SOURCE: Virgin Records

November 16, 2005 11:20 ET

DEM FRANCHIZE BOYZ Get Down to Business With No. 1 Smash 'I Think They Like Me'

Video, Promo Tour, Bow Wow Opening Spot Spreading 'Snaps Music' Buzz Into 2006

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- November 16, 2005 -- Representing the Westside of Atlanta, and with platinum-plus stars Jermaine Dupri, Da Brat and Bow Wow guesting, So So Def/Virgin hip-hop quartet DEM FRANCHIZE BOYZ have proven themselves the breakout act of fall with their single, "I Think They Like Me (Remix)." The track has taken the No. 1 position in the mainstream urban radio format, following two months of weekly double-digit airplay increases, with solid Southern coverage branching out nationally. "I Think They Like Me" is also No. 1 on Billboard's Top Rap Singles, a unit sales chart. The song is headed toward the national top 10 in the rhythmic crossover radio format, and is bulleting in the top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100 national singles chart. Virgin Records President, Urban Music, Jermaine Dupri commented on the broad impact of the group: "I'm so excited. DEM FRANCHIZE BOYZ is a new group brought in when I came over to Virgin. So their success means that this is just the beginning -- and there's a lot more to come."

"I Think They Like Me (Remix)" is originally taken from the So So Def/Virgin various-artist collection "Jermaine Dupri Presents...Young, Fly & Flashy, Vol.1” -- the first album released under So So Def's joint venture with Virgin. The track leads several Southern hip-hop tunes onto the national chart, in a newly emerging club-oriented style that's been tagged "snaps" music by street-level music lovers. The "snaps" style strips even further the sparse but accessible electronic sound of the massively popular "crunk," focusing on vocal hooks, undeniable drumbeats and extremely minimal but ingenious special effects. The resulting dance floor vibe has been described by producers, disc jockeys and dancers alike as compulsively rhythmic -- and also oddly intimate. (Other hit tunes in the "snaps" style include "Wait [The Whisper Song]" by the Ying Yang Twins and D4L's "Laffy Taffy.") Virgin Records Executive Vice President, Urban Music, Lionel Ridenour said: "I'm sure this will be the first of many No. 1s for DFB and the 'snaps' music movement." The first album by DEM FRANCHIZE BOYZ, titled "ON TOP OF OUR GAME," will be released on So So Def/Virgin on February 7th, 2006.

DFB, composed of Gerald "Buddie" Tiller, Bernard "Jizzal Man" Leverette, Maurice "Parlae" Gleaton, and producer Jamal "Pimpin" Willingham, are on the road to reinforce their group's brand-name "franchize" in a continuing promo tour that will dovetail with the group's opening spot on the late-December leg of track guest and fellow Atlanta star Bow Wow's national tour.

Dedicated to educating the world about the Atlanta lifestyle, signs and symbols of DEM FRANCHIZE BOYZ' smooth, soulful, laid-back brand of Southern crunk culture abound in the bouncing hit video for "I Think They Like Me" directed by Juwan Lee and Benny Boom, also co-directors of the current Ebony Eyez video "Take Me Back." The clip has been No.1 for an impressive two weeks on the voter-driven video countdown on BET's "106th and Park," and is in high rotation on MTV2. The video is also the No. 6 most-viewed urban video on Yahoo! Music's website and rising in the top 20 on the all-genre chart. (Benny Boom is also the director of recent hit videos by 50 Cent, Ciara, Nas, Nelly, Joung Jeezy, Pussycat Dolls and Keyshia Cole, among others).

DEM FRANCHIZE BOYZ' first national hit, "White Tee's," enjoyed a 20-week run on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart, peaking at No. 25 in fall 2004. While promoting their first major album, the No. 18 Top R&B/Hip-Hop Album "Dem Franchize Boyz" (Universal, 2004), the group impressed Jermaine Dupri with their self-contained writing, producing and performing skills, and were signed to his So So Def/Virgin label.

DEM FRANCHIZE BOYZ TOUR DATES WITH BOW WOW

12/22     CHICAGO, IL        All State Arena
12/23     DETROIT, MI        Joe Louis Arena
12/26     BOSTON, MA         DB Bank Center
12/27     PHILADELPHIA, PA   Wachovia Spectrum
12/28     PITTSBURGH, PA     Petersen Center
12/29     WASHINGTON, DC     MCI Center

1/1/2006  ATLANTA, GA        Philips Arena

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