Detroit’s R&B, Dance, Funk and Soul stars of RJ’s Latest Arrival returned last month to usher in the summer cookout season with “One Step”, the group’s first new single in over 30 years. Available on all major digital streaming platforms via Synchronization/Ne’Astra Music (formerly Barak Records), the new two-step anthem features guest verses from Hip Hop duo Slum Village. The song’s joyous essence is captured in the official Rod Dickerson-directed music video, released today (7/11/2023) on YouTube. 

It’s a great change to get from behind the desk, working with so many artists, to now create music for ourselves.” – RJ Rice

I’m so excited with the new direction our music is taking, it’s fun to sing!” – DeDe Leitta

Watch “One Step” on YouTube here.

Stream/purchase “One Step” here (premiered by SoulBounce June 1, 2023) 

Earlier this year, the second season of STARZ’s BMF series featured the band’s classic hit single “Shackles”. Originally featured on the group’s 1984 sophomore album Harmony, the Funk/Dance record reached Billboard’s R&B Top Ten that same year, eventually went multi-platinum and was sampled in Nas’ 1999 hit “You Owe Me”.  On the heels of the song’s television placement, RJ’s Latest Arrival released a completely remastered version of their 1984 sophomore album under the title of the album’s biggest hit to streaming platforms. 

Stream the remastered “Shackles” album here

RJ’s Latest Arrival is an American R&B, Dance, Funk and Soul Music band from Detroit, Michigan formed by Ralph “RJ” Rice and his wife DeDe Leitta (vocals and guitar) in 1978. Led by RJ (aka The Wiz), the band reached its peak popularity in the mid-1980s. The group’s debut single “Hey Crystal” became a big success regionally, but the group’s greatest nationwide success came with their breakout multi-platinum hit single “Shackles” from their 1984 sophomore album Harmony. For their first two full-length albums, Rice played keyboards, sang, arranged, produced, and either wrote or co-wrote a vast majority of the music. It wasn’t until the group’s third self-titled album in 1985 that group members Dean Dipierro (keys and vocals), Craig Lane aka C.L. Grand (bass), Rudy Maldonado aka Rudy Famous (drums), Paul Munro aka Fingers (guitar), Robin Marie Powell (vocals) were added. The group has since been through several lineup changes, reaching the top ten on Billboard’s Dance and R&B charts with their singles “Wind Me Up”, “Hold On”, and “Off The Hook (With Your Love)”. From 1981 to the group’s disbandment in 1990, RJ’s Latest Arrival scored seventeen Billboard-charting R&B singles including “Heaven in Your Arms” and “Rhythm Method”.

Rice also landed Billboard-charting hits with production for The Barkays (“Certified True”, “Many Mistakes”) and Pet Shop Boys (“I Want a Dog”). Rice’s writing and production work even extended to the majority of singer-songwriter Poe’s debut album Hello, including her lead single and biggest hit “Angry Johnny”. Rice then went on to produce several of A&M’s artists, including Color Me BadKuruptIce Cube (remixes for “We be Clubin” featuring: Michael JacksonShaquille O’Neal), and more.

Following the split of RJ’s Latest Arrival in 1990, Rice went on to establish Barak Records. The independent label was an incubator for many of Detroit’s finest Hip-Hop artists, most notable of which included J Dilla and Slum Village. Other Detroit Hip-Hop luminaries such as Phat KatGuilty Simpson, BR Gunna (Black Milk and Rice’s son Young RJ), Marv One, among others were groomed and mentored under Rice’s leadership, recording projects in his studio and releasing them via his label. 

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