“whatchu know bout this kinda music?!”
I’ve stated many times (probably too many) that I love music, any and all types. The studio production, lyrics, promotion, visual medium, everything. I’m sure I’ll be 55 years old and booming pop and dance hits and reading young people for filth for talking smack about it. For the past two weeks though, I’ve been feeling the old school hits, lots of new jack swing-kinda stuff from the late 80s and early 90s. A lot of the songs I comes across are ones I weren’t too familiar with from artists I didn’t even know released albums. For those newbs to the New Jack Swing style, it’s a fusion genre of R&B, hip-hop, and dance pop techniques. Lots of synthesizer, drum machines and keyboard sounds, so you know I’m in heaven! Think about it in this perspective: take Janet Jackson’s vocals, add Doug E. Fresh beatbox style and a solid 808 drum track in the back and you’ve got New Jack Swing.
If you still have no idea what I’m talking about, two instantly recognizable examples of the style is the theme from Fresh Prince of Belair and Bell Biv Devoe’s “Poison”. Yeah, you know what I’m talkin’ about now. A lot of songs from this genre are super versatile – they’re awesome for across the floor combinations (always thinking with my teacher brain), but I just usually throw them on and groove super hard. Maybe you’ll like some of them too!
Jasmine Guy, “Another Like My Lover (excerpt)”
This song is what started the obsession. I forgot how I came across it, but when I saw the link I remember thinking “What?! Whitley Gilbert released a music track?” I clicked the link and fell in LOVE. The song jams and so does the video! Jasmine’s voice is well suited to this type of song and I love her showing off those dance chops – she threw everything in the pot from Broadway style and technical jazz to the new jack swing dance style and in the full video, there’s some modern in there toward the end. I can guarantee I’ve been banging this for the past 2 weeks nonstop.
Tisha Campbell (back then she was just TISHA), “Push”
Another one I had no idea released an album! Gone ‘head then Gina! I’m not gonna lie, this song cracks me up more than anything else just for the pure fact of genres it spanned. She’s in here with all the swing beats and her vocals and then the random reggae man shows up – not to mention those lyrics littered with innuendos – just a clustered mess. But a super great clustered mess. Promise me you’ll check out the video to see Tisha breaking it DOWN in the choreo department, her crazy faces and ad-libs, and the not-so-subtle homoeroticism of burly men
rolling wrestling in a cage full of haaaayyyy hay.
Kylie Minogue, “Word Is Out”
Even the pop diva herself Miss Kylie jumped on the New Jack Swing bandwagon. Though I love my Kylie, I’ll admit that I wasn’t really familiar with this portion of her discography (or this song) until I saw it in the related videos of “Another Like My Lover”. Kylie’s looks threw me off a bit (that first one was good though), but what really had me were all those ethnic boys and cute lil Kylie trying to look hard in the middle of all of them. Gotta love her. She went crazy on the instrumentals here too, but it makes me smile and I still jam anyways.
So this New Jack Swing is my current obsession music-wise…what are y’all listening to?