Music on the Road
'City High' releases first CD
By Marc Balinsky
CNN Showbiz Today Reports
NEW YORK (CNN) -- With a mix of hip-hop and R&B sounds, the rap trio City High has burst onto the music scene with a self-titled debut album. The New Jersey-based group includes producer/songwriters Robby Pardlo and Ryan Toby, with singer Claudette Ortiz.
"We were always singing and dancing and we always had that in us anyway," said Ryan Toby, "so when Wyclef (Jean) saw that, I guess he did see big dollar signs (laughs)... He is no fool."
Since Wyclef Jean was the founder and frontman of the Fugees, Pardlo explained that comparisons to that group are unavoidable.
City High performs 'What Would You Do?' at the House of Blues in New York
(QuickTime, Real or Windows Media)
"We're pretty much flattered to be compared to a group of that caliber," he said. "It's definitely a blessing but I think once the album really starts circulating and people hear the music, catch the vibe and see the show, that (comparison) will kind of die down a little bit because we are definitely City High and not the Fugees."
Friends since high school, Pardlo, Toby and Ortiz topped the charts with their provocative single "What Would You Do?" The song tells the tale of a single mother who strips to feed her child.
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"I think you write about what you see or what you go through or what you consume on a daily basis," said Toby. "Whatever you're taking in is what's gonna come out of you in the creative process."
City High performs that morality tale in this week's "Music on the Road" segment.