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#ThatSo90s: Jodeci – Stay

There is no conversation about 90s r&b without Jodeci. Sure Boyz II Men had the great ballads and what not and henceforth, but nobody gives a shit about Boyz II Men in 2014. Jodeci, however, still reigns supreme as the blueprint for most male bad boy groups. Sure they sang songs you could play at your wedding, but they looked like they need not be anywhere near your daughter. Ever.

In truth, their relevance is kind of amazing – and speaks to how high quality their output was – since they only had 3 albums (which weren’t good all the way thru), all released in the first half othe 90s. Peep game thugsta, The Show, The Afterpart, The Hotel came out in 1995 and was their least selling album despite having what I believe to be their best song, “Freek ‘N U”. I think most people can agree that Diary Of A Mad Band is their best album, and even then, its entirely because of the first half of the album thru “Alone”. Jodeci’s more uptempo songs (save for “Get On Up”) were never their bread and butter. Their down-tempo and ballads are the stuff of legend. But those first 6 songs on Diary… should be placed on display at the Smithsonian in the upcoming National Museum on African American Culture and History as the point where contemporary R&B shifted. Shit changed, b. Shit changed.

But there is no Diary… without the album that drove Jodeci into the hearts and minds of consumers everywhere, Forever My Lady. I was in 6th grade when Jodeci dropped. In fact, I remember what I had on when I bought this album from the PX on base in Frankfurt, Germany. I had on white pants. I loved those white pants. It was so appropos that I had on those pants because Forever My Lady was white pants music as evidenced by the song and video for standout track, “Stay”. Standout track is a bit unfair since “Forever My Lady” and “Come and Talk To Me” (Remix) were much more popular, but the intro to “Stay” where DeVante tells all the ladies within in earshot, “don’t talk, just listen…” has been seared into pop culture for eons to come. Also, it might be the only time a woman listened to a man after her uttered that combination of words. Who are kidding, 75 percent of women who heard that immediately said, “no”.

I kid.

Well, the video for “Stay” is also one of those videos that should be placed in a 90s time capsule along with previous favorite, Jade’s “Don’t Walk Away”. The early 90s, specifically, were a time where videos took on many forms. Jodeci’s “Stay” is emblematic of one particular style:

WTF.

There’s a good chance you haven’t seen this video in quite some time. There’s a really good reason for this. It’s a terrible video. But it’s terrible so good. It’s Joseline Hernandez whippin’ Benzino’s ass.

[Sidenote: Joseline Hernandez might legit be 10 crazy. Actually, there’s no might be about it. That chick is nuts. Certifiably so. Even Stevie J thinks she needs therapy and he’s the reason why people become therapists. He’s the person everybody is trying to help. He’s the gold standard.]

I believe the this “Stay” video would get placed in the performance video box, but good googly moogly.

So here are 7 things that make this video absolutely WTF.

1. It starts out on 10 with DeVante sitting in the chair then the IMMEDIATE cut to a woman with all the standard early 90s accoutrement: big earrings, loud lipstick, big hair…ON A MOTHERFUCKING ROCKING HORSE.

Yo…I don’t know what kind of frame of mind you have to be in to be thinking of shit to put in a music video where “rocking horse” makes sense. But fuck that…it made so much sense that it got to the end product. Somebody said, hey, let’s put a chick on a rocking horse and have her, ya know, rock back and forth during the whole video. In terms of ridiculous video props, rocking horse is top 5 dead or alive.

2. Wind

This entire video is windy. You know how it seems like Beyonce has her own personal wind machine and wind person following her around at all times? Which is kind of fucked up since Michael Jackson was the king of this wind shit before you niggas were really up on game. Now Beyonce has stolen the wind. Well, Jodeci had a whole video…with wind. There was shit moving through the entire video. Drapes. Clothing. The FUCKING ROCKING HORSE. No matter what clothing they had on, it was moving. Shit felt like Christopher Cross’s “Sailing” video with four Black guys and a rocking horse.

3. The white linens

They wore white through the entire video. White beach apparrel…with boots. White suits. Jeans. Hats. What have you. If it was white they were wearing it. I would have been amused with a KKK costume. I cannot tell a lie. They were just one big ass fashion faux pas in this video. Come to think of it, they were in most of their early videos. In fact, come to think more of it, they wore white in all their early videos. “Forever My Lady” featured a horribly all white linen ensemble. Oh, wait, I’m wrong, “Come and Talk To Me” featured them in black leather (also a performance video with a leaner budget it seems than “Stay”, they just had a man and a woman feeling each other up in the shadows). The Remix video was the pool party where they had the terrible white see-thru get up. How the fuck were they so cool? I blame Puffy for this. Both good and bad.

Now’s as good a time as any to point out that this video has jack shit to do with the song. At all. “Stay” is about remorse and trying again. This video features a rocking horse, which I’ve not yet seen as being indicative of remorse.

4. Lit up microphone

A nice touch and a throw back to earlier times. Okay guys, that works. It bounces nicely off the white you’re wearing.

5. A phone booth with no phone

They have one of those English phone booths in this video. Except its inside what appears to be a house. Which would explain why the booth has no phone in it. It is a but a shell of its former self. I wonder if phone booths with no phones felt inferior to booths with phones. I probably would have. I think about these things. I care.

And for consitency…

6. A frame for a mirror without a mirror

Same shit, different toilet.

7. A Rocking horse…

Did I mention? It keeps making appearances. Interestingly enough, the woman on it is giving the horse that work as the video goes along. I’m surprised she didn’t fall off. Well, she probably did because if you give it too much work its going to flip over like a Ford Explorer in the 90s. Y’all remember when Ford Explorers were known for flipping over? And it was blamed on the Firestone tires? That was also in the 90s. A Ford Explorer flipping over would have fit nicely in this video since that has nothing to do with staying either.

This isn’t so much WTF as its just a common occurrence when you are making a video about love that features not one person of the opposite sex in it, but K-Ci hugged himself a lot. Like a lot a lot.

Anyway, Jodeci’s “Stay” is a video that exhibited a trend of the early 90s in music videos, stuff that makes no damn sense. #thatsso90s

Thank you Jodeci for your contributions to the game, to the 90s, and to the betterment of mankind.

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.

  • AlwaysCC

    i’m going to buy a rocking horse TODAY. and a wind machine.

    • panamajackson

      Don’t do it. Reconsider.

      • AlwaysCC

        can i at least continue to wear white? i know it’s after labor day…

      • AlwaysCC

        can i at least continue to wear white? i know it’s after labor day…

    • DO IT! DO IT!

  • FOOR LEE. TOE. WAHLLL.

    • panamajackson

      I had to read this a few times to get it.

      • The magic of the Jodeci.

  • The coordination it took to rock on that horse like it was Ginuwine’s pony, stare in the camera, and not fall off…

    SHE THE REAL MVP!

    • RewindingtonMaximus

      Did you emulate that?

      • I have no idea what on earth you’re talking about. :)

    • ALSO kc’s impassioned miming/interpretive dancing.

  • amina

    You can’t forget another quintessential 90’s wardrobe choice, full suit and no shirt. This went for both male and female groups. I remember my girl Mary J. rocking that look. How can you be so formal and yet so disorderly at the same damn time?

    • RewindingtonMaximus

      Drugs.
      Really good drugs.

      • No, it’s intensified…beef products. (Shouts to Ric Flair. ;-) )

      • panamajackson

        Exactly. The best kind.

  • Maximillian

    Ah, the 90s; Linen suits and Jodeci boots. Mine are in a basement probably next to the Cross Colours and BOSS sweaters.

    When a dude said, “don’t talk, just listen…” everyone knew where things were going. You had to still be in a relationship for that to work. To re-up, however, one was better off starting their cassette mixtape with H-Town’s Knockin Da Boots (“I want that old thing back”)

    • LOOK. That “don’t talk, just listen” and the intro that followed was soooo chexy to my middle school brain lol. I was like, ooooooooh, he bout to put it down!

    • Take my money…MY HOUSE AND MY CAR!!! For a hit of youuuu…you can have it all, baby, baby!

      • Maximillian

        Yeah, Feenin will get you in as well….

      • Amazonian Midget

        I was all of 6 when this song came out, but I knew then that it was powerful.

  • Dr. Fabulous

    1) I really miss my Jodeci boots!
    2) I used to body roll to this song like my life depended on it!
    2a) I may or may not have just body rolled at work for old time’s sake

    • PunchDrunkLove

      “I may or may not have just body rolled at work for old time’s sake”

      LOL

  • It is interesting that Jodeci is looked at with a greater sense of appreciation by the black community than Boyz II Men. Boyz bascially saved Motown with their first album and End of the Road set a record for most consecutive weeks at #1 before being obiterated by Whitney Houston’s I will always love you a year later. They’ve had better careers, more longevity, and they most definitely had the most vocal talent of ANY of their 90’s peers. Is it just the bad boy image? Is it that they NEVER got back together not even for the obligatory BET awards appearance?

    • panamajackson

      No clue. Boyz II Men was definitely the better group. But they were very “pop.” I think bc Jodeci kept it “real” but were still making great music (shouts to DeVante, Timbaland, Static Major, and Missy), they have a soft spot. Plus, would you rather listen to “Feenin'” or “I’ll Make Love To You”

      • “Feenin”, but the underrated “50 Candles” is close. I dont think of B2M as pop, but they were much more traditional r&b. I think Jodeci was the first “hip-hop” r&b group. They were street right as gangsta rap was taking off. BTW, while “Feenin” is probably the song that would make me ready to run home to the wife immediately, Wanya DESTROYS “I’ll Make Love to You” better than anything anyone on Jodeci has ever done.

        • panamajackson

          I like Boyz II Men, don’t get me wrong. But I honestly forget they exist until music conversations arise. I think you’re right, though. Jodeci is the first hip-hop r&b group so they have a special place. I mean, they had rappers on remixes!

          • Remember, Father MC was the one who put them on. Now who remembers HIM? LOL

            • RewindingtonMaximus

              Same thing with Mary

              • I hope Father MC is OK somewhere. He made it so that a LOT of people could eat. If I find out he’s broke somewhere, he needs a duffle bag of money on his door step. I don’t care if that doorstep is the lid of a cardboard box.

            • TheOtherJerome

              Hey the ladies loved that guy! He and LL were both into that….. i don’t know what to call it? Hop-Hop for women made by men? Hip-Hop ballads? What would that genera be called?

              All i know is the girls loved that guy!

            • LeeLee

              I have “Do For Me” by Father MC on my iPod!!!! I believe that was the first time Mary J Blige did a hook on a song, too.

              • panamajackson

                Yo, “Do For U” still goes. I love that song.

                Also, it could totally get the video treament considering it was full of people with no discernible talent pretending to do a lotof stuff they likely couldn’t do. All woman band playing nan note or instrument. LOL.

                Or singing.

                • LeeLee

                  Ah, yes. “Do For U.” Freudian slip……

            • panamajackson

              I think Father MC’s problem is that he was Puffy before Puffy was. So Puff screwed his career after the fact. He had songs. Did a nude shoot and STILL somehow faded into obscurity. Makes no sense. I’m telling you all, he got Bad Boy’d

        • LeeLee

          Yes @ WANYA on “I’ll Make Love To You.” He also slayed the absolute BEST break up song of all time, “End of The Road.”

          • Dont forget how he slayed the end of, “Doin just fine” my personal choice for best breakup song. Classic!

            • RewindingtonMaximus

              Ahh them memories. Don’t forget “Say Goodbye to Yesterday”…everybody’s favorite funeral anthem, outside of Gangsta Lean.

        • RewindingtonMaximus

          My favorite Wanya song though….Broken Hearted w/ Brandy…..that songs made me feel all kinds of adult like in 6th grade.

          • Plus the video was the beginning of another 90s trend: dark videos with jewel and metallic colors. To the point of why is there only light on the singers? And why do they look like they’re wearing Jolly Ranchers?

            • RewindingtonMaximus

              The epic drug fueled visions of the 90s…classic

              • All I gotta say is that It’s like Ecstasy…when you ro…I mean lay down, next to me, yeah! Now where is my orange juice…

        • B2M over Jodeci for me, all day. I owned every last one of their albums and had no Jodeci records.

      • I’m not too sure about how poppy Boyz II Men really was. Jodeci crossed over more than people would like to admit. A LOT of White people who don’t check for R&B know who Jodeci is.

        • panamajackson

          I think it might be a reach to think that white folks know who Jodeci is. They may know K-Ci and Jo-Jo b/c of the wedding forever song, “all my life”, but Jodeci? That’s a reach. Boyz II Men was way more popular amongst white people b/c they were all over the pop charts, which is why I said poppy. I don’t mean bubble gum, I just mean intended to appeal to the most popular swath of people, which they did.

          Also, Jodeci never had a top 10 pop single. Ever. They hit top 10 on the R&B charts, but not the pop charts. Crossover is a strong word. Their albums, hit the top 10. But I’ll bet that was short lived.

          Boyz II Men on the other hand, 9 top 10 US pop charts singles. THAT is crossover.

          • My point isn’t that Boyz II Men was bigger as much as Jodeci wasn’t just some hood phenomenon. The drunken “Love U 4 Life” karaokes in college were real. LOL

            • panamajackson

              I’d bet good money folks know that song and have no idea who sings it. I would bet really good money. That’s a man on the street mission right there, asking white people if they know who Jodeci is.

              • That should be a VSB video. Trust me more of them know the name than you think.

              • Precious

                I posted a video upthread of a Jodeci cover on the Disney channel in the 90’s so some of them do know. Lol.

          • Also, “Come and Talk to me” was #11 on the Pop charts, while “Freak’n You” was #14 on the Pop charts. So while you’re technically right, it’s not completely accurate. (Edited because I put the wrong song name in.)

            • panamajackson

              Naw..its still right. And accurate. I said top 10. lol. Sure we could up that if we went Top 40. But I picked Top 10 b/c that’s a pretty huge deal.

    • RewindingtonMaximus

      Boyz II Men did a duet with Mariah in the middle of her epic heyday.
      We no longer need to make comparisons or ask questions. I’ve officially solved the mystery of why they were pop…because that song alone put them in the epic tier of pop sensations with Celine Dion, Madonna, Garth Brooks, & Whitney.

      Only reason the hood don’t love them the same way they love Jodeci, is because Jodeci had Freakin U Remix with Rae & Ghost, and Boyz II Men had Hey Lover w/ LL Cool J. You tell me, despite both being the best songs I heard of the era, which one had more babies made to?

      Thugs who banged with Tims on vs. smooth dudes who lit candles for their women…the lil hood babies all over the place from 1996-98 tells me who won.

      • Hey, I loved the Hey Lover video…AKA How To Make A Suburb-Like South East Queens Look Glamorous.

      • panamajackson

        The difference between the two is that Hey Lover was LL’s song featuring Boyz II Men. Freek ‘N U Remix was Jodeci featuring Rae and Ghost.

  • DG

    At the next Reminisce joint, ya’ll should have a signature move contest:

    $10 to the winner of the Jodeci “Rock + high kick” move (white see-through jacket/pants required)
    $7.50 to the winner of the Dru Hill “Tell Me What You Want” Jump + Bounce
    $2.50 to the winner of the Milli Vanilli “I whip my hair/I woke up like ‘dis” move (I don’t know what this move actually looks like, btw).

    • panamajackson

      LOL. This isnt a bad idea.

      • DG

        FWIW, the November Reminisce should fall on the 1st…the day after Halloween…prime opportunity to rock some vintage Karl Kani, Cross Colours, Jordache, or whatever your choice of gear may be.If folks came dressed up as their fave 90’s act(I.e., Jodeci, Total, Kriss Kross, Jade, etc.), how could you not have a dance-off? I’m just saying, folk…

        • panamajackson

          This is all win.

        • Amazonian Midget

          I will push my relocation date up just so I can attend this party.

    • Amazonian Midget

      I’d win that $7.50. I can even do it in stilettos.

      • PhlyyPhree

        Nah, you might have some serious competition there. That was my signature junior usher opening worship service walk down the aisle. You. Cant. See.Me!

        • Amazonian Midget

          The visual..you cannot be serious. lol

        • Lea Thrace

          yeah. ima go with video or it didnt happen. lol!

    • RewindingtonMaximus

      You are a genius.

  • cakes_and_pies

    What’s going on at 4:18? Devante took his shades off and busted out some thug tears. For why??

    • Rachmo

      I cant stop laughing

    • mochazina

      followed immediately by off-the-shoulder k-ci!!! *tears of silent laughter are flowing*

  • I don’t know how Jodeci became the Gold Standard for R&B, but you can make a no-joke case that they’re among the 10 most important (not best, but IMPORTANT) R&B acts in the history of the genre. I’m amazed that they became the template for R&B guy groups moving forward despite Boyz II Men moving like 5 times more units. You figure that if you are going to copy someone, copy the most successful formula, right?

    Also, I think Jodeci got the benefit for a few trends in their favor. One, the rise of the shiny suit era fit their look, and they were looked at like a prototype. Two, Jodeci looked like talented kids from the hood as opposed to superstars, if that makes sense. Three, Boyz II Men held onto to the preppy dream a bit too long, and they came off looking more dated than they really were. (In an alternative universe, one wonders what would have happened if they came out the same time as old Kanye. That would have been interesting, and would have had hood ninjas looking like they just summered in Hyannisport. But I digress.)

    Still, Jodeci-cloned R&B is it own subgenre of R&B, which has infected talent shows for the past 25 years. I would be shocked if there’s a talent show in the hood where no act tries to sound like Jodeci. The problem is that it’s become the Black answer to hair metal: a genre no one admits to liking but which has moved 50 billion units.

    My question is which of the Jodeci clone groups were the best? I would say Jagged Edge.

    • StillSuga

      Dru Hill- hands down

    • panamajackson

      Dru Hill was more successful, plus Sisqo sounds like K-Ci, but I’m JE all day.

      • The thing was that JE was the rare group that realized how much Jodeci was an archetype, so they played with it in subtle ways.

        • panamajackson

          Yeah, I love JE. They can do no wrong to me.

      • RewindingtonMaximus

        JE all day, every day. Only group in history to make the most nig-a-rific wedding song. Seriously. Who in the history of music that basically says “yo…we getting old…we might as well get this over with”.
        Jermaine Dupri is a genius.

        • panamajackson

          Plus guarantees the song will be around forever.

          • RewindingtonMaximus

            True cause ninjas can’t stop being hood

    • RewindingtonMaximus

      Boyz II Men blew up in the pop scene whereas no other group did, so that’s the only reason I think their longevity could never be sustained. I mean hell, they did make more money than most male R&B groups over the last 20 years just between 91-96, so I think that stands for something.

    • AlwaysCC

      would 112 be in the running?

      • Amazonian Midget

        Or Blackstreet?

        • Blackstreet was what Teddy Riley did with the songs he couldn’t sell off. LOL

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