BLACK VOICES
10/30/2014 12:22 pm ET Updated Oct 30, 2014

Boyz II Men: We 'Represented Our Race' With Future Artists In Mind

If you've ever peeped Boyz II Men's "End of the Road" video, you probably came away not only impressed with the vocals but also with their preppy, matching outfits. At the time, the style was not popular among many urban artists.

In a HuffPost Live interview Wednesday, the group said peers called them "corny" at the time for their look, which is now popular among the majority of hip-hop and R&B today.

"To our peers in the music experience, we didn't encompass the 'black experience' because of what we were wearing and things of that nature. At the end of the day, we felt like we represented not only our race, but our city, Philadelphia," member Shawn Stockman told host Marc Lamont Hill. "We knew it would open doors for artists and groups that would come after us. We always kept that in mind, regardless of whether black folks looked at us as cool or not."

The group credited former manager Michael Bivins with the image concept. They all met at NAME high school in Philadelphia, which housed not only Boyz II Men but also members of what would become The Roots.

"Even though we were from the hoods of Philadelphia, we were still, I guess you could say, somewhat refined in a sense where we went to school, we were singing classical music and we were kind of studious kids," Stockman added.

Catch the rest of the clip above, and watch the full HuffPost Live conversation here.

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