Back in 2008, BET introduced the world to a group of five brothers as they chronicled their journey from aspiring singers to Def Jam signees. Despite their successes as a group, the notoriety from the show, and their star-studded debut album Brutha, the quintet which originally consisted of brothers Grady, Jake, Ant, Papa, and JR, ultimately scaled down to just two, Jake and Papa. However, as the pair explains, in this exclusive interview with BET.com, that doesn’t mean that there’s bitter blood between the brothers as the split isn’t what it looks like.
“They basically just wanted to do their own thing,” said Papa of his siblings decision to leave the group. “The two oldest brothers are older, they have families and they got their own vision. Mentally they’re just in another place...they wanted to go pursue music another way.”
Although the two are fine with their bros decision it does upset them when people get the story wrong, saying that they were the ones who left the group when in fact, the exact opposite is true. “The most frustrating part is the disloyal part,” said Papa. “We’ve been called disloyal like we left the group when in actuality we were the ones left. There’s no one more loyal than me and him but at the end of the day we have to do what we have to do. They had to do what they had to do and we have to do what we have to do.”
However, the brothers remain unfazed by the gossip. “People are going to talk, people are going to have their own versions of stuff,” said Jake. “You can put the truth out there but by the time it gets to the tenth ear it’s a different story. I mean you can’t help it but it is kind of a sensitive subject for us because those are our brothers. So we do want to set it straight.”
Fans disappointed about the split and worried that they’ll never hear all five members of Brutha on an album together need not worry. Jake and Papa revealed that their first release will actually be a collection of mostly banked songs from the unfinished Brutha project, Vacancy. The new title for the album is Vacancy: Jake and Papa Featuring the Lost Souls of Brutha.
“At the end of the day, we can’t hold that music,” said Papa. “It’s too great. We’re not going to mess up the chemistry by re-recording it. We just have to put it out as is. It’s still going to be Jake and Papa after this but we have to let the people know what happened and this is the start.”
“Talk Box” featuring one of their inspirations, R. Kelly is the first single off the upcoming project and should be followed shortly by another single “High is Coming Down” featuring Rick Ross and Twista.
J&P are currently filming videos for almost every song on the album that’s due in stores this fall.
The two remaining brothers also say that they’re down for the long haul, explaining that the fact that they’ve been on stage together since their first performance of Kris Kross’ “Jump” in grade school means that they can’t see it any other way.
“We’re never going to stray from our roots,” said Jake. “We’re going to continue making music even if it’s 20 years from now.”