Candyman: What Happened After N.W.A. and the Posse?

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This is an installment in The Posse Project, a 12-day series in which catches up with all 12 guys pictured on the cover of N.W.A's first album, N.W.A. and the Posse. Today, we continue with Candyman, who ironically went on to become a one hit wonder with the single "Knockin' Boots." To read the other installments click here.

Candy Man

Also Known As
: Candell Manson

Before the Photo: If anyone caught a break because of his place on the Posse record cover, it's Candyman. A classmate of Ice Cube during his time at Washington Preparatory he was unaffiliated with the group at the time. DJ Scratch and Sir Jinx report Candell Manson was splitting time between their couches when he caught a ride to the photo shoot, and somehow landed a prime spot in the front row.

Though Candyman ignored requests to be interviewed for The Posse Project, he has talked extensively about the N.W.A. and the Posse cover before, insinuating that there was already a conspiracy behind the group when the photo was taken, contradicting others, who say the success the group's classic lineup had came as a surprise.

"It was kind of top secret, the whole NWA project, they kept it under wraps real well," he told "They knew that they were on to something big. They knew that they had a concept that we didn't know anything about."

If that's true, why did they put Candyman right up front? We're left to wonder. Later in that interview Candyman claimed he wrote his big single "Knockin' Boots" around that time but at least one actual N.W.A member contradicts that, saying Candyman had no involvement in the music business until he landed on the cover of Posse.

"I know that Candyman, at that time wasn't doing anything," said Arabian Prince.

The cover of Candyman's hit album.
In the Photo: Candyman has said the cover represents the group at it's realest, before the development of the styles commonly associated with gangsta rap.

That's why you see MC Ren as the only member of the group's classic lineup who's wearing the black ballcap and white t-shirt while Ice Cube has a clock around his neck, he says.

"That was a 'real' cover. That was an honest cover. That was without no perpetrating. You saw how Cube looked. You saw how Dre looked. Everybody was being who they really were," he said in the interview. "That cover means a lot to me. I was right in the middle. There were times in the Swapmeets that people thought that 'I' was Eazy E because I was right there in the middle of the picture."

Actually, Candyman later used the confusion about who was who on the Posse cover to his advantage, says Arabian Prince.

"Candyman got lucky," Arabian Prince tells me. "At the time, honestly, we used to actually get mad at Candyman because we'd be out on tour and we'd come back in town and sometimes he'd be representing N.W.A. and we were like 'Eh, eh, eh, you're not actually in the group. You're on the cover but... "

After the Photo: Candyman's story is possibly the ultimate irony of the N.W.A. and the Posse cover. Three years after the photo was taken, around the time N.W.A was releasing its hard-hitting 100 Miles and Runnin' EP, Candell had a top ten hit with "Knockin' Boots," a fun little bit of early 90s pop-rap.

"Knockin' Boots" -- the second-biggest hit on the topic of boot knockin' released in the early 90s -- took his Ain't No Shame in My Game album into Billboard's top 200. Candy toured with Tone Loc and Milli Vanilli but couldn't follow up on his success. His sophomore effort, Playtime Is Over, only had one charting single, the incredibly odd "Oneighundredskytalkpinelevenotwosevenine."

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Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj

NWA was the stuff back in the day. Detox coming Soon!!

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