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Silk remains smooth after third album

Anyone hip to the R & B scene remembers songs like “Freak Me,” “Lose Control” and “I Can Go Deep.” Lyrics like “Let me lick you up and down, till you say stop,” are etched in the memory of fans everywhere. Such lyrics have not only earned the group Silk its name, but also a widely-recognized reputation for creating silky-smooth, sexy R & B tracks.Silk kicked off the first day of its promotional tour for its new album, “Tonight,” on Feb. 5 in Columbus. The group visited Woody’s Place in the Ohio Union to sign autographs and gain feedback on the new album.Woody’s Place was filled with students that wanted to see the group. Women stood in line to meet and greet Silk, and to get pictures and album covers autographed.”OSU should have more artists come to campus,” said Malisa Carrington, a senior majoring in African-American and African studies. “A lot of artists come to Columbus, but forget that a large number of fans are on campus.””The event brought some excitement to OSU,” said Arkeeta Humphrey, a senior majoring in accounting.Jimmy Gates, Gary Glenn (Big G), John John Rasboro, Timzo Cameron and Gary Jenkins (Lil’ G) make up Silk.The original members of Silk met while flipping burgers and mopping floors at a McDonald’s in downtown Atlanta, Gates said. Glenn and Jenkins were added to the group after other members left.Gates said the break from the last album was necessary because the group has been learning new skills like writing and producing. Silk is now producing its own group, KLIS, which is featured on the “Tonight” album. During the time away Glenn and Jenkins have also tried acting.”Now we’re working on reestablishing ourselves and our identity,” Gates said.Silk’s promotional tour includes stops in Ohio, Kentucky, Los Angeles, Arizona and New York. The group performed in Columbus with Tyreese, After Dark, Club Nouveau and local artist Yolanda Lisa at the 107.5 FM anniversary party at the Hyatt. Silk performed songs from their previous two albums, “Lose Control” and the self-titled “Silk.” The group also gave the audience a taste of what to expect on its new album, “Tonight.” “Each record takes on a new attitude,” Rasboro said. “This one, we really put our heart into. I think we picked, wrote and produced the right songs.”Glenn said the new album has the same sexual, seductive and emotional vibes as the first two albums.”What we do on this album is take those elements, combine them all, and take it to another level,” Glenn said.Silk said musical influences were artists such as Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Prince, The Isley Brothers and New Edition.Jenkins said the music world has moved away from “soul music.” The tremendous popular appeal of hip hop and rap were reasons for letting the “soul” of music slip away.”Really the basis of it all [popular music] came from R & B,” Jenkins said. “The music of old school groups and singers is still here today because their music is being used in the hip hop and rap world.”Jenkins said the influence of R & B and soul music is still apparent to listeners.”We may have slid away from it just a little bit,” Jenkins said. “But it’s coming back around, and I think R & B/soul is here to stay.”Silk’s first single off the new album, “If You,” will be in stores on Feb. 23. The entire album “Tonight” will hit stores March 23. After traveling around the U.S. promoting “Tonight,” a tour with Brandy is likely.

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