The 2014 Soul Train Awards
|Origin||Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S.|
|Genres||R&B, soul, new jack swing, hip hop|
|Labels||Uptown/MCA (1990-1996), Sphinx Music/Epic (2015-present)|
|Associated acts||K-Ci & JoJo, 2Pac, H-Town, Missy Elliott, Timbaland, Ginuwine, Al B Sure, Mary J. Blige, Heavy D, Diddy|
|Members||Donald DeGrate (Devante Swing)
Dalvin GeGrate (Mr. Dalvin)
Cedric Hailey (K-Ci)
Joel Hailey (JoJo)
Jodeci (Jō'-dě-sē), also known as, The Bad Boys of R&B, is an American R&B quartet. Possessed with a singing style that integrates the genres of R&B, soul, gospel, and new jack swing. They consist of two sets of brothers from Charlotte, North Carolina: the Haileys (Joel; aka JoJo and Cedric; aka K-Ci) and the DeGrates (Donald; aka DeVante Swing and Dalvin aka; Mr. Dalvin); the group's name is a combination of the names from all four members (Jo-De-Ci). Fusing the feisty vocals of the Haileys', joined with the DeGrates' production-musical genius, earned the group three multiplatinum albums until their departure into occasional obscurity, lasting from 1995 to 2015. The Hailey brothers have also performed together, beyond Jodeci, as the duo, K-Ci & JoJo, to great acclaim.
1983–1991: The Beginnings
Rooted in a strong religious Pentecostal family, the Hailey’s, known then as “Little Cedric & the Hailey Singers” originally performed and recorded as a gospel group, releasing three albums ("Jesus Saves", "I’m Alright Now", and "God’s Blessings"). "Folks down South used to call K-Ci, the Michael Jackson of gospel". Separately, the DeGrate’s performed and toured in their own family gospel group. The Hailey’s and the DeGrate’s made acquaintance through relationships the members had at the time, and lived together before forming-up as a singing act.
At 16 years of age, DeVante ran away from home en-route to Minneapolis, Minnesota, going to Paisley Park Studio’s everyday to audition for Prince. “I was up at Paisly Park every day begging for a job, asking people to listen to my tape. The receptionist kept saying she couldn’t help me". The rejection from Prince motivated DaVante, and upon arriving back to Charlotte, North Carolina, the DeGrate’s had a meeting with the Haley’s to form the band Jodeci.
With only $300, together the members drove to New York City with a 29 song demo tape, anticipating a signing deal with MCA records. Upon arriving to New York, without the knowledge of the location of MCA records, the group used a phone book for the record company’s address, located on Broadway. DeVante latter recalled, "We didn't have an appointment, I didn't even know who Andre Harrell was, but I knew what Uptown was, and I wanted us to be there." They entered the company, initially being denied an audience until Uptown Records CEO, Andre Harrell, was summoned to listen to the demo versions of Come and Talk to Me, Forever My Lady, I’m Still Waiting, and Stay. In skepticism of the high quality production, Andre Harrell requested the group to perform live in his office to which they obliged. Hip hop artist and record producer Heavy D overheard the performance and consulted Harrell to sign the group that day, in which they received the record deal with Uptown.
Jodeci was assigned to Uptown’s, then intern, Sean "Puffy" Combs, taking on the task of developing the new act. Counteracting the refined style of acts like Milli Vanilli and Boys II Men, Sean Combs developed the groups “Bad Boy” image by perpetuating the hip-hop fashion (baseball caps and Timberland boots) the group is known for. Harrell told Combs, "Dress Jodeci the same way you dress in the office." The group was introduced by singing background vocals for rapper Father MC, on the song Treat Them Like They Want to Be Treated. Jodeci made their live performance debut on the June 11, 1991 episode of Soul Train.
1991–1995: Uptown Records
In May 1991, the group released their debut album "Forever My Lady", featuring the number 1 singles "Forever My Lady," "Stay," and "Come and Talk to Me."The album went on to sell over three million copies.
In 1993, A minor feud resulted over the band's follow-up album, "Diary of a Mad Band"; Jodeci, unhappy with their treatment by Uptown, flirted with the idea of leaving for Death Row Records, which resulted in almost zero promotion for the album. With a string of innuendo-laden come-on numbers, complete with explicit language, and the kind of sentiments best suited in a Penthouse Forum, created the atmosphere in which Jodeci excels in…seduction! Reaching number-one on the R&B album chart, it stayed there for two weeks, spawning the #1 R&B hit "Cry for You"; "Feenin'" and "What About Us". "Diary of a Mad Band" eventually went double platinum.
Jodeci's third album, "The Show, the After Party, the Hotel", was released in July 1995, reaching the second spot on the Billboard 200 making it the group's highest peaking release and topping the U.S. R&B Albums chart. By September 1995, it was certified platinum in sales by the RIAA, after sales exceeding one million copies in the United States. The album contained the Top 40 hits "Freek'n You", “Love U 4 Life" and “Get on Up.”. As with the group's first two albums, it topped Billboard's R&B chart and went platinum status.
Departure –present: Return
On November 7, 2014, Jodeci reunited and performed a medley of their classic songs, at the 2014 Soul Train Awards. The performance also included a snippet of a brand-new single titled "Nobody Wins", which was released in December 22, 2014. The song is the 1st single released by Jodeci in over 18 years. The last song released by the group was "Get On Up", in 1996. Prior to the performance, the group has not taken the stage together in the U.S. since 2006.
On January 28, 2015, a 2nd single titled "Every Moment" was released. Also in that same month, it was announced by Epic Records that Jodeci had been signed to the label to release their new album. Timbaland, who recently brought his Mosley Music Group over to Epic, will work on the album.
Influences and followers
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (July 2009)|
Most of the elements that were eventually combined to form what became known as the "Jodeci style" originated with the work of new jack swing pioneers Keith Sweat and Teddy Riley, with an important influence being the work of Riley's three-man group Guy. Other influences include the works of Bobby Womack, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Bobby Brown, and New Edition. The group received high acclaim with Stevie Wonder's 1981 song, Lately, being the one of the groups highest peaking hit, reaching number four, on the Billboard Hot 100.
Artists and producers heavily influenced by Jodeci were those were directly or indirectly associated with them, including Mary J. Blige, Dru Hill and a number of the members of DeVante's Swing Mob collective who he discovered and nurtured: Missy Elliott, Timbaland, Nealante, Magoo, Ginuwine, Playa (who R&B singer & producer Static Major was a part of with Smoke E. Digglera, Suga (who R&B act Tweet was a part of), and Darryl Pearson.
The R&B group II D Extreme's demo deal which led them to getting signed was in part responsible by DeVante, who was a friend of band member D'Extra Wiley. While hanging out in a hotel after a Jodeci show in Washington D.C., D'Extra asked DeVante' to check out his new group, outfitted with Johnny Gill's brother Randy. That impromptu audition for DeVante led them to New York and meeting with Devante's consultants and business partners who owned Savage records, and imprint on RCA records, then on to Gasoline Alley/MCA records.
Mariah Carey repeatedly mentions Jodeci in her song 'The Impossible' from her album Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, in which she sampled 'Forever My Lady'. She also samples Jodeci's 'Freek 'n You' in her song 'Makin' It Last All Night' featuring JD. Additionally, she sampled a line in 'Bring On Da Funk' in her song 'Don't Stop (Funkin' 4 Jamaica)' in her album Glitter.
Drake and J. Cole released a freestyle in June 2013 entitled 'Jodeci', paying tribute to the group and citing them as a direct influence. The song was released online via the OVO Blog. Drake released a song titled "How About Now" on October 19th which samples the popular Jodeci song "My Heart Belongs To U".
Jodeci's last manager was Damon "Smooth" Hart from Newark, New Jersey who is associated with their former manager Bert Padell.
- Forever My Lady (1991)
- Diary of a Mad Band (1993)
- The Show, the After Party, the Hotel (1995)
- The Past, The Present, The Future (2015)
Awards and honors
- Billboard Music Award for Top R&B Album - Forever My Lady (1992)
- Billboard Music Award for Top R&B Song - Come and Talk to Me (1992)
- Billboard Music Award for Top R&B Artist (1992)
- Soul Train Music Award for Best R&B/Soul Album, Group, Band or Duo - Forever My Lady (1992)
- Soul Train Music Award for Best R&B/Soul Single - Lately (1994)
- North Carolina Music Hall of Fame (2012)
- "Video: jodeci - 'every moment'". rap-up.com. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
The Bad Boys of R&B are back.
- Flanagan, Sylvia, ed. (17 July 1995). "Jodeci helps spread message of safe sex to combat aids while on tour across u.s.". Jet (Johnson Publishing Company) 88 (10). ISSN 0021-5996. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
Shocked and horrified by the death of their musical associate, Jodeci, the multi-platinum bad boys of R&B, said it opened their eyes to the reality of the AIDS epidemic and they wanted to do something to help.
- Sinclair, Tom (December 1993). "Guns and roses". Vibe (Vibe Media Group) 1 (4). ISSN 1070-4701.
Today, their label, Uptown Records, encourages the groups's penchant for wearing boots and hip hop gear, and tacitly condones Jodeci's image as "the bad boys of R&B."
- THEBOOMBOX.COM. "K-ci, jojo reminisce on jodeci, 'bad boys of r&b' title". watchinga.com. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
During their Jodeci days, K-Ci?and?JoJo were far removed from the Disney set. They were the “Bad Boys of R&B” after all.
- Ni'Kesia (24 February 2015). "Jodeci reveals details about new album, teases 'every moment' video". thisisrnb.com. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
The original Bad Boys of R&B are back!
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The Bad Boys of R&B aka iconic R&B group Jodeci
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Folks down South...
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I was up at Paisly Park...
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We didn't have an appointment...
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"Dress Jodeci the same...
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Only a song not written by DeVante-the group's cover of Stevie Wonder's "Lately"-ever made the Top 10 on Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart
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