Force M.D.'s

Although not as well-known as other New York hip-hop acts of the early '80s, Staten Island's Force M.D.'s were a vital crew in the early history of street hip-hop and one of the first vocal groups to fuse doo wop-influenced harmonies with hip-hop beats. Originally a street troupe known as the LD's, the group sang and danced on Greenwich Village street corners and the Staten Island ferry. Its members included brothers Stevie D and Antoine "TCD" Lundy, their uncle Jesse Lee Daniels, and friends Trisco Pearson and Charles "Mercury" Nelson. The group hooked up with DJ Dr. Rock and, billing themselves as Dr. Rock & the MCs, began playing in local hip-hop venues. However, by the time the group signed to Tommy Boy in 1984 as the Force M.D.'s (M.D. standing for "musical diversity"), they evolved into a more straightforward R&B vocal group, distinguished mostly by their street attitude.

The M.D.'s had a string of R&B hits through the '80s, but their only pop hit was the Top Ten Jimmy Jam/Terry Lewis-penned ballad "Tender Love," which was featured in the movie Krush Groove. 1987 produced the group's first R&B number one, "Love Is a House," but their popular appeal began to ebb the following year. Mercury and Trisco left in 1990 and were replaced by Rodney "Khalil" Lundy and Shawn Waters. The group released the album Get Ready in 1994 as several members worked with other artists as producers. Though Nelson, Lundy, and DJ Dr. Rock each died an early death (Nelson of a heart attack, Lundy of Lou Gehrig's disease), the group returned in 1998, signed to a contract thanks to fellow Staten Island natives Wu-Tang Clan. 2000's The Reunion, however, failed to chart, and while the group continued to play occasional live shows, they were once again touched by tragedy in 2016 when Trisco Pearson died following a battle with cancer. In 2017, a new lineup of the Force M.D.'s -- Jesse Daniels, Stevie D. Lundy, and Rodney "Khalil" Lundy -- appeared with a new album, Our Favorite Joints. Jesse Lee Daniels died on January 4, 2022, at the age of 58.

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