Image Credit: Christian San Jose (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3558533865/), CC BY 2.0
New Boyz is an American hip hop/rap group and a former jerkin' crew duo consisting of rappers Earl "Ben J" Benjamin (born October 13, 1991) and Dominic "Legacy" Thomas (born October 12, 1991) from Hesperia, California. They debuted in summer 2009 with their viral hit, "You're a Jerk", taken from their debut studio album Skinny Jeanz and a Mic, released in September 2009. The song peaked in the top thirty of the Billboard Hot 100, and it was the first song to bring the jerkin' style to the national forefront. A second single, "Tie Me Down" featuring Ray J, was also successful and peaked in the top thirty. In May 2011, their second studio album, Too Cool to Care, was released. It includes the top 40 hits "Backseat", featuring The Cataracs and Dev, and "Better with the Lights Off" featuring Chris Brown. The New Boyz have also been featured on Hot Chelle Rae's song "I Like It Like That", which peaked at #28 on the Hot 100. Dominic Thomas, a native of Victorville, California and raised in Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada, and Earl Benjamin, who was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, moved to Victorville in 2005, after his mother and step-father feared that he was too involved with local gang activity, were originally rivals when they first met at Hesperia high school, but became friends over a common interest in music. Dominic began rapping at the age of eight after watching a music video by Bow Wow, but Benjamin did not have plans to pursue a musical career, instead, he intended to play football at San Diego State University. Dominic and Earl decided to join a local rap group, and because they both had strict parenting, they were forced to quit the group. The two boys decided to create their own rap group, and use Benjamin's popularity and Thomas's music skills to promote their business. With their October birthdays only a day apart, they pooled their gift money to buy recording equipment. Dominic then taught himself how to make beats for the group's songs with a computer program called Fruity Loops, saying "I had to teach myself. We didn’t want to pay for beats." After Thomas transferred to a new school, they decided to form a group. With Benjamin being "Ben J" and Thomas being "Legacy", they began performing together as the Swagger Boyz, then on July 4, 2008, they changed their name to New Boyz and started perfoming on a school tour called P.A.C.E (A Los angeles based school tour that supports staying in school). and created a MySpace page to promote their self-published single "Colorz". In February of 2009, New Boyz signed to Shotty Records/Asylum Records/Warner Music Group.
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