Throughout the years, the world has had every opportunity to get to know Cee-lo and Jazze Pha for their musical talents. Cee-lo first debuted into the music world as one fourth of the rap collective, Goodie Mob. Since their start, he has released numerous albums with the group, as well as run a successful solo career. He’s also done a host of tracks as a member of ATL’s Dungeon Family alongside other members including Outkast.
Meanwhile, Jazze Pha has become well known on the production side of things, producing hits for a host of A-List rappers, including Trick Daddy and Youngbloodz! More recently, he’s become even more well known for his label, Sho’Nuff Records, which is currently the home new Crunk~n~B princess Ciara. Now, Jazze and Cee-lo, after working together on numerous occasions throughout their careers, have decided to come together as one, and the outcome is their group debut, appropriately titled “Happy Hour”.
Now that the album is complete and the first single is killing the charts, they’ve embarked on a tour to promote their soon-to-be-released gem. We had a moment to catch up with Jazze and Cee-lo during one of their brief breaks, and they had a lot to say about their contributions to the game, and this album.
MVRemix: Now I know off the bat that you and Cee-lo have been good friends for quite some time, but how did you two arrive at the notion of joining forces to form the ultimate group?
Jazze Pha: Well you know, me and Cee-Lo, we’ve done collaborations together, and we’ve known each other for a while. It all began with Trick Daddy’s record “In Da Wind”.
MVRemix: Man, it’s funny that I still play that song to this day. It was so hot that I went out and bought the single….
Jazze Pha: Oh yeah? Then we did some work together on his last album, “Cee-lo Green Is The Soul Machine”.
MVRemix: Right, that was just out last year…..
Jazze Pha: Then we did “All I Know”, a collaboration with Field Mob for their record. From there, he was going to do a collaboration on my solo album, but we realized that we were working so well together that we should just come together as a unit and do a full album.
MVRemix: You have so many people out there who have been successful as solo artists, and then they try to link with another artist as a group and it doesn’t work. What made you know that this would work with you and Cee-lo?
Jazze Pha: I sing and I rap, and produce, and the same thing for Cee-lo. So to me, that’s like super powers.
MVRemix: So the both of you are producing tracks on the album?
Jazze Pha: Oh yeah, we’re both putting in work producing.
MVRemix: The first single has a big party vibe to it. What’s to be expected for the remainder of the album?
Jazze Pha: Oh yeah, the album definitely has a party element to it. We’re having a damned good time with this album, and you’re able to dance to the music. When you see us perform, it’s going to exemplify everything. When the ladies see us, they’ll want to go out and have some drinks with us. Just like the song says, “Let’s go have some drinks”. Once you get the whole visual, it all comes together.
MVRemix: I think the biggest bonus is that the two of you actually have a natural chemistry together, and you actually work together in the studio, as opposed to sending tracks and music back and forth to each other. Then the video is hot, and you guys are really out working and promoting it.
Jazze Pha: Oh man, I appreciate that. You know, we’re both solo, and he’s [Cee-lo] a big fan of the Bar-Kays, and just funk period. You know, my dad was one of the Bar-Kays. I grew up around all of that
MVRemix: Oh wow man, I did not know that at all.
Jazze Pha: Yeah, my dad is James Alexander, lead singer of the Bar-Kays. Yeah man!
MVRemix: So now I see where you get your style from.
Jazze Pha: Yeah man! You hear a lot of real music in my production. That’s what I’m about, is real music. I like to create a new vibe and change things.
MVRemix: Did you guys do any collaborations for this album?
Jazze Pha: Oh yeah, most definitely. Production-wise, we worked with a guy named Jasper Cameron. He worked on “Na Na Na” with me for Nelly’s album. We did something with Mannie Fresh. He did a track. Of course, Cee-lo did a few tracks, then we have Ciara, Nate Dogg, and Aaron Hall singing.
MVRemix: How are you finding the time to do an album and whatnot, with you running a label [Sho’Nuff Recordings] at the same time?
Jazze Pha: Well man, you know, it’s kinda like I can walk and chew gum at the same time (laughing). You know, I can do two things at the same time.
MVRemix: That was the first thing I asked too man, when I first heard that you two were dropping the album. I’m like, how is this cat going to do all of this, and run the label?
Jazze Pha: Man, it definitely ain’t easy though. We have partners and everything that can keep the label moving when I’m gone. Plus, I got things locked up with the beats. I’m still making music as we roll. We just got out on the road. We’re about to get a studio bus.
MVRemix: How much further will you guys take this union? Will you do multiple albums as a duo?
Jazze Pha: Well you know, this being a career, we’re going to do this until we can’t do it no more. Just until we feel like we got to do something else.
MVRemix: Well I think that you two of you are creating a good brand with this union. I believe that a lot of people, especially the “grown and sexy” crowd, will really stick to this, because it ain’t just the typical blahzay blah that you hear on the regular from a lot of artists.
Jazze Pha: Yeah man, I truly hope so. I appreciate you saying that too. You know, it’s just about us creating some real, quality music and having some style. You can buy clothes and all kinds of material, but you can not buy style. Cee-lo, that boy got style, and so do I, and when you put that together, you get so much. This is an album that the ladies can get into! This is an album that the players can get into! It’s going to be one of the best word of mouth pieces in a long time.
MVRemix: Now you said you two have been on the road, is there an elaborate tour going on right now?
Jazze Pha: Right now, we’re doing the promo stops, meet and greets, hug and shake hands, kiss a few babies, signing autographs, and letting the people know we are out here, and we’re getting’ down.
MVRemix: You’ve got to make a stop in Cleveland!
Jazze Pha: Aww man, I’m quite sure it’s on the agenda. Soon as we see some things and some significant action, we’ll be there. If there’s a need to just come and lay it on down somewhere, we’ll be there. You need to take us to the grown and sexy clubs with the super fine ladies and good credit scores (laughing).
MVRemix: Now the album will be dropping when?
Jazze Pha: The album is going to be out, we’re thinking, around Valentine’s day.
MVRemix: Well I personally can’t wait for it to hit stores man. I’m kinda disappointed that it’s not for another three months.
Jazze Pha: Well you know, we want to build that awareness. And you know, that’s just a tentative date. If we can get that action that we really need ahead of time, then we’ll push it up.
MVRemix: Now you’re dropping more singles before the album drops, right?
Jazze Pha: Oh yeah, definitely. We’re thinking about a few different tracks, but you know, that’s something that could change overnight.
MVRemix: Are there any final comments, or anything you really wanted to get out there?
Jazze Pha: Oh yea man, Sho’Nuff Records is coming at ya! I got so many surprises man. I got a couple of things coming. People knowing that I’m out here and that I got the label running! Just be ready!