If I couldn't have grown up in the 20s or 30s, the 80s and 90s would have been my second choice. Of course it helps that's when I was actually growing up. I think whether we are talking movies or music, those four decades brought us huge leaps in innovation and creativity. There was such a feeling of levity and joy in both forms of media. Even in works that were meant to make you cry or think, were made with this pure joy that comes across both visually and audibly.
Being a child of the 80s, and I do mean child, I was born in 76, 80s and early 90s music has been stuck in my brain for as long as I can remember. I'm addicted to the stuff, especially certain styles that just brings a smile to my face when I listen to them. Last month I gave you some examples of Freestyle, this month it's going to be New Jack Swing.
As a sub genre of music, it really had its roots in Freestyle, Jazz, R&B, Hip-Hop, and popular dance music. What Freestyle was to the Latin communities and clubs, New Jack Swing was to the black clubs of New York City and other major metro areas. It features the vocal and lyrical qualities of R&B against a backdrop of Hip-Hop and dance beats. Much like Freestyle, it relies on drum machines and synthesizers for much of the rhythm.
The number of artists who put out New Jack Swing albums is as large and diverse as R&B music itself. Some of my favorites are Janet Jackson, Bobby Brown, Bell Biv Devoe, Johnny Gill, Ralph Tresvant, Paula Abdul, Keith Sweat, Guy, Al B. Sure, Tony! Toni! Tone!, Johnny Kemp, Whitney Houston, Karyn White, Sheena Easton, TLC, Babyface, Boyz II Men, Jade, En Vogue, SWV, and I could go on an on. I'm not going to, because I think you got the point. What a lot of us think of popular 80s/90s R&B is classified as New Jack Swing.
Now I'm not going to be posting videos by all of those I mentioned above, but I thought I would post a few of my all time favorite songs.