Top Ten Songs by Jodeci

The beginning to mid-90s saw the emergence of a pair of brothers from Charlotte, North Carolina, better known as the R&B/soul group, Jodeci. When DeVante DeGrate turned 16, he traveled to Minneapolis to work for Prince, but was rejected. Returning to Charlotte, he honed his production skills and recorded a few songs with brothers, Cedric (“K-Ci”) and Joel (“Jo-Jo”) Hailey. After the completion of close to 30 demo tapes, they sent them to many different record labels. The first to sign the talented brothers was Heavy D and then Uptown Records CEO, Andre Harrell.

The Members

Donald “DeVante” DeGrate: Group founder; also known by his nickname: “DeVante Swing.” He served as the main songwriter and producer for the group, producing almost all of the songs on all three Jodeci collaborations. His production experience also extended to other artists, such as 2 Pac.

“Dalvin” DeGrate: Younger brother of DeVante, who was known as the rapper of the group and was rarely featured as the lead singer. Under his belt, he achieved many production and songwriting credits for the albums: “Diary of a Mad Band” and “The Show, The After Party, The Hotel.”

Cedric “K-Ci” Hailey: Often compared to Bobby Womack (in singing style), he presented a gospel-inspired raspy voice, which he tended to exaggerate during performances.

Joel “Jo-Jo” Hailey: Often compared to Stevie Wonder, he was known as the secondary lead singer and songwriter for the group. He is also known for various outside projects, which included the producing and writing for other musicians.

After Jodeci split in 1996, K-Ci and Jo-Jo went on to form their own group, where they enjoyed several hits. Below (in chronological order) are the top 10 songs by Jodeci (in my opinion, of course):

Forever My Lady (1991)________________________________

More than 3 million copies of this album were sold, producing three singles that reached the #1 position on R&B charts. DeVante and their labelmate, Al B. Sure, produced the album. DeVante, (receiving help from K-Ci and Al B. Sure on one track each), wrote every song for this project.

#1 Forever My Lady

You cannot mention Jodeci without speaking of “Forever My Lady,” the first song and video released by the group. I was glued to the television every time the video played on BET, showcasing the group members in the same outfits, standing by the ocean. During the early 90s, this song was definitely played by a large following of expectant couples.

Memorable Lyrics:

“Forever, forever, forever
So you’re having my baby
And it means so much to me
There’s nothing more precious
Than to raise a family
If there’s any doubt in your mind
You can count on me
I’ll never let you down
Lady believe in me

[Bridge:]

You and I
Will never fall apart
You and I
We knew right from the start, baby, baby
The day
We fell so far in love
Now our baby is born, healthy and strong
Now our dreams are reality

[Chorus:]

Forever my lady
It’s like a dream
I’m holding you close
You’re keeping me warm
If this is ecstasy
Forever my lady
I say just what I mean
Forever and ever
I pray is what I see”

#2 Stay

Once you heard those four little words, (“Don’t talk/ Just listen”), you knew what followed. It was a great “kiss-up” song during the early 90s, making it quite hard for a woman to slam the door in their boyfriend’s face after listening to this track.

Memorable Lyrics:

“Sorry I left you
Left you cryin
But since you’ve been gone
I’ve been all alone
Cause all of my tears
You know they left me drownin
Please baby i’m beggin
For you to stay at home

[Bridge:]

Tonight
Let’s start our love again
Tonight
We can be more than just friends
Don’t you know
The sun
Is going down
So baby won’t you just stay
Baby won’t you just stay
For a little while”

#3 Come and Talk to Me

The protagonist in this song expresses his feelings for a certain woman in the beginning of the song. Ironically, after presenting a few flattering remarks about the woman, he still hasn’t gotten enough nerve and he’d rather have the female do all of the approaching as seen in the chorus.

Memorable Lyrics:

“I’ve been watching you
For so very long
Trying to get my nerve built up to be so strong
I really want to meet you
But I’m kind of scared
Cause you’re the kind of lady
With so much class
I get my thoughts together
For the very next day
But when I see you lady
I forget what to say

[Chorus:]

Come and talk to me
I really want to meet you
Can I talk to you
I really want to know you”

Diary of a Mad Band (1993)_____________________________________

If you ever wondered where the title of the group’s second album came from, it stemmed from a growing unhappiness with their record label, Uptown. The group didn’t feel as if they were receiving consideration or recognition from the label. Even though the label didn’t give proper promotion for “Diary of a Mad Band,” it still reached platinum status. From this album, “Feenin” and “Cry For You” (which reached #1 R&B status) were released.

#4 Feenin

In this particular song, the group equates a female with the power of drugs. Their fans heavily accepted the simple chorus of the track when it was released.

Memorable Lyrics:

“Take my money
My house and my cars
For one hit of you
You can have it all, baby
Cause makin love
Everytime we do
Girl it’s worse than drugs
Cause I’m an addict over you
And you know that I

[Chorus:]

I can’t leave you alone
You got me feenin”

#5 Cry For You

This song reached the #1 position in many R&B charts. The track deals with a man, who has upset his lady and wishes for her forgiveness and acceptance once again. Jodeci delivers a convincing apology through this song. From personal experience, trust me, it works.

Memorable Lyrics:

“It’s been an hour
Since you’ve been gone
And that’s too long
So come back home
I can’t live without you
So I’ll cry for you
Do anything that I can
To feel that touch from your hand
Sorry that I want you
Lady what do I do

[Bridge:]

You know you’re everything I do
Ooh yeah
Do what you want me to
I would do anything
Get on my knees for you
Ooooh, baby
What else is there to do
I don’t know, I don’t know
But I’ll cry

[Chorus:]

Lady I, will cry for you tonight
Tonight
Yeah
Lady I, will cry for you tonight
Tonight”

#6 My Heart Belongs to You

No explanation needed for this particular song. It has been used many times as a wedding, anniversary or Valentine’s Day dedication during the early 90s.

Memorable Lyrics:

“Whatever you want (Ba-ba-ba-ba)
Whatever you need (Woo, yeah)
My heart belongs to you (Whatever you want, baby)
Whatever you need (Woo…)
There’s nothing I won’t do (And I say whatever you want, baby)

I say whatever you want
My heart belongs to you
I say whatever you need (Woo….baby)
I’ll be right here for you”

The Show, The After Party, The Hotel (1995)______________________________

In 1995, Jodeci released their final album, which produced several hit singles, such as “Love U 4 Life.”

#7 Love U 4 Life

When the beat first drops within this song, I was hooked�. There were probably hundreds of weddings that utilized this song during the early 90s.

Memorable Lyrics:

“Do you believe in love
And the promise that it gives
I wanna love you for life
Cause your love is why I live”

#8 Freek’n you

During the 90s, the term “freek,” was quite popular and if it wasn’t part of your vocabulary, you may not appreciate this particular song.

Memorable Lyrics:

Beginning Lyric: “Every time I close my eyes, I wake up feeling so hornyâÂ?¦.”

[Bridge:]

Tonight, I need your body
Tonight, you got my time
Tonight you won’t be sorry
Tonight, you got my mind
You got my mind, all I wanna do is freak you

[Chorus:]

What must I say
What must I do
To show how much
I think about freek’n you
What must I say
What must I do
To show how much
I think about freek’n you”

#9 S-More

Light the candles, slip into that nightie and purr like a cat across silk sheets for your lover when you play this song. It’s got a catchy tune.

Memorable Lyrics: “You know you want some more”âÂ?¦ “open up my door”

#10 Get On Up

Although it may seem like it, not all of Jodeci’s songs were about love and sex. Here is a “feel-good” song that gets you clapping your hands and stomping your feet. When looking for a good tune for a BBQ or family reunion, this will definitely get the people moving.

Memorable Lyrics:

“Everybody grab somebody
Turn this mutha into a party
Fellas take your lady’s hand
Ladies go and choose your man
There’s no need to be afraid
Friday night, let’s all get paid
Positive is the attitude
Negative is not the mood”

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