Sudden success gives Color Me Badd a rosy outlook

November 15, 1991|By J.D. Considine | J.D. Considine,Sun Pop Music Critic

As far as the members of Color Me Badd are concerned, you can color them lucky.

At the moment, the quartet has a platinum album and two Top-10 singles to its credit (with a third single already rocketing up the charts). A couple of weeks ago, the group was in Europe; now it's touring the United States as Paula Abdul's opening act.

And it all seems to have happened in the blink of an eye. As recently as last fall, these four young singers were happy just to have gotten out of Oklahoma City and onto a major label.

"What can I say?" says Bryan Abrams, over the phone from a Hartford, Conn., tour stop. "It's like a dream come true, man. We didn't expect it to happen like this. We thought it would take a lot longer."

Instead, the group's breakthrough single, "I Wanna Sex You Up," happened almost by accident, after Cassandra Mills -- who had signed the group -- asked if the four would want to do a song for a movie soundtrack she was coordinating. Figuring it would be fun, they said, "Sure. Count us in."

"She hooked us up with two of the hottest hip-hop producers, Dr. Freeze and Spiderman," recalls Mark Calderon, who follows Abrams on the phone. "They came to Oklahoma, and they presented this song to us. It started out with this 'Uh-to the, tic-tock, you don't stop,' you know? And it was really catchy. So we decided to write the song, 'I Want To Sex You Up,' and it got on the 'New Jack City' soundtrack."

This being the group's first real recording, Calderon and his buddies were happy to see it out there, but had no expectations of it being a hit. After all, the song wasn't even going to be the single.

Nobody informed radio of the fact, however. "Radio stations just started playing 'I Want To Sex You Up' without it even being released," says Calderon, still sounding slightly amazed. "Ever since then, things have been happening so fast for us. It's just amazing."

Amazing, indeed. It used to be that the Badd boys would chase after established stars, looking for a break or a sympathetic ear; now they're the ones being chased. "We have these two big guys with us, Tim and Kenny," says Calderon, amazed. "We never even thought of ever having bodyguards."

Still, all that excitement hasn't altered the group's sense of purpose. "We just try to make good music," says Calderon. "It's not necessarily for the R&B market or for the pop market; it's basically just good music for everyone to listen to and enjoy."

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