Tuesday, 13 April 2010


Hello Darren. And who are you?

I’m just a normal guy looking to help people less fortunate than me.

I can imagine. Tell us about your campaign?

Well, I recently went to a Blackstreet concert and loved it! My fiancée is a big fan, and I got the tickets for her as an Easter present. I thought they were great. A few days later my fiancée and I went to see “The Blind Side” and it got me thinking – why not set up something similar to RAM4XMAS which was a similar campaign that got huge success last Christmas and raised a lot of money for charity.

Did you think your campaign will be as big as RAM4XMAS?

No. Not at all. I mean that was up against the X-Factor winner, and it was over Christmas. Blackstreet are up against nobodies and its Spring, so there isn’t a lot of competition out there at the moment, which is a good thing for us. I am going to try my best and get people to buy the single and raise money for registered charity – Crisis. Because I think both deserve it. All I’m going to do is set up this campaign and get people to join me. If it works, great, if it doesn’t, I haven’t lost anything, but it’s not about me, it’s about doing something for charity, I can’t express this enough. All I want to say is that if people done it for RAM4XMAS then they can also do it for Blackstreet.

Your main rivals will be everyone in the charts trying to get to No. 1. What's your opinion on today’s charts?

To be honest, I don’t even know who is No. 1 at the moment. It changes so much these days there seems to be a number No.1 each week from some artist no one has every heard of, and before you know it they’ve released an album? Come on! Songs back in the 80’s and 90’s were from well-known artists who stayed at the top of the charts for weeks.

Why “Money Can’t Buy Me Love”?

I think it was the best version I’ve heard of it. I know it’s a Beatles song, and when Blackstreet sang it, I was trying to figure out where I’d heard it before. Then it clicked “That sounds like The Beatles”. I’ve started to like Blackstreet more, and I would really love for them to get another #1 single. It’s a great song.

What would you say to people yet to buy the single?

PLEASE! PLEASE! BUY IT! We want Blackstreet to be #1 in the charts. People who aren't major Blackstreet fans should start buying it anyway, just because they are sick of the usual rubbish that’s in the charts. I want to create a massive buzz over the download chart, that otherwise would be quiet this time of year.

And on a rather encouraging note, you've asked your members to donate to the charity Crisis?

Yes, because I wanted to do something for charity and after the success of RAM4XMAS last year, I thought, why not do the same. A lot of people like Blackstreet and a lot of people like to help other people. So why not combine the both at the same time and do something worthwhile.
We want to help raise £150,000 which would be just fantastic! We're encouraging people who want to give; to give.

Good luck Darren! We'll have all fingers crossed for you!

You can support the cause by buying the single from any of these following locations:
HMV and itunes

Who Are Crisis?

Crisis is the national charity for single homeless people. We are dedicated to ending homelessness by delivering life-changing services and campaigning for change.

Crisis was founded in 1967 in response to the shocking Ken Loach film Cathy Come Home shown the previous year, and a publicity campaign led by reforming Conservatives William Shearman and Ian Macleod highlighting the plight of homeless people.

Since then Crisis has evolved to meet the changing needs of single homeless people, campaigning for change and delivering innovative solutions to help people find a route out of their homelessness across the UK.

Over the years the landscape of homelessness has changed. At each stage Crisis has responded with a new focus and new set of services. In 1971 the lack of services for homeless people at Christmas was all too real. In response,
Crisis Christmas was set up. Today it has continued to evolve to meet the needs of over 2,000 homeless people providing companionship and access to vital services and hope for the year ahead.

Throughout the years we have piloted new projects and new ways of working and delivering services. In the 90s we launched WinterWatch, a nationwide programme of winter shelters,
Crisis FareShare, which subsequently became its own charity and Crisis SmartMove. Since 1997 Crisis SmartMove has helped house over 12,000 single people.

We have led the way in putting learning and skills development at the heart of the solution to homelessness. In 2002 we established
Crisis Skylight, now an award winning education, training and employment centre, flourishing in London and Newcastle, together with our Crisis Skylight Cafes, social enterprises that provide real on the job training. Crisis Skylight is recognised as a model of innovative best practice and we have ambitious plans to open a further seven centres by 2013, with new centres in Birmingham and Oxford already far advanced.

We continue to develop
Crisis Changing Lives, our highly successful national grants scheme which helps homeless people achieve their education and career goals and have expanded our range of employment services.

Reliant on the generosity of our donors, we have come up with innovative ways to raise money such as our Crisis Christmas Card Challenge and high profile events including Crisis Consequences,
Crisis Hidden Gigs and Crisis Square Mile Run. We are also fortunate in our capacity to call on the help of 10,000 volunteers to support our work throughout the year.

Throughout this time our approach has been informed by research and we have remained determined campaigners. We have not been afraid to challenge Government and society to face up to the human and financial cost of homelessness. In 2008 through our
Put Rough Sleeping to Bed for Good Campaign we secured a pledge from Government and the Mayor of London to end rough sleeping by 2012. We will hold them to this pledge. We continue to highlight the growing issue of hidden homelessness in the UK and the barriers that homeless people face in trying to transform their lives.

Homelessness is an isolating and destructive experience and homeless people are some of the most vulnerable and socially excluded in our society. Homelessness is a problem throughout the UK, although it is more prevalent in urban centres, especially in London.

Homelessness is about more than rooflessness. A home is not just a physical space, it also has a legal and social dimension. A home provides roots, identity, a sense of belonging and a place of emotional wellbeing. Homelessness is about the loss of these. Homelessness is costly to the individual, society and the state.

People become and stay homeless for a whole range of complex and overlapping reasons and solving homelessness is about much more than putting a roof over people's heads. Many homeless people face a number of issues in addition to, but often compounded by, their homelessness. The isolation and destructive nature of homelessness means that homeless people find it difficult to access the help they need.

Who Are Blackstreet?

Blackstreet is an American R&B group founded in 1991 by Teddy Riley his friend Chauncey Hannibal. Riley & Hannibal completed the group by bringing in Levi Little from Patterson, New Jersey and Joseph Stonestreet from Cincinnati, Ohio. The current members are, Teddy Riley, Chauncey Hannibal, Dave Hollister, and new members Kermit Quinn, and J-Stylz. The original lineup released their first single in 1993 on the soundtrack to the movie CB4 starring Chris Rock titled "Baby Be Mine" produced by Teddy Riley. Stonestreet however left the group shortly after the single was released was replaced by Dave Hollister.

Their debut album, Blackstreet, was a moderate success due to the singles "Booti Call", "Before I Let You Go", and "Joy" – two of the three songs were Top 40 hits ("Before I Let You Go" hit the Top 10). The follow-up, 1996's Another Level (see
1996 in music) was a breakthrough success due to the top single "No Diggity" (with Dr. Dre), which was a #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in November 1996, and won the 1998 Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals, along with the Top 40 hit "Don't Leave Me". Another Level eventually went four times platinum in the United States and peaked at #3 on the Billboard chart. "No Diggity" is ranked at #91 on Rolling Stone and MTV: 100 Greatest Pop Songs, while Blackstreet comes in at #214 of the Top 500 Pop Artists of the Past 25 Years. The success of Another Level would also land them a spot on New Edition's 1997 Home Again reunion tour.

Blackstreet has also collaborated with
Jay-Z on his single "The City is Mine".
The first single from their third album, "
Girlfriend/Boyfriend", a collaboration with Janet Jackson featuring Ja Rule and Eve – Blackstreet finally had a top ten album with Finally. But personnel shifts wrecked the group and contributed to the relative failure of Finally (1999 in music) and Blackstreet soon broke up. After rumors of legal action and a preemptive countersuit, the group re-banded and released Level II in 2003 (see 2003 in music).

In 2006 the group was a part of the
New Jack Reunion Tour with Teddy Riley, Mark Middleton, Eric Williams, and new member J-Stylz who replaced Chauncey Hannibal who left the group to sign with Busta Rhymes label Flipmode Records as a solo artist.
J-Stylz left the group in 2008 and Chauncey returned marking the reunion of the Another Level lineup in late 2008 the
Another Level lineup of Teddy Riley, Chauncey Hannibal, Mark Middleton, and Eric Williams have reunited and are working on a new album. Riley has also reunited his other group Guy with the Hall brothers Aaron Hall and Damion Hall and both groups are gonna tour together and release new albums. Dave Hollister rejoined the current lineup at the Core DJ's Event in Atlanta during a show given by both of Riley's groups he sang "Before I Let You Go" with the four current Blackstreet members and also performed No Diggity with them. Dave Hollister has returned to the group after a 13 year absence making the group a quintet of Teddy Riley, Chauncey Hannibal, Mark Middleton, Eric Williams, and Dave Hollister.

Currently, Blackstreet is under the vocal direction of
Romeo Johnson, an LA Vocal trainer. Mark Middleton & Eric were dropped from the group by Teddy Riley and replaced them with new members Kermit Quinn & Sherman "J-Stylz" Tisdale. Mark & Eric have formed their own group performing Blackstreet hits with Englewood, New Jersey singers Jermiah & Jabbar. Teddy's group consists of himself, Chauncey Hannibal, Dave Hollister, Kermit Quinn, & J-Stylz. Teddy has also split with his other group Guy. The Hall brothers are now a duo because Teddy wants to only focus on Blackstreet.

Monday, 12 April 2010

"Money Can’t Buy Me Love" but it can buy ample accommodation for homeless people.

Every week in the UK it seems there is another one-hit wonder topping the charts then disappearing without a trace. 2010 is going to be different. We are setting up a campaign to get Blackstreet's MONEY CAN'T BUY ME LOVE to number #1 in the charts for charity. http://www.justgiving.com/BlackstreetforchartNo1

Are you up for that! I'm sick to death of all these manufactured groups appearing one week then never seeing them again the next. It's strangling the charts and - quite frankly - contributing nothing to music.

So, if you want to do something for charity, and be part of something special, please purchase a copy of MONEY CAN'T BUY ME LOVE, to drive the song to the top of the charts.

If you are sick of the rubbish in the charts at the moment make a stand for decent music and join us over at:
http://www.justgiving.com/BlackstreetforchartNo1 (facebook page will be up and running in days, keep in touch for details) .

Twitter users can also show their support for the petition by retweeting the following message: "Money Can’t Buy Me Love For Chart No.1 #Blackstreet4no1 See here http://www.justgiving.com/BlackstreetforchartNo1 please RT".

To put your vote in for good music all you need to do is buy the single from a store eligible to count towards the top of the charts: BUY FROM HMV OR ITUNES TO MAKE IT COUNT! And no this hasn't been setup by any record company, we don't care who we upset along the way - the point is to stand up for good music and to help people less fortunate than us!