Of all the classic R&B groups of the '90s, Jodeci is one of the most influential and beloved: the Southern kings of New Jack Swing who went on to become individual stars in their own right, the sound of the quartet harmonizing was and is 100% silk. And now, 20 years after their last album (the excellent The Show, The Afterparty, The Hotel, which yielded the imperative babymaking jam "Freek'n You"), Jodeci has released their first new track in 18 years.
And it's a domestic violence awareness song. Titled "Nobody Wins," it opens with a verse from B.O.B., which wouldn't be a resounding recommendation on its own but he's actually doing what he does best, and that is rapping. When Jodeci drops in with their signature group vocals augmented by individual flourishes, it's like the last couple decades never happened, and the message is crucial: "We don't have to use our hands, no we don't/Nobody wins when we fight, fuss, and argue/ Nobody wins, we say we leaving but we never do." Of course it might simplify an extremely complex issue—"we say we leaving but we never do" is often because domestic violence victims are terrified for their lives to do so, among other reasons, and if "just talking about it" solved domestic violence, there'd likely be a lot less of it— but the fact that a group this revered is even speaking out about domestic violence is important. The lyric video, above, includes the phone number for the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-7233) as well as the websites for nomore.org and IDVAAC.org (the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community).
Jodeci first premiered a snippet of "Nobody Wins" on the Soul Train Awards, and the group is currently in the studio with revered producer Timbaland, working on their fourth album. HERE FOR IT.