Where Are…The Boys?
By Margena A. Christian
The Abdulsamad brothers got their start singing and dancing at the beach in Venice, Calif., with the hopes of earning enough money to buy their dad a present on Father’s Day.
Khiry, Hakim, Tajh, and Bilal Abdulsamad, known as The Boys, bought that gift and ended up landing a successful music career based on those performances.
Ranging in age from 13 (Khiry) to 7 (Bilal), The Boys did everything together, even perfectly choreographed no- hand back flips during singing routines.
Their 1988 debut album, Messages From the Boys, featured the hits Dial My Heart and Lucky Charm. They also appeared in Michael Jackson’s 1988 Badder segment of his Moonwalker video. Their second album, The Boys, in 1990, had the hits Crazy, Thing Called Love, and Thanx For the Funk.
By 1992 with the release of their third album, The Saga Continues…, and after selling 5 million records, The Boys seemed to disappear from the industry.
Where are they now?
The Boys, who are Muslim, moved to Gambia, West Africa, when they walked away from the industry.
“All of our youth, we were doing TV shows, movies, commercials and having a music career,” said Hakim, the group’s main lead singer who is now a producer and resides bicoastally in California and West Africa. “We wanted to take a break. It was time to experience life outside of the entertainment world.”
Hakim, who produced two of The Boys albums, has worked with Akon, New Kids on the Block, Colby O Donnis and Kardinal Offishall. Khiry, the oldest, lives in California. He is a cinematographer/director of photography and silent partner in an art gallery, Norm Maxwell Studio Gallery, in Los Angeles. Tajh lives in Atlanta, produces music, and is in college studying pre-law. Bilal, the youngest, also lives in Atlanta. He produces music with Hakim and Tajh and hosts an open mic night, The Movement, with Tajh and a friend in Atlanta.
The Abdulsamad still do everything together. So much so that when Jet located them last year, they refused to do the story until they could take a picture together.
“We’re going to make you crazy by the end of this whole deal,” laughed Khiry, who was the creative mind behind their innovative video Crazy along with Hakim. Khiry has done work for reality shows on MTV, VH1 and BET.
“I did College Hill and Being Bobby Brown,” he said. “I did a reality show with Mario Van Peebles and his family going green. I also do the behind the scenes, DVD stuff for Smooth Magazine.”
The brothers continue to sing. They once called themselves Suns of Light, but now simply The Suns (vibeout.tv).
Literally growing up in the industry, with Tajh as an infant being the baby Kunta Kinte in the classic movie Roots, the brothers admitted to being happy about their exit.
“That was the general consensus,” said Tajh. “We followed our heart and followed our dreams and did that.”
Hakim said, “Even though we were famous and had money to buy anything we wanted, we had the feeling a lot of times that we just wanted to be normal. We’d go to McDonalds and the lady at the window would scream and go crazy. Everyone is around you. You don’t know if they are there for you or what you do. It’s so nice to be regular people and regular people are looking at us wanting to be famous.”
The Boys were pleased to know that Jet readers have been anxious to find them. They said that family is the key to success.
“We want to send a special shout out to our parents,” said Hakim of Jabari and Angela Abdulsamad, their parents who were among the earliest married couples to dually manage their kids’ career. “None of this would have been possible without them. They always taught us to pray together and stay together. Anything is possible when you pray together and stay together.”