Asher Roth is not the only rapper who loves college. RomeoMiller, who recently began his sophomore year at USC, is also bridging the gapbetween his collegiate and musical lives. He recently re-emerged as a member of thenew hip-hop group the College Boyys.
Romeo, who is also a guard on the Trojan's basketballteam, joined with his brother Valentino (Santa Monica College), and friends Taz(USC), C-active (Woodland Hills College), and K Smith (Santa Monica College) toform the jerk dance oriented group.
Their first official single "FootWork," is an energetic,jerk dance track that shouts out Black fraternities and sororities.
Romeo has watched the movement evolve. "When I was in highschool all the kids were jerking," said Romeo, taking a break from a tutoringsession to prepare for midterms.
The concept of the College Boyys puts an emphasis oneducation and positivity. The group keeps their music clean. K Smith, nephew ofsuperstar actor/mogul/rapper Will Smith, said he is definitely following in thefootsteps of his uncle. "You won't hear crazy cursingfrom me, but you'll hear more edgy records," K Smith explained.
The album offers differentperspectives from the mindset of young guys in school. "We bring you the lifeof a college student," Romeo said. "There are happy days, [and days when youare] missing your girlfriend on 'Video Chat,' and feeling like you the man atschool in 'In My Bad.' These songs go through everyday life of college."
The College Boyys have caught someflack from jerk crews who question how a group with members from New Orleans (Romeo, Valentino) and Philadelphia (K Smith) could represent a WestCoast sub-genre.
Romeo argues that it is nothingwrong with having multiple interests. "When you go to a party you go to havefun, to enjoy yourself," he explains matter-of-factly. "One day I might befeeling rowdy, right now I definitely want to have fun and party and go tocollege."
Master P, who attended University of Houstonand Oakland's Merritt Junior College,is proud that his son is not making the negative music that he made during his ownrap career. "I think they are starting a movement," Master P said about theCollege Boyys' focus on fun, clean-cut music. "I wish I could have done it.Somebody has to take a stand and do what's right."
To Master P's point, hip hopartists of late have come under fire for their lyrics. This past week, thecontent of controversial rappers Gucci Mane and OJ Da Juiceman prompted them tobe dropped from a Homecoming concert bill at North Carolina AT&T University.
The response to the College Boyyshas been the opposite. The group has already been embraced by the colleges andhigh schools across the nation. They have performed schools in Alabama, Georgia,Mississippi, and Tennessee.
"We want to bring awareness to theeducational side of things," Romeo said. "We think it's cool to go get youreducation."
It would be even cooler if theirmusic inspires kids to pursue a higher education.
- Santa Monica College