Jagged Edge + 112
Rough but smooth male vocal quartet Jagged Edge formed in Atlanta, Georgia, consisting of identical twin brothers Brandon 'Case Dinero' Casey and Brian 'Brasco' Casey, who had moved from their native Hartford, Connecticut; Kyle Norman (aka 'Quick'), whom they'd met through church activities, and Richard Wingo (aka 'Wingo Dollar'), a late addition to the group suggested by Xscape's Kandi Burruss, who took their demo to super-producer Jermaine Dupri. Jagged Edge signed to Dupri's Columbia-distributed So So Def label and in the summer of 1997 released their debut single, 'The Way That You Talk,' featuring appearances by Dupri and Da Brat. It reached the Top 40 of the R&B chart and was also a pop chart entry. Early in 1998, Jagged Edge released their first album, A Jagged Era, which went gold and spawned the Top 20 R&B, Top 40 pop hit 'Gotta Be.' Their next single, 'He Can't Love U,' appeared in the fall of 1998 and reached the Top Five of the R&B chart and the Top 20 of the pop chart, going gold in the process. It prefaced the group's second album, J.E. Heartbreak (its title a nod to New Edition's 'N.E. Heart Break'), which topped the R&B chart and hit the Top Ten of the pop chart, selling over two million copies and spawning the number one R&B hits 'Let's Get Married' (also Top 20 pop) and 'Promise' (also Top Ten pop).
By the time of the release of Jagged Edge's third album, Jagged Little Thrill, in 2001, its leadoff single, 'Where the Party At' (featuring Nelly), was nearing the R&B Top Ten and was in the pop Top 40. Hard and Jagged Edge followed, respectively, in 2003 and 2006. For 2007's The Baby Makin' Project, the group switched to Island, but Dupri had since taken up the post of president at the label's urban division, making the transition from Columbia a welcome and natural one. The album debuted at number eight on the Billboard 200. Jagged Edge then moved to Slip N Slide, where they released The Remedy in 2011. Three years later, they reunited with Dupri and So So Def for J.E. Heartbreak II. A Greatest Hits collection arrived in 2016 before the group returned to the studio to record their ninth full-length, 2017's Layover. Released that summer, Layover featured their typically rich vocal harmonies with contemporary production that included some trap inspiration.
Equally rooted in gospel, soul, and hip-hop, 112 were the first and most successful urban vocal group to emerge from Sean 'Puffy' Combs' Bad Boy Records roster. Not only was the group's eponymous 1996 debut popular, but the group could be heard on records by such Bad Boy artists as Mase and the Notorious B.I.G. Unlike most artists on Bad Boy, 112's image was clean, pure, and wholesome (initially, at least), which helped the group cross over to a more mainstream audience. The four members of 112 -- Marvin, Daron, Q, and Mike -- met each other while attending high school in Atlanta, Georgia. The quartet began to play talent shows at school and local churches, eventually gaining the attention of Courtney Sills and Kevin Wales, who soon became the group's managers. Sills and Wales brought 112 to the attention of Sean 'Puffy' Combs at Bad Boy Records. Combs signed on as the executive producer of 112's eponymous debut album, which featured songs the group co-wrote with such professional songwriters as Stevie J, Wayna Morris of Boyz II Men, and Combs himself. 'Only You,' the group's debut single, was released in the summer of 1996 and climbed to number three on the R&B charts, peaking at number 13 on the pop charts. 112 was released in late 1996, and it steadily worked its way to gold status as the group's second single, 'Come Seem Me,' reached number 15 on the R&B charts. Room 112 followed in 1998 and Part III was issued three years later. 112 all but left Bad Boy for 2003's Hot & Wet, and the group cemented its new relationship with Def Soul on 2005's Pleasure & Pain. The union didn't last long and 112 parted ways with Def Jam soon after the album's release. Over the following years, the individual members engaged in their own solo pursuits and did not regroup until 2010. They returned to the studio and toured for a stint in 2012, but a new album would not arrive until 2017. That sixth official studio effort, Q Mike Slim Daron, was 112's first in 12 years and featured the singles 'Strawberry' and 'Dangerous Games.'
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