Just because Black History Month is over, it doesn't mean we can't get down to some new jack swing.
Or even new jack seesaw. Right?
Whatever. Here's a mix:
- The Boys - Dial My Heart (12" Heart Version)
- New Edition - If It Isn't Love
- Bobby Brown - Every Little Step (Dance...Ya Know It! Remix)
- SWV - I'm So Into You (Extended Version)
- BLACKstreet - Booti Call
- Color Me Badd - I Wanna Sex You Up
- T.C.F. featuring Asia Fernandez - If You Wanna Sex Me Up (Regular Mix)
- Jade - Don't Walk Away
- Zhané - Hey Mr. DJ
- Jeff Redd - You Called & Told Me (Radio Version)
- En Vogue - Lies (Avant Garde Extended Version)
- Michel'le - No More Lies (Extended Dance Mix)
- Bell Biv Devoe - Poison (Club MTV Party to Go Mix)
- Johnny Gill - Rub You the Right Way
- Janet Jackson - Alright (12" R&B Mix featuring Heavy D)
- Guy - D-O-G Me Out (Mike Nice Mix)
- Bobby Brown - Get Away (Shock G's Get Away)
- TLC - Hat 2 da Back (Extended Remix)
- Tené Williams - Give Him a Love He Can Feel (12" Extended Love Mix)
Some notes on the mix and the genre follow.
- I limited myself only to vinyl in my collection for this mix (which I made by hand, as usual). This means that it's a weird mishmash of decided new jack (and jill -- cannot forget jill) classics and obscurities (Tené Williams never got her due, I tell ya). It also means that Johnny Kemp's "Just Got Paid" had no chance of making the cut, since I don't own it. Bill says that not including "Just Got Paid" on a new jack swing mix is sacrilege. I tend to agree, but what can you do? No money in my pocket.
- This is the first mix I've made of stuff that isn't pure dance music (i.e. it isn't house, disco or freestyle, which really make up the bulk of my vinyl collection). That said, part of what I love about new jack swing and what I miss about late '80s/early '90s R&B and hip-hop in general is that dancey was the de facto law. I miss that. I hate that the last dancey R&B hit was Destiny's Child's "Lose My Breath." I hate that we live in the shadow of "Lean Back." It's OK to dance guys: it's supposed to indicate how well you fuck. Why are you afraid of showing that?
- Mixing this stuff from vinyl like I do (which is to say by beatmatching and keeping quick cuts to a minimum, because I'm dumb and stubborn like that) without doubles of records to help stretch things out is a bitch -- a few times, there were only about 8 bars of music before the vocal started, which meant I had to drop a lot of these songs in as soon as they started. Which means that the mix sometimes sounds like shit. I always like to say that this imperfection adds personality to a mix, but it might be wishful thinking -- the bumps might be more warts than moles.
- Even if it isn't dance music-dance music, I find that this mix is fine to work out to, if you're aerobically inclined. The BPM steadily increases, which helps keep you going. And since no music is going to match your strides on the treadmill beat-for-beat, anyway (unless you're into gabber), bouncey, vocal stuff of even a brisk speed is as good as stuff that's just really moderately faster (like house and disco). Let this help you get in shape for spring so that Gumby 'do you know you wanna rock this summer won't look like it's sitting on top of a mound of clay.
- Bobby Brown is the only performer to have two songs on this mix. This is because he's the king of R&Beeeeeeeeeeeee!!!
- They are so fine, so fine, so fine, blow my mind . . .
- How far civilization has come can be measured via the guest rap (by one Latesha) on En Vogue's "Lies": "We lie about our hair and we know we got a weave." Who lies about that anymore? Shit, last I checked people weren't even embarrassed to be sporting wigs. Bravo, society!
- I know people think of Color Me Badd's "I Wanna Sex You Up" as the height of wackness, but before the video revealed how lame they were (two George Michaels, one Terrence Trent D'arby-Milli Vanilli hybrid and a Kenny G do not make a convincing "urban" quartet) they were just a bunch of faceless, smooth crooners on the New Jack City soundtrack. Plus, I really couldn't resist including this one, if only because it meant that I could immediately follow it with T.C.F.'s ridiculous answer record. (I should also apologize here for the two skips in "I Wanna Sex You Up." They hurt, I know.)
- And finally, a trilogy of observations about Johnny Gill:
- "Magic hands"?!?!
- He had (has?) gay eyes:
- You can see here that the vinyl that I found used last year is signed:
I seriously doubt that the signature is legit, but wouldn't it be awesome if it were? It would totally clear up the mystery of his sexuality (it's so ambiguous! I mean, really, is he or isn't he?). But even if it isn't, I love the fact that someone made this joke. It makes me feel less alone.