Featured, Lists, Music, Pop Culture

Jagged Edge Is Better Than 112. Here’s Why.

Nobody asked me but I’m telling you right now: Jagged Edge is and was a better singing group than 112. Most people will disagree with this. Most people will be wrong. I know this to be fact because I’ve seen Twitter arguments on this topic and I myself started a FB debate where I’m pretty sure somebody told me that they were sorry for my mother for making such a statement.

But fuck you. Jagged Edge is one of my favorite singing groups. This does not give you carte blanche to judge me any more than you already might. Keep in mind, I’m a 112 fan. I just think that…you know what, let’s just get into it. But keep in mind, I’m not doing this because I want to, I’m doing this because I have to. It hurts me more than its hurts you. Also, I’m pretty sure they’ve let whatever beef they used to have as the two pre-eminent ATL singing groups go, and that’s good since mostly nobody gives a shit now anyway.

112groupThis also has nothing to do with who is more talented as a group of individuals. 112 are a bunch of kids who went to a performing arts high school and are accomplished musicians in their own right who had a member who at some point took the mantle of writing and producing the lion’s share of their output a la Jodeci. I’m speaking of their goodness as a group.

So if it pleases the court, let’s kick a little something for them cars that be bumpin’. RIP Chris Kelly.

1. Jagged Edge can sing better than 112.

The argument really can start and end here. But since I know that’s not good enough, let’s delve further. Both groups have individual weak links. For JE, that would be Kyle Norman aka The One Who Never Sings. I was watching a Breakfast Club interview from last year where they did an impromptu singing “freestyle” and I had one of those moments where I thought I was about to see a comet. Was Kyle going to sing?!?!?! Were we going to see an actual 4-part harmony? Nope. Apparently he was “drinking too much” the night before causing his voice to be out of whack so they didn’t let him sing. To nobody’s surprise, the three other Edgers (Brian and Brandon Casey, and Richard Wingo) sounded EXACTLY like every single Jagged Edge song ever.

‘Round 112 way, we all know Slim is the lead – he’s the most prominent lead singer despite being the worst singer of the group. Daron produces and released an album that nobody copped. Q sings sometimes – not well, but he does sing sometimes. Mike, he’s aight but he’s not real. Point is, with 112, we’ve got a bunch of okay singers and one really not good lead singer that has a very distinct voice that puts him over the hump. Like, they can sing in the way that Iman Shumpert can play ball. Sure he’s better than 99 percent of every body else on the planet, but amidst his contemporaries of basketball players he’s just aight. That’s 112 vocally. With JE you’ve got three really good singers and one who is either the enforcer or is the proverbial “its better to keep him close than let him go because he knows where the bodies are” dude. 112 has three and maybe 4 guys that can sing okay, but nobody who is blowing you away either. Neither of these groups is Boyz II Men, but JE is much closer than 112.

So let’s break this down another way: if you had to have one sing at your wedding would it be 112 or JE? You may want to say 112, but you also know better. JE wins here.

2. Jagged Edge albums are better than 112 albums

This is just fact. I see some of you hitting me with the world’s loudest side-eye.

Jagged Edge has 8 albums to 112’s 5. JE has 2 albums nobody even knew existed (Baby Makin’ Project, The Remedy, though Baby Makin’ Project was a Top 10 pop chart album, who knew?). Most fans know all 5 of 112’s albums. But what that also means is that you know that the only TRULY good 112 album was the first one, the eponymously titled 112, which is remarkably dated. I love that album (“Come See Me”, “This Is Your Day”, and “Cupid” were my favorites on that album), but its dated.

Jagged Edge on the other hand is a one trick pony. All of their albums sound pretty much the same. However, the good thing about that is that the one sound was that is was a good one. And they have two albums that stand above the others because the production and singing was on its A-game in J.E. Heartbreak and Jagged Little Thrill. The production on JE albums was very consistent. On 112 albums, they tended to straddle that line between street savvy singers and substance based singers and songwriters. At least until they got to their Part III album (my actual favorite 112 album) when they quit giving a fuck about real R&B and joined JE in the street niggas who sing category. Even the staunchest 112 fan isn’t really listening to 90 percent of any of their albums post 112. With JE, you can listen to more songs per album without wondering what happened to their sound. JE is more Jill Scott’s first album (mostly bangers, definitely some filler), 112 is more Jill Scott’s album that had “Golden” and “Cross My Mind” on it (few bangers, mostly filler).

3. JE is beasting 112 on singles success

As per Wikipedia, Jagged Edge has 5 U.S. Top 10 singles, and 5 R&B Top Top 10 singles, with 3 hitting the number one spot: “Let’s Get Married”, “Promise”, and “Where The Party At?”. 112 on the other hand has 2 U.S. top 10 singles (“It’s Over Now” and “Peaches N Cream”) and 6 R&B Top 10 singles…HOWEVER, they only have one #1 R&B single in 2000’s “It’s Over Now” (a great song). JE has more top 10 singles, one less R&B top 10 single, and 2 more #1s.

JE wins here.

4. “Let’s Get Married”

I have no idea what 112’s best song is. This could be the subject of debate on its own. But I’d wager that “Cupid” or “Only You” are their most instant recall popular songs. They are both from their debut album and both are likely to be the songs that most people will play to show you who 112 is in the event that folks say, “who the fuck is 112?” Also, neither of those songs are likely to be played at your wedding.

On the other hand, JE dropped the most insanely idiotic marriage song of all time with the, “fuck it, why not give up?” anthem (and more popular remix) of “Let’s Get Married.” More people have talked about how non-sensical and ridiculous this song is than a little bit. Those same people usually have this song playing at their weddings. This song will outlast humanity. This song is a roach. It will be played for years on end. 112 doesn’t have a single song that is competing with the staying power of “Let’s Get Married”. Also, Jermaine Dupri might be the real king of the remix. The upgrade on Dru Hill’s “In My Bed” was amazeballs. But still, none are competing with “Let’s Get Married”.

5. 112 definitely came out the gate better…JE has finished stronger

“Only You” was a great first single. Shouts to Stevie J. Mase and Biggie had great verses to go with the good singing verses. 112 was a great album. From there though, I feel like 112 has been struggling to figure out how to fit into the R&B landscape. That entire first album was legit. It wasn’t full fledge hip-hop R&B a la Mary J’s What’s the 411? but wasn’t pure Babyfacery either. After that though, they tried to swim in the rapper ternt singer waters to varying levels of success. Successful group, but you do have to admit that they got a bit confusing with their messaging.

Jagged Edge were the actual thug dudes with voices. They ended up dating future former members of Destiny’s Child (I remember seeing them all walking thru the mall at Lenox one day in ATL – Lenox, I miss your glory days) because thats what thugs did back then. They kept the same demeanor over the life of their albums which lets you know it was authentic. Jermaine Dupri made a sound that fit them, whereas I think 112 (sometimes bumping heads with Bad Boy) was trying to adapt with the times and sometimes it went over well (“Peaches N Cream”) and others it fell flat (“Na Na Na”). While JE’s songs pretty much could have all been on the same album, it would be one hell of an album and since they were a bit ahead of their time, they sound alright in today’s landscape. Though their comeback single, “Hope” is basically an interpolation of the Ralph Tresvant song  “Do What I Gotta Do”.

6. “He Can’t Love You” is better than any 112 song.

#factsonly

Little Known and Useless Panama Fact: Me and one of my boys made up a dance to shit song. In 1999.

7. Jagged Edge as a group is more interesting than 112.

Think about this for a second: do you give ANY fucks about a 112 interview? They seem like nice guys and have songs we like. But they also don’t seem interesting in the slightest. They’re the Beyonce of personalities. Jagged Edge is Solange.

8. Jagged Edge had a group attempt to jack their name with an OBVIOUS name spinoff…WHILE THEY WERE HOT.

Ruff Endz anybody? Nobody tried to jack 112’s name. Admittedly, this is swimming in the shallow end of the “better” pool, but hey, for Black folks, sticking your foot in the water is akin to “went swimming”.

That’s all I got. But that’s all I need. Jagged Edge is a better group than 112. Deal with it.

Oh…fight me.

Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is pretty fly (and gorgeous) for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. He refuses to eat cocaine chicken. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future. You can hit him on his hitter at panamadjackson@gmail.com.

  • Slim couldnt sing. Debate your lazy eyed barber with BO

  • Meg

    This whole thing could have ended at #1! Brandon and them can blow! Strong voices!!! MANLY voices…IJS. I still get lost in my JE jams! “Gotta Be” just makes me fall in love all over again…then I comment on the “marriage is awesome and amazing” article….now I’m back irritated. lol.

    • MrsT

      “Gotta Be” is the ONE.

      • KB

        “Gotta Be” = the precursor to “Let’s Get Married”. They even said in an interview that Let’s Get Married was inspired by Gotta Be because people would come up to them and tell them that Gotta Be was the song they either played or wanted played at their wedding.

        • panamajackson

          Gotta Be was a great song!

      • miss t-lee

        YUP!
        Bestie used it for her wedding song, and we were all bawling…lol

  • Dougie

    112 was on Bad Boy. Each one of their albums takes a big dump on all of Jagged Edge’s albums. Also, Jagged Edge made the same song over and over again.

    C’mon Panama. You’re better than this!

    • panamajackson

      Yeah. You’re entire 2nd sentence is complete BS. I should hope that you’d take the time to revisit that terrible conclusion. JE did make the same song over and over. So did EVERY R&B singer/group. 112 ain’t exactly do anything different.

      • Dougie

        ok, maybe not ALL of JE’s albums, but Part III is a better piece of work than anything JE could muster. And I really liked JE Heartbreak and LOVED Jagged Little Thrill.

        IDK man, I normally agree with your musical acumen, but not today bruh

        • panamajackson

          I like Part III. It is my fav 112 album and its largely because of the last half of the album. But despite loving those songs, they are also largely forgettable until they come on, then you remember them until you forget them til the next time.

          • miss t-lee

            Now I gotta go listen to the Dance With Me Remix, because that was/is and will always be my ish.

    • People misremember 112 albums…..they take the best parts of the 1st 2 and make it one solid one and then they only remember 2 songs off part 3

      • panamajackson

        Exactly.

      • Dougie

        The cheese stands alone here, then. I remember them all vividly. I like Jagged Edge, but I’m a 112 fan. I’m not a Jagged Edge fan. I don’t mind standing on my own two for 112 tho.

  • veryaveragebrotha

    112 achieved their success while on bad boy…..factoring in that handicap makes them waaaaaay better than Jagged edge.

    • panamajackson

      They achieved success in EARLY Bad Boy. Before Puffy ruined everything. They weren’t nearly as successful later in their careers. Everybody was successful on Bad Boy…at first.

      • MrsT

        This is true Panama. 112 came out when Bad Boy was dominating hip-hop AND r&b. They really had no choice BUT to be successful out the gate. JE was working with Jermaine Dupri who could never be as big a Diddy, so they were successful kind of in spite of him.

        • panamajackson

          I don’t know if i agree with that. While Jermaine Dupri will never get as much props as Diddy while deserving way more, JD was big at the time. He was coming off of success for Xscape, Mariah Carey, Monica, Destiny’s Child. JD was all over the biggest hits back in the mid to late 90s. JE was going to succeed because at that time even JD’s SOLO album was bananas.

          • MrsT

            Ok now that I think back on it I guess you’re right. I think it just *seemed* like Diddy had his face (and shiny suits) on EVERYTHING Bad Boy, while (sometimes) JD was willing to let his groups shine without him front and center too.

          • KB

            People sleep on the dopeness of JD as a producer (probably because his height deficiency). Don’t forget he exec produced The Emancipation of Mimi, a dope album that put Mariah Carey back on the map.

            • cakes_and_pies

              Didn’t he take her off the map with that Me is Mariah…Butterfly Album?

              • After EMC2 he gave her the keys back and she crashed it again

          • Also J.D. had Da Brat and Kris Kross. Da Brat made history as the first woman with a platinum selling rap album. Kris Kross went like 4xs platinum under J.D. TBH, other than Biggie, I’d say J.D. was even more objectively successful than Diddy.

            J.D. is a legend folk.

            • panamajackson

              I’d agree with this on the music end. Puffy is larger htan life bc his persona was. And he is credited with ushering in the shiny suit era of hiphop, ultimately killing the golden era. Puff has been around and apart of more big moments so he shines brigher as well. But in the music realm, JD is definitely more successful.

              • YUP

                and yeah, when I say “objectively successful,” I just mean selling albums/quantifiable measures for music success.

                Diddy no doubt will be more notorious in history and he is definitely richer. But he was much less successful than J.D. at actually producing the same level of commercially successful music.

                Funny before this discussion, I would not have thought much about J.D., but negro is super duper underrated.

      • “Everybody was successful on Bad Boy…at first.”

        *looks at Cheri Dennis

        • panamajackson

          Okay…ALMOST everybody.

      • miss t-lee

        Loon?

        • panamajackson

          Loon was successful! He was on one of the hottest remixes of the day!

          • miss t-lee

            Maybe we have different measures of success.
            Next you’ll be telling me Donnie Klang was too.

            • panamajackson

              The greatest of all time!

              • miss t-lee

                Good evening, sir…lol

            • HeyBooHey

              Don’t smh. I have a guy friend who attempted to argue me DOWN on how great Donnie Klang’s solo effort was. To this day, I don’t trust him with my life, my money or my ears

              • miss t-lee

                Don’t trust him with a ham sandwich.

                • HeyBooHey

                  Wouldn’t even trust him with bologna

            • Sneaky athletic R&B is all the rage now, Puff was before his time

              • miss t-lee

                bye…lol

        • Loon had a nice little run off features alone

          • miss t-lee

            Features does not a career make.

  • Annabelle Renee

    I would select Silk over JE and 112.

    • miss t-lee

      Also.

    • panamajackson

      If Silk only had one album then maybe this would get the “yaymen” from me. But unfortunately they kept making albums.

      • Annabelle Renee

        That is true. 112 wasn’t that great of a group to me. I’d take Jodeci or Troop over 112.

  • miss t-lee

    It’s really a toss up. I don’t even know why y’all keep arguing this point…lol
    This is neither here nor there, but Slim always sounded like he was singing from his nasal cavity.

    • People have this weird obsession with 90s man bands

      • miss t-lee

        It’s nostalgia. I get it. My formative years were the early to mid 90s. But, we gotta call a spade, a spade.

      • This is my era and I loved the music but it was what it was. I just listen.

      • My drop top’s in the parking lot, and I wanna take you back to my spot…

    • dude sounded whiny as ***k!

      • miss t-lee

        Uber whiny.

        • One of my boys would walk around singing “In the shower!” trying to mimic Slim’s voice.

          • miss t-lee

            Oh Hellz.

            • Oh, the reprobates that I call friends were always good for a laugh.

    • AlwaysCC

      because he was lol

      • miss t-lee

        YES!!!

    • HeyBooHey

      Slim always sounded like that dude who sang to himself real quietly and randomly one day. And somebody heard him and said “ooooh, you can sing!” And he took it and ran with it way too confidently but never learned to sing from the diaphragm

    • panamajackson

      Slim is one of the most trashest singers of all time. I might need to do a trashest R&B singers of all time list.

      • miss t-lee

        Yeah, that would be a list.

        • Keith Sweat would have to be top 3, if not # 1

          • miss t-lee

            Another whiny, nasally singer.

          • HeyBooHey

            He’s the greatest worst singer in this lifetime hands down

          • panamajackson

            Yeah, Keith Sweat is definitely top 5.

        • HeyBooHey

          Helluva list that I’d be present for

      • Charlisia Nwachukwu

        Add Keith Sweat to the list.

      • PaddyfotePrincess

        He ruined the “All Cried Out” remake with Allure. Whined his way through the entire song.

        I’m sure it made Bow Legged Lou and Lisa Lisa weep.

  • Reecie

    I really want to fight you for this post. But you put up a good argument. However, despite JE having the strongest vocals and more “hits” the fact that 197 of their songs sound exactly the same is not a selling point for me. I loved the first 3 112 albums. I own all five, however. I really only still love JE Heartbreak, the major singles from A Jagged Era, and a couple songs from Hard (that sound like songs from all of those other albums). You make a strong argument, though. and I respect it.

    • panamajackson

      That’s fair.

      Though, after their first album, it aint like 112 was making songs that sounded that different from one another either. I’m saying….JE made the same good song over and over.

      • Reecie

        yea I won’t say the “same song” isn’t a good song. but its the SAME SONG! After awhile I just stopped listening to them. I def agree that 112 lacked in the consistency with their style but as someone who was just more of a fan of the Bad Boy sound, their music–at their prime stuck with me and has tons of replay value.

    • A rare Reecie appearance!

      • Reecie

        I feel like Panama personally requested me. I am a 112 stan lol

        • panamajackson

          However you got here, we’re glad you came.

    • Beauty In Truth

      JE got better vocals???!!!! Everyone in 112 can sing. Versus the (1) lead in JE.

      The hate is real!!!!
      :[

      • Reecie

        those were Panama’s words in the post. I agree all 4 singers of 112 can sing but I do think the twins in JE have “stronger” voices

  • Trill Mickelson

    While I agree with you, I was not at all prepared for a Ruff Endz reference today.

    • panamajackson

      And yet, look at what I brought to your life. You forgot they existed and now you remember. #Bmore

      • KB

        Funny you mention Ruff Endz because I was out somewhere a few days ago and heard this song randomly on the radio. Man this took me back to my senior year of high school/freshman year of college.

    • My pops was the only one here for Ruff Endz…. but to be fair No More dropped around the time of his divorce

    • Epsilonicus

      Nice Boh

  • If Jagged Edge would have fixed their dental situation, I imagine they would have sounded like 112.

    That said, I’m thankful they didn’t.

    The rougher the teef, the chiefer the keef.
    Never mind.

    • panamajackson

      I laughed very hard at this comment.

    • miss t-lee

      I almost slid off my chair laughing at this.

    • haute_coutoy

      I think I just scared my boss with the ignorant HA! i let out (a la got emmmm)….

    • N Harris

      You killed it!

    • bigheadbaby

      You slid that lick in real slick like….sneaky funny. But when it got to my brain…WHAM! #dead

  • Jiovan

    Wasn’t a huge fan of either group really although I appreciated them both for what they brought. I never quite got over ” We not getting no younger …so we might as well do it”….way to go fellas lol….way to go

    • NoPlaysOff

      Even as a kid hearing that line, I was like “naw, I don’t EVER wanna be in THAT!” lol. That was on the Do NOt Play list at our wedding.

      • panamajackson

        Things say in their 20s that they dont’ feel strongly about in their 40s. lol

More Like This