , Charlie Rock and Son Of Sam were the only ones that really said that we had something. They really kept us going. Van Silk also. We really didn’t feel like we were appreciated till Run DMC came to us and told us that they had all our tapes. Then Big Daddy Kane & Biz Markie would say the same thing – reciting our routines and stuff. I was so shocked, even the Roots would approach us and give us props. No matter what they say though, we made our mark. If you look in the 1986 World Book Encyclopedia they have us listed as the originators of Do Wop Hip Hop. -- JayQuann Interviews Stevie D, The Foundation, 2005


Set List:

a. Are You Really Real
b. Dance With Me
b. Itch In For A Scracth

2. Let Me Love You

3. Forgive Girl

4. Here I Go Again w/ Trisco Pearson
5. Tears w/ Trisco Pearson

6. Force MC’s Routines Featuring Lil Merc

7. Freestyle Skits Of Dougie Fresh La De Da De/ Micheal Jackson
  "You Knock Me Off My Feet" Melvin Lundy
8. Living A Lie With Zieme (Zy-Eem)
Special Guest DjJHollywood

10. Love Is House With Kenya Aka


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