The following tale is a written record of thoughts running rampant in my imagination that I wish to share with the world - in other words, none of the following is true (and if it is, I don't know about it). Any personalities or entities that parallel any real individual(s) ought not be taken as factual information, but should be recognized purely as a creation of the author.
         If anyone is reading this, and alternative material is personally objective to you, or illegal in your area, immediately stop reading and leave.  If this doesn't apply to you, feel welcome to respond with praise and/or criticism (
         Author's notes follows.

I Got What You Need
(Part XI)

Backstreet Boys

         The guys are patiently waiting (well, three out of five are, anyway) for the arrival of Thomas Dublin.  Nick is pacing the studio, while AJ is fidgeting in his swivel chair.

        "Nick, if you don't stop pacing, I'll slap you," Kevin says.

        "I can't help it, Kevin - I'm excited to be back in the studio."

         "Yeah. Well, we may not even record today.  We just hear to toss around some ideas, see if Thomas Dublin can provide some songs, good songs, for us."

         "Are you kidding," Howie said, "this guy is incredible.  That song he did for Destiny's Child, `Haterade', just jumped to number 2 on the Pop charts, and that Mary J. Blige song has been number 10 for about a month.  They're good songs, and people are listening to them.  So, I know that we'll get a couple hits out of him."

         "Yeah.  So chill out, dude."

         "Well, we'll see when we get here."

Kevin Richardson

         I have to be honest with myself -- I'm as excited as Nick.  I can't believe our luck.
         This Thomas Dublin is the shit!!!  He's written some of the hottest R&B songs of the year, and the songs are very diverse.  The keyboards and drums on that Mary J. Blige song are pretty fast, but Mary almost sounds like she's singing a slow church solo.  And, then there's `Haterade'.   I got tired of that song after hearing it everywhere, but it has nice lyrics, and it's number three on the pop and R&B charts.
         I personally think he's so good because he's an artist also.  Often, we run into songwriters and producers who think they're experts because they wrote a song and can work the soundboards.  But, another artist knows how to bring out the best in a fellow artist.

Howie Dorough

         I'm anticipating working with Thomas. All the guys in *NSYNC, especially Justin, have been raving about his work.  But, I already knew that us + him would be a winner.

*     *     *

        We were at The Firm when we heard some tracks -- Thomas' tracks.

         "I can't believe my ears," Nick exclaimed. "Where did you find this guy?"

         "Well," Lynn started, "Jive sent this tape over to us a week ago, and said that you guys may be interested."

         "Hell yeah," AJ said.

         "As for this `guy', he's Thomas Dublin.  He's relatively new to the industry, but he's creating something of a buzz for his songs.  He's written several songs that has topped the R&B charts, and he recently had a couple of his songs make the top-ten of the pop charts."

         "Oh, so he's an R&B producer?" Brian asked.

         "Well, so far, he's only worked with R&B and hip-hop artists, but by listening to this tape, it seems that he's more diverse, musically, than what we've heard from him."
         "Well, who else has he worked with?" Brian said.

         "According to his cover letter, he's worked with Destiny's Child, Mary J. Blige, Joe, 702, Solange Knowles, Ludacris, Redman, Petey Pablo, and Mya."

         "Destiny's Child?" Nick asked. Lynn nodded.  "Is he the guy that produced `Haterade'?"  Lynn nodded again.

         "Well, I don't know. I like `Haterade', but I think I want something `edgier' than that.  Let *NSYNC or O-Town work with him."

         "Well," Kevin started, "I disagree.  I think we should at least go into the studio and see what happens. I think we could have a major hit with Thomas Dublin."

         "So, should we set up some studio time," Lynn asked.

         Kevin, AJ, Brian, and I look at Nick. Nick shrugs, and then nods compliantly.

         "Yes." I said.

*    *    *

         That was about two months ago.  What the other guys (except AJ) don't know is that *NSYNC has also worked with Thomas.  We were over at Joey's last week, and Justin went on and on to Britney about this producer they've recently worked it. `Oh, Britney, I wrote a song with him' `He said I could write a song for his new album' `He makes the best macaroni and cheese' and on and on (he and Britney get on my nerves with that).
         When I asked whom, Justin told me Thomas Dublin.
 I told AJ, and we both agreed that we'd keep it silent.  We're cool, as a group, with *NSYNC and all, but, as a group, we're kinda frustrated that they've been getting more accolades than us lately.  The beat us at this year at the VMAs this year, and that really pissed off Nick.  So, we saw it best if we keep this tidbit of info from the others, and advise Thomas to do the same.
         We also found out about something else about Thomas at our little get-together. Actually, it was JC who let this bit of info out (not Justin!).  AJ and I also agreed that the other guys, especially Kevin and Brian, shouldn't find out about it.

Thomas Dublin

         I talked JC into letting me drive his Benz.  It's smaller than that Navigator, and I just look damn good in it.  JC spent two days driving me around the area, and even made me drive a little.  So, I at least know how to get to the major spots, the studio, and to Lance's, Justin's, Joey's, and Chris' homes.
         As I pull up to the studio, I see AJ McLean standing out from, sucking on a cancer stick (or, a cigarette).  I pull JC's Benz up to him, get out, and hit the power locks before closing the door.

         "What's up, man?" AJ says.

         "What's up?" I say. "I can't wait to get up in this studio with you and the other guys."


         "Oh, I'm Thomas Dublin. I'm here to work with you."

         "You're Thomas?"


         "Whoa. You really do look like..."

         I cut him off. "I know."

         "Cool.  I'm glad you found the place, but let me wrap with you before you go up and meet the other guys."

         AJ puts out his cigarette and puts his right arm around my back. We start walking forward toward the rear of the studio.

         "I just wanted to let you know that Howie and I know a couple of things about me."

         "Really?" Like I don't already know -- from what Justin told me, I can imagine what a drunk Lance, JC, Joey and Chris said; plus, Justin is NOT exactly a tight-lipped individual.

         "Yeah.  We're friends with the guys in *NSYNC, and they shared some information about you."

         "Like what?" I'll indulge him.

         "Well, that you've worked with *NSYNC and that you're dating JC."


         "I just wanted to let you know that I really don't give a fuck, but the other guys, especially Kevin and Brian, might have a fit over it."


         "Yeah. I wouldn't say that Kevin is homophobic, but he isn't particularly sympathetic to gay people. And, ever since he got married, Brian has been a major hater. I don't know how Nick feels, but just to be safe..."

         "OK. So, basically, keep my sexuality and my work record concealed from Kevin, Brian, and Nick, right?"

         "In a nutshell."

         I can't believe he came at me like this!  I think AJ means well, but I don't know if I want to work with a bunch of homophobes. I don't go around telling everyone about my sexuality, but I don't want to go into an environment knowing that I could hear someone talking about how they hate gays.  But, I'm getting paid for this, so I'll just have to suck it up.

         "AJ, I ain't gon' lie -- you're saying this is a little unnerving. You have me rethinking if this is even a good idea."

         "Thomas, I didn't intend to do that.  All the guys are looking forward to working with you. We all feel that you have a lot to give to the group.  I just think that you ought to not disclose the fact that you're gay to my less informed bandmates; nor the fact that you've worked with *NSYNC -- you know that we're cool with them, but things are a little tense between the two bands right now."

         "Well, I'm still apprehensive, but we'll see how everything turns out." I say, as I turn and walk toward the studio entrance.

*     *     *

         I walk into the studio to see four fidgety individuals -- Nick is pacing a ditch into the floor, Kevin is studying the ceiling fan while playing with his hands, and Brian and Howie are playing solitaire.

         "What's up, maaaaaaaan!!!" I shout.

         All four Backstreet Boys jump about 10 feet.

         "Who the fuck are you," Kevin shouts.

         "Your producer.  Now, watch your mouth before I make you next album sound like a pile of crap."

         "Oh, you're Thomas Dublin? You know you sure bear a resemblance to Allen Iverson."

         "I know, I know."  Damn, I know.

         "Hi, Thomas, I'm Howie," he says, as he extends his hand.

         I shake it, and shake the other hands as each member gives his name and the right hand to me.

         "Did you meet AJ yet?" Kevin asks.

         "Yeah. We talked for a second before I came in."


         "Thomas, before we start working, can you give us a little background about yourself?"

         Let's see... my autobiography.  "OK."

         As I'm about to start, AJ saunters into the room. "Glad you made it back, AJ.  You almost missed my life story."

         "Here it goes. I was born in Dayton, Ohio -- an area of about 500,000 people about an hour north of Cincinnati and an hour west of Columbus.  I grew up with my grandparents, who made me sing in the church choir and take drum lessons.  In high school, I also started playing the guitar and piano.  After high school, I went to college, where I double majored in Music and Systems Analysis..."

         "What's Systems Analysis?" Nick said.

         "Well, it's kinda like Computer Science, but with a lot of math, business, and engineering thrown in.  But, I had those two majors, and I also minored in Marketing and Business Law.  I graduated with honors two years ago, and worked for an insurance company for a year in Chicago while I shopped around my demo."
         "Fortunately, one of my close friends from college was working for Platinum Plus.  He heard my demo, and played it for 702.  They loved it, and wanted to record one of my songs. I ended up producing that song for them, and the rest is history."

         "So, you just write and produce?" Brian asked.

         "Oh yeah.  I also recently got signed to Jive Records. So, not only am I your producer, but also your label mate."

         "Congratulations, man," said Nick. "I'm sure you'll like Jive. I haven't encountered an unhappy Jive artist yet. Plus, they'll let you be the artist that you want to be."
         "Yeah, I'm sure they will."  I explicitly had Lance ensure that Jive wouldn't try to stifle my creativity.

         "So, do you see R. Kelly at all? He's from Chicago, right?" Nick said.

         Why does everyone ask me about R. Kelly when I mention that I used to live in Chicago? "Well, I've never met him, and I don't live in Chi-town anymore. A couple months after I got into production full time, I moved to New York.  I wanted to be closer to the Platinum Plus offices and the different record labels."

         "New York. I hate that city," Howie said.

         "Well, it has its issues. But, I've had work since I moved there, and I've met some cool people." Dontae and Tracey are about as interesting as you can get.

         "Now that you know me a little better, let's get crackin'."

*    *    *

         After tossing around song ideas for two hours, we finally came up with a song that showed promise.  Kevin, Nick and I wrote the music, and I co-wrote the lyrics with Kevin. The song is being called "I Don't Play" -- that's just a tentative title.  Kevin, Nick, and Howie were really into the creative process, but Brian and AJ seemed out of it.  Brian spent about a good hour on the cell phone talking to his wife, and AJ was either in the bathroom or outside taking a smoke. I hope that those two are having a bad day, because if they're going to be like this, we might have a conflict.
         I can't stand to work with disinterested people.  If an artist isn't enthusiastic about the music, then it shows in the song. That's probably why the 702 album I worked on barely went gold -- those girls were too busy chasing their boyfriends to focus on the music. I spent about half of the time we were supposed to be working playing with my Gameboy. I've even turned down some work for this same reason -- I'm sure Sisqo was shocked that I handed his management back their $40,000 check and left him in the studio, but he wasn't serious.  Like the title of the song we just wrote says -- I don't play.

         "What time is it?" AJ says.

         "It's a quarter to six." Nick responds.

         "Well, I have to go. I'm meeting Amanda at seven, and I have to get ready."  AJ waved as he exited the studio.

         "Hmmm..." I can't believe this fool up and left like that.  This is probably why *NSYNC has been outselling them.

         "Well, since AJ has to leave," I said, "we can call it a wrap."

         Everyone gets up to gather their stuff.

         "So Thomas," Nick says, "what do you think?"

         "About today?  It was cool."

         "Just cool?" Kevin said.

         "I'll be honest.  I think you guys are very talented. However, I don't feel that everyone is interested in this project. Maybe the next couple of days will be better, but I don't like to work with disinterested people."

         Brian grabs his stuff and leaves out without a goodbye as Howie, Nick, and Kevin bow their heads.

         "Well, I know that some of us probably come off as apathetic, but it's just that some of us have some personal issues that we're working out," Kevin said.

         "Yeah," Nick said. "Don't mind Brian and AJ -- they've been acting like assholes all week. They have things on their minds, you know?"

         "Well, I hope they get it off their mind.  I'd hate to not be able to give my best because they let personal shit hinder the creative process."

         I grab my bag from the chair it was resting in, and throw it over my shoulder. We all walk out of the studio, and into the parking lot.

         "Well," I start, "I guess I'll see y'all tomorrow at noon."

         "Yeah, Thomas, we'll see you, and hopefully, we'll collectively be more involved," Howie said.

         I open the door to the Benz and throw my bag into the passenger side.  I start the ignition, and wave to the guys as I drive off into the sunset -- literally.
 As soon as I turn onto the highway, I hear a familiar song on the radio. I start to turn it off, but decide to listen...

 Don't be mad `cause I be doing my thing
 And I make the songs that the whole world sings
 Don't be mad at the multiplatinum props
 And my run on the charts just doesn't stop

 You're over there looking at me
 Your eyes are full of envy
 Because your success isn't nearly as great
 And all you can do is hate --
 Sippin' on haterade

 'Mad at me cause I'm paid
 And mad 'cause I got it made
 All you are is played
 Sitting back sippin' haterade...
 Mad because I'm so blessed,
 And I have what you can't possess
 I'm paid, and I got it made
 While you're sippin' on haterade

 I get critical and commercial acclaim
 But you cringe up at the mention of my name
 Looking at us wishing that you could be,
 But you'll never be as large as the DC-3

 You're over there looking at me
 Your eyes are full of envy
 Because your success isn't nearly as great
 And all you can do is hate --
 Sippin' on haterade

 'Mad at me cause I'm paid
 And mad 'cause I got it made
 All you are is played
 Sitting back sippin' haterade...
 Mad because I'm so blessed,
 And I have what you can't possess
 I'm paid, and I got it made
 While you're sippin' on haterade

'Mad at me cause I'm paid
 And mad 'cause I got it made
 All you are is played
 Sitting back sippin' haterade...
 Mad because I'm so blessed,
 And I have what you can't possess
 I'm paid, and I got it made
 While you're sippin' on haterade

 A reason why we are so blessed
 Is because we're focused on us
 If you spent more time on yourself
 You probably could also blow up
 If you would mind your own business
 You could also be the talk of the town
 You could have DC-3 success
 If you would put the haterade down -- oh!

 'Mad at me cause I'm paid
 And mad 'cause I got it made
 All you are is played
 Sitting back sippin' haterade...
 Mad because I'm so blessed,
 And I have what you can't possess
 I'm paid, and I got it made
 While you're sippin' on haterade...

        Number 3 on the Pop and R&B charts -- man, I'm the shit!

Nick Carter

         Thomas Dublin rocks!  Seriously.
         I was probably the most apprehensive about working with him.  I like ballads and R&B music, but I'm more into rock and I always up to doing more "edgier" songs.  When I learned that Thomas was an R&B producer, I was a little disappointed, but when we got into the studio and he started playing "Under the Bridge" on electric guitar, my fears were relieved.
         The song we wrote, "I Don't Play," is an interesting ditty.  It has a lot of guitar, drums, and vocal runs. It like Jodeci meets Red Hot Chili Peppers -- it's totally hot. I can't wait to see what else we come up with.
         I just hope those two assholes get their shit together by tomorrow. Kevin said he'd call each of them before we got to the studio tomorrow. Their behavior is getting problematic. I knew it was serious when Thomas picked up on it.
         Basically, Brian has been acting like an asshole since we found out that he and Howie were secretly dating for three years before he got married, and AJ is mad because of the jokes going around about his drinking problem and the fact that Brian is being a big asshole. Both of them need to get over it and stop with the nonsense.
        But, I think that Thomas is exceptional. He's walked a hard road, but he came out on top. It's funny that he chose to get into the industry when he could have been successful in the computer industry.  He told us that he was making $50,000 a year at his other job when he quit to do music full-time.  But, I guess it was worth it -- we're paying him $35,000 for each song he produces; he just made $35,000 for six hours of work today.
        I just hope he's managing his money.  He drove off in an $80,000 automobile (that strangely enough looks just like JC's Benz, down to the tint and the 22-inch rims). It would be a damn shame for someone with that much education to end up broke. But on the other hand, he's can probably afford to splurge, with all the hits he's written in the past year; and with that recording contract... hell, he might end up being richer than me.

To Be Continued...

        Author's Notes:  Finally... we meet Backstreet.  If you are a Backstreet Boys fan, be forewarned -- Brian is a total asshole in this story (somebody has to fulfill the role, and unfortunately, Brian is that sacrificial lamb).
         I hope you all like the background colors. Lately, I've tried to put a little thought into it. Like the last one was a black background with white letters -- that was symbolic of JC and Thomas getting it on in the story.  Hopefully, you've gotten what I did with the colors this time around.
         Also, our friend "pseud0nym" was curious about the song "Haterade" that everyone in the story loves.  I was already finished with this part of the story, but decided to go back and write some lyrics for this song -- I hope all of you (especially pseud0nym) enjoy the lyrics.  And, like I said last time -- if I hear my shit on the radio, I'm going to tap that ass.  Peace.