K-Ci & JoJo Talk New Reality Show, Overcoming Addiction

It’s safe to assume that fans were receptive to the thought of K-Ci and JoJo making a triumphant come back from their “All My Life” days based on the success of their solo career since breaking out of the iconic 90s r&b group, Jodeci. However, when a viral video surfaced, two years ago, of JoJo falling out on stage in the middle of singing, that’s not what anyone had in mind. Subsequently, rumors began to flare about the pair’s alleged drug use and it seemed that the duo was finished but according to the r&b impresarios, their fight has just begun.

On October 19, TV One will begin airing K-Ci and JoJo…Come Clean, a nine episode series that chronicles the pair’s attempt at overcoming alcoholism and restarting their music careers. Their main objectives are to clear up rumors and to hopefully inspire other people to get help. VIBE caught up with the Hailey brothers to set the record straight. ⎯Starrene Rhett

VIBE: Talk about the show you have coming out.

K-Ci: Our manager came up with the idea of us doing a show about us getting ourselves back together, and me and my brother at that point in our lives were ready to get back together and we found a unique way to do it and put a team together and decided we were going to move into a house and do it this way.

Besides your manager coming up with the concept for the show, what was the wake up call for you guys where you realized you should actively pursue treatment?

Jo Jo: For myself, the wake up call was too much partying and forgetting my whole purpose of life and forgetting my main purpose of my children. I was beginning to miss a lot of things, I started to get ill and was trying to fake it like I feel good and the shows weren’t 100%. I really had let myself go and let go of the blessings that God has given us and I’d rather die happy than die a critical crucial stupid death so It wasn’t for me no more. I got to the point where I wanted to settle down. I didn’t want to party no more and that’s why I’m happily married now and I’m more involved in my children’s lives and I’m so happy and I thank God for the change.

Were you aware that you had a negative rep in the industry because of the alcoholism?

K-Ci: It was getting back to us and of course we would hear things and see things on the Internet but sometimes you don’t want to believe what you hear and what you see because it’s you. Our manager told us it was harder to get work so we knew. And for me, one day I woke up and I just knew it was time to make a change.

What’s the hardest thing about recovery?

K-Ci: Everyday.

Jo Jo: Everyday. I agree with K-CI on that one. It’s so hard because⎯it’s getting easier now due to the fact that I have my beautiful wife. She’s been there, she’s been my rock, she’s been by my side. And the hardest part I can say is you have to let go of some of the friends that you thought were your friends, family members as well. That was the hard part.

How did you guys develop this problem?

Jo Jo: We’re not the only ones in this industry that have been through this or are going through this. This could be the everyday struggle of any entertainer in this industry⎯because it’s not all about K-Ci and JoJo, trust and believe. Everyone goes through or has some type of addiction. I don’t care if it’s a sex addiction, a drug addiction⎯because this industry takes you all out of your element of life, of who you are. And if you begin to be caught with all the album sales, the money and all the doors open to anything you want, it takes you out of all of reality. So it all started up when all of that came to us, and then we’re from the country and never really had much so all of this hits you at one time. It was overwhelming and it started like that. All of these things was too much with no charge.

Why did you guys decide to go so public with such a sensitive situation?

K-Ci: There were so many different rumors and we wanted to get rid of the rumors. People saying that we’re doing this and we’re doing this but if we’re on TV and we do it openly and people see what we’re getting tested for, what the real issues are and what’s in our systems and what’s not in our system, then they’re seeing it. So we wanted to really just let people know what we’re going thru and hopefully we can help somebody else who sees the show and sees what we’re doing. 

There’s still people who might feel like alcohol isn’t a real addiction so what would you say to them?

JoJo: Anyone that’s out there that feels that an alcoholic beverage is not a problem then you do have a problem, that’s where the first problem begins because you have to admit to yourself. If you get to the point where I was, where you have to go to sleep to it and you have to wake up in the morning to it and have to have it before you eat, that’s a problem and honest to God, when it’s taking over your mind it really is a problem. Because if you find yourself having a conversation with anybody and they come to you and tell you about something that you did more than once and alcohol is related then you have a problem. So you have to get over it and get yourself together. Keep God first. And honest to God if you admit to your problem, it will be much easier for you to deal with that problem.

K-Ci: We’re definitely going to be going to the studio as well as working out a lot of different problems within our lives, like certain situations with our kids and our kids mothers. We just deal with a lot of stuff and when we came into the show we didn’t know what was gonna happen. There was nothing scripted, nothing said to us. Everyday we woke up we didn’t know what was gonna happen next. We just knew we were going through this process.

About a year or two ago there was a clip swirling the web where the two of you were performing and JoJo fell out. What happened? Was it really a seizure?

JoJo I’m aware that it was all over the internet but that’s gonna be self-explanatory on the show because we show what lead up to it, how it happened. I don’t want to give to much away because I want people to watch the show and really take this show serious. We don’t want people to watch just to say they watch it. This show is really about our lives and to clear up rumors and also to better and to help ourselves, mentally and physically, and understand the importance of the blessings that God has given us. So to answer that question, it’s all in the show.

What can we expect from you guys musically?

JoJo: Musically, you can expect the same love ballads. I’m not stepping on any toes but no there will be no computerized voices, just the same love songs that we’re known for that we know how to do so well. And that we’re not gonna change with time. It’s like old wine we only get better with time. We’re not gonna change with it. The only thing that’s gonna change is the sound of the instrument and that’s it. Everything else is gonna stay the same.

This might be stretch but is there any hope of a Jodeci reunion?

JoJo: Let me tell you something, Jodeci has never broken up as a family. I speak with Dalvin and K-Ci speaks to Devonte. We all speak but right now as far as an album coming out in the near future, it’s hard for me to say because right now we’re just trying to really concentrate on K-Ci and JoJo with this because we feel as though we are the voices of the group so we have to first get ourselves into place and then maybe everything else can fall into place. But as far as, “Is there a Jodeci?” there will always be a Jodeci but we want to take it one step at a time rather than put all our eggs in a basket and have a few of them crack. So we’re gonna be very cautious with every step we make right now. K-Ci Devonte’s appears on the show.

There’s still people who might feel like alcohol isn’t a real addiction so what would you say to them?

JoJo Anyone that’s out there that feels that an alcoholic beverage is not a problem then you do have a problem, that’s where the first problem begins because you have to admit to yourself. If you get to the point where I was, where you have to go to sleep to it and you have to wake up in the morning to it and have to have it before you eat, that’s a problem and honest to God, when it’s taking over your mind it really is a problem. Because if you find yourself having a conversation with anybody and they come to you and tell you about something that you did more than once and alcohol is related then you have a problem. So you have to get over it and get yourself together. Keep God first. And honest to God if you admit to your problem, it will be much easier for you to deal with that problem.

K-Ci: And when the doctor ells you if you keep drinking you’re gonna die then you have a problem.

What do you want fans to take away from the show?

K-Ci: I want people to not be embarrassed to get help. And I want fans to see who we really are and what’s true about us and what’s not true and knowing who we are. JoJo I want everybody to tune in for this show not for the ratings, but just look at it, understand and think about some of the questions that you may have had that need to be answered. Watch the show and continue to pray for us.

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Killer Mike Gives Emotional Speech Urging Peaceful Protests Amid Unrest In Atlanta

Killer Mike joined T.I., and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms in delivering emotional pleas to discourage ATLiens from burning the city as protests broke out on Friday (May 29) in response to the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and countless victims of police brutality.

“I don’t want to be here,” began Killer Mike. “I’m the son of an Atlanta city police officer, my cousin is a police officer…I got a lot of love and respect for police officers down to the original eight [Black] police officers in Atlanta that, even after becoming police, had to dress in a YMCA because white officers didn’t want to get dressed with ni**ers. And here we are, 80 years later and I watched a white officer assassinate a Black man and I know that tore your heart out. I know it’s crippling and I have nothing positive to say in this moment because I don’t want to be here.”

The Atlanta native went on to share background on his family’s involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, and other social justice issues. “I’m duty-bound to be here to simply say, 'It is your duty not to burn your own house down for anger with the enemy.’”

In what turned out to be another viral moment, Tip called Atlanta “Wakanda” while imploring demonstrators not to destroy the city. “Atlanta has been here for us, this city don’t deserve that. I understand that a lot of others do, but we can’t do this here, this is Wakanda. It’s sacred. It must be protected,” said the 39-year-old rapper.

Mayor Bottoms simply told protestors to simply “go home.”

“Above everything else, I am a mother to four Black children in America, one of whom is 18 years old,” she said. “When I saw the murder of George Floyd, I hurt like a mother would hurt. Yesterday, when I heard there was a rumor about violent protests in Atlanta, I did what a mother would do: I called my son and I said ‘where are you?’ I said ‘I cannot protect you and Black boys shouldn’t be out today.’ So you’re not going to out-concern me, and out care about where we are in America.

“I wear this each and every day and I pray over my children each and every day. What I see happening on the streets of Atlanta is not Atlanta. This is not a protest. This is not in the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. This is chaos.”

WATCH: "If you love this city, go home!" https://t.co/c8cPBZLATJ pic.twitter.com/v9IEBVoXpB

— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) May 30, 2020

At the request of Mayor Bottoms, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp issued a state of emergency in Fulton County, and deployed 500 troops from the state's national guard.

They will deploy immediately to assist @ga_dps, @GaDNRLE, @GA_Corrections & local law enforcement who are working tirelessly to subdue unlawful activity & restore peace. We will continue to make all state resources available to local leaders during this emergency situation. (2/2)

— Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) May 30, 2020

See Killer Mike's full statement below as well as photos and video of the protests.

A powerful scene in Atlanta right now, this gives me chills. pic.twitter.com/SK7oOvzs8g

— Everything Georgia (@GAFollowers) May 29, 2020

More shots from Atlanta tonight pic.twitter.com/TmUmW5nXxZ

— kieron (@kieroncg) May 30, 2020

The chief of police in Atlanta talking and listening to everyone that has something to say#ATLFORUS #AtlantaProtest pic.twitter.com/qirbQRgViU

— Lilly - BLACK LIVES MATTER (@joonhopekook) May 29, 2020

It’s not just Minneapolis, we are now seeing protests in cities across the country over the death of George Floyd. This is in Atlanta as some smash the glass at our downtown CNN headquarters. #GeorgeFloyd pic.twitter.com/iwJxFaUfxW

— Omar Jimenez (@OmarJimenez) May 30, 2020

Police cars getting literally destroyed in Atlanta outside the CNN Center pic.twitter.com/x5zRxZVQpb

— Fernando Alfonso III (@fernalfonso) May 29, 2020

Downtown Atlanta right now.... PEACEFUL PROTEST ! #BlackLivesMatter ! pic.twitter.com/6nejzqccVE

— KP 🦋. (@kailynnlee) May 29, 2020

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Breonna Taylor’s Family Vows To Continue Fight For Justice: “Please Keep Saying Her Name”

Breonna Taylor must not be forgotten. The family of the 26-year-old EMT who was shot and killed by Louisville police officers in March, released a statement encouraging peaceful protests and the continued fight for justice.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear read the statement from Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, on CNN on Friday (May 29).

“Breonna devoted her own life to saving other lives, to helping others, to making people smile, and to bringing people together,” the statement reads. “The last thing she’d want right now is any more violence. Changes are being made, but it’s not enough. We will not stop until there is truth, justice and accountability. Breonna’s legacy will not be forgotten. And it’s because of all of us saying her name and demanding justice. We are saying her name more each day. Thank you.

“Please keep saying her name. Please keep demanding justice and accountability, but let’s do it the right way without hurting each other. We can, and we will make some real change here. Now’s the time. Let’s make it happen.”

Seven people were shot during a protest for Taylor in Louisville on Thursday (May 28). The shooting victims were treated and are in stable condition, according to Louisville Mayor Greg Fisher. Fisher also reposted a video message from Taylor’s family urging peace amid the protests.

A message from Breonna Taylor’s family urging protestors to be peaceful, go home and keep fighting for truth. pic.twitter.com/if5MH5UcCW

— Mayor Greg Fischer (@louisvillemayor) May 29, 2020

On March 13, 2020, Louisville police officers kicked in Taylor’s door without warning and opened fire. Authorities claim that they were executing a “no-knock” search warrant stemming from an alleged drug investigation involving another man who did not live in Taylor’s home, and had already been arrested.

“Police just unloaded 25 to 30 rounds, I mean they’re shooting from the front door, they’re shooting from the window, they’re shooting from the patio,” attorney Benjamin Crump told Essence on Friday. “They’re so reckless, they shoot a bullet into the next door neighbor’s apartment where their five-year-old daughter is asleep in her room. “They didn’t even have to come in her [Taylor's] apartment. They already had the person they were searching for in custody.”

Taylor’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the LMPD accusing the department of excessive force and gross negligence. In wake of Taylor’s murder going public, LMPD has changed its policy and will now require no-knock warrants to have a police chief’s signature. The department also made it mandatory for LMPD officers to wear body cameras.

A 911 call made by Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, after the shooting was made public on Thursday. “I don’t know what’s happening somebody kicked in the door and shot my girlfriend,” Walker can be heard saying through tears. Police arrested Walker for shooting at cops whom he assumed were robbers. The charges were later dropped.

Listen to the emotional 911 call below.

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KEREM YUCEL/AFP via Getty Images

Fired Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin Arrested For Murder Of George Floyd

Fired Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was arrested for the murder of George Floyd on Friday (May 29), Hennepin County D.A. Mike Freeman confirmed at a press conference.

“Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been charged with murder and with manslaughter. He has been charged with third-degree murder,” said Freeman.

“There could be more charges later. The investigation is ongoing. We felt it important to focus on the most dangerous perpetrator,” Freeman said when asked if the three additional fired MPD officers will be charged in Floyd’s murder. The third-degree murder charge suggests that Chauvin had no intent to kill Floyd. If convicted, the charge carries a maximum sentence of 25 years.

Chauvin's arrest follows three days of protests in an around Minneapolis. On Thursday (May 28), the MPD’s third precinct went up in flames.

The Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct has been set on fire pic.twitter.com/h85rjffLgc

— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) May 29, 2020

“We have never charged a case in that time frame. We can only prove a case when we have substantial evidence,” added Freeman who maintained that the timing of the arrest was a result of a final piece of evidence, although he refused to go into detail. “We have now been able to put together the evidence that we needed. Folks, I’m not gonna’ talk specifically about this piece of evidence, or that piece of evidence. You will see.”

Freeman did however state the that evidence collected in the case includes citizen video, officer body cam footage, witness statements, and a “preliminary report” from the medical examiner.

Chauvin was the officer filmed jamming his knee into Floyd’s neck as he gasped for air and pleaded, “Please! Please! I can’t breathe!”

The fatal incident unfolded on Monday (May 25) afternoon. Police were called to Cup Food grocery store after Floyd allegedly tried to use a fraudulent $20 bill. MPD claimed that Floyd resisted arrest but a security camera recording shows him walking calmly in handcuffs while being escorted to a patrol car by an MPD officer.

Video footage release by store owner who stated George did not resist arrest as stated on the police report #GeorgeFloyd #BlackLivesMatters pic.twitter.com/aqFzkPmnEp

— Que ™ (@RealQDaKidd) May 27, 2020

Additional footage, recorded by a teenage bystander, captured Floyd's last few minutes alive. Floyd, 46, was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Chauvin may have already known Floyd as they both worked security for the Minneapolis club, El Nueva Rodeo.

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