Oftentimes we hear the voice of young musical talents on the airwaves, with dancing skills to boot. As they grow up in their career, we follow their path to maturity where their journey either leads to artistic greatness or into scandals that will leave a mark on their names.
Mindless Behavior is a quartet of talented youngsters who took the music industry by storm, and a legion of mostly young female fans followed them. Packed with energy, impressive choreography, and the catchy fusion of pop, R&B, and rap, these boys strung heartstrings and made history until unexpected detours changed their group forever.
So, what really happened to Mindless Behavior? If you are wondering what Mindless Behavior is doing or up to now read on.
How The Group Mindless Behavior Got Started in Music
First off Mindless Behavior stemmed from an audition held by the CEO of Conjunction Entertainment Inc. Walter Millsap (noted for his previous work with Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, and Missy Elliott), Vincent “Vince” Herbert (head of Streamline Records and worked with Destiny’s Child, Hi-Five, and Toni Braxton), and Keisha Gamble. Out of 600 kids, only four made the cut namely:
Jacob Anthony Perez (Princeton) – Born on April 21 1996 in Los Angeles, California, Princeton hails from an African American and Mexican descent. Recognizable for his afro hairdo and his encouragement of spreading love and positivity to others. He appeared on commercials of McDonald’s, Nike, and Skechers, and on the music video “Cupid’s Chokehold” of rap rock band Gym Class Heroes.
Chresanto August (Roc Royal) – The youngest member of Mindless Behavior was born on July 23, 1997 in Los Angeles, California. He met Princeton during auditions in 2008 and the pair became the first members of the group. At the tender age of eight he began to pursue rapping and dance.
Rayan Lopez (Ray Ray) – The second member enlisted to the group. He celebrates his birthday on January 06, 1996 and was born in Los Angeles, California. Prior to joining Mindless Behavior he danced with Tommy the Clown, a renowned Los Angeles battle dancer and the innovator of the “clowning” dance style.
Craig Crippen Jr. (Prodigy) – The last member to join the original roster was born on December 26, 1996 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He had an early exposure to dancing thanks to the movie You Got Served, whose choreographer Dave Scott was the one who discovered Prodigy on YouTube. His name pertains to his quick grasp of new things related to music and dancing.
Mindless Behavior derived its name from the movement the group is spreading. The term “mindless” promotes positivity, confidence, and individuality. The boys relate having good grades in school and self-expression as being mindless, and despite their age their songs appeal to the masses regardless if young or old.
After two years of practicing dance moves and songs, the group released their first single “My Girl” on August 24, 2010. The song speaks about a girl’s concern and love as expressed through frequently sending text messages. Their energetic second single “Mrs. Right” was released on June 28, 2011 and featured rapper LL Cool J and actor Mike Epps on its music video. “My Girl” reached the number 16 spot on the R&B/Hip-Hop chart of US Billboard, and “Mrs. Right” landed on number eight at the same chart and number 72 on the US Billboard Hot 100.
With their music videos, frequent appearances on radio shows and Black Entertainment Television’s (BET) music video show 106 & Park, Mindless Behavior’s growing fame did not go unnoticed. The boys toured with several big names on the industry like the Backstreet Boys’ This Is Us Tour, Justin Bieber’s My World Tour, Jason Derulo’s World Tour, and Janet Jackson’s Number Ones Tour as the sole opening act.
During the BET’s Closer to My Dreams Tour on July 28, 2011, Mindless Behavior headlined the television channel’s first ever tour along with other fellow rising stars namely Diggy Simmons, Jawan Harris, Lil Twist, Trevante, and Tyga. The boys performed “Future”, “The One”, and “#1 Girl” backed with precise and synchronized movements that left the audience cheering and thrilled. Female singer Ciara was brought as a special guest for the “My Girl” remix, and rapper Diggy joined the quartet for their hit song “Mrs. Right:”.
Prior to a new year in school, Mindless Behavior released their debut album on September 20, 2011 titled #1 Girl. On its first week the album sold 36,000 copies and entered the Billboard 200 record chart at number seven. The album garnered positive reviews, most notably in the New York Times, and the lead single “My Girl” found a place in Billboard’s Top 40 R&B/Hip-Hop songs chart, not to mention the millions of views gathered online.
During the later months of 2011 the boys took part in The Scream Tour along with Diggy Simmons, Jacob Latimore, Hamilton Park, and the OMG Girls. They also performed in the Soul Train Awards in November 2011. The boys also appeared in the E! special Countdown To: Mindless Behavior that showcased their career heights with never before seen clips, interviews, and backstage footage.
Afterwards the group released a holiday-themed single “Christmas With My Girl”. On February the following year they released “Valentine’s Girl”, another single in time for the season of love.
The group had their debut tour held in the United Kingdom in 2012, with one concert in London’s IndigO2 cut short due to a crowd surge that led to several injuries. On July 05, 2012 Mindless Behavior embarked on their first headlining tour titled #1 Girl Tour. From Richmond, Virginia to Oakland, California, the tour spanned one month and 13 days in 25 cities with guest stars Jacob Latimore, Kayla Brianna, and Lil’ Twist.
June 2012 saw the boys performing at the BET Awards where they also took home their first ever Pepsi-Cola Viewers Choice Award.
Mindless Behavior released “Keep Her on the Low” on January 22, 2013 as the first single of their next album, All Around The World. Their second single “All Around The World’ was released on March 01, 2013 and was compared to the Justin Bieber song of the same name due to its popularity. The album was released on March 12, 2013 with renowned rapper Soulja Boy featured on one of its tracks, “I Lean”. On its first week, the album sold 37,000 copies and reached number six on Billboard 200 and peaked at the number one spot of Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. At the same time, a documentary based on the group was released titled Mindless Behavior: All Around the World that told their story starting from their life prior to the auditions.
Their third single “Used to Be” was new territory for the boys as it dwelled on break-ups, compared to their songs that are always about amazing relationships and bright futures. Many perceive their second album vastly different to their first due to their maturing voices, manlier outfits in music videos, yet still the boys remained good role models for the fans.
The Downfall and split-up of Mindless Behavior
The following months saw major changes in the group. In November 2013, Prodigy left the group to try his hand on a solo career as announced by his mother on his Instagram account. He was replaced by Elijah “EJ” Johnson, the 16-year-old singer from Detroit who had experience as Simba in the landmark musical The Lion King.
On July 2014 a video circulated online showing Roc Royal in a physical altercation with another man due to unclear reasons. Roc Royal posted on Twitter that people only know half of the story, specifically only what was shown on video.
Five months later, Roc Royal was tagged as the main suspect after the BMW 325i of producer Chris Clark went missing while on a studio session with the Mindless Behavior member. Clark left his keys on the studio which disappeared along with his car and Roc Royal. He called the latter, whose refusal to cooperate ended with Clark going to the authorities. Rumors of Roc Royal having a child also swirled. After a month he was fired from the group and, according to Roc Royal himself, he was never given a chance to explain himself and was only fired through a text message.
What Are the Members of Mindless Behavior Doing Now In 2018?
The boy band hasn’t gotten back together since their disbandment in 2017. If anything, they’re now pursuing their own solo careers.
Jacob Perez: In 2018, Perez announced that he would be releasing an EP in the near future. He even posted snippets of a few songs that he’d been working on. He later released “Perfect World” via Tidal on June 12, 2019. And this year, he appeared in the sports film, Home Team. According to IMDb, he will also be appearing in a movie titled, The Son Rises, which is currently in post-production.
You can follow him on Instagram at @princetonperez.
Santo August: August was arrested and charged with battery and robbery in 2016. Since then, he has been in prison. Last year, he even promoted a new YouTube page in a phone interview from behind bars.
You can follow him on Instagram at @santothaplugg.
Elija Johnson: Johnson, who’s currently signed to Warner Brothers, released a solo EP titled, The Heartbreak EP under his producer name AIRXKING in May 2021. It consisted of 5 songs including “Cold Fries”, “lostmymind”, “Long Goodbyes”, “Pocki Time”, and “LaLaLand.”
You can follow him on Instagram at @elijahjohnson_official.
Mike River: River released an EP titled, Pulling Sorrow last year, which features a mix of classic country and Americana, all of which were written during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some highlights include “Sidewalks of Broadway”, “Fairest of All (ft. Rachael Irving)”, and “The Coke Stand”.
You can follow him on Instagram at @mikeriverofficial.