I know just what you’re thinking: “There’s still a Blackstreet?” But yes, apparently there is.

Teddy Riley and Chauncey Hannibal have been co-owners of the trademarked name Blackstreet since 1992, before there even was a group called Blackstreet. I’m pretty sure that was during Teddy Riley’s Wreckx-N-Effect “Rump Shaker” period, but I digress. Early fans of the group probably remember that the orginal Blackstreet included Levi Little and Dave Hollister, who both left the group to pursue solo careers after the first album.

Then along came Eric Williams and Mark Middleton as replacements, the album Another Level, and the group’s huge hit “No Diggity.” Riley’s lawsuit claims that the Williams and Middleton have been booking shows under the name Blackstreet with no legal right to do so, which has resulted in a loss of profits and touring opportunities for Riley and Hannibal, who still perform as Blackstreet.

Legal beef between artists doesn’t surprise me, but you know what does? That people are out there paying to see half of Blackstreet in large enough crowds that the other half wants its share of the action. Does that sound like something you’d put dough aside for? I’m not sure if I’d spend money to see my favorite Blackstreet song performed live unless Teddy was willing to throw in a side dish of a few Guy classics, but here’s “Don’t Leave Me” to listen to while we ponder it.

 

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  • secret ninja

    “Legal beef between artists doesn’t surprise me, but you know what does? That people are out there paying to see half of Blackstreet in large enough crowds that the other half wants its share of the action. Does that sound like something you’d put dough aside for?” – lmbo! exactly! who is paying to see half of Blackstreet?!

  • Pam McSalterson

    Sad state of affairs for the post-new jack swing generation. Thanks for posting this, they came up on my Songza playlist and I was wondering what happened to them exactly. I forgot about the member switch.

  • Perverted Alchemist

    Actually, Clutch, Dave Hollister wasn’t an original member, Joesph Stonestreet was (He was the “street” in Blackstreet). He sang on the original version of “Baby Be Mine” on the CB4 soundtrack. He left before they signed a deal with Interscope Records, and that’s when Dave Hollister replaced him.

    However, I’m not surprised that he would pursue legal action against them, he also stayed into it with the former members of Guy (which is why it took their third album so long to come out- and why there was never a fourth LP).