One of the greatest R&B groups, Boyz II Men, having just released their new album, Collide, visited Huff Post Live for an exclusive interview recently. During their sit down, the legendary group opened up on a ton of topics, including why Michael McCary (Mike) left the group.
“Let’s start from the beginning,” Shawn Stockman said. “Mike was kind of always an odd guy in a sense. He was in the group. Obviously, he was a freak of nature vocally. There’s nobody that we’ve encountered outside of Melvin [Franklin] from The Temptations that actually spoke the way that he sang. Like, he was a true bass. You got guys that act like basses and sing like basses but aren’t basses. We put him in the group and I think Mike enjoyed it but not as much as we did. It wasn’t in his heart.”
Shawn makes us wonder what it was that Mike didn’t like about the group, but Nathan says, "he enjoyed the wrong parts." Could it be that he was in it for just the fame, money, and girls instead of the brotherhood and bond that the group shares?
“He didn’t want the dance rehearsal. Every now and then he’d want to do some of the studio stuff. But he enjoyed the fame and everything else that we enjoyed. But I mean like Shawn said, it seemed like he kind of gave up when things didn’t go well. It was great when everything was fine because you can make mistakes and nobody cares. But when you put out records and nobody buys them and your career takes a dip. The heart of the group was these three that kept it going because he was just off on his own thing. Some gigs he didn’t show up. He wouldn’t come to rehearsal. Some records he wasn’t on. When it was bad, he wasn’t there and that’s when we really needed him the most.”
He continued to say:
…and we were doing our 20th anniversary album and we thought it would make sense to bring him back. Our fans deserved that for 20 years to try to do that. I gave him a call, he was interested. We came back, brought him out to a couple of shows, we hung out, talked about it. Now, we never did this type of contractual stuff with him because he was in our group for years ago. But because he left us hanging so many times, we had to cover what we had been doing the last nine years he wasn’t there. Like, ‘Yo, you just can’t run out one day and don’t show up.’ So we had to draw up some type of contractual agreement to make sure he was going to be there for everything and he was cool about it.
And here’s the other thing, he was gone for nine years. You can’t just come back in and be a full fourth member, even financially, of the group. You kind of have to work yourself back into it. We didn’t put you out, you left. So we set it up for him to come back in and get back with us and grow, the whole nine. And one day, a switch went off in his head and he gave us the call about ‘This album’s going to be the biggest thing since sliced bread. And I’m a full fourth member of the group and I need to be…’ And we were like ok cool, we’ll call you right back and we just went on with the record because it just didn’t make sense. It was very unfair to be gone that long and just feel like you can just come in and be in that slot. It’s unfair to not just us but it’s unfair to our fan base that have been there when we were down and you weren’t even there.
To Mike’s defense, I think what happened was he left when the group was at a high and he came back when the group was coming back up again. So he never experienced the down times. So when he came back, his mentality was ‘We’re back on the road again.’ He wasn’t with us when it wasn’t working. So you’ve got to feel where we come from. He never got a chance to feel that.
It’s good to know that the chemistry amongst the group is very organic. When asked if there is a chance of reconciliation, the group expressed that there will always be a chance. It’s nice to know that no matter how many times someone messes up, you still have people who are willing to start over. Shawn assured Marc and viewers that Mike’s slot will always be open for him.
How would you feel if Mike left the group on you? Would you allow him to come back? Do fans even want Mike back in the group?
Check out the interview as Boyz II Men tell us what really went down.