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: 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.
Is that where the show comes in?
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.
What was the wake up call for you guys where you realized you should actively pursue treatment?
JoJo: 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.
What’s the hardest thing about recovery?
JoJo: 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?
JoJo: 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?