Everything is possible, but if you stop dreaming, you can lose it all.
That's the philosophy of Next, the three-man vocal group, based in Minneapolis, Minn., that will be opening for Boyz II Men at the Delta Center June 1."We struggled through the early days," said vocalist T-Low from his hotel room in Vancouver, Canada. "We pretty much lived on the streets and found music in our uncle's gospel choir."
Next - T-Low, his younger brother Tweety and friend R.I. - officially formed in 1992. The three rehearsed at the home of T-Low's godmother, Sounds of Blackness lead vocalist Ann Nesby.
"We've always wanted to sing," T-Low said. "And I'm glad we found a way to do it. Because when we look at where we could have been and where we are now, it shows that dreams can come true."
T-Low didn't hesitate to say that Boyz II Men was a major influence in Next's vocal arrangements.
Nesby managed the group for a while. Next played showcases and clubs around the St. Paul/Minneapolis area. The group got its big break in 1994 when Next performed at the renowned Juneteenth celebration.
A member of soul group Low-Key, Prof. T, approached the trio and promised to get them into the big time.
After recording demos for Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis' Flyte Time studios, Next waited. And waited.
During the wait, Next gave a demo tape to another hip-hop artist - Naughty By Nature's DJ, KayGee.
The result was Next's debut album, "Rated Next," which was released on KayGee's own record imprint Divine Mill, a part of the Arista Records family.
The album's second single, "Too Close," topped the Billboard Top 100 chart for five weeks. The first single, "Butta Love," has sold more than 1 million copies, which made it a platinum-selling single.
All the people who bought the single are considered friends, not fans, said T-Low.
"We don't want to be stars," he said. "We just want to be singers. And we want to have a connection with our friends. That's why we don't call them fans."