Who is Mr Cheeks?
Mr. Cheeks, who was mentored by his uncle Gil Scott-Heron, along with band mates Freaky Tah (1971–1999), Spigg Nice and Pretty Lou made up The Lost Boyz. The Lost Boyz practiced a sincere, literate, non-sensational style of New York hip-hop and produced a number of singles including; “Lifestyles of the Rich and Shameless” (1994), “Jeeps, Lex Coups, Bimaz & Benz” (1995) and “Renee” (1996). Lost Boyz gained worldwide critical acclaim following the release of the albums; Legal Drug Money in 1996, Love, Peace & Nappiness in 1997, and LB IV Life in 1999.
In March 1999, Lost Boyz member, Freaky Tah, was murdered while leaving Mr. Cheeks’ birthday party in Queens, N.Y. After Tah’s death the Lost Boyz effectively broke up, and Mr. Cheeks remained quiet.
When Mr.Cheeks made his road manager Ray “Mello” Moore his Partner and full-time manager they resurfaced in late 2001, as a solo artist. His debut solo album, John P. Kelly, (Universal Records) named for both his cousin and his grandfather, featured the hit single “Lights, Camera, Action!”. The album also included a collaboration with longtime friend and business partner, Stephen Marley, (son of legendary reggae artist Bob Marley) featuring the ballad “Till We Meet Again” (recorded in Freaky Tah’s memory) and the reggae-flavored “Mama Say”.
In 2003, Mr. Cheeks released the follow-up album, Back Again!. The single off the album was “Crush On You” and it featured Mario Winans. In the fall of 2003, Cheeks separated from Universal, forming his own label, Diane’s Boyz. Cheeks was also featured on Lil’ Kim’s single, “The Jump Off.”
In 2004, he was also featured on R&B quartet Famil’s single, “Finer Things” and Minneapolis rapper Kooke’s two singles in 2004, “Holla Back” (feat. RL from NEXT) and “New Money”. On June 8, 2004, Mr. Cheeks released the album Ladies and Ghettomen, his third solo LP in as many years. Mr. Cheeks and Stephen Marley also created a record label, One Fam Music.
Mr. Cheeks was scheduled to have another CD released in April 2006, even offering the first single “What We Do” for free on his website, however, the CD was never released and his website was taken down shortly thereafter. Later that year, he made a feature, rapping the hook, on Lakey The Kid’s single “Q.U. Side.”
In 2010, Lost Boyz reunited, and released a single called “Haaay”.
His most recent activities as a solo musician have included collaborations with R&B singer Ryan Michael (“Sweet Luv”), Stephen Marley (“Iron Bars”) and The SWATZ Brothas (“My Crew Is Tight,” “Fantasy Time”). Additionally, Cheeks has been entangled in a dispute with 50 Cent, in which he released the diss track: “In 50 Cent’s Dreams.”
As of 2013, he has joined the upcoming reality series “Come Back Kings” with Ed Lover, Calvin Richardson, David “Davinch” Chance (of Ruff Endz), Jeff Sanders of the r&b group INTRO, Jameio, Horace Brown and Black Rob.