Ben J of the New Boyz Spills on New ‘Too Cool to Care’ Album, Working With Cataracs + Chris Brown
It's been two years since the New Boyz had us jerkin' all over the nation with their viral dance and single, 'You're a Jerk,' from their 2009 'Skinny Jeanz and a Mic' album. On May 17, the duo dropped their follow-up album, 'Too Cool to Care,' and they're beyond read to take the world by storm once again.
PopCrush caught up with one-half of the pair, Ben J, last week, and he opened up about the making of the new record and broke down the collaborations -- including New Boyz' relationship with Chris Brown -- as well as how this time around will be different.
'Too Cool to Care' is hot, but don't take our word for it. Straight out of the mouth of Ben J: "Y'all check out this project, you're gonna really love it. Y'all slept on the first one, do not sleep on this one."
Hey Ben J, congratulations on the new record.
Thank you, I'm very stoked about that, you know? It's our second project.
Where did the album name 'Too Cool to Care' come from?
Um, 'Too Cool to Care,' we actually had a whole lot of criticism back around 'You're a Jerk' and the whole first project. At the same [time] we was looking at that like, oh, we failed some type of way. But we didn't let that get to us because if you let some type of comments get to you then you kind of stop what you're doing and you start worrying about what other people think. Our whole mindset was like, 'Man, I don't care, man.' We used that as motivation to go up in the studio and just kill the bullet, you know, with this album. That's what made us call it 'Too Cool to Care.'
What's your favorite track on the record?
I've got two of them. One of them is called 'Active Kingz' featuring Tyga, and the other one is 'Black Dress.' That's No. 15 on the record, that's an inspirational track for the ladies that just got out of a bad relationship but they've got this black dress in their closet that they've been wanting to wear for a long time, but that relationship just been blockin', you know what I mean? So now they finally get the chance to go out and show their tattoos and beautiful legs and have a good time -- no ring on they're finger, no nothing.
Is that what you like to see a girl wearing, a black dress?
Of course, I like to see a girl rock anything. But I like her in her class, you know, her model type.
Listen to 'Black Dress'
'Backseat' almost beat your 'You're a Jerk' track on the charts. Did you expect that?
I kinda did, yeah. Because, it's a real big record. We've been to Europe and all overseas and stuff, and that's the sound that they were looking for. All they wanna do is sit in the club and listen to electro music and whatnot, and we came back and 'Like a G6' was poppin' at the time. 'You're a Jerk,' it didn't really take us overseas. It was big, etc., but it didn't take us over there. 'Backseat' kinda did, so shout out to the Cataracs for that, you know?
Speaking of, can you tell us a little about working with the Cataracs (who helped produce) on this record?
Man, shout out to the Cataracs, their vibe is great, they're chill guys. They're actually just like me and Legacy, their studio was just like our whole studio. The vibe they were giving off was so chillin', we were talking about girls, we were talking about everything. You kinda forgot that they make these hits, you know? 'Cause they were so chill like they didn't care, but you knew that's what they did. It was crazy because every beat that they have is a hit. Every song that they make is a hit. We told them they're the future of music. It was whack up in that studio.
How would you say 'Too Cool to Care' is different from your 2009 debut album, 'Skinny Jeanz and a Mic'?
We really matured as artists, you know? Our lyrics are way better than the first project. We traveled a lot more, we seen a lot more things, so we've got more to talk about. We walked with a lot more doper artists, a lot bigger producers on this project. We worked with a lot of local homies on 'Skinny Jeanz and a Mic,' so we kind of evolved a lot. Especially on our lyrics.
Can you talk about writing and working with Chris Brown on 'Better With the Lights Off'?
Oh yeah, 'Better With the Lights Off,' that's our second single. We weren't really in the studio with him, but we know him. You know, we've been on tour with him, we did a couple shows with him, so we already had his contact info. So working with Chris Brown, 'cause we did shoot the video for it, so he came out and supported us. But working with him, he's got so much energy, he's just like a big ol' kid that likes to have fun. Even though every girl screams for him in the world, he's cool and so humble. You gotta always be humble to your fans, you can't ever ditch 'em whenever. You gotta be cool, and that's the kind of invite that was given to us. Like I said, he's goofy just like me and Legacy, you know, we're immature kids and that's how he was acting. When somebody comes that's just like us it's just cool.
Listen to 'Better With the Lights Off'
You've got a lot of collaborators on the album. Have any fun stories from recording with any of them?
I want to say the one with Big Sean, 'I Don't Care.' We wasn't really in the studio but big shout out to him. We met him in the club, and it was poppin' -- it was poppin' like for real. It was his birthday coming up and he actually did the verse on his birthday, and we were like, 'What dog? Happy birthday!' It was real cool that he took the time out to cut that verse.
Legacy's favorite collaboration on this album is the one with Charlie Wilson. We was actually in the studio with him, and he's like, real … He's a legend! Legacy actually wrote a couple lyrics for him. Working with him was alright, he's real young at heart just like us. The song 'Beautiful Dancer,' we call that our polite stripper song. Shout out to Charlie Wilson, it was real cool working with him, he's a real humble guy.
Which track will your fans be most surprised by?
Surprised by … Wow. We got a track called 'Zonin',' that's kind of an interesting song. It's not mean, but you know, it's just basically like … The girl is arguing with us, 'Wah wah wah wah wah,' and she's just talking so much. You don't want to hurt her feelings and tell her to shut up, because that's your girl, you know? The best way to go is to zone her out. Or just call her cute and just agree with her and zone her out. We really went on the lyrics on this album.
What would you say has been your biggest accomplishment as a duo so far in your career?
This album so far! We still got a lot more to go. Our run is not finished, it's not over. We got a lot more growing to do. I still feel like we haven't proved ourselves in the industry as much, so that's why. We have really grown as artists, we've really matured in our lyrics, we see a lot more, we travel every day so we've got a lot more to talk about. It's fun. It's real fun. I think we really proved ourselves.
Watch the New Boyz 'Backseat' Featuring the Cataracs and Dev