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Stars That Died

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Who is Rodney Jerkins?

Who is Rodney Jerkins? The world knows him by his musical name "Darkchild". Jerkins is a Grammy Award-winning songwriter, record producer, and musician. Working largely with his brother Fred Jerkins III & writer LaShawn Daniels. He has been requested by such artists as Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and Lionel Richie. The words "Darkchild" appear in some form in many of his tracks. He is currently working on forthcoming albums from Mary J. Blige, Cassie, Anastacia, Melanie Brown,[1] Se7en, and Natasha.

Jerkins was born July 29, 1977 in Pleasantville, New Jersey into a religious family as the youngest son of a minister and choir director mother. He grew up in Pleasantville, New Jersey.[2] He began taking classical music lessons on the piano as a small child. As a teenager he had already decided to become a record producer. At 15, he and his brother Fred Jerkins III wrote and produced their own gospel rap album - On the Move. He began making more demos, one of which caught the attention of idol Teddy Riley, who gave him advice on the music industry. Finally, his first professional writing and producing job came in 1994 when he contributed two tracks to the debut album of R&B artist Casserine. Riley also subsequently let Jerkins share writing and production duties on tracks by Pure Soul, Men Of Vizion & Wreckx-N-Effect in 1995 & 1996.[3]

In his current personal life, a formerly overweight Jerkins has stated that a change in lifestyle is responsible for a new slender physique - previously it had been rumored this was achieved via GBP. He has also been married to pop/gospel/R&B singer Joy Enriquez since April 4, 2004. Additionally, in 2006 Jerkins was appointed VP of A&R for The Island Def Jam Group. Their first child, named Rodney David, Jr. was born May 28, 2008. They currently reside in Brooklyn, New York.

Jerkins has made two attempts to bring his label to prominence. The first was in 1999 when he joined with Sony/Epic Records to promote such signees as Whitney Houston-style power vocalist Rhona, Pop/R&B girl group So Plush and rapper Fats. Male vocalists K-Young, Lil' Zal and J. Mathis also made frequent collaborations with Rodney Jerkins around this time, although it is not known if they were actually signed to the label. Buzz was created about artists with Fats appearing on two tracks Jerkins produced for Michael Jackson's Invincible album and So Plush releasing the single "Things I've Heard Before" with a Hype Williams-directed video. Singles such as So Plush's "Damn (Should Have Treated You Right)" and Rhona's "Satisfied" were also released and made fair impact on charts. Subsequently, So Plush albums and "Things I've Heard Before" singles were pressed (and made available as promos) and Rhona's album was even released in Japan, output from the label stopped from this point however. It seemed that eventually artists were released from the label as Rhona reappeared in 2003 joining infamous R&B group En Vogue[4] and Fats released an album as part of the duo F.A.T.S. & Bathgate in 2006.[5]

In 2005 Darkchild Records reappeared when Jerkins signed brand new acts including Shamari Fears
formerly of R&B group Blaque, female MC Asia Lee, Dancehall artist Atiba, and Gospel singer Anesha Birchett. Joy Enriquez also briefly appeared as an artist on the site before her album release on new sister gospel label JoyFul Child Records. The website was redesigned and relaunched with artist bios and track samples and a new Darkchild Members "Platinum" Club was set up which gave access to Jerkins' Versatility instrumental album and other exclusives. Shamari, Asia Lee, and Atiba are no longer with the label. Anesha Birchett is currently in artist development; she has co-written several, recent Darkchild Productions, including those for Beyoncé, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Shareefa, Joy Enriquez, Natasha and Tamia. Anesha's sister Antea Birchett
and Delisha Thomas are also part of a frequently active in-house roster of writers for Darkchild Records.

In 2009, Darkchild is currently working with Texas sisters Britt and Lala Main, known as "Main Street".

Jerkins released his wife Joy Enriquez' second album Atmosphere Of Heaven,
which features a religious direction, on his independent gospel imprint JoyFul Child Records. The album is available to purchase through Joy's Official Website although she was formerly featured on the Darkchild Records Site with its other artists. The Darkchild name has also been lent to a record company run by Jerkins brother Fred Jerkins III,
Darkchild Gospel.[6] which released the latest album from Virtue - Testimony.

After Jerkins being appointed VP of A&R for The Island Def Jam Group in 2006, Darkchild Records will apparently now be distributed as an imprint under the label. It was rumoured that new female R&B artist Megan Rochell will now have her music distributed through this imprint. A second upcoming female R&B artist, Natasha, will have her music distributed through a collaboration between the label and Jive Records. Jerkins composed the opening theme music to I Married a Baller. Appearing in a segment where he recorded the theme song with 90s R&B girl-group SWV,
he suggested he could help them acquire an indie distribution deal if they were to reunite. (although this does not necessarily entail Darkchild Records)

In late 2008, Jerkins joined Nicholas Longano,
Ray Brown and Jonathan E. Eubanks in creating Music Mogul, Inc. [7], the world’s first online music world with real rewards, represents an entirely browser-based online destination where celebrity artists can unite with their fans and aspiring artists have a chance for discovery to become the next superstars. Every quarter members vote for the best video performances. [8] The top performers are then flown to Los Angeles to compete in front of a panel of celebrity judges. The winner gets a demo deal with Darkchild Productions.[9]

See links for extensive discography.

Year Song Artist Chart Position
R&B Hot 100 UK
1995 "The Way That You Love" (Remix) Vanessa Williams 23 67 52
1996 "The Things You Do" Gina Thompson 12 41 -
1997 "Yeah Yeah Yeah" Simone Hines 38 - -
"Don't Wanna Be A Player" Joe 5 25 16

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"I Can Love You" Mary J. Blige (feat. Lil' Kim) 2 28

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"Don't Stop" No Authority - - 54
1998 "Let Me Return The Favor" Andrea Martin 32 82
"Daydreamin'" Tatyana Ali 5 6 6
"The Boy Is Mine" Brandy and Monica 1 1 2

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"Top Of The World" Brandy (feat. Mase) 19 - 2
"Angel of Mine" Monica 2 1 55

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"It's Not Right, But It's Okay" Whitney Houston 7 4 3
"Angel In Disguise" Brandy 17 72
1999 "If You Had My Love" Jennifer Lopez 6 1 4
"Sunshine" Coko 19 70 -
"Say My Name" Destiny's Child 1 1 3
"U Don't Know Me (Like U Used To)" Brandy (feat. Shaunta & Da Brat) 25 79 -
"Damn" So Plush 41

2000 "He Wasn't Man Enough" Toni Braxton 1 2 5
"Holler" Spice Girls - 107 1
"If I Told You That" Whitney Houston & George Michael - - 9
"Time Limit" Hikaru Utada - - -
2001 "You Rock My World" Michael Jackson 13 10 2
"Satisfied" Rhona - - -
"Everything" Canela - - -
"I Remember" (Remix) Debelah Morgan - - -
2002 "Overprotected (Darkchild Remix)" Britney Spears - 86 4
"I Love Rock 'n' Roll" Britney Spears - - 13
"What About Us?" Brandy 3 7 4
"All Eyez on Me" Monica 32 69 -
"Get With Me" 3rd Storee 85 - -
"If Only You Knew" Prymary Colorz 78 - -
"Turntable" TLC - - -
2003 "I'm Good" Blaque 95 - -
"All I Do" B5 - - -
2004 "You Don't Know" Kierra "Kiki" Sheard 84 - -
"Lose My Breath" Destiny's Child 10 3 2
"One Wish" Ray J 3 11 13

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2005 "Cater 2 U" Destiny's Child 3 14 -
"What I Need" Ray-J 58 - -
2006 "Enough Cryin'" Mary J. Blige 2 32 46

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"Hold Me Down" Danity Kane - - -
"Cry No More" (Remix) Shareefa (feat. Streetz & Young Deuces) 43 40 -
"Need a Boss" Shareefa 10 67 -
"Déjà Vu" Beyoncé (feat. Jay-Z) 1 4 1

Watch more Dailymotion videos on AOL Video

"So Lonely" Twista (feat. Mariah Carey) 10 67 -
"The One You Need" Megan Rochell (feat. Fabulous) 41 - -
"Can't Get Enough" Tamia 26 - -
"Turn the Page" Bobby Valentino 63 - -
2007 "Be with Me" J. Holiday 83 - -
"Can't Leave 'Em Alone" Ciara (feat. 50 Cent) 10 40 109
"Shoulda Let You Go" Keyshia Cole 6 41 -

Watch more Just Like You videos on AOL Video

2008 "Feedback" Janet Jackson 39 19 -
"I'm Grown" Tiffany Evans (feat. Bow Wow) 98 - -
"Luv" Janet Jackson 34 101 -
"When I Grow Up" Pussycat Dolls - 9 3
"Angel" Natasha Bedingfield - 63 -
"Right Here (Departed)" Brandy 22 34 -
"Long Distance" Brandy 42 101 -
"The Definition" Brandy 116 - -
2009 "Girls" Se7en (feat. Lil' Kim) - - -
"Them Girls" One Call - - -
"Symphony" One Call - - -
"The One" Mary J. Blige 49 63 -
  • Tracks due for release in 2009

Album Productions (5 or more tracks)

Guest raps

  • 1995: Hodge - "Head Nod" (Darkchild Remix)
  • 1997: Tasha Holiday - "Just The Way You Like It (Darkchild Remix)" w/ Lil' Cease, Peter Gunz and Mike Nitty
  • 1997: MQ3 - "Everyday"
  • 1997: Immature - "I Can't Wait" with Mike Nitty
  • 1997: Mary J. Blige - "Everything (Darkchild Remix)"
  • 1997: K-Ball - "On The Weekend", "Love Matters"
  • 1998: Kirk Franklin & The Nu Nation Project - "Revolution"
  • 1998: Keith Washington - "Bring It On (Darkchild Remix)"
  • 1999: Brandy - "Top of the World" (Darkchild Remix) with Fat Joe and Big Pun
  • 2000: Natalie Wilson & The S.O.P. Chorale - "Act Like You Know" with LaShawn Daniels
  • 2001: So Plush - "What You Do To Me" with 50 Cent and Fats, "Ain't My Fault"
  • 2001: Rhona - "Satisfied (Another Darkchild Remix)" with Fats
  • 2002: Jay Mathis - "Kiss" with Pain and Fats
  • 2002: Mary Mary - "He Said" with Fats
  • 2002: K-Young - "Ballinest Player" with Lil' Zal
  • 2002: K-Young - "Ooh Wee"
  • 2002: Shawn Desman - "Sexy"
  • 2003: Natalie Wilson & The S.O.P. Chorale - "Good Life"
  • 2004: Kierra "Kiki" Sheard - "You Don't Know"
  • 2005: Joy Enriquez - "Don't You Let Go"
  • 2005: Anesha Birchett - "Get Ready" with Mase
  • 2006: The Darkchild Allstars - "We Are Family"
  • 2008: The Pussycat Dolls With Diddy, Lil Wayne, & Fatman Scoop - When I Grow Up (Darkchild Remix)

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Video cameos

  • 1996: Gina Thompson - "The Things That U Do (Bad Boy Remix)"

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Watch more Dailymotion videos on AOL Video

  • 2001: So Plush - "Things I've Heard Before"

Watch more YouTube videos on AOL Video

  • 2001: Rhona - "Satisfied"

  • 2002: Monica - "All Eyez on Me"

Watch more Yahoo! Music videos on AOL Video

  • 2006: Natasha - "Hey, Hey, Hey" and "So Sick"

Watch more Point of No Return videos on AOL Video

  • 2006: J. Holiday - "Be with Me"

Watch more AOL Music videos on AOL Video

  • 2008: Brandy - "Right Here (Departed)"

Watch more BET videos on AOL Video


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