Don't bank on having a You Got Served follow-up, which celebrated its 17th anniversary on January 30th, as Marques Houston believes you sometimes have to "leave the classics alone."
A film with the potential to become a classic for the new generation is his new film, Howard High, which follows a high school musical group that must compete against a rival school in order to save their arts program, while also battling issues from the inside. The thoroughly entertaining and fun-loving film will also shed light on the challenges students and school arts programs face in underfunded neighborhoods.
In addition to director Christopher B. Stokes, the film from Footage Films features an ensemble cast that includes his daughter Chrissy Stokes (“Southland”), Anthony Lewis (“Madea’s Farewell Play”), Earanequa Carter, Lindsay Davis, Veronika Bozeman (“Karen”), Jarell Houston (“You Got Served”), Christian Gonzalez and Kida Burns (“Battlefield America”), as well as Keith Sweat, Houston, and more.
Your Voice Media chatted with film stars Houston and Chrissy about the film being a musical instead of a standard movie, a potential sequel to You Got Served, and working with Sweat on set.
"Howard High could've gone both ways, but the music tells a story just as much as the dialogue," Chrissy expressed. "There are no Black musicals like this film out during this time and I felt it's filling a void that is needed. The musical takes it to another level and maybe it wouldn't have stood out if it wasn't a musical."
Houston chimed in, saying the film as a musical spoke volumes and will allow people to "feel."
"It needed to be a musical because it needed to speak volumes and allow people to feel," he shared. "Sometimes when you watch a movie, you can feel it - I'm a movie buff and I love movies. Something about a musical and when you feel the song as well as feeling the intensity of the lines and dialogue - while it being seamless, it speaks volumes. It needed to separate itself from films like Coach Carter and those strong movies we watched growing up. When you add the musical 'element, you get the You Got Served feel mixed with Grease, Hairspray, and The Wiz. It makes the film unique."
Of course, as we laughed about iconic phrases and saying from the cult classic he was a part of, You Got Served, we had to gauge if a follow-up would be made in the spirit of reboots we tend to see nowadays. The former IMX member shared he "doesn't know" and feels it's best to sometimes "not touch the classics."
"Uh, I don't know," smirked the new father, who birthed a baby girl named Zara Houston with his wife Miya Houston. "Sometimes you gotta just leave those classics alone. You never know - we got to see."
The 'Naked' musician touched on working with Sweat, who appears in the film as his mentor, sharing how filming with the R&B veteran was the "best part" of participating in the film.
"To be able to perform with Keith Sweat was the best part of filming the movie because he's a legend and someone who I grew up watching and listening to," expressed the 40-year-old. "He plays my mentor in the film, but he's also a mentor to me as an artist as well. With all that he's done in the music industry, as well as R&B, was a highlight for me."
Speaking of music, we asked the R&B veteran if he was recording a new album or preparing to drop something for the fans, to which is played coy and said "you gotta wait and see."
Hmmm, something tells me we may get something sooner than we expect.
One thing we will get from the Sister, Sister alum is a new dance film, with 'Howard High' premiering on Tubi on February 4th.