Extra Extra! Read All About It! Talented R&B Duo Ruff Endz Talks Life, Brotherhood, and New Music!

When I first heard "Ruff Endz," single "Someone to Love You," I wore it out! As well as myself, I remember my son humming that song so loudly that I thought he was going to sing the lyrics right off the music! This talented, dynamic duo intrigued me because not only were both of them amazing singers, but one played the piano. I'm Speaking of the music video. I thought, wow, The talent the two men have is cosmic! For me, interviewing them was a dream come true. My experience interviewing "Ruff Endz" was like none other.

My admiration for them included their honesty, transparency, cohesiveness, and unbreakable brotherhood bond. While they are very different, they share the same passion for music and love and respect for each other. I love the love that they have for one another as brothers. I believe this is the secret to their years of musical success. They look out for one another, and I love it.

Their respect for one another and willingness to speak freely made this interview a breeze. Simultaneously, they knew so much about one another that they could complete each other's sentences. I don't have any biological brothers, but if I did, brothers like these would be my choice. They both have extraordinary talent and are a lot of fun. It was an honor to interview them about their life and musical journey. This interview is filled with laughter, unforgettable memories, and emotional moments. Here's what we discussed in our conversation.

Gina Sedman: Hi guys! Thank you for your time! I appreciate it, and it is a true honor.

Ruff Endz: Thanks for having us

Gina Sedman: You're welcome. Before we get started, I need to know who's who first.

Dante: Alright, this is Dante "Chi" Jordan

Gina Sedman: OK.

David: And I'm David.

Gina Sedman: The two of you are speaking, so I'll need to remember your tones to know who's talking. (laughter)

David: I got a lighter voice, and Dante has the heavier tone.

Gina Sedman: Got it!

David: If you want a deeper tone, you have to catch meat around 8:00 a.m. because my tone gets lighter once the day starts.

Gina Sedman: I hear you; I sound like Barry White when I wake up in the morning, so I get it! (laughs)

David: That's when you do all the special talking parts for the song. (laughs)

Gina Sedman: Awesome! OK, let's jump in.

Ruff Endz: Ok

Gina Sedman: What were your upbringings like, and how did they differ?

Dante: Ok, I’ll start. This is Dante, Chi or Dante Jordan, or Dante Chi. I’ve got about 4 or 5 names. (laughs)

Gina Sedman: Ok (laughs)

Dante: My name is Dante, and we both grew up in the same neighborhood. How we differed is that David’s immediate family were pastors and evangelist. I’ve always known Davids's father to be a true man of God. He was on another level with it. David’s father came from Guyana David was born here in America. Because of that, David and I had the chance to bond as kids. As far as my family. They were into music. Although there's a few musicians and singers in our family, we’re more on the street side.

Gina Sedman: It sounds like we've got saints and sinners here.

David: I didn’t want to say it! (laughs) Help him, Jesus, help him, Lord! (laughs)

Gina Sedman: I'm not one to judge I've been on both sides of the coin. (laughs)

Dante: Yeah, I was out on those streets. Hey, it was right there. It was easy for me. In my city, selling packs was easier than finding a job. In those days, getting a work license as a teenager was difficult. In contrast, I could go up to the corner and say, "Hey, let me get a pack," and I'd make 30 bucks off each one. That's why you'd be out on the corner hustling. That's how easy I was. Back then, that's how it was. David and I had different backgrounds, but we both loved music. Basically, music was my saving grace growing up in a city where these kinds of activities were common.

Gina Sedman: Where did you and David meet?

Dante: We met in high school.

Gina Sedman: Yes, your upbringing differs.

Dante: Yes, very different. I'm from the rough side of town, the streets.

Where I grew up in LA, we call it the hood! (laughs)

Dante: Yeah

Gina Sedman: David what about you? Tell me about your youngin’ years.

David: We were around 5 or 6 when Dante and I first met. We were kids. In fact, Dante has a picture of myself and a guy I used to play with, I believe in Kirby Lane. In Kirby Lane, they used to have Monkey bars and all that Kind of stuff. But I just remember his face from playing with this Kid. Do you know how you just remember certain faces?

Gina Sedman: Yes.

David: Well, I remembered his face, and he confirmed it when I met him later. He said, “yeah, I remember we used to hang out.” At that moment, it became clear that this was the kid I used to play with.

We grew up in Baltimore, and for someone who grows up in the hood of Baltimore, it's incredibly hard not to be influenced by the environment. Having grown up in such an environment, I can tell you it's pull into the dark side is highly alluring. Not only was there gun violence, but the drug scene was so bad that I remember seeing dope lines for people trying to get drugs at 2:00 AM. Honestly, the lines were about three blocks long, no exaggeration.

Gina Sedman: Wow! That’s insane!

David: Yeah. It was like a welfare line. You'd think they were giving away free food, but instead, they were purchasing drugs. There was a massive drug epidemic in Baltimore.

Regarding my family upbringing, my family is from the Islands, and I'm the youngest of 10 brothers and sisters. I was raised in a God-fearing home. My brothers and sisters went out there and did their own thing. You know what they say about preachers' kids; we're the worst.

Gina Sedman: Yeah, I’ve heard that. I myself am a preacher's kid, so I know. (laughs)

David: But I believe it was all a part of a divine plan that our paths crossed.

Gina Sedman: Yes.

David: Similarly, music was a lifeline for both Dante and me. It checked me and pulled him.

Gina Sedman: That's great; let's talk about some fun things now that we've all purged. So, let's keep this car neutral and discuss the fun things you did as a child. Children seem to be obsessed with cereal for some reason. The busy parent will often place a bowl of cereal before the child on the way to work. For a working parent with a full-time job, that's the easiest thing to do. In our adult years, most of us remember this as a part of our childhood with such fondness. I want to ask you, David, what was your favorite cereal as a child?

David: peanut butter, captain crunch!

Gina Sedman: Dante, what about you?

Dante: Oh, that's crazy that you just said that. I was just talking about cereal this morning. I don't want to go too far, but I have to tell you what I was talking about.

Gina Sedman: Ok (laughs)

Dante: It's quick, but I need to say this.

Gina Sedman: Ok (laughs)

Dante: Earlier today, we discussed why we like chocolate milk and how that whole thing started. My theory is that it came from “Cocoa Pebbles.” For example, the milk in the bowl turns into chocolate milk after eating the cereal. When I was in school, they gave me regular milk. My first thought was, uh, but chocolate milk! Then strawberry milk came out, and it was like a brand-new invention! It was incredible! I, on the other hand, was a captain crunch guy. The captain and I were on the boat.

Gina Sedman: Ok! (laughs)

Dante: I loved every flavor they put out. Crunch Berries and peanut butter. And when they came out with all Crunch Berries, and there wasn't any regular captain crunch cereal in the box, that was like a new gift!

Gina Sedman: (Laughs) I hear you! "Captain Crunch" is so good! I used to be able to eat that stuff when I was younger, but not now.

Dante: I was jumping around like; they have the one with mostly strawberries!

Gina Sedman: (Laughs)

Dante: It was like I was a cereal monster eating cereal at night.

Gina Sedman: (laughs)

Dante: I promised myself that cereal would be one thing I would enjoy when I became an adult. Nobody's going to stop me. I'm going to go ahead and get the biggest bowl I can find and fill it with as much cereal as I want! (laughs) Now I can eat an entire box of fruity pebbles, and nobody can stop me! (laughs)

Gina Sedman: (Laughs) That’s what's up! Awesome! That's hilarious! Growing up, we didn't have much money, so my mom bought a big box of Corn Flakes or Cheerios, and we mixed powdered milk with water to put on our cereal. My taste for corn flakes grew with time, but I hated the powdered milk! It was super gross! She would buy a gallon of milk and mix it with powdered milk when it began to run out. It is still in my memory what that tasted like; it's disgusting! It was Dunkin' Donuts cereal that changed the game. She bought it a couple of times, but not regularly. During my childhood, I promised myself that when I grew up, I would eat whatever cereal I wanted. Since we've grown, nobody can tell us what to do. (laughs)

Ruff Endz: That’s right.

Gina Sedman: OK, David, what was your favorite childhood toy?

David: My favorite childhood toy? Wow, that's a good question.

Gina Sedman: I guarantee you have never had an interview like this before. (laughs)

David: Yeah, that’s true. In fact, I was just going to say that at the end of my interview because this is interesting, but in a good way.

Gina Sedman: (Laughs)

David: OK, my favorite childhood toy, wow. That’s a tough one.

Dante: You want me to go first?

David: Yeah

Gina Sedman: OK Dante, tell me, what is your favorite childhood toy?

Dante: I was rough on toys; let me just stop there. I was the little guy with an Adam's apple and big hands.

Gina Sedman: Ok.

Dante: I looked like I had a bone sticking out of my throat. They used to talk all kinds of crazy things about me, but I was the type of person who didn't care. I never was one to invest too much in what people said about me because I'll always be me, live my life, and enjoy it.

Now, there was this race car set that I really wanted, so I got it for Christmas. The first day I got it, I tore it up. Then I remember having these Sesame Street drums. It's crazy how I remember this stuff, but I remember it. I beat the drums so hard that I tore them up within the first two days.

Gina Sedman: (Laughs)

Dante: My cousin Jimmy is one of my favorite cousins. He used to travel with us on the road. Well, his father purchased this truck for me. It was a metal Tonka truck, and I had it for a long time. I used to throw it down the stairs and everything. I would sometimes ride it across the floor with my knee on it. And I remember thinking that whoever made this was a genius! It was the perfect toy for someone like me!

I remember thinking, out of all the toys I've ever had, this has got to be the best toy ever because it was built to be Tonka tough! That’s even what the commercial said, right?

Gina Sedman: (laughs) Right! This is hilarious! I love it!

Dante: Ford Motors took that from Tonka. I remember that. That toy stood the test of time. It wasn't plastic; it was metal like a real toy. I can’t explain it, but I think that truck was the best toy I ever had!

Gina Sedman: So basically, the toy that you couldn't destroy was the toy that passed the best friend test.

Dante: Yeah. It was a real yellow dump truck and a nice size. It wasn't too small, or it wasn't crazy big; it was perfect. I could even take it to the beach, fill it with sand, then take it home and dust it off. No matter what I did, that truck was still there. I also had a Monkey that sucked its thumb. I also used to suck my thumb, so when I lost the monkey, I stopped.

Gina Sedman: (Laughs) Awe, how adorable! David, have you had time to consider your favorite childhood toy?

David: Oh yeah, "The Big Wheel.”

Gina Sedman: I loved big wheels! I was getting ready to say if someone doesn't mention the big wheel, I'm going to be like, “why someone didn't say the big will!” big wheels were awesome!

David: As a kid, I had a "Batman Big Wheel" and a Batman toy, but that's another story. The Batman Big Wheel had double wheels, which made it phenomenal. Every time I went outside, I felt like I was the man! While the other children had single wheels, I had double red wheels. We even raced our big wheels! We lived on the corner, at the bottom of the hill. So, I used to go up the block and ride down, then when I turned the corner, it used to slide. (laughs)

Dante: (laughs) yeah

David: Now, if you got three or four of us, you would think we were fast and furious! We felt like Van Diesel.

Gina Sedman: (Laughs) I cannot! You guys are hilarious! That’s so funny!

David: One of my other memories involves riding a bicycle. When I turned the bike, it flipped over. I cut my head and injured myself pretty bad. It was so bad that I remember part of my skin hanging off my head.

Gina Sedman: On no!

David: yeah, I hurt myself badly, but three hours later, I was back out there again riding my big wheel. (laughs)

Ruff Endz: (Laughs)

Dante: David

David: Yes

Dante: I’ve got to add something to that. I’m trying to remember really hard. We were out there on those big wheels before. My cousin had a green machine, and he used to allow me to rock that thing all the time! Well, one day, he let me borrow it. See, how the green machine works is that you pick up a lot of speed and then hit that slide.

David: Uh huh

Dante: That's probably where I met you. Yo, I'm telling you! (laughs)

David: Oh yeah! All of us used to meet up.

Gina Sedman: (Laughs) You guys are so much fun!! I love this interview! It sounds to me like you had the big will meet-up club! That's awesome! As a kid, I had one too, but I used to ride mine inside the house. When my mother left for work, I arranged brown paper grocery bags between the doorways and drove through them, knocking down each one with the help of my sister. Next, I would push her through the bags, and she would ride. My mother's house became alive when she left, like a scene from the movie " Home Alone." With the big wheel, you could have endless fun! What about cartoons? David, what was your favorite cartoon?

Dante: Ooh!

David: Cartoon-wise, one of my favorites growing up was Thunder Cats.

Gina Sedman: I loved Thunder cats! In fact, I still remember the song,” Thunder, Thunder Thunder, Thunder cats!”

David: Dante, I think we got a background singer!

Gina Sedman: Hilarious!

David: I don't want to throw too much out there. Go ahead, Dante. If you want to throw one out there, go ahead, I don’t want to keep going.

Dante: Yeah, I was about to say that we could keep going on that subject. But, someone from my childhood was talking about this long ago, which was so funny. We were outside one day, and he remembered me singing a part of a song from the cartoon, "Mighty Mouse," and when I say we had tears in our eyes, we had tears in our eyes!

Gina Sedman: I remember Mighty Mouse; I used to love watching that cartoon in the mornings before school. It came on super early in the morning, so you had to get up early to watch it.

Gina Sedman: Mighty Mouse was one of my favorites; I used to watch it before school.

Dante: We discussed who would win between Mighty Mouse and whomever. The conversation was so funny that it brought me back to the point where I remembered it. It jogged the part of my brain that made me remember things that happened long ago, including other things. It got me pumped up! This is what we talked about; I said, “The song alone made me remember it. You can't deny the song when it comes on!

(Dante sings, “here I come to save the day!”)

Gina Sedman: (laughs)

Dante: The harmonies were incredible! (Dante sings, “don't you know that mighty mouse is on his way!”)

Gina Sedman: (laughs) That's so funny! You sound just like the song Dante! I can hear all three harmonies coming out of one amazing voice! Is this even an interview anymore? I'm having too much fun!

Dante: The harmonies were like the barbershop harmonies. It was incredible! One thing is for sure: that song made you pay attention! Whenever it came on, you would say to yourself; this will be good! I thought to myself, if the opening song of this cartoon sounds that good, this is going to be good! It caught me every time. I think that was the beginning of my love of cartoons. The music was incredible; it captivated me. That was it.

Gina Sedman: You grew up together, and sometimes there's a girl in the neighborhood that every boy wants. Have you ever had a crush on the same girl?

David: We probably did. Hey, this interview is different. (laughs)

Gina Sedman: Well, David, I want to know the real David and Dante. (laughs)

David: I love different interviews! I love it!

Dante: Yeah!

David: This is a beautiful interview.

Gina Sedman: Thank you.

Dante: Whew! David stop! He’s making my laugher worst. (laughs) He knows how to push my funny bone. So, listen, whew. (laughs) where were we at?

Gina Sedman: My question to you guys was, did you ever have a crush on the same girl growing up?

Dante: So, listen, there's a song on our album called "Missing You." Even today, this song remains one of our favorites. We were in Atlanta for our first extended stay. We were there with Bryan-Michael Cox, Jazzy Faye, and Johntá Austin when he played "Sweet Lady," Jagged Edge was recording their first album, and Ashante was also there. At the time, all this was happening. What made it so special is that the song missing you is with Brian Michael Cox. This is also one of the things that made it so memorable. At the end of the song, missing you, I make a slip reference, and I say, "Girl, I've been missing you; I've been thinking about Chi and Mrs. Jones." do you remember the song Mrs. Jones and me?

Gina Sedman: Oh yes, how can anybody not know that song. Me and Mrs. Jones is iconic.

Dante: So, I thought it would be an excellent little reference. So, David caught wind of it. On a side note, this is some brother Ying and Yang type of stuff, but it’s beautiful when you have a group like Ruff Endz.

Then David says, “I'm going to shout my girl out too!” Then he says, “Amy love, I've been missing you.” If you listen to the song, you can barely catch it, but we have some fans who have asked us who "Amy Love" is. Do you see what I'm saying?

Gina Sedman: Yes. I see.

Dante: See, they'll miss the “Me and Mrs. Jones” because it's a song. They'll say that was slick. But when David said, “Amy Love, I’ve been missing you,” it was a different story.

I remember us being down in Atlanta for the longest time we had ever been from home, and David was messing with a nice young lady, and I was messing around with her cousin. We were in serious relationships with these women and in love.

Now, Gina, this was a movie. When David first met Amy, like when Johnny first met Sally. (laughs) But, when David first met Amy, the first time we saw her was when we were at a mall. We were both checking her out because she was pretty and had a nice physique.

David: My brother, Simeon, was there too.

Dante: Yeah, Simeon and tried to put his little bid in.

David: Yep, exactly!

Dante: However, it happened, one way or another, David stepped up. It's crazy that you asked me this question because you made me think about this. This was what I would call a defining moment in our relationship. Simeon is David's older brother by blood. They have the same mother and father. My relationship with David is that of a spiritual brotherhood. Since the day I met David, I have felt that way. Whether God placed him in my path or however you wish to put it, he's here, and my life has never been the same since he became a part of it.

So, this is one of those moments that I was thinking like a brother. I had girls on that level, fine with a great physique. But, looking at David, I thought she would be good for my brother.

Gina Sedman: Awe! That’s so sweet!

Dante: Yeah, I remember this. I thought that she would be good for him. I believed she could tame him. I created a monster and felt it was my responsibility to fix it. As a result, I created a little monster who knew his powers and had confidence. At this point, David was no longer a timid little shy boy.

Gina Sedman: David, were you a little nerdy when you first met Dante?

David: No, I was like...

Dante: He was a little genius.

David: I was more introverted. It’s because I was raised a certain kind of way with my family.

Dante: I got to answer this, David. I'm cutting in like at a dance. I just saw the Einstein movie, and David was like a little Einstein. David was the kind of person who didn’t invest in what you thought of him. That wasn’t what shaped him. That included how he dressed or what he said to you in the conversation. For me, that was the best! Do you understand?

Gina Sedman: Yeah!

Dante: I hated those little dudes from around the way that would say something like this, “man, I don't like NAS. NAS trashed Pharrell.’ Then you come around and say, "Yō, NAS is one of the best rappers ever! Then his rebuttal would be," yeah, he is," and I'm thinking, man, you just said you didn't like him! Man, be your own person! That's something that I can't stand! I hated that about some of the people around my way. They're all followers! I'll take one David over all ten of Those little fake ornaments! I like people who are real! That's when I discovered the true essence of that statement.

Gina Sedman: (laughs) Awe, that’s so sweet. God blessed you with him in your life and the same with him. That’s awesome!

Dante: He wasn't from the streets, He ain't killed a bunch of people, he wasn't out there selling crack on the corner trying to be hard or do whatever to survive. He didn't do any of that; he was just the David from the church from around the way and was confident in who he was. That was the best thing since sliced bread for me.

Gina Sedman: That's awesome. Tell me, guys, how was your group first formulated?

David: We started as a quartet kind of group. At one point, it was four people in the group. Jodeci & Boyz ll Men were a few of the biggest groups then. We looked up to them. At the time, they were some of our biggest influences. So naturally, we were trying to pattern ourselves after Those groups. There is a three-part harmony, and the fourth person performs the lead part. The lead person would be killing it! So, we were we wanted to go after that.

So, there was a guy named Scola De Niro, and at the time, he already had a song in Baltimore that was #1 on our local station, and it even got on the box. (BET) So, he was a local hero and celebrity to us, and he was from our neighborhood.

He had a music video out, and we were both in it. We were teenagers at the time. So, we were on BET, and that video played quite a bit.

Gina Sedman: How old were you guys at that time?

David: We were about 16.

Gina Sedman: You guys were not signed to a label then, am I correct?

Dante: Correct, we weren't signed at that time.

David: We weren't signed to a label; we were in high school. My connection with Dante was divine. Despite growing up together, our lives took separate paths. He went in one direction, and I went in the other.

Then they moved to Lexington Terrace, a different part of West Baltimore, and I stayed at 1950 W Franklin and Emerson and Monroe, where we met for the first time in West Baltimore. Unfortunately, my house caught fire, we moved to the county, and I ended up attending a different high school. Where they temporarily moved us, the apartments and the condos were beautiful. But after they fixed the damage from the fire and everything was back to normal, they moved us back to the hood. When we moved back, I went back to “Southwestern Senior High School,” the zone school where I grew up.