Jagged Edge Puts the Rhythm in R&B

Dear Madison Square Garden,

Thank you for hosting Jagged Edge a couple of weeks ago for their Ladies’ Night Valentine concert along with Dru Hill, Keith Sweat, Carl Thomas and Donnell Jones. Jagged Edge has recently been on the scene in anticipation of their upcoming album The Remedy and it’s really got me thinking about the growth and transformation Jagged Edge has had over the past 15 years they’ve been in the music industry.

Brian and Brandon Casey, Kyle Norton and Richard Wingo started out as four twenty year olds out to make their mark on the world. They knew they were going to be singing love songs but they also knew that they would not be rockin’ the Bill Cosby sweaters, button-ups or suits the way R&B artists before them had been. These four gentlemen were going to make their marks on R&B by showing off their singing and performing talents with less blues and more rhythm.  The four hit the scene with their jerseys and gold chains, notorious for their Hennessey drinking, girl-getting crew and doo-rag collection. Their sex appeal was instant and they went from living with their parents in the house their unemployed father owned in Atlanta to needing a separate house in Decatur with a gate and live-in security as women dropped their panties off on their doorstep, dug through their garbage, chased them down for their autographs and stole their precious gold lions from off their property.

Brian and Brandon originally formed a group with Kyle Norton and former New Edition member called Twin K-A with lyrics so degrading and raw they were embarrassed to play their demo record in full for their mother Linda Casey, former R&B artist turned Jazz. Kyle and the Twinz went on to meet Richard Wingo through high school classmate Kandi Burruss who eventually connected them with Jermaine Dupri who signed them to So So Def and became instrumental in producing the early part of their career. At the time, all four were young single fathers by day and singing their way into young women’s hearts everywhere by night.

The newly formed quartet hit a disappointing 500,000 record sales in their first album run and a very unhappy Brandon Casey cried out against the Gold Sales, setting the bar higher for the group and pushing them toward meeting it. The four began to travel the world, slowly gathering a team around them that they could trust. Their bodyguard became a staple for them both in their travels and at home. The work of a celebrity bodyguard is demanding enough when it’s just one entertainer and Jagged Edge’s bodyguard is solely in charge of managing all four separate personalities. Aside from performing the traditional tasks of accompanying Jagged Edge to interviews, recording sessions, appearances, meetings, concerts, clubs, dinner, parties and award shows their bodyguard took on the task of making sure Wingo’s sandwiches didn’t have mayonnaise, Brandon wasn’t breaking mirrors in dressing rooms, Brian had a girl-getter and Kyle had enough Magnums to keep him protected. Alone, he made sure the four of them prayed together at the beginning of each show and made it safely back to their rooms after the party and after the hotel lobby. He Lorded over the protection of Jagged Edge as their success continued to grow, reaching double platinum record sales with their second album in 2000, followed by a platinum album, a gold and Baby Makin’ Project which was their album after parting ways with Columbia Records and rejoining Jermaine Dupri in 2009.

Jagged Edge broke the mold for R&B groups in early 2000’s as they swam with the current of the stream enough to be mainstream but not so much that they got lost in the rushing waters. You could listen to a Jagged Edge song and shake your shoulders, croon over a loved one or make promises of a future together. There was something about the music Jagged Edge was bringing to the scene and much the same way The Temptations could call a woman ugly in Beauty is Only Skin Deep and still have her falling in love, Jagged Edge can say good-bye and have you wishing Forest Whitaker would have extended the video to make it the longest good-bye ever.

Jagged Edge has become a household name and their concert a couple of weeks ago was a testament to this. They came with all their old hits and had all of Madison Square Garden on their feet as they did their dance routine to “Where the Party At?”. They commanded the stage with their newer song “Put a Little Umph” and although we didn’t get a taste of “My Baby” it’s impossible not to be excited for the upcoming Remedy. Since their first contract agreement with Jermaine Dupri in 1997 they have also been signed with Columbia Records, Hoodstar Entertainment, Island Def Jam and most recently Slip ‘n Slide Records. March 29, 2011 is the slated release date for their next album and Kyle has excitedly released many statements about all the work they are doing, including a future collaboration with Plies, Rick Ross and possibly Jay-Z or Snoop Dogg.

To the young men of R&B that we have watched grow into mature, responsible men who have left their mark and put the rhythm into Rhythm and Blues I look forward to watching what the future will continue to bring for you and being a supportive part of that future. The amazing men of Jagged Edge continue to expand their families and raise children, two of the four are married and they are still together, performing all over the world with all their original members.

Love Always,


3 Responses to “Jagged Edge Puts the Rhythm in R&B”
  1. Leen says:

    i ADORE this! my favorite part is probably the women digging through the garbage…hilarious!

    • Sunny Dee says:

      It’s such an odd balance between getting really personal and just sharing the facts. Naturally I love the part about the lions most! Plus I love all the good information about their amazing Bodyguard.

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  1. […] to be different than The Babymaking Project in that this would be designed to be a return to the Jagged Edge I grew up on, the Jagged Edge of the 90′s that had folks Getting Married, Making Promises and […]

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