Jodeci Revisits 'The Past, The Present, The Future' With Album Debut

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The '90s group's first studio set in 20 years bows at No. 2 on R&B Albums chart.

Jodeci member Dalvin “Mr. Dalvin” DeGrate wants to clear up a misconception about the group’s 20-year hiatus. “People thought we broke up,” he told Billboard. “But we never did. We just stopped putting out records.”

With the March 31 release of The Past, The Present, The Future (Sphinx/Epic), the popular ‘90s R&B group is back to putting out records -- and also charting a return to familiar terrain. Jodeci’s fourth studio album (and first since 1995’s The Show, The After Party, The Hotel) bows at No. 2 on R&B Albums and No. 23 on the Billboard 200 for the week ending April 5.

Jodeci Returns With New Epic Album & Video

The set’s lead single, “Every Moment,” jumps 25-18 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs tally and 6-3 on the Adult R&B airplay chart. It’s Jodeci’s second-highest charting single ever on the latter list, behind only “Cry for You” (No. 2 for three weeks in 1994). “Nobody Wins” featuring B.o.B, the preceding buzz track from The Past, The Present, The Future, debuts at No. 25 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.

“There’s a lot of love out here from fans, peers and friends,” DeGrate said of the group’s return. “People want to hear real harmonies and lyrics again; emotional music where you can feel happy, sad or in the mood to make love. For longtime fans, our new album sounds like where Jodeci left off. But it sounds current as well to bring in new fans.”

Adding to the coming-full-circle feeling: the group’s reunion with songwriter/producer Timbaland. Once a protégé of Jodeci member and DeGrate’s brother Donald, a.k.a. DeVante Swing, the Empire music man co-produced two of the album’s 12 tracks: “Incredible” and “Those Things.”  Notes DeGrate, “Timbaland is like family. He said that if we ever did [a new album], he wanted to be a part of it.”

A national tour slated for spring/summer is currently being routed. That will mark another milestone: the first time in 20 years the group’s members -- including Cedric “K-CI” Hailey and Joel “JoJo” Hailey -- have all been on the road together. The quartet got its first taste of being onstage together for the first time in 18 years when Jodeci performed last year at the Soul Train Awards.

“We’re getting used to each other again,” DeGrate said with a laugh. “We have our ups and downs just like a family. But it’s all in good faith and fun. We’re going to go out there and do what we do.”

--Additional reporting by Keith Caulfield


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