March 28, 1971 |
South Jamaica, Queens, New York City, United States
Mr. Cheeks, who was mentored by his uncle Gil Scott-Heron, along with band mates Freaky Tah (1971-1999), Spigg Nice and Pretty Lou made up The Lost Boyz. The Lost Boyz practiced a sincere, literate, non-sensational style of New York hip-hop and produced a number of singles including; "Lifestyles of the Rich and Shameless" (1994), "Jeeps, Lex Coups, Bimaz & Benz" (1995) and "Renee" (1996). Lost Boyz gained worldwide critical acclaim following the release of the albums; Legal Drug Money in 1996, Love, Peace & Nappiness in 1997, and LB IV Life in 1999.
Mr. Cheeks became a solo artist in 2001. His debut solo album, John P. Kelly, named for both his cousin and his grandfather, featured the hit single "Lights, Camera, Action!". The album also included a collaboration with longtime friend and business partner, Stephen Marley, (son of legendary reggae artist Bob Marley) featuring the ballad "Till We Meet Again" (recorded in Freaky Tah's memory) and the reggae-flavored "Mama Say". In 2003, Mr. Cheeks released the follow-up album, Back Again! The single off the album was "Crush On You" and it featured Mario Winans. In the fall of 2003, Cheeks separated from Universal, forming his own label, Diane's Boyz. Cheeks was also featured on Lil' Kim's single, "The Jump Off."
In 2010, Lost Boyz reunited, and released a single called "Haaay." His most recent activities as a solo musician have included collaborations with R&B singer Ryan Michael, Stephen Marley, and Producer 9th Wonder.
Kelly with his girlfriend Tiffany Withers on August 2001 - January 2003