Months after losing a foundational member of their group, the borough of Staten Island finally honors the legendary group, The Force MD’s by naming a street after them.
On Saturday, Aug. 27, the street formerly known as Grandview and Brabant Street at Mariners Harbor in the fifth borough will now be called “The Force MD’s Way.”
Over 1000 community members and influencers attended the celebration of Hip-Hop’s first real Rap/ R&B group, including Ralph McDaniels, Nice & Smooth, Milk Dee from the Audio Two, Councilwoman Kamillah Hanks, Congresswoman Nicole Maliatakis, NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, State Senator Diane Savino, and State Assemblyman Charles Fall.
That day the group, whose epic career dates back to the early 80s and was actually a combination of two different squads but mostly consisting of family members, was overwhelmed by the show of love, respect, and tribute.
Stevie D, the founding member of the commercial entity of the group, said, “The street naming was so overwhelming, not just to us, but to a lot of people in Staten Island.”
“It also felt way overdue,” he said in an exclusive interview with AllHipHop.com. “I’m just happy that it finally happened. It’s great for us to have a landmark in our hometown of Staten Island. I felt we did put the work in for it to happen.”
He added his own tribute, saying, “Knowing that the members that passed T.C.D, Mercury, Trisco, and Jessie, are looking down and enjoying this accomplishment.”
His brother Khalil also commented and said the street naming was a “way overdue honor,” but also sees it as a marker of the family’s legacy.
“I left the group in 1983 and rejoined in 1990, I was inspired to put this together to secure my family legacy we’ve been through so much,” he said. “I’m so happy to see my brother Stevie D smiling from cheek to cheek, and all our family, friends, and fam so hyped up it’s so surreal to me right now.”
Like Stevie D, Khalil also gave a nod to those who had passed on, offering, “The members we lost know we’re gonna make sure their contributions to the Hip-Hop/ R&B culture never go in vain.”
Because family is so important, included in this celebration was their newest member and nephew, Zieme Capers – clearly a gift from the Lundy legacy of great singers.
Capers is a millennial and punctuates the group’s ability to tap be transgenerational, touching people of all ages. A full member of the group, he also was overwhelmed, not just by the street naming but by being included in this history-making and cultural-shifting group.
“Can I say ‘Another One’ in DJ Khaled’s voice?” he joked.
“This experience is almost like having a beautiful newborn baby. My eyes were watering, tears flooded my face. As they pulled off the plastic, all I could think about was all the members we lost and most recently my uncle Jessie D,” he explained.
“I wish they were physically here in the crowd embracing all of the love they always wanted. I wish I could see the smiles and joy on their faces,” Capers continued. “Right in front of the building, they all were raised in, we literally have a family avenue.”
“I am super honored to be a part of this legacy and I hope the fans and new generations to come will see this in the history books and be inspired by the beautiful, crazy, funny, and tragic stories and journey of the Legendary Force MD’s. Even though it’s three of us left, The Force lives and continues in everyone who keeps the legacy alive, the music alive as well as the moments we shared,” he said.
And if fans don’t know, he said, “P.S. By the way, get on the belt parkway or the Staten Island ferry and take a ride over by Brabant St. … and The Force MD’s Way. Haha!”