The Product G&B / The Product G & B
Last year, a major smash song named “Maria Maria” from Santana’s 22x platinum album Supernatural went on to become the biggest hit in the world. The Grammy-winning song, written by Wyclef Jean and Jerry “Wonder” Duplessis, featured two, soulful, young vocalists – The Product G&B. Today, The Product G&B (which stands for ghetto and blues) are recording artists on Yclef Records, a joint venture of Wyclef Jean and J Records. And in June, the duo of Money Harm and Sincere will finally unveil to the world the music they’ve been hard at work making since being discovered by Pras of the Fugees just three years ago.
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“It’s really mind blowing to think that until the end of 1998 me and Sincere were struggling to get put on,” says Money Harm, whose powerful, soul-soaked voice is filled with a natural ability to move crowds. “We always believed in each other and our combined talents, and knew that sooner or later we’d get the chance to take it to the next level,” adds Sincere, whose strong, sensual, heartfelt vocals add a smoothed-out vibe to the raw, rough and ready Product G&B experience.
Although they’re now as close as brothers, the forthcoming pride of New York’s Hempstead, Long Island, Money Harm and Sincere were originally deadly rivals. Money – whose mother died when he was just 14 – was from Hempstead’s notorious Parkside. Sincere – also the product of a troubled environment and subject to the trials and tribulations of ghetto strife – lived in a tense place called the Terrace.
Known as the Red Zone, both were trying areas. “Parkside and Terrace were at odds with each other for a long time, and a lot of friends and people both of us know got killed in the madness,” recalls Money Harm, the rougher side of The Product G&B. “I knew Money Harm back then but I didn’t like him,” Sincere interjects candidly. “One, because he could sing so damn good, and the other, because he was from Parkside.”
What eventually brought Money Harm and Sincere together was their mutual and unconditional love of music and singing. Individually, both had earned solid reputations as lead vocalists. Subsequently, it was after battling each other in separate R&B groups that they realized that the Parkside vs. Terrace feud wasn’t a good enough reason to keep them from joining forces. “Once we got past that negative ‘turf stuff,” Money Harm explains, “we put together a group of our own. It was four of us back then. But after having problems with the other guys, we decided we’d be stronger and better as a two-man act. Looking back now, that was the best decision we ever made.”
The negative reality both young men survived on the streets often surfaces in the songs they write and sing. In fact, their lyrics are based on the good, bad and ugly aspects of street life. In essence, although the message in their music is universal, ultimately they’re ghetto storytellers. Sincere breaks it down: “See, like Nas does in rap, we are in R&B: singing about the hood’s real problems, like being broke, love, hate, crime, drugs, all that shit. It’s reality, and being real is what The Product G&B are all about.”
The realness of Money Harm and Sincere, coupled with their ample collective talents, perfectly meshed with Wyclef Jean’s Refugee Camp clique and record label back in 1998. Pras (The Product G&B sang on Pras’ Ghetto Superstar album) introduced them to Clef, and this life-changing event propelled Money and Sincere into an entirely new world. “The next thing we knew we were doing stadium-type shows all over the world, performing on major award shows, and in the studio recording our own album.” Money Harm recalls smiling.
Now that they’re finally on their way, it’s clear that The Product G&B’s Money Harm and Sincere are earning the respect and recognition they have worked for. “We’re proof that if you really want to make it in this business, and are willingly to work hard and sacrifice to do it, you can,” says Sincere. “We were lucky to meet – and are grateful to work with – people like Pras, Wyclef, Jerry Wonder, Santana and others who helped us get to this point. But with all due respect to them, we feel that even if it hadn’t happened this way, it would have another way. You see, totally believing in yourself and your talent can open any door…eventually.”
Now that the door is wide open for them, The Product G&B has arrived.
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