Back then, Boyz II Men had four members. Since 2003, the crew has only been three: Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris and Shawn Stockman. So what happened to Michael McCary, the fourth member?
“Mike was kind of always the odd guy in a sense,” Stockman told host Marc Lamont Hill. “Obviously he was a freak of nature vocally. There’s nobody that we’ve encountered outside of Melvin [Franklin] from The Temptations that actually spoke the way that he sang. Like, he was a true bass. You got guys that act like basses and sing like basses but aren’t basses.”
The group, which stopped by HuffPost Live on Wednesday to talk about their new album, “Collide,” said that McCary enjoyed the ride, but not as much as the other three. Nathan Morris, or Nate, said McCary didn’t like rehearsals or any of the nitty gritty stuff that comes along with being a top music act.
“It seems like he kind of gave up when things didn’t go well,” Nate said.
Officially, McCary has said a severe case of scoliosis was his reason for leaving the group, though the remaining members say that the back condition was only a fraction of his reason for departure. McCary said in 2012 that he wanted to return to the group, but he balked at signing a contract that would protect the other three should McCary bolt again.
“Because he left us hanging so many times, we had to cover what we had been doing the last nine years he wasn’t there,” Nate said. “You can’t just run out one day and don’t show up. We had to have some sort of contractual agreement to make sure he was going to be there for everything.”
Nate even told a story where McCary seemed like he was back on board, then later rescinded his support because he wouldn’t be a “full” fourth member. When he called the group to tell his frustrations, they basically hung up on him and continued making their album.
Nonetheless, the trio added that McCary’s spot will always be open for a return should he want to.
“There’s always a chance. Mike is … we experienced that with Mike, so his slot will always be open for him,” Stockman said. “But he has to go about things correctly for it to happen.”
Watch the rest of the clip above, and catch the full HuffPost Live conversation here.