If there's one thing that Michael Jackson loved it's making music. But if there's another thing that Michael Jackson loved it's little boys…as musical artists he could produce. That's why this week's Friday Face-Off came naturally. As part of Michael Madness we're pitting Quo vs 3T in a battle to see which was the best group mentored by Michael..
"No hit" wonders vs "huge in Europe."
Wait, this is your first Friday Face-Off? Don't worry, we'll be gentle.
This might be the most challenging Face-Off ever because no one at Stately Fish & Spaghetti Manor could remember any songs by Quo or 3T. On top of that, no one was willing to actually listen to any of their songs. Not even Chet the intern.
Thus, this week's combatants will face off in the following categories; Concept, Appearance and Success.
First up is Concept.
Now Quo was formed in the early 90's, back when it was trendy to have kids rapping. Mike Bivins had ABC. Wu-Tang had Shyhiem. Jermaine Dupri had Kris Kross. There was also Da Youngstas and Illegal. Michael Jackson wanted to get in on the act and he signed Quo.
Basically Quo were a kid friendly version of Illegal. They had all of the attitude but none of the menace and threat, unless you find piercing threatening. Or Australians.
3T on the other hand were build around the concept of a Jackson Dynasty.
Ok, they were actually sold on being Michael Jackson's nephews. That was the basic selling point of the group. Never mind that they're actually Tito's kids, Michael was their selling point.
3T was supposed to capitalize on the Jackson family name and the growing market for fans of bland R&B along the lines of All-4-One. Unfortunately they were so uninspired that they faded into obscurity. Except in Europe.
Let's be real; neither of these concepts are good. Quo was probably the last and least inspired of the Kid Rap (or Krap) Movement of the 90's and considering their contemporaries that's really saying something. On the other hand 3T were constructed to extend the Jackson Dynasty, yet didn't market the name "Jackson" enough.
We've got to go with 3T on this one. Trying to introduce the next generation of Jackson's makes more sense than manufacturing a duo of kid rappers.
Quo has a look that's clearly a snapshot of the 90's. Menacing grimaces, earrings, nose rings. They sort of looked like a Kidz Bop version of both incarnations of Onyx; bald heads, blonde dye jobs and scowls galore. Their clothes were baggy and there was dancing involved.
3T looked like the fell from the Jackson family tree. They've got noses that seem as though they could have been molded and eyes large enough to be unnerving. In typical boy-band fashion they each sport a different hairstyle to make differentiating them that much easier.
They were like a sort of proto-Jonas Brothers only without the musical instruments and throngs of screaming fans.
When it comes down to it Quo had a look that could be outgrown and/or forgotten, while 3T still look pretty much like an older version of their freakishly odd-looking 90's selves.
Now this one is tricky. As a group Quo had no success. The only songs of theirs that charted were on phony Billboard charts like "Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Singles." What's it take to get on that chart, a couple spins on AM radio?
However after the group disbanded Wade Robson, the Australian half of Quo, had a very lucrative career as a choreographer.
He choreographed videos and commercials for such future disappointments as Britney Spears, Immature and 'N Sync. Robson also appeared in movies and created tv shows. The other half of Quo, DeWayne Turrentine did some modeling and married an actress. Feel free to insert the adjective "adult" at any point in the previous sentence.
3T had middling success in the United States. But in Europe they had sustained success. They're huge in Europe. Like Abba huge. They're bigger than the Libertines and Artic Monkeys combined. They've got songs on soundtracks like Free Willy, Free Willy 2 and Trippin'!
And this one comes down to the wire. While Wade Robson has had immense success since leaving Quo, DeWayne Turrentine hasn't done squat on his own. So using simple math, the success of Quo is halved because you've got to subtract DeWayne's lack of success from Wade's immense success. Meanwhile 3T is like David Hassellhoff; huge in Europe.
And there you have it in simple black and white; the best Michael mentored boy group is 3T. While Quo had the better appearance, 3T has the superior concept and more success a group.
On the next Friday Face-Off: Spitting vs Swallowing.
(When you're congested, get your mind out of the gutter people!)