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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