14 February 2011

Livin' in a New Jack City

+50 Bastille Love and Admiration Points to the first person who can name Chris Rock's character from New Jack City pictured above.

What up world, my name is Ian and I'm the other half of gLAdiator. I couldn't let Danl have all the fun, so I decided to get in on this blogging shit.

This post is all about my current love affair with a genre of music called New Jack Swing. It is a fusion genre popular from the late-1980s into the mid-1990s. It fuses the rhythms, samples and production techniques of hip-hop and dance-pop with the urban contemporary sound of R&B. New Jack Swing did not take up the trend of using sampled beats, and instead created beats using the then-new SP-1200 and Roland 808 drum machines to lay an "insistent beat under light melody lines and clearly enunciated vocals.' The sound of new jack swing comes from the hip hop "swing" beats created by drum machine, and hardware samplers. The genre was dominated by a few artists like Bobby Brown, BBD, Keith Sweat, etc. and producers like Teddy Riley, all using the same equipment, which lead to a lot of songs that sound very similar. But the real star of these songs are the vocals.

Bell Biv DeVoe - Do Me!
Everyone and their moms has heard Poison, but I bet if you were born after 1992, you didn't even know these guys had more than one song. Real sexy stuff.

Bobby Brown - On Our Own
Theme song from Ghostbusters II. Nuff said.

Color Me Badd - I Wanna Sex You Up
Color Me Badd is synonymous with 'one-hit-wonder' and this is it. The song has increasingly become a target of ridicule the further we move away from the 90's, but I love this shit. Two guesses about what the song is about.

Keith Sweat - I Want Her
Arguably the biggest hit of his career.

Michael Jackson - Remember the Time
One of my favorite MJ songs of all time that, in my opinion, doesn't get enough love. This is from the album Dangerous, which came out in 1991, during the peak of the NJS craze.

Paula Abdul - (It's Just) The Way That You Love Me
Yes, Paula Abdul actually used to make music (and was a Laker Girl) before she went crazy and started judging American Idol. Super catchy chorus and super cheesy guitar solo. Yes please.

Enjoy the tunes! I have a bunch more of this stuff to unleash on you fools soon.