I’ve said it before and I’ll happily repeat it again – Jagged Edge may be R&B’s last great group.
You couldn’t throw a rock in 80s and 90s without hitting a four-member R&B group upside the head, but by the turn of the century, most of the great groups faded into obscurity. To their credit, JE kept it moving long after their contemporaries split apart, and to this day they’re still delivering.
I recently sat down with the homie (and huge JE stan) Alex Goodwin to determine the 25 best songs of JE’s catalog. Here’s how the hits lined up:
Honorable Mentions: “Hard,” “Did She Say,” “It’s Been You,” “Head of Household,” “Hope,” “You Look Good With Me,” “Heartbreak”
25. Put a Little Umph In It
23. Wednesday Lover
22. I Don’t Wanna
21. What You Tryna Do
19. Funny How
17. The Way You Talk to Me
16. Season’s Change
15. No Half Steppin
14. Keys to the Range
13. True Man
12. Girl It’s Over
Edd: JE’s third album Jagged Little Thrill is mostly celebrated for the mega-hit “Where The Party At,” but personally it’s “Goodbye” that kept me coming back for more. Released as a single mere months after the 9/11 terror attacks, JE reimagined this breakup song as a ode to soldiers leaving home to go off to war. It became a touching tribute to our troops and the loved ones they leave behind.
9. Where The Party At
Edd: I bet the second you read this song’s title that cry of OH-OH-OH-OH-OH just flooded your memories. It’s the power of an addictive song. “Where The Party At” was THE R&B party anthem for the summer of 2001, a bubbly cut that proved that JE could be much more than balladeers.
8. Let’s Get Married Remix
Alex: I always say “Let’s Get Married” was the song that motivated many folks in relationships that were going nowhere fast to make it official in front of God and the free world ( Seriously, “we ain’t getting no younger we might as well do this” is not and I repeat NOT a good reason to go to the courthouse and jump the broom). Either way, if the original got folks to to break out the tuxedos and white gowns, the “Let’s Get Married Remix” ensured the reception was entertaining at the very least. Complete with a Rev. Run feature this joint is guaranteed to get everyone away from the open bar and on to the dance floor in seconds.
7. Good Luck Charm
Edd: Arguably, JE’s self-titled 2006 album landed after the peak of the group’s mainstream success. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t stop churning out hits. The Jermaine Dupri-produced “Good Luck Charm” is one of those trademark syrupy JE ballads that maintains enough edge (no pun intended) to keep it from becoming too sappy. It’s one of those tracks even grandma n’ dem would love.
6. Let’s Get Married
Edd: Alex already talked above about the impact this track had on a generation of newlyweds. While the remix was created to set off the wedding reception (I speak from experience – it ALWAYS does), the original is here to get you down the aisle. Questionable lyrics aside, it’s the heartfelt passion of JE’s delivery that does the trick here.
5. What’s It Like
Alex: By 2003 Jagged Edge had enjoyed multi-platinum success and become some of the biggest stars in urban music of the late ’90s/ early 2000’s. They kept the bangers coming with this cut from their fourth album entitled Hard. Produced by Melvin Coleman and written by Brandon and Brian Casey, the song finds the guys wanting to experience the joys of true love and being skeptical if they’ll ever find it. Though the song didn’t make much of a dent commercially, peaking at number 85 on the Hot 100, it remains a fan favorite.
4. Walked Outta Heaven
Edd: If you haven’t picked up on it already, no one does ballads like Jagged Edge. Every album guarantees at least one standout. And for their vastly-underrated fourth album Hard, “Walked Outta Heaven” is the prize. Reigning as one of their most successful singles to date, “Walked Outta Heaven” is one of those sorrowful cuts that makes JE’s pain our pleasure.
3. I Gotta Be
Alex: In the midst of the mid-1990s, every record label and their mama tried to find their answer to Jodeci or Boyz II Men to no avail. JE broke out the pack with harmonies and a smooth vocal performance on “ I Gotta Be,” the second single from their debut album A Jagged Era. Crafted by Brandon and Brian Casey, Manuel Seal and So So Def boss Jermaine Dupri, “I Gotta Be” peaked at number 23 on the Hot 100 and helped their debut disc sell more than half a million copies domestically.
2. He Can’t Love You
Alex: Anytime I or any of my close friends catch one of our buddy’s hating on an ex-girlfriend’s new man saying how he doesn’t compare to them they are immediately dubbed a “Jagged Edge He Can’t Love U A** Ni**A” cause they are player hating to the upmost. Written by Bryan-Michael Cox and the Casey’s this has become one of Jagged’s signature hits peaking at 15 on the Hot 100 and has fueled many a drunk dial to an ex to tell her new dude is a lame.
Alex: J.E. Heartbreak is to Jagged Edge was II is to Boyz II Men. Put simply, it is the album people think about when J.E. comes to mind, and with good reason, as the album is flames from front to back. Even on an album full of hits, “Promise” stands out. Lyrically, its a spiritual successor to “I Gotta Be” with the guys professing their love for their lady and features some of the most heartfelt lyrics ever sung by Brandon,Brian, Rico, and Kyle. This is the definitive number one on this list, and if you have a problem with that, debate ya mama or your greasy granny, not Edd and I.
What are your favorite JE songs? Let us know below. Also, check out our playlist!