After hearing about the tragic death of former Hi-Five lead singer Tony Thompson (R.I.P) due to a drug overdose got me thinking a little bit. The first thing I thought about was how I haven't actually heard that dudes name since the mid 1990s. I quickly flashed back to the days of when groups like Hi-Five were poppin' pretty heavy on the music scene during that timeframe. Just at that moment the reality set in that there are really no male or female R&B groups that are making any kind of musical impact in 2007! Have the record labels assumed that the average fan doesn't really appreciate R&B groups anymore, or have music fans somehow enforced that view by not supporting such acts? Personally, I felt back in the 1990s there were entirely too many R&B groups popping up out of nowhere with weak gimmicks and singing abilities. There were several solid groups that made people pay attention back in the 1990s like New Edition, Boys II Men, Tony! Toni!Tone!, Jodeci, En Vogue, Jagged Edge and 112, but in 2007 nobody really gives a damn about any of them. Why? Because they're not the hot commodities that they used to be, so we push them to the side looking for the next musical fad! So, what happens to them? Usually, their career goes right down the drain in the toilet, which in most cases means they will never be heard from again??
The fall from glory has been very hard on many of the group members of the past, which has resulted in them participating in heavy drinking, drug abuse and crime in a lot cases. This sort of behavior eats up whatever little money they they've made over their careers, which eventually leads some jail or even to a premature death? Some forgotten artists try to continue on by doing live shows for pennies as only a shell of their former selves with dim hopes of resurrecting their careers? As you can see in this most recent photo shown above of K-Ci from the group Jodeci, some katz just don't know when to call it quits! When your voice is totally gone, and you start looking like Ren (Stimpy's boy) with too many tattoos, just put the microphone down and end the embarrassment already. It's the end of the road playboy (no Boys II Men)! Where are his honest friends and family at when he needs them the most??
Honestly, I understand that it's a personal choice for anyone that willingly involves themselves in excessive drinking and drug abuse, but I think as fans we should take a small percentage of the blame as well. We (fans) help build up these artists in the beginning only to eventually tear them down in the end when they need us the most. Music fans can be some of the most hypocrytical people on the planet with that "today we love you, but tomorrow we hate you" type mindstate that seems to be dominant? Shame on you ungrateful fans that left B. Brown all on his own! Yes, it was Bobby Brown's prerogative to put a crackpipe up to his lips, but the fans that turned their back on him after he dropped a few crappy records may have contributed to him picking up the lighter to ignite it? Marinate on that one for a taste...
To have a little fun, I typed out a little breakdown the Jodeci's whole career using several R&B group names from back in the day! I admit that some the lines in the verbage probably don't make that much sense, but keep reading it anyway dammit!
Here's my synopsis of Jodeci's career overall:
I remember when this somewhat Shai, Immature Troop of male singers that called themselves Jodeci first came on the music scene back in the day singing behind Father MC? When I heard them sing, I knew they were Another Bad Creation that seemed to be the Next big thing coming from the Uptown camp. As a New Edition in the music game, initially everything seemed to be going smooth as Silk. After just a short time in the business it was obvious that these guys not only changed from Boys II Men, but they also became Men of Vision! Due to their All For One type attitude, they're live performances were off the hook! Everyone would get pretty wild at their concerts. While the brothas in the audience were exchanging Hi-Fives of glee, the Good Girls would be getting aroused while admiring the Portrait of the group's half naked physiques that seemed to be in Mint Condition (NHJIC)? Everything changed when Bel Biv Devoe came out though! BBD's sound changed the R&B game like Tony! Toni! Tone! did when they first came out back in the day. Due to the fickle fans Changing Faces, Jodeci's career would soon die a slow death like a person left in an alley with their juggler vein Kut Klose with a Jagged Edge! To forget the pains of a broken career, smoking crack at 1:12 in the morning may have seemed like the best option at the time? Drugs, drinking and feuding group members put the Jodeci brand on it's final Dru Hill slide into the toilet for good. It was nice while it lasted..I guess? Even though I don't place Total blame them for the demise of their group, if they ever decide to release another album I hope they won't Color Me Badd if I choose not to buy it? So, with that...let's remember the good times!!
Jodeci - Cry For You