New Boyz is an American hip hop/rap and jerkin crew duo made up of
rappers Earl "Ben J" Benjamin (born October 13, 1991)
and Dominic "Legacy" Thomas (born October 12, 1991)
from Hesperia, California. They debuted in summer 2009 with their
viral hit, "You're a Jerk", taken from their debut studio
album Skinny Jeanz and a Mic, released in September 2009. The song
peaked in the top thirty of the Billboard Hot 100, and it was the
first song to bring the jerkin' style to the national forefront.
A second single, "Tie Me Down" featuring Ray J, was also
successful and peaked in the top thirty.
Benjamin and Thomas met as freshmen at Hesperia High School.
The two were originally rivals, but became friends over a common
interest in music. Thomas began rapping at the age of eight after
watching a music video by Bow Wow, but Benjamin did not have plans
to pursue a musical career, instead, he intended to play football
at San Diego State University. However, Benjamin decided to focus
more on music after he discovered that Thomas was achieving success
in rapping. With their October birthdays only a day apart, they pooled
their gift money to buy recording equipment. Thomas then taught himself
how to make beats for the group's songs with a computer program called
Fruity Loops, saying "I had to teach myself. We didn’t
want to pay for beats." After Thomas transferred to a new
school, they decided to form a group. With Benjamin being "Ben
J" and Thomas being "Legacy", they began performing
together as the Swagger Boyz on July 4, 2008 and created a MySpace
page to promote their self-published single "Colorz".
2009: Skinny Jeanz and a Mic
In the summer of 2009, the New Boyz' single "You're a Jerk",
based on the local dance style of jerkin', became a national hit. "You're
a Jerk" peaked on #24 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #4 on the
Hot Rap Tracks charts. The New Boyz' debut album Skinny Jeanz
and a Mic was released in September 2009. Released by Shotty and
Asylum Records, the album peaked at #56 on the Billboard 200 and
#8 on the Top Rap Albums charts. "Tie Me Down", featuring
Ray J, was the second single from the New Boyz' debut album; that
song contained Auto-Tune. "Tie Me Down" peaked at #22 on
the Hot 100 and #5 on the Hot Rap Tracks.
2010-present: Too Cool to Care
In July 2010, New Boyz collaborated with Virgin Islands singer Iyaz
on the song "Break My Bank", which peaked at number 68
on the Billboard Hot 100. New Boyz will release their second studio
album, Too Cool to Care, on May 17, 2011. On the album, the duo plans
to focus less on the "jerkin'" aspect of the music, instead
emphasizing more diverse influences. Legacy stated that on the previous
album, listeners "were more focused on these dudes wearing skinny
jeans, 'they are making jerk stuff,' so that's why we made sure on
this second album, we let it be known that we can go in."
The group plans to experiment with other genres besides hip-hop,
including rock. On February 15, 2011, New Boyz released their second
single off the album "Backseat", which the song features
The Cataracs and Dev.