The state of R&B has been a heavily discussed subject lately, but slowly it’s been pulled from the pits of sadness. To assist with the great slow jams on the NOW are a group of guys who we still jam to from the THEN of the 90s – Jagged Edge.

The group is currently working on the release of their upcoming album, J.E. Heartbreak Too and Hip Hop DX sits the four guys down to talk about this, Atlanta, working with Jermaine Dupri again and more. Check it out down bottom.

JaaiR (JR)

Brian, Brandon, Richard and Kyle talks the new album and what step they’re currently on before it’s release.

DX: The first single, “Hope,” man it sounds like what R&B used to mean to us when we were growing up. What is it about that sound and what was it like in the studio making that happen again?

Brian Casey: Most importantly, I think, with “Hope” our goal was always to… when we came back this time, make sure we gave something that was like as soon as you heard it, you know that was Jagged Edge. And I think we definitely achieved that. But I think when you make as many songs we’ve made, sometimes it’s almost hard to figure out, “What’s that one that’s gonna resonate immediately? What’s that one that people are gonna say, ‘This is Jagged Edge?'” But when we completed that song, I think we all kinda knew that this [was] that record that people gonna understand, “That’s Jagged Edge.”

DX: How far along is the album?

Brian Casey: We’re about a fourth in. We got about 12 songs, we’re trying to do about 50 before we’re done. But honestly, out of them 12, I think every one of those could go right now. But we’re gonna keep working regardless. Though we do feel like we’ve got a strong 12 right now. But once we get to 50 we’ll put it all in a pot, sit back and listen and see what’s really working.

Richard Wingo: And it’s always good to have more than less. Cause you have material for other things, soundtracks, and our next album.

Brian Casey: And understand, if you wanna follow in our steps, our goal always been to be timeless. And I think young dudes goal is that. Because you gotta be real about it. Some things you saying at 19, 20… When you’re 60, you not gonna say that. It ain’t gonna feel the same coming out of your mouth.

Brandon Casey: And this is one of the few games where if you good enough, you can still exist at 60. So why limit yourself?

Richard Wingo: I mean, you won’t hear a lot of that stuff in the next 20 years.

Kyle Norman: I mean that’s just [a] Jagged Edge thing. Okay? I don’t know what you gonna do, but… Jagged Edge.

…they also talk their role in Atlanta.

DX: You guys were a part of, if not, a main part of a sound in Atlanta that took over the entire nation. You guys made a kind of R&B with a Hip Hop edge that’s very popular right now. Do you guys see your DNA in a lot of artists that are successful right now?

Brandon Casey: Yeah, I think also, some of the artists have kinda took the essence of what this is and made it and almost tried to make it literal. If you understand, it’s like people always try to associate that thug thing with us. But y’all never ever heard us say ‘Thug R&B.’ We ain’t never say…I would never put it that way. And I think some of the younger artists took that and they thought, ‘Now we supposed to talk about this and sing about that,’ and really like we just four dudes that’s from the hood trying to sing. It was never about no R&B thug.

Brian Casey: That shits so lame. I’m sorry.

Brandon Casey: It does, it just feels so lame to take, to try to take R&B and try to make it that. And I feel like everybody got a story to tell so I don’t want to knock that story, but at the same time lets appreciate R&B for what it is and what it’s been since the beginning. There was nothing wrong with it, y’all ain’t gotta try to recreate it like that. There was nothing wrong with R&B.

Richard Wingo: And to what Brandon was saying, I mean, just like you said, when you see us with our hat backwards, I mean this is how we walk around in our neighborhood, this is how you’ll see us at the mall. So we just always wanted to be regular. We didn’t want to be too “Too famous to even speak to you,” we want our fans to walk up to us and tell us how they day going or whatnot.

Kyle Norman: Or image built. There’s a lot of artists right now that’s image built. And, ‘This us.’ How you see us 24/7 at the studio, on the stage, this is Jagged Edge right here. And a lot of cats, they be like, ‘Yo. Where’d you get the hat from? How you gon match that with that?’ That’s not what we’re doing here, okay, really.

I’m ready for this. Strong comeback – it’s JAGGED EDGE!