The New Boyz were an American hip hop/rap and 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.
Benjamin and Thomas met as freshmen at Hesperia High School. The two were originally rivals, but became friends over a common interest in music. Thomas 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. However, Benjamin decided to focus more on music after he discovered that he had a passion for rapping. With their October birthdays only a day apart, they pooled their gift money to buy recording equipment. Thomas 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 on July 4, 2008 and created a MySpace page to promote their self-published single "Colorz".
2009: Skinny Jeanz and a Mic:
In the summer of 2009, the New Boyz' single "You're a Jerk", based on the local dance style of jerkin', became a national hit. "You're a Jerk" peaked on #24 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #4 on the Hot Rap Tracks charts. The New Boyz' debut album Skinny Jeanz and a Mic was released in September 2009. Released by Shotty and Asylum Records, the album peaked at #56 on the Billboard 200 and #8 on the Top Rap Albums charts. "Tie Me Down", featuring Ray J, was the second single from the New Boyz' debut album; that song contained Auto-Tune. "Tie Me Down" peaked at #22 on the Hot 100 and #5 on the Hot Rap Tracks.
2010-2011: Too Cool to Care:
In July 2010, New Boyz collaborated with Virgin Islands singer Iyaz on the song "Break My Bank", which peaked at number 68 on the Billboard Hot 100. New Boyz will release their second studio album, Too Cool to Care, on May 17, 2011. On the album, the duo plans to focus less on the "jerkin'" aspect of the music, instead emphasizing more diverse influences. Legacy stated that on the previous album, listeners "were more focused on these dudes wearing skinny jeans, 'they are making jerk stuff,' so that's why we made sure on this second album, we let it be known that we can go in." The group plans to experiment with other genres besides hip-hop, including rock. On February 15, 2011, New Boyz released their second single off the album "Backseat", which the song features The Cataracs and Dev. On May 7, 2011 Too Cool to Care was released it sold 30,000 copies in the first week. The third single off the album was "Better with the Lights Off" which featured Chris Brown, The single debuted at number 61 on the Billboard Hot 100 as a promotional single. After being officially released, it re-entered the chart at number 75 and reached a peak of number 38.
2013-present: Third Studio Album / Break up:
On February 28, 2013 Legacy announced via Twitter that the group, had been working on their third album for Warner Music Bros. Records. However shortly after Legacy revealed that the New Boyz had broken up to work on their solo careers.
On July 9, 2012 it was announced that New Boyz was being sued in a legal dispute due to copy rights of their name against Christian Rock Band The Newsboys, after confusion of the groups names.
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