Jagged Edge Talks Hiatus, New Album and Jermaine Dupri
Real R&B was brought back to NYC last night (June 21) as Jagged Edge took the stage to celebrate the release of their new album, "The Remedy." Clad in red shirts and black vests, they performed vintage hits and the album's first single, "Baby." The Atlanta-based group, who would stay long after the show signing autographs and taking pictures, thanked the crowd for their longevity. "This is our seventh album! Where they do that at?"
It's been four years since Jagged Edge serenaded us with "Baby Makin' Project" ten years since they showed us "Where the Party At" and thirteen years since they made their debut album on SoSo Def.; Now, they're back on a new label, Slip-N-Slide Records, with "The Remedy." According to twin brothers Brandon and Brian Casey, the group is more determined than ever, and they want everyone to know that they never intended to stay away for so long.
Because they have been quiet for some time, it's easy to forget what an impact they had on the R&B and Pop scenes. Their first album,"A Jagged Era," hit No. 19 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart; their second album, "J.E. Heartbreak," yielded R&B/Hip-Hop Songs No. 1 hit "Let's Get Married" and No. 2 hit, "Promise." "Jagged Little Thrill" (2001) spawned the massive single "Where the Party at," featuring Nelly, that clinched the No. 3 spot on the Hot 100 chart.
Despite those achievements, Jagged Edge is striving to accomplish more. "There's still things we want to do," Brandon says. "You always want to be sure to make people understand that you're grateful and appreciative of success anytime you have it. But... we're so hungry just to get out here and see what new ground we can cover."
That new ground is explored on "The Remedy," which features a fresh crop of producers such as Gorilla Tech and well-known producers such as, Jim Jonsin (Beyoncé, Lil Wayne, Usher). The talent was brought in by Slip-N-Slide Records, the new label that Jagged Edge signed with in 2009 after moving on from Def Jam. The group embraced the "new energy" that the producers brought to the project.
"Nothing against Jermaine [Dupri], but we had done that for so long," Brian says. "We just welcomed the chance to see what else we could try."
Although the singers experimented this time around, they made sure to maintain a lot of their signature sound. They kept the cameos, which included spots by Rick Ross and Trina, to a minimum. "I think it's a good mixture of both, old and new," Brian says.
"The Remedy" marks Jagged Edge's return to an R&B scene that is lacking "feeling" and "heartfelt moments," according to Brian. "When I was a kid, it wasn't such a shortage of those. You can get your bump and grind music and your young stuff, but you still had the other side," he said.
So why were they gone for so long? Unlike the brief period between the "Jagged Edge" album (2006) and the "Baby Makin' Project" (2007) when the fellas took a break to spend time with loved ones, the hiatus prior to "The Remedy" was not initiated by them. "This actual break has been more contractual, business situations that need to be handled and dotting all the I's and crossing the T's," Brandon says. "I want the fans to know that any time when they can't reach us, it ain't us. It's politics, it's the powers that be," Brian adds.
They don't want the fans to think they've become "lazy" or tired of making music. In fact, if it were up to them, they'd release music every week. "I just want everyone to understand that. We love them and we're going to keep trying to get it to them," Brian says. "But just understand it aint easy."