SOURCE: Virgin Records

February 15, 2006 17:57 ET


So So Def/Virgin Snap Music Innovators Define Southern Club Sound; DFB Builds Major Artist 'Franchize' With Multi-Chart Top Five Showings and ONE MILLION MOBILE PHONE RING TUNES

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- February 15, 2006 -- With a hardcore club sound now acknowledged as the new national wave in hip-hop, So So Def/Virgin Records' 'Snap' music innovators DEM FRANCHIZE BOYZ have seen their debut So So Def/Virgin album, "ON TOP OF OUR GAME," crash straight into the Top Five in the first chart week following its February 7 release. The album includes their Number One urban hit "I Think They Like Me," and their fast-rising Top Ten follow-up "Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It."

With two smash singles and videos driving album sales, and a solid group "franchize" as one of the major new hip-hop acts to break out on a mainstream level in the last year, "ON TOP OF OUR GAME" has debuted at an astounding No. 5 in the national Billboard Top 200 chart, with outstanding first-week sales of over 106,000 units. The album also debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Rap Albums chart. DEM FRANCHIZE BOYZ this week also passed a unique new career landmark with the sales of over 1 million mobile phone ring tunes of "I Think They Like Me."

The uncommon strength of the follow-up single "Lean Wit It" is clear from its building multi-format airplay. On both cable and online outlets, the video clip has proven to be a viewer magnet, with a top 10 ranking in the Yahoo! Music most-streamed video list, an acknowledged bellwether of true crossover records; Number One requests at BET's popular video countdown show, "106th and Park"; and "Elite 8" maximum-priority rotation on MTV2.

Commenting on the market surge behind DFB, and the mounting successes of the department, Virgin Records Urban Music President Jermaine Dupri said: "I'm jus' gettin' started." Added Virgin Records Chairman Jason Flom: "Jermaine Dupri and his staff have hit a home run with Dem Franchize Boyz. I can't wait for the world to see what else he and his staff have in store for them."

DEM FRANCHIZE BOYZ, hailing from Atlanta's Westside, are Gerald "Buddie" Tiller, Bernard "Jizzal Man" Leverette, Maurice "Parlae" Gleaton, and Jamal "Pimpin'" Willingham. They debuted on the R&B/Hip-Hop chart in 2004 with the top 25 single "White Tees," but enjoyed their true breakthrough as So So Def/Virgin artists with the single release of "I Think They Like Me," featuring guest appearances by Bow Wow, Da Brat and So So Def founder Jermaine Dupri.

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