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Michael Keith “Back at Room 112” [EXCLUSIVE Interview]

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BE MAG:Wassup Mike! So tell us about the current 112 situation?

Michael: Well see its kinda of funny man. The Definition of “back together” is weird * LOL but some will tell you we never officially disbanded. I will say it was definitely a business decision to go out and do this tour. We heard what folks was saying and the fans was asking on twitter and facebook and being adamant in making sure we knew it was demand for our music.  It was hurt us more to not listen to that.  SO we all just sat down and talked about things. We still have things we need to iron out and all but the big picture is that we still 112 the band and love the music. Everyone was ion the same frame of mind. Who knows what would happen after this. So its not a reunion but more of an appreciation for the fans. I’m just glad its happening you know.

BE MAG: How did it feel back on stage with the guys after so many years?

Michael: Listen man! I know this is gonna sound so cliche but its just like riding a bike! You never forget even if its been 20 years you know. We known each other for almost 20 years. Ive know Daron since we were kids man! We grew up in pretty much the same neighborhood. These are MY BROTHERS! and they always gonna be family. Regardless of where i paths leave. The only thing we was worried about was the cheorgraphy but once we got that down and worked the kinks  we was good.

BE MAG: Now alot of fans put 112 up in that catagory of R&B Male group pioneers along side groups like “Jodeci”. What do you think made 112 so successful and made you all stand apart from others during that time?

Michael: Man i think and correct me if I’m wrong but i think 112 was one of those groups were EVERYONE sang. I mean it was a main lead singer, but all of us sang man. As soon as you hear our music you knew it was us you know. Slim has that distinct voice like no one else did. We understood the mechanics behind it. Gotta shout out to Puffy too for his brilliance. And assuming the Grammy and multi platinum awards we received i think we had the right plan and executed it. But i think that’s what made us separate was that there were 4 singers and we really had no flaw in our group vocally. That was our claim to fame.

BE MAG: Growing up in Atlanta, How was it? Most kids wanna play ball or be a doctor, you chose to sing. How did people react to that?

Micheal: Man. God has given me such a gift! So it was obvious what i needed to be doing in life. Just to give you a little background as well when we first came out we were called “the good guys of bad boy” we didn’t understand at the time but we thought well is it was because we were southern? cause we open doors for women? and say “yes mame and no sir” did that mean we were good guys? No saying that we were glorifying anything but at the same time, I didn’t grow up in projects but it was a real hood! The liquor stores, church’s chicken, and church was all there man. *Chuckles That was the environment. We had those same elements gun-play, drugs, and violence. We were apart of all that. So it wasn’t easy it was temptation everywhere but the fact that out gift was great man people would keep us on the path. God works in mysterious ways man.

BE MAG:  Your Favorite Bad Boy Moment?

Michael: I got 2 man! One for Faith(Evans) and One about Biggie. One fact is that for those who ain’t know if it wasn’t for Faith or Usher there would be no 112. At the time Bad Boy was created it was the Fab 5: Biggie, Craig Mack, Faith Evans, Total, and 112. We were the 5 that started Bad Boy. We were trying to figure out what type of label bad boy was gonna be. Bad Boy was almost strictly hip hop so we didn’t know where would we fit in cause we sang R&B.  We met Puff at doppler studios and he was with Usher at the time and Faith was there She was writing a lot of songs for Puffy at the time and getting her foot in the music door. This is when she had the real blonde curly hair lol. He asked Faith and Usher to hear us and let him know what they thought. We sang and then he took us out the room and went back in and asked them what they thought. Faith said ” Yo Puff if you don’t sign them your NUTS like sign them right now” and Usher agreed as well and there you have it. That was it with Faith seal of approval and its history. My biggie story is how i learned how he did his music. We was at daddy’s house studio. Us on one side and Biggie and junior mafia on one side.  He was doing music for the “Life After Death” album. We came in and they was like man they in there doing some things”smoking” you might not wanna be around that. We seen amazing things man. The room had this thick cloud of weed smoke * LOL dudes there talking and stuff and BIG was there sitting there not saying too much. They played the record OVER and OVER. No one really knew that all this time BIG was putting the story together. So around 4 am BIG was like “I’m ready to record”. BIG never wrote anything down and just went in and recorded it. It was nothing like I’ve ever seen. He was so -in-depth! The type of person he was GREAT. Aside from rapping he was a good dude. Those are moments I always remember.


BE MAG: Stepping out solo from the success of 112? How was it?

Micheal: It was difficult. It was easy and very challenging for me. Because i had spend alot of my adult career in a group and had those other guys there to do what maybe i couldn’t do or pick up the slack. It was really difficult for me to find and say “what do you want the world to know about you as a solo artist? I had to soul search the sound was familiar to 112 but the subject matter was different. i wanted to branch out into that other world where social events and things are incorporated into my music. I wanted to think deeper. My music was more than that. Once i started to get the hang and i realized hey i can do it on my own and i did it. But at the same time coming from 112 was like a gift and curse cause of all the success and lack of success with solo project but it was a learning experience and not to take anything from solo project cause I’m glad i did it. I’m proud to say i did it on my own and it made me a better person.

BE MAG: Aight, So the ladies have all asked… Are You Single??

Micheal: No I’m not single, Sorry Ladies .

BE MAG: What the most valuable lesson learned?

Micheal: BE GREAT!! BE the best you can be. Cause somebody might not have known who you were, but if you perform your heart out and leave that good impression people will take notice. When you leave you want people to say who is that or remember you. Puff always said too “leave your emotions at the door” They will prohibit you from making right decision sometimes and broke. LOL

BE MAG: Can you speak of the misconceptio0ns surrounding the break-up of 112?

Micheal: I will this, like any family we had our up and downs. Normal things like everybody else man. Nothing out of ordinary but, we all grew up and felt like we need to branch out and see what else was there. I cant make it clear than that. A growth had to occur man. We family so i wont go into too many details man. It wasn’t ugly believe it or not though. But we taking steps man and we talked a lot.

About the author

cmarshall has written 67 articles for BE Entertained Magazine

  • The TRUTH in L O V E

    I love Mike & 112 but it was so painful to try and get through this article.
    Seriously, who wrote this?
    You couldn’t find an editor?
    Gosh, I would’ve done it for FREE.
    Seriously, the content is good but you have to work on the grammar and simple spelling errors; makes you look amateurish. 

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