It’s amazing how quickly something can go from awesome to WTF, but last night during the Silver Spring, Md., stop of Jagged Edge’s tour, they leveled that shit all the way up, leaving an entire crowd both dumbfounded and pissed and their Twitter mentions deservedly in shambles.
I’m a JE fan. Anybody who knows me is aware of this fact. I’ve largely enjoyed all of their albums, defend them vehemently in the unnecessary 112-versus-JE annual debate (JE absolutely sings better than 112, even with Kyle “Nobody Actually Knows What His Singing Voice Sounds Like” Norman). Their music may not be for everybody, but it speaks to my soul.
JE is (now) responsible for two of the most memorable performances I’ve attended because of their antics. To refer to them as “They some niggas” is not rude or an understatement; they are. The first time I saw JE perform was in Atlanta at Piedmont Park for the Music Midtown Festival in May 2000.
Listen, I don’t know how else to explain this shit, so: In the middle of their set and after probably a half hour of gyrating and running around onstage, Kyle reaches down into his crotch and tosses onto the crowd what looks like a BUCKET’S worth of ball sweat. Words can’t fully express how disgusting this was and just HOW MUCH SWEAT HE THREW ONTO THE CROWD. It looked like Ray J’s “One Wish” video.
Thank the good Lord that my crew was outside the blast radius, but he probably got at least 100 people with ball sweat. To this day, it is hands down the most memorable shit I’ve seen happen at a concert because of how absolutely disgusted the entire crowd was, and I’ve been to go-gos. Hours later, you’d walk by people still talking about JE throwing ball sweat on people.
While last night’s JE show was thankfully devoid of buckets of ball sweat—it should be noted that Kyle is in jail right now—what we did get was some bullshit. But it didn’t have to be.
The doors opened at 7 p.m., and there was a line around the block at the Fillmore, the Live Nation-backed venue in Silver Spring playing host, which was exciting for me. I don’t know if everybody loves JE like I do, so it was great to see so many folks come out despite the frigid temperatures. It warmed my wee heart and shit. The line moved quickly, which was awesome.
At around 8:15 p.m., the opener, a rather aggressive talking singer named London Savoy, hit the stage and and was notable only because she brought a child onstage who apparently follows her career and had a jacket made with her name on it. This child is not her family. London Savoy’s music is not child-appropriate. Why this non-family-member child is following her career is beyond me, but parenting is nothing without being judgmental of others’ parental choices.
DJ Silver Knight, who I guess is their traveling tour DJ, came on at, like, 8:55 p.m. and briefly warmed up the crowd and killed it. I only mention him here—aside from kudos—because he factors in with the later shenanigans. It’s important to note that unless you paid for some sort of VIP ticket, there was no seating. So we’ve been standing around for two hours at this point waiting for JE. Under normal circumstances, this is just life—niggas stand every day, b—but after the fact, it becomes another annoyance.
At 9 p.m., the necessary three-fourths of JE hit the stage. I’ve seen folks mock their attire, but they looked like standard JE. Anyway, they hit the stage and jumped the show off with “Let’s Get Married,” then transitioned that into the remix to get the energy up. I should point out that folks were enjoying and getting their life to this show, having an absolute ball. Wingo did a lot of talking (and all the talking) with random but entertaining stories while the Casey brothers walked toward the wings of the stage and came back on to sing when necessary.
By my recollection, they did “Promise,” “Walked Outta Heaven,” “Where da Party At?” “I Gotta Be” and, oddly, “Put a Little Umph in It” of their own songs, then played for us H-Town’s “Knockin’ da Boots” while one of the twins sang along, Keith Sweat’s “Right and Wrong Way,” and Usher’s “Nice & Slow,” which was written (in part) by Brian and Brandon Casey. In total, they were onstage for 45 minutes. Here’s where shit gets WTF and where folks got agitated.
These niggas ended their show without so much as a “Thanks, DMV; y’all been great” or anything indicating that the show was over. After doing “Where da Party At?” they literally threw up a peace sign and walked off the stage. But they didn’t say shit, so it seemed like maybe they were taking a break? Nobody knew. We were all there standing like some assholes, waiting for, I don’t know, something.
DJ Silver Knight jumped back on the tables and spun modern classics like “These Hoes Ain’t Loyal,” then basically stopped and looked over the crowd as he walked off, wondering why we were all still standing there waiting for either JE to come back out or somebody to tell us the party was done, as if he wasn’t there listening to nobody say shit like “Thanks for coming out.” This after 45 minutes’ total stage time, of which they performed JE songs for maybe 30 once you discount other folks’ music, talk breaks and the DJ hip-hop set they included to show that the crowd loves R&B. You read that right—they had a DJ set in the MIDDLE of their already-too-short set.
So these niggas had us wait for two hours to perform their songs for roughly 30 minutes, dipped out without saying shit and didn’t even have their DJ close the shit out properly, leaving a bunch of niggas who paid hard-earned money round Christmas and came out in super-cold weather to support them looking stupid in a venue feeling like we wasted our money. While they were performing, we were rocking with them. But after that bullshit—and the feeling inside of pissed-offedness was palpable; it’s literally all ANYBODY was talking about—the little piddly show they put on was straight basura. Fuck ’em.
Talk about taking your fans for granted and not giving a fuck. The whole shit seemed so unprofessional. They did not give anybody a good-enough show to dip out and NOT hear about it, especially with social media at our fingertips. They deserve to get murdered online. I figured something was up when, as they finished what would be their last song, I saw the stagehands packing up their shit and walking off, but I figured there’s no way THAT’S the end of the show. Wingo did say, “We ain’t gon’ leave y’all without partying,” or something to that effect. But that was it.
So fuck Jagged Edge. Do not pay to go see them. If you already bought a ticket, get a refund. Save yourself from being pissed. Look, I don’t know if something went awry. There were murmurs after the show that something funny happened with their money, but let’s be real. This ain’t some mom-and-pop operation; this is a Live Nation venue, one of the largest venue operators in the world—if not the largest. And if they DID get stiffed, they could have said, “Fuck the venue,” hit a Kaepernick knee and walked offstage and we’d be on their side. Something. Released a statement using the Notes app on their phone. Something.
So, yeah, don’t go see JE live unless that shit is free. Earlier, I’d read some reviews from folks on Facebook and Twitter talking about how bad their JE show experiences were, but I figured they were exaggerations. But nope. After last night, fuck it.
Don’t go see JE. Washington, D.C., does not recommend it.