Being an edgy crooner may not be much mean much these days. But when Jodeci burst onto the scene clad in jerseys and baseball caps, they were nothing short of revolutionary. Comprised of two sets of brothers, K-Ci and Jojo Hailey, DeVante Swing and Dalvin DeGrate, the quartet would help change the sound of R&B, as well as influencing a generation of artists with their street-wise style and unmistakable swagger.

After driving to New York City in search of a record deal with only a demo and $300 to their name, Jodeci caught their big break after an impromptu performance for Andre Harrell, who signed the group to his label, Uptown Records. Placed under the wing of a young Sean "Puffy" Combs, who would play a big part in styling the group and grooming them for prime time, Jodeci would flourish and become one of the biggest acts in R&B overnight.

Their debut album, Forever My Lady, was a runaway success, selling over three million copies with a slew of chart-topping singles, most notably, "Come & Talk To Me," which held the top spot on the R&B year-end chart in 1992. Following up on their debut record, Jodeci released their critically acclaimed sophomore album, Diary Of A Mad Band, which is viewed by many as their finest body of work. Returning in 1995, R&B's resident bad boys unleashed their third LP, The Show, The After Party, The Hotel -- a testament to the group's nightly routine while on the road.

Released on July 18, 1995, The Show, The After Party, The Hotel would peak at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart and be certified platinum by fall of that year. The LP would prove to be Jodeci's last shining moment as the group would disband shortly after, marking the end to one of the most memorable runs in R&B history. To celebrate its 20th anniversary, we rounded up a few music aficionados and picked their brains about their favorite memories involving The Show, The After Party, The Hotel.

  • 1

    Phonte

    Artist

    Favorite Memory Involving the Album

    "It dropped the summer of '95 while me and my boys were in the middle of summer workouts for the upcoming football season. For damn near a week after the album dropped, we'd sing 'Freek'N You' to the cheerleaders after practice...lol."

    Favorite Songs on the Album

    "'Pump It Back' and 'Good Love' were probably my favorites. I really liked the latter because it was a stripped down acoustic number that allowed their vocals to really shine."

    Favorite Beats on the Album

    "I don't really think of Devante's production as 'beats' or 'beat-driven,' per se but I always liked the way Dalvin flipped Quincy Jones' 'Velas' for 'Get On Up.' I tried to make a beat with that same sample earlier in the year for me and my boys to rhyme over, and when I heard 'Get On Up' I was like 'Damn, they beat me to it... but this s--- is dope.'"

    What Makes the Album a Classic?

    "Don't know if I'd call it a classic. In many ways, it's really overindulgent with the skits and what not. I will say that it's probably Jodeci's most cohesive and consistent record. They finally figured out how to make mid-tempo jams that you could dance to."

    Song From the Album You Wish You Had a Guest Verse On?

    "None. That album needs no rapping."

  • 2

    David Dennis

    Journalist

    Favorite Memory Involving the Album

    "I honestly didn't hear this album until college (2004-2008) because real G's don't listen to R&B as kids. I only visited it after hearing a Ghostface Live performance mixtape, and they did 'Freek'N You.' I knew the rap parts, but it reminded me just how great Jodeci was. So I went back and made this the "chill and DVD" background music for months."

    Favorite Songs on the Album

    "'S'More' starts with what may be Mary J. Blige banging on the door for K-Ci and goes into the group singing over 'Dead Wrong'... and it's co-written by Missy [Elliott]. Basically this is the 90s in one song."

    Favorite Beats on the Album

    "Gotta be 'Freek'N You,' right? Right."

    What Makes the Album a Classic?

    "It's Jodeci, man. The album is still music to hunch to. People still hunch right? It ages well (despite them talking about beepers and Playboy channel), and if you don't get to second base while this is playing, then there's no hope for you."

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  • 3

    Alex Estevez

    Actor, Model, Curator

    Favorite Memory Involving the Album

    "Favorite memory involving Jodeci's The Show, The After Party, The Hotel album has to be their Apollo [Theater] performance in '95 introducing the now classic 'Freek'N You.' When four vocally talented artists begin thrusting their hips on stage to an infections sound of smooth R&B oozing with soul while singing dirty lovemaking lyrics can put anyone in the mood."

    Favorite Songs on the Album

    "Best songs from that album for me has to be 'Freek'N You,' 'Pump It Back,' and 'Luv U 4 Life.' These songs, for example, had a unique staccato sound and the right balance of sex appeal and romance."

    Favorite Beats on the Album

    "'Freek'N You' had the best beat because it was a classic one. The right lyrics made it a timeless record."

    What Makes the Album a Classic?

    "The production of the album Devonte sweet talking lol [sic], the willingness of the guys ALL coming together and [I] can't forget the heartfelt, forgiving and nurturing love lyrics in melodic form. [It] contains a recipe for a classic contiguous vibe."

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  • 4

    Yomi Desalu

    Head Of MTV Music Programming

    Favorite Memory Involving the Album

    "Aw man! I probably copped this CD at The Wiz in Brooklyn on Fulton [Street] (my Brooklyn people remember The Wiz!) I know I had to purchase this one because I had already exhausted my Columbia House income up at this point. (That penny for a cd was a terrible idea to introduce to folk!)

    What always comes to mind with this project is the "Love U 4 Life" video -- seeing T-Boz looking quite official and the low-key hate I had for Dalvin because he scooped that."

    Favorite Songs on the Album

    "I mean 'Freek'N You' is an obvious monster, but "Get On Up" is actually a personal favorite. It sounded like what I felt the group wanted to sound like when they entered the industry (being from a background of singing in church) I really vibed that record. It was like they're Boyz II Men, Gap V neck sweaters record

    But 'Freek'N You' was definitely on the Come Thru mixtape, I'd say somewhere in the middle after the foreplay cuts."

    Favorite Beats on the Album

    "'Good Love' was dope to me because it was simple, and the beat loaned itself to the vocals. The subtle nature of the production made the lyrics and harmonies on the record really stand out."

    What Makes the Album a Classic?

    "Well to be honest, I think it's a classic more for what it represented than the body of work on the album. After The Show, K-Ci and Jojo went on to work without the group as a duo, and we had to wait until this year for a reunion project, sadly beyond the statute of limitations of their rabid fans in satin drawz."

  • 5

    MeLa Machinko

    Artist

    Favorite Memory Involving the Album

    "Jodeci got my ass beat. Walking down the street after school with my friends, singing 'Freek'N You' at the top of our lungs, like the little [Brooklyn] hoodrat I was, unaware that my momma was, in fact, not at work that day. Turned the corner hollering 'EVERYTIME I CLOSE MY EYES... I WAKE UP FEELING SO HORNY' and got smacked directly in the mouth. In public. So. There's your story."

    Favorite Songs on the Album

    "Without question, 'Get On Up.' That song still changes my mood every time I hear it. Thinking of it made happiness bloom in my belly. Lol [sic]."

    Favorite Beats on the Album

    "Does 'Freek'N You' remix count? Flames."

    What Makes the Album a Classic?

    "Their sound helped define an era. Nothing like it before or since."

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  • 6

    Cherrell Renee

    Publicist

    Favorite Songs on the Album

    "Love You for Life" is my favorite song on the album, and one of my fave love songs ever. It's one of those records that you ignorantly belt out in the shower or when your are in the car alone. You haven't truly been in love until you do that. Lol [sic].

    Favorite Beats on the Album

    "'Freek'N You' and 'Love You For Life' are my faves, production wise, mainly because you can actually hear what instruments sound like. Both beats are simple in presentation allowing you to focus on the words and the voices.

    What Makes the Album a Classic?

    "This album is a classic because you could put them in rotation right now. The music is timeless and still very relevant."

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