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From Gospel To R&B

Ryan is a poet, article writer, screen writer, sportswriter, copywriter, and song writer.


Pentecostal brothers Cedric and Joe Hailey had music in their blood. They were apart of a gospel group called little Cedric & the Hailey Singers. Not too far from them were other Gospel brothers Mr. Devante and Dalvin. The brothers started pursuing music careers early. Devante and Dalvin’s gospel group were called Unity. The groups heard about one another through various people. Unity’s Devante wanted to meet up with the Hailey brothers. In just a short time after meeting, all four stayed in an apartment and pursued a career in music. They combined their names and called themselves Jodeci. The young group recorded a 29-song demo tape while they were together. They went to New York City, pursuing a career in music at Uptown Records. They auditioned for Uptown records after extensively searching. Unfortunately, the audition ended as a failure quickly, but Andre Harrel of uptown records heard their demo. Harrel noticed the high quality, and the group performed some of the music live in front of him. Soon after, the group had a record contract with the label.


Bad Boys of R&B

Jodeci reached the level they knew they could get. They indeed had the talent. Despite their talent, they still had to be developed. Jodeci had to counteract the refined styles of groups that were hot in the industry at the time. Mr. Dalvin stepped up to the plate and created the image of the group. The group then started wearing hip-hop fashion. They were establishing a different aesthetic genre. The group had the idea and were about ready for the stage. In 1991, they performed live on soul train. That same year, they released their debut album FOREVER MY LADY. By now, they were no longer gospel singers. The album had the seductive energy that writer Devante Swing wanted out there. His songwriting and uniqueness in his production were superb. He mixed that with old-fashioned soul singing and called it New Jack Swing. With the success of the album, the boldness in his show could not go unnoticed. They were not bad boys, but they were when it came to R&B music.


Jodeci were greats in the making before Uptown, and they knew it. If they did not, they might not have gone on that trip. They had the Hailey brothers and the swing brothers. Mr. Dalvin was the creator, and his brother was the producer. Despite the success of the first album, there was a concern before the second. Jodeci felt their success was beyond what was said. They felt mistreated by the label. It was so bad, they thought about dropping the title and joining another out west. They eventually worked things out. They made three albums, and each was successful, but the success was a blessing and a curse. It seemed to have come too fast for the group. They began to embrace the wrong boy role too much. Devante Swing was having substance abuse problems. That alone pushed the Hailey brothers into a hiatus. They had success outside of Jodeci but were open to reuniting after they are all cleaned up. By 2013, the time came. They released the final album after 20 years

Long Time Coming

After a 20-yr. hiatus, the group cleaned up and decided it was time for a comeback. The announcement was made on BET. They started at the soul train music awards in 2014. There, they performed their hit records. They also debuted their new song entitled Nobody Wins. Turns out, they cleaned up a while ago. The debut single was recorded so they have been working. Despite them having three successful albums 18 yrs. ago, the group did not feel that they had a great body of work for the album. The times may have changed but they are jodeci. They wanted to give the people what they knew they could give them. They brought in super producer Timbaland to help them with the album. After careful mixing and mastering, it all came together. They had an album that they loved. In February 24, 2015 the album was almost ready. They did the artwork and listed the tracks. On March 31, 2015 it was officially released.



The industry goes with what works, and the bad boy image was working for this group. Unfortunately, they embraced too much of it. So much until they forgot their gospel roots. Despite them failing most of them, their fans saw the little left in their music. K-Ci was always lead singing like he was on the praise team at church. During the hiatus, it was more visible than the Hailey brothers were church boys. During the Hiatus, they all had successful careers. In 2010 the Hailey brothers revealed how they struggled with alcohol in and out of Jodeci. It was glorious seeing the four back on stage again singing their hits. It was even better knowing they were doing another album.


© 2019 Ryan Jarvis Cornelius

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