Sunday, October 24, 2010
Mr. New Jack Swing
Sometimes when I'm in the midst of other people and the topic music comes up, people go into talking about the latest artists and how their music is great. After awhile, we go into the older music from other musicians and how that music is timeless. It seems every time I bring up the New Jack Swing Era I get these confused, dumb reactions from people. "Wasn't that a dance?" "That wasn't no damn music! That was Nino Brown's club name in the movie New Jack City!" Sighs it kills me that people are not knowledgeable on a era of music dominated urban music for several years in the late 80's and early 90's. This era I'm talking is The New Jack Swing Era.
In 1985, two rappers by the name of Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick brought this idea to a young producer by the name of Teddy Riley. The idea was to make a Hip-Hop record about getting ready to performed at a concert. The record was a smash and played in every night club. Doug E. Fresh, and Slick Rick found new success but who gain a lot of notoriety was Teddy Riley. Up and coming artist like Kool Moe Dee to Heavy D came knocking Riley's door down to contribute to their albums. With this over night success for Riley, it was only going to get bigger.
Teddy went on to meet a vocalist by the name of Aaron Hall, Timmy Gatling, and forming the group Guy. Their first album self-entitled "Guy" had smash hits like "I Like", "Piece of My Love", and "Teddy Jam's". With Teddy being known as a Hip-Hop producer, this R&B album set the tone for the "New Jack Swing". Before it was named the New Jack Swing, Teddy called his sound Sophicated Bumble Gum Music. Teddy called it that it because it was young. Journal Berry Micheal Cooper described the sound a musical hybrid that combined R&B and Hip-Hop inspired by the urban youth.
Teddy went on to produced for the likes of Keith Sweat, Al B. Sure, and the legendary Bobby Brown. This sound was like none other. Around the time this sound was introduced, you had a lot of ballad singers, and it wasn't any music you could really dance to, and that's what Teddy brought to the fore front. I can remember myself as a kid seeing Guy's "Teddy's Jam" and getting up in the living room and dancing with no rhythm. When I talk to people older than me that was really in the midst of that era, all I hear is good stories about them embracing his music, and running to the dance floor whenever one of his records came on.
With countless hits under his belt, he stepped into another realm producing for the likes of Boy George and the legendary Michael Jackson. His brought his signature sound to the King of Pop as it went to another level with the album "Dangerous"
Teddy went on to have success with groups such as Wreckx-n-Effect and the legendary group BlackStreet. With all his other success in music, he will always be know for the New Jack Swing and what it brought to music and also the urban culture.
Here's some of his hits below: