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POP FACES

H-TOWN : 'We're Not Selling Sex, We're Selling Romance'

July 18, 1993|DENNIS HUNT

"It's not only about sex," says H-Town's laughing Dino Conner, defending the R&B vocal trio's steamy single "Knockin' Da Boots," which has been in the national Top 5 for more than a month. "We're not selling sex, we're selling romance."

Not a very convincing argument. The single--from the group's album "Fever for Da Flavor"--combines a smoldering, slow-to-medium tempo groove and lyrics consisting of one sexy suggestion after another. Without the song's racy tone, it's questionable whether H-Town, which didn't even have a record deal six months ago, would have a hit with its first single.

But Conner, 18, isn't about to acknowledge that point: "It's our singing and the instrumental tracks that are appealing to people too. Songs that are much sexier and nastier than this never get anywhere. Anyway, a record has to be promoted just right if it's going to score on the charts. That's the real secret of the success of this single--good promotion."

H-Town is fortunate to be on a label that knows something about selling sexy records. Miami-based Luke Records is run by the master--Luther Campbell, who made headlines in recent years with all the legal battles over the X-rated content of his albums with the rap group 2 Live Crew.

The name H-Town is slang for Houston, the hometown of Conner and his twin--Shazam--and Darryl (GI) Jackson, 19. They grew up in the same apartment complex, began singing together about six years ago and even recorded an album for an obscure Texas label before landing the Luke deal.

The trio wrote all the songs for the Luke album with producer Bishop (Stick) Burrell--most of them in the sexy tone suggested by titles like "Baby I Wanna."

"We're not sex experts or guys who chase women all the time," Conner cautions. "We just know a little something about what pleases the ladies and what they like to hear. They like to hear nice things. They don't want to think that sex is all guys care about. Like I said, this isn't all about sex."

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