Jagged Edge Chats About Latest Project, Jermaine Dupri and R&B Music

Do you still see that today?

Brandon: In mainstream music you have groups that, once they’ve proven themselves, they don’t have to worry about the support, they’re going to get the support.  But with us it’s still like we’re always fighting.  Even though we have albums out there that are triple platinum and double platinum, we still are fighting just to get our message out there, our music out there.  Its unfortunate, but they picked the right ones because we are fighters, and we will continue to fight.

R&B groups seem to have a certain time span. Do you think there is a cap on the number of years R&B groups can be successful?

Brandon: I think the cap comes from the nature of the beast. With urban music it’s always about what’s new and innovative.  For that reason, in the urban audience once we’re used to you after a while the urban audience has to feel like, ‘I’ve seen that bag tricks.’  That is the nature of the music we make and the trends we get into. But at the same time I feel like we are losing the depth and you definitely lose some of the effectiveness of music that covers more than one demographic.

Wingo: As far as longevity for R&B groups, a lot of the downfalls have been caused by the groups themselves.  We have been watching Boyz II Men and Jodeci and all of them from the time they started till it was over and in each of those instances their downfall was caused by internal problems.  Internal problems stopped their longevity because these guys were on a run.

Brandon: No matter how well this album does, we are winners, we’re champions, we feel like that in our hearts.  I feel like a champion, no matter how many times I get knocked down I get up, and that’s what we are going to do.  All of this has been hard for us, and that has never stopped us in the past.  If it’s the type of thing where the respect or the support doesn’t come right off the top, we’re always ready to go in the foxhole and fight.

How has Slip-N-Slide been helping you with the effort. You have been with Columbia and Def Jam before. Is there a difference?

Brandon: Slip-N-Slide doesn’t care how big of a label or how small of a label it is. It feels like it should be able to compete with the big boys and that’s admirable. I think in any type of business or industry there’s something that you lose and something that you gain.  When you’re in a big system, they can roll out a project in a way you have never seen before.  When you’re in a smaller system, the roll out isn’t always as big but it can be as effective in the long run. The focus that you get from a smaller label is something that we feel like, at this point in our career, like you said thirteen years in, we still want the focus that a new artist gets, and being at a smaller label we can get that.

What is the vibe of the album?  How would you describe the emotions you guys were going through when you created it?

Brandon: The emotions were the same as the message: love on.  It’s so cliché, but I don’t care what the problem is if it’s as ugly as you think it can get and you be the one to approach it with a little bit of love, a little bit of compassion, a little sensitivity, you’ll get a way better result. So, that is pretty much the message and the emotion.

What’s next for you guys?

Wingo: Touring. We’re definitely going to go hit the road and promote. Every album, the promoting process is the same. The only thing different is how the music industry has changed with the Internet. We definitely have to make a big Internet presence but it is still the same formula: get out and hug and kiss the babies, make sure you get out to the radio stations and let them know that your still here, you got new music coming and the whole nine. Go out and meet with the program director, and hotel parties; the same old thing.

What’s your relationship with Jermaine Dupri like now?

Brandon: We’re cool. We don’t talk much. I haven’t seen him in a while but I have no animosity towards JD. There was a point when I was kind of angry with him but I know everyone does what they think they have to do and if that doesn’t necessarily cover everyone under the umbrella sometimes you have to make those decisions. As a grown man I understand that. I wish we always had the kind of relationship that we had had. I didn’t want to give up the music we made when we had such good chemistry.

So how did that relationship change?

Brandon: A lot of people think that the lack of focus that Def Jam put on us was because of the beef that JD was having.  But at the end of the day I just feel like when the situation went bad over there, JD had business with three different buildings.  He lost a little bit for it and he wasn’t willing to fight for some records, like he wasn’t necessarily willing to fight for Jagged Edge’s record.  And he didn’t want to hold us back.  I respect that. Like I said, I felt we should have always been able to do what we were doing.  But at the end of the day I respect his decision.

  • Mo

    Great interview Jagged Edge!!! I especially like the “smart-safe” way u answered the question: “After thirteen years in the game, how have you seen R&B change?” I too have seen sum changes in R&B. The changes I’ve seen r as follows: The quality of the music and vocals r crappy (it appears that there is no effort or talent put in either), the artists have sold their souls—literally (the music lacks soul and sounds like pop music similar 2 what N’SYNC or Backstreet Boys would have recorded), today’s R&B music lacks morals and values (only focuses on sex, especially NOT in the context of loving monogamous relationships, promotes alcohol/drug use, misogyny and promotes anti-love messages), has become less and less about the music and more and more about the artists themselves (i.e, their looks and/or age), and worst of all, the records companies dictate who is going to be the next “superstar” and not he people and then force all the people to become fans by making sure we don’t hear or see any other artists! Black people need to wake up and take back OUR music! As it relates to longevity, I’m sorry JE, but ppl didn’t used to get tired of artists. As long as the artist was still making good music, the fans would keep supporting them!!! Let’s get back to the day when WE THE FANS make artists “superstars” based on their music and talent and we become and remain fans of the music w/o the record companies’s imposed boundaries on age-limits and physical appearances, and time-span mythology!!!

    • Jaime

      Mo I completely agree. I support JE because they still sing about loving on your woman and have awesome vocals and harmonies. Then the music behind them is BANGIN! My JE Playlist on iTunesis a 127 tracks strong and I hope that it continues to grow. I can’t go a day without listening to at least a few songs off that playlist.

  • mayhem

    Mo, Very nicely put. My sentiments exactly!

  • Tunya B.

    Jagged Edge is the last R&B group standing through my eyes. But how they get treated by radio and tv is inexcusable, They have been in the game for almost 15 years and have never been invited to present any Grammy award or RECEIVE ONE! How do that make me feel as a TRUE fan of JE for almost 15 years? (infuriated) as fan we are only asking that radio and tv be fair to all music!
    HEART4JE

  • http://www.youtube.com/maxedout97maxima William

    nice job on the comments keep doing your thing fellas after 13 years still sound good and staying together

  • T

    Keep it up fellas. U guys r one of few of whom i can say i have every album. I will continue to support as long as u make good music. BTW, lovin the long awaited new album. It’s been in my car cd player for the last 2wks.

  • Teressa

    wooow! wht an interview! i so love them they’ve always kept it real no matter wht ! thts wht makes them #1 4eva!

  • Ms.boop

    I absolutely LOOVVVEE Jagged Edge! So glad you guys are back… Ive been waiting. I just turned 21 June, 2011 so to recieve you guys abulm was a blessing & awesome Forever*21 birthday gift. Me being a songwriter and singer myself really appreciate such well written music & harmonies. True r&b is definately what you guys are & i wouldnt want it any other way. I love the new album! HANDS DOWN! I LOVE YOU JE DONT EVER STOP BECAUSE TRUST ME, YOU GUYS ARE VERY INFLUENTIAL! MUAH

    • Ms.boop

      ps. i forgot to mention you are my favorite “Group”/ “Individual” artists. Not only R&B but PERIOD. Being 11 walking in my Aunt’s wedding to “Lets Get Married” and now being a young adult still banging your tunes says alot! Thank You

  • kum annacletus

    don,t know where to start, let me begin on saying that JAGGED EDGE will never serprate due to the twin brothers BRAIN and BRANDON, secondly the peace maker KYLE,also the resistance WINGO. the will never fade up like the other groups . keep it on JE . i will always have u number 1 in my mind.what ever song track u sing in each every album you,ve ever sang has always been theysame thing happening to my life. love u JE

  • Akeem bolanle

    I love u guys.

  • FELECIA MINOR

    A VERY WELL TO DO R&B GROUP AND IM SO GLAD YOUR BACK.

  • angelvoice

    I have loved you guys and your sound since you started back in the 90s. Mo said it all and is telling the truth. Real singing and real lyrics need to come back cause the excuse for music being played today is a shame and most of it is just noise (all about sex). Even the few who can actually sing have sold out for money. All the art is gone out of musicmaking!!!! Great to have you guys back on the scene and doing it for real with class and style like always!!!

  • http://volvoxc70.net/ Volvo XC70

    I’d personally also like to state that most of those who find themselves devoid of health insurance are typically students, self-employed and those that are laid-off. More than half of those uninsured are really under the age of Thirty five. They do not really feel they are looking for health insurance since they’re young and healthy. Their particular income is generally spent on property, food, and also entertainment. Some people that do represent the working class either full or in their free time are not given insurance through their jobs so they move without as a result of rising expense of health insurance in the United States. Thanks for the ideas you write about through this blog.

  • http://suzukigsxr600.com Suzuki GSX-R600

    A powerful share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing somewhat evaluation on this. And he in reality purchased me breakfast as a result of I discovered it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the deal with! However yeah Thnkx for spending the time to debate this, I really feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic. If attainable, as you turn out to be expertise, would you mind updating your blog with extra particulars? It is highly useful for me. Big thumb up for this weblog publish!

  • http://akoarmy.org/ AKO Army

    What i do not understood is actually how you are not really much more well-liked than you might be right now. You are very intelligent. You realize thus considerably relating to this subject, produced me personally consider it from a lot of varied angles. Its like men and women aren’t fascinated unless it is one thing to do with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs nice. Always maintain it up!

  • http://benigntumor.net/ Benign Tumor

    I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you design this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz reply as I’m looking to design my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. many thanks

  • http://www.tonguepain.org/ Tongue pain

    Excellent goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and you are just extremely magnificent. I really like what you’ve acquired here, certainly like what you are stating and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still care for to keep it sensible. I can’t wait to read much more from you. This is really a great web site.

  • http://xbox360-emulator.info XBOX 360

    Amazing layout! How did you get it?

  • http://xbox360-emulator.info XBOX 360

    Perfect layout I think.

  • http://izzykonto.wordpress.com Izzykonto opinie

    Amazing layout I think.

  • http://praziquantel.org/ praziquantel

    Hi there, You’ve done an incredible job. I’ll definitely digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I’m confident they’ll be benefited from this web site.

  • http://stickfile.net/bECUdWqBJg emu360v1.4

    I was recommended this web site by means of my cousin. I am no longer positive whether this submit is written by way of him as no one else recognize such special about my problem. You are wonderful! Thanks!

  • http://libcom.org/user/709199 Lamborghini SUV

    very good put away, i certainly enjoy this web web site, keep on it

  • http://nfsworldhack.posterous.com NFS World Speedhack

    Heya i am for the first time here. I came across this board and I to find It truly useful and it helped me out much. I hope to present one thing back and help others such as you aided me.

  • jennifer

    Let me start by saying I LOVE YOU GUYS SO MUCH !!!!!!!!! I LOVE your music and i’m so happy you’re still together. 13 years down the road your music still sounds new and fresh to me. I have so many of your songs (if not the whole album) from all 7 of your albums in heavy rotation on my i-pod. I just want to say from the bottom of my heart that I, really love you guys for putting out great music and I, wish you continued success for many good years to come. OH P. S. before the Monique show went off I saw you guys perform a song off the Remedy album and I, went to screaming because i was so happy that them jagged boys were releasing a new album, and i knew it would be hot . LOVE LOVE LOVE J.E. can’t wait for another album. Your biggest fan Jennifer