Photo by KMazur/ WireImage/Getty Image
The 1990’s garnered many R&B groups but none quite like Jodeci. It was an era dominated by New Jack Swing where Jodeci married R&B soul and Hip Hop to create a sound that is classic and timeless even today. You can’t talk about R&B, soul, and New Jack Swing without mentioning Jodeci, the Bad Boys of R&B; the Black Guns and Roses.
The Soul Train Awards 2014 is pulling out all kinds of surprises some of which still haven’t been announced. An announcement that has garnered the most excitement is arguably the biggest reunion in R&B/ Hip-Hop history: The best R&B group to do it JODECI. The iconic quartet, hailing from Charlotte, North Carolina achieved much success in the ’90s including five No. 1 R&B hits. R&B fans remember jamming to classics like “Stay,” “Forever My Lady,” and “Come and Talk to Me.” The legendary R&B group will perform during the Soul Train Award show taping in Las Vegas on Nov. 7.
The act will perform a medley of their hits as well as a snippet of the brand-new single, “Nobody Wins.” Jodeci also has a new forthcoming album, their first effort since their platinum The Show, the After-Party, the Hotel album in 1995. When I spoke to K-Ci in 2013, he referred to the group as four country boys from Charlotte, North Carolina who were talented enough to get a record deal in 45 minutes. The group includes two sets of brothers, Cedric “K-Ci” and Joel “JoJo” Hailey, as well as Dalvin “Mr. Dalvin” and Donald “DeVante Swing” DeGrate. The quartet hasn’t taken the stage together in the U.S. since 2006 so die hard Jodeci fans and R&B fans alike are in heavenly bliss as they patiently await the Soul Train Awards air date of Nov. 30, 2014.
Check out an interview I did with K-Ci of Jodeci in 2013 below:
“Soul Train was a critical platform in the beginning of our career, so it only makes sense that our return to the stage be during Soul Train Awards 2014,” the group said in an exclusive statement released to Yahoo Music. “We’re humbled by the loyalty of our fans who have asked for a reunion and look forward to giving them a show as only Jodeci can. #JODECIforever.”
Although K-Ci & JoJo reemerged as a duo in 1997, the group has always stated that they never disbanded. The duo released five successful albums including some memorable covers as well as contributing to notable movie soundtracks. Jodeci rose to fame with the release of their triple platinum 1991 debut album Forever My Lady. The album peaked at eighteen on the U.S. Billboard 200 and reached number one on the R&B Albums chart. Thank you Andre Harrell, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Heavy D, and other executives at Uptown Records for bringing Jodeci to fruition. Their double platinum sophomore album Diary of A Mad Band proved to be equally successful peaking at number six on the Billboard 200 and number one on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. The Show, the After Party, the Hotel (1995) was the group’s third album and most successful as it charted in the U.S. and outside. It peaked at number two on the Billboard 200 and number one on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. It has multi-platinum certification by the RIAA.
Musical genius DeVante Swing discovered a number of iconic artists including Missy Elliott, Timbaland and Ginuwine. He also discovered Playa and Tweet as all listed above were apart of his Swing Mob/ Da Bassment crew. Swing has also produced for 2Pac, Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson, Aerosmith, Flo Rida and many more. In 2011 I asked a shy and humble Swing what did it feel like to traverse the musical landscape and redefine R&B as we knew it? What was it like to bring those church chords to R&B; that gritty soul, and silky vocals? What was it like to write, produce, arrange, and play on such pieces beginning at age 16? He softly replied, “I just wanted to make dope music.” K-Ci stated to me last year that the group is not getting back together because they never broke up. Mr. Dalvin also told me the reason the group is still relevant today and revered as one of the best if not the best R&B group ever is because they put out quality and timeless music. “You can’t rush quality or greatness,” he said. Mr. Dalvin stated to me that when it’s time for Jodeci to hit the scene again they will. Well the stars have aligned and Jodeci is back to show and prove why they are R&B royalty.
Jodeci’s music with its timeless and classic quality continues to impact the artists of today. People have been sampling Jodeci since the early 2000s and lately Drake sampled Jodeci’s “My Heart Belongs to You” on his latest release “How About Now,” and he paid homage to the band with the track “Jodeci Back (Freestyle)” featuring J Cole. Nipsey Hussle also paid homage to the group with his recent release featuring Dom Kennedy titled “Don’t Forget Us” which samples Jodeci’s “What About Us”
The 2014 Soul Train Awards will be hosted by Wendy Williams and will also feature performances by Chris Brown, Jeremih, Aloe Blacc, Nico & Vinz, Lisa Stansfield, Kem, and Liv Warfield. Trey Songz, Boris Kodjoe, Laila Ali, and Wolf Blitzer will present at the ceremony. The Soul Train Awards 2014 will air on Centric and BET Networks on Nov. 30 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
Go back in time with us and enjoy Jodeci’s Uptown Unplugged performance below: