‘NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys on the same album? No, it’s not a new edition of Now That’s What I Call Music! Both boy bands can be found on Still Standing, the forthcoming album from Full Force, the rappers/producers who worked with both pop juggernauts early in their careers.
The follow-up to 1995’s Sugar on Top, scheduled for July 31 release, features a revamped version of ‘NSYNC’s “I Just Wanna Be With You” (with additional lyrics courtesy of Da Brat) and the Backstreet Boys’ “All I Have to Give.”
Still Standing also contains seven new songs and a number of classics Full Force either produced or performed during their career. The crew enjoyed its first hit 15 years ago with U.T.F.O.’s “Roxanne, Roxanne,” which appears on the forthcoming album. The disc also includes Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam’s “I Wonder If I Take You Home” and James Brown’s “Static,” representing Full Force’s rich musical legacy as they reach out to fans possibly unfamiliar with their chart-topping work.
“We wanted some things to evoke memories and other new things,” said “Bowlegged” Lou, who is joined in Full Force by Paul Anthony, Junior “Shy Shy” Clark, “Baby” Gerry Charles, Curt “TT” Bedeau and Brian “B-Fine.” “Groups from the old school will just do a bunch of new songs when they come out with an album. Only the true fans will get it. But we want some new fans, too, which is why we incorporated a lot of our young hip-hop friends and people in the business.”
“Float On,” the album’s first single, appears twice on Still Standing. “The Girls That Live in the Club Mix” of the song features Silkk the Shocker, Funkmaster Flex, Method Man, Allure and Bambue, while Montell Jordan, Ginuwine, Kevon Edmonds and Gerald Levert appear on “The Classic Ballad Mix.”
Several other versions of “Float On” appear on the song’s maxi-single. One features U.T.F.O.; an all-woman mix includes Regina Belle, Miss Jones and others; the instrumental version features George Duke; and the final version highlights the Floaters (joined by Isaac Hayes), who first recorded the song in 1977.
Other guests on the album include The Product G&B and Sole, on “No Other Love Will Do,” and Raekwon, Scarface, Bambue, Allure and DJ Ace on “The Good, the Bad & the Thugly.”
“A lot of people who jumped on the record just happen to have a lot of respect and love for us,” Lou said. “Take Montell Jordan. When it came time for us to pay him, he was like, ‘Nah, nah, nah. I’m just doing it for the love, man.’ When you get respect like that, it’s all good.”
Things not being all good led Brooklyn-based Full Force to work with the Backstreet Boys and ‘NSYNC in the first place. Full Force faded from the spotlight after appearing in the “House Party” movies with Kid ‘N Play during the early ’90s. They were still producing, but many urban record execs felt they’d passed their prime. Hooking up with the Backstreet Boys and ‘NSYNC, however, helped return them to prominence in the industry.
Full Force will produce tracks for pop/R&B act Blaque’s second album. They will also release Bambue’s album on their Forceful Records imprint in hopes of signing her to a major-label deal.
No longer on the low, Full Force is geared for prime time again.
“Full Force are ‘still standing’ after all these years,” Lou said. “We’re still rising above all the wars and battles in the music industry. People sometimes wonder what happened to us. They probably think we’re still making ‘House Party’ movies.”