Classifying their sound as "hood rock," the Shop Boyz tried to separate themselves from the Atlanta crunk scene, but as their 2007 breakout single, "Party Like a Rockstar", showed, the trio fit right in with its heavy bass and drums complemented by pop-savvy and edgy guitar riffs. Cousins Meany (Demetrius Hardin) and Fat (Richard Stevens) along with their best friend Sheed (Rasheed Hightower) all grew up on the streets of Bankhead, a western Atlanta neighborhood. They each worked on cars during the day in order to fund their growing interest in making music. Things began to fall into place when the three first met a local producer, Richard "Fire" Harris, who provided beats for free, and a local entrepreneur, OnDeck Records CEO Brian "Bingo" Ward, who allowed them to record in his studios. For about three years, the Shop Boyz were releasing straight-to-street albums and mixtapes, but when they recorded "Party Like a Rockstar" in January 2007, they knew they had a hot single on their hands. The song turned into one of Atlanta's biggest hits that year, prompting Universal Republic to pick up the single for national distribution and offer the Shop Boyz a major recording contract. When the single was officially released for digital sales in May, "Party Like a Rockstar" shot up to the number two spot on the pop charts, originating from position number 52. Although their knowledge of rock music was a bit iffy, and the Shop Boyz were constantly questioned about it in interviews, that didn't impede the momentum for their major-label debut, Rockstar Mentality (2007). ~ Cyril CordorPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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