Dark Chocolate. White Chocolate. Cookies & Cream. Sprinkles. Hott Chocolate. Milk Chocolate. Whipped Cream. What do these things have in common? They are all associated with desserts, but in this case are also the names of the popular new rap group at UMHB: Ready 7.
Originally called The Chocolates, Ready 7 is composed of six singers/rappers, their manager Kevan Mullins, and their essential “DJ” Dee Jay Bow who creates their beats and records their music. The group of freshmen met during Welcome Week through roommates and other acquaintances. The original four consisted of Jiovanni Jones, Jared Cash, James Allen and Kitrick Bell.
The remaining three, Ryan Hull, Ross Nesselrode and Mullins joined soon after school started.
Freshman communication major Kitrick Bell, aka Dark Chocolate, said, “We don’t really know how it started, exactly. We decided to write songs to mess around and have fun. Then it turned into something real.”
There’s no determined leader of the group as each has his own role to play. Members of the band sing, rap, play instruments and write songs.
Freshman business major Jiovanni Jones, aka Hott Chocolate said, “We’re like brothers. We hang out all the time, and we encourage each other.”
Ready 7’s past and present experiences have given birth to songs such as “Perfect Girl,” “Wall Around Her Heart,” and “Problem.” The band’s motto is “Treat all girls like princesses.”
Freshman business major Jared Cash, aka White Chocolate, describes their music as “clean, wholesome music that any age group can enjoy, we’re an R&B group, but that’s not really our genre. Ready 7 is our genre.”
The band records late at night, which can conflict with other activities since Bell and Allen play basketball for the Cru. However, freshmen business major James Allen, aka Milk Chocolate said, “Although it’s been stressful, it’s absolutely worth it.”
The band already has almost 400 fans on Facebook along with posters, shirts and Youtube videos. Freshmen biology major Ryan Hull, aka Cookies and Cream said, “We’re not worried about how many fans we have; we appreciate those who support us.”
Ready 7 even has its own symbol. Freshman business major Kevan Mullins, aka Sprinkles said, “If you turn your left hand upside down, it makes a seven. It just represents us.”
The band has been known to serenade random people in Hardy or McLane. After hearing them sing, junior nursing major Haley Ratliff said, “I’m impressed on how they can harmonize on the spot and do a really good job. It was really fun to hear.” Not all comments about Ready 7 have been positive. People on Twitter have commented that the band members should have better things to do.
Freshman Christian ministry major Ross Nesselrode, aka Whipped Cream said, “It didn’t discourage us, we found it funny. It was only fuel for the fire and you’ll always have ‘haters’ no matter how big or small you are.”
The band has recorded a mixtape CD and plans to get back in the studio soon.