So many worthy stories have already been told via “Unsung,” TV One’s compelling series about musical performers who haven’t gotten their just due. Brooklyn-based ’80s R&B group Full Force is the latest one.
While their journey lacks some of the jaw-dropping drama that faced folks like Donnie Hathaway, DeBarge, Tammi Terrell, Heatwave and other artists featured on the show, it does have its moments.
Many remember Full Force, a self-contained six-member band comprised of three brothers and three cousins, as the jheri-curl wearing, bodybuilding Brooklyn clan who terrorized Kid and Play in the “House Party” movies. Brothers B-Fine, Paul Anthony and Bow-Legged Lou were the oft-seen faces of the group in those movies. But the close-knit family sextet is one that was encouraged to sing and play instruments by their musical father/uncle, who took a firm, yet not quite Joe Jackson-esque approach.
Full Force’s self-titled 1985 debut CD netted the hits “Unselfish Lover” and “Temporary Love Thing,” but the group’s real success came with their behind-the-scenes production work. They have produced and written records for Britney Spears, Rihanna, The Backstreet Boys, Samantha Fox, Selena and, notably, James Brown. But despite all of that pop success, they are still best known to the public for producing the ’80s hip-hop phenomenon “Roxanne, Roxanne” with UTFO, which spawned dozens of answer records and inspired them to offer their own response by recording with The Real Roxanne.
Unsung: Full Force” airs on TV One tonight at 10 p.m.