They were best know for a the sexy song "Freak Me," which topped the charts in 1993, but the group Silk was much more than that song. With a harmonic sound that matched their name, the members of Silk brought rich old school vocals to a new school game on R&B radio for a decade.
The members of Silk joined together as teenagers in Atlanta in the late 80s, but their world took off when they sang for rising artist and producer Keith Sweat, who became their mentor as they entered the national music scene. Sweat signed Silk and solidified their lineup in 1992 as a quintet featuring Gary "Big G" Glenn, Gary "Li'l G" Jenkins, Timothy "Timzo" Cameron, Jimmy Gates, Jr., and Jonathan "John John" Rasboro. The group's Sweat-produced debut album was a monster, featuring the #1 hit "Freak Me" and the smashes "Girl U For Me" and "Happy Days." It won for the group a Grammy Award and set them up as future superstars.
A split with Sweat before Silk's second album was a significant blow, and while more hits followed, including the top 5 "If You (Lovin Me)," Silk had difficulty staying near the top of the mountain. Lead singer "Li'l G" Jenkins left the group to go solo in 2004, and the remaining quartet lost their contract with Elektra Records.
Silk released an album of covers in 2006, but it was in the following decade that a reunited Silk, with all five members in tow, hit their stride again, performing on the Soul Train Awards and the BET Music Awards and issuing a fantastic single, "Love 4 U 2 Like Me," that climbed the urban adult contemporary charts in 2016.
By Chris Rizik