Guy is an R&B group from Harlem, New York that's been active on and off since 1988. The group was one of the most popular and influential acts of the late 80s an early 90s, and helped bridge the gap between the hip hop and R&B audiences. They were also responsible for helping Teddy Riley cement his status as the "King of New Jack Swing".
Forming in Harlem in the late 80s, Guy originally consisted of Teddy Riley, Timmy Gatling, and Aaron Hall. Teddy and Tim were childhood friends, and were previously a part of a short-lived boy band called Kids At Work a few years prior, while Aaron was Tim's co-worker at a record store. Under the guidance of Gene Griffin, the group signed to the then-new Uptown Records division of MCA, and recorded their debut self-titled album, but Gatling would eventually break from the group after constant and intense fights with Aaron during the recording sessions, leading to him getting replaced by Aaron's brother Damion (Gatling's likeness and vocals stayed on the album, however).
Guy's debut album was released on June 1988, and was met with critical and commercial acclaim, however, the behind the scenes turmoil continued for the group. A tour with fellow R&B group New Edition quickly went south when things started to get heated between the groups and their entourages, leading to Guy's bodyguard getting murdered by one of NE's production managers. Later that year, Brandon "B-Dogg" Mitchell, Teddy's half-brother, and a member of Guy's sister group Wreckx-N-Effect, was shot dead. And to make things worse, both Guy and Wreckx acrimoniously split from Gene Griffin when they discovered he was stealing millions from them by falsely giving himself writing and production credits on their songs behind their backs.
Guy & Wreckx would verbally retaliate back at Griffin with the former's sophomore effort The Future, but the damage was done, and Guy eventually split by late 1992, with the Hall brothers recording solo albums, and Riley continuing to produce for other artists, and forming his second group, Blackstreet. The group had reunited multiple times between 1995 and the 2010s, including a third album in 2000 that tanked in sales, but have yet to reform in a full time capacity.
- Guy (1988)
- The Future (1991)
- Guy III (2000)
Songs of note:
- "Groove Me"
- "Round And Round (Merry Go Round of Love)"
- "I Like"
- "Teddy's Jam"
- "My Fantasy"
- "Spend The Night"
- "Wanna Get Wit U"
- "Let's Chill"
- "Do Me Right"
- "D-O-G Me Out"
- "Total Control"
- "Gotta Be A Leader"
- "Let's Stay Together"
Trope me! Baby! Tonight!
- Alternate Company Equivalent: Subverted. Teddy's latter-day group Blackstreet was initially seen as this to Guy, before they evolved into their own distinct style. Gene Griffin's Basic Black was a deliberate example, which Guy themselves called out.
- And Now For Something Completely Different: "Total Control" and "Gotta Be A Leader" totally dropped the R&B elements of new jack swing, and went full hip hop, complete with the group rapping instead of singing.
- Break-Up Song: Many, though the stand out is probably "Goodbye Love", which is of the "Please Don't Go" variety.
- Cover Version: They've done a few covers, most notably "Yearning For Your Love" by the Gap Band and Wilson Pickett's "Land of A Thousand Dances", which was recorded for FernGully: The Last Rainforest's soundtrack.
- Darker and Edgier: The tone of The Future, while not grim, took a noticeably dark turn, which was largely fueled by the group's split from Gene Griffin.
- From Bad to Worse: Much of Guy's behind the scenes history, from the infighting, to the death of two of their close associates, to essentially being robbed blind by their manager, it took a massive toll on the group.
- Grief Song: "Long Gone", which was dedicated to several influential musicians and personal friends who had died prior to the song's recording.
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: Thanks to Teddy Riley constantly meshing other non-R&B genres with the New Jack Swing fusion genre, some of Guy's material (most of them remixes) have used elements of Acid House, Hi-NRG, Rock, and several others.
- New Jack Swing: One of the most popular bands that came out during the genre's heyday, and helped establish Teddy Riley as the figurehead of the New Jack Swing movement.
- Step Up to the Microphone:
- Teddy, who typically hangs in the background shouting ad-libs or singing backup, was the lead singer for "Spend the Night" and "My Fantasy". He also took up lead vocals for half of the songs on The Future, due to Aaron going through a Heroic BSoD over Gene Griffin's betrayal.
- Timmy Gatling also sang lead on the tracks "My Business" and "You Can Call Me Crazy".
- Take That!: "Total Control" and "Gotta Be A Leader" were aimed at the group's former manager, Gene Griffin, and his new group Basic Black, who Guy and Wreckx derided as knockoffs. Ironically, two of Basic Black's members, Walter "Mucho" Scott & Daryl "Dezo" Adams, would end up on Teddy Riley's payroll.
- Theme Tune: "Teddy's Jam", which was an excuse for Teddy to show off his producing skills, and for Aaron to show off his vocal range. All three Guy albums have a version of "Teddy's Jam" on it.
- A Wild Rapper Appears!: Usually Wreckx-N-Effect, due to their close ties to Teddy, though Heavy D has appeared on occasion.
- Your Cheating Heart: The album version of "Do Me Right", particularly Heavy D's second verse:
- (Who's on the phone?)
Well, it's caller number one
What's the matter? Don't you recognize my voice, honey bun?
Oh, I understand, You were half-sleep
Now wait a minute— who's beeper just beeped?
I know it ain't mine, mine's is on my hip
Now tell me you didn't flip on the honey dipped, ya pocket trip
It's time to get ya heart broke
Honey, I smell smoke
You thought he was dope, so you took a toke?
So here's the news: I'm ghost, I'm outta here, long gone
The lover went left, so honey, you stay strong
And when you wake up in the middle of the night
I'll be with her 'cause she, she'll do me right.